Paste and Match Style

Last Thursday, after I finished writing some copy for a client, I exported my Scrivener document as .docx to Word, resulting, much to my chagrin, with the text running off the page. I figured that to preserve the formatting I need to export it as .rtf.  The text opened in Nisus Writer Pro and it still seemed off. Why?

After several exporting attempts, going to Preferences, figure out my settings, fiddling, and setting everything back to default, I re-exported the document for both rtf and docx, and I still experienced the same snafu.

I went to the Scrivener User’s community and told them what had occurred, and after much back and forth answering questions by a member, I finally figured out the issue: I had copied a marketing letter from an AWeber email and pasted it into my Scrivener project so I could work on a follow-up version. What I hadn’t realized was I copied the text from hidden text blocks.

To avoid pulling your hair out of your head as I did, there’s a simple solution: Paste and Match Style. Simply copy the text you want in Scrivener, go to Edit->Paste and Match Style and voila! To be honest, this was a reminder for me, I’ve used it in the past in Word, but never in Scrivener. When you use Paste and Match Style what happens is that you lose all the formatting from the original source and when you paste it, the application picks up the formatting characteristics (font, spacing, margins, etc) from its destination—in this case, my Scrivener project.

That’s the easy solution, but I had to know why it was happening and if there was another way to fix it. Because it was a text block, Word was translating it as a giant cell.

You’ll see that a small square with an arrowed plus sign indicates it’s a cell (a text block in this case). To fix the run-off, go to the Tables->Tables Layout tab, click on Autofit->Autofit to Contents. But it’s still a giant cell and it will continue to cause formatting issues. To convert that into text, go to the menubar select Table->Convert->Table to Text. And now you’re done.

However, to avoid all of these steps simply use Paste and Match Style and use it liberally whether it’s text from the internet, a word document, an email, or a PDF file. You’ll avoid wasting time on formatting and save yourself from having a bald spot.

On Track with Scrivener 3’s Corkboard

When I first read about the changes to the corkboard, I was very excited. It was this feature that first grabbed my attention when I first learned about Scrivener.

Now that I’ve been fooling with it, I really don’t know if I’ll be using the “Arrange by Label” Why? It really has to do with the size of my screen, and I think for something of this nature having a real corkboard or whiteboard works best–at least for me–ut you be the judge and see how well it works for you.

For this tutorial, I’m using the never-ending WIP as an example so you can see some of the changes.

First, pins and the corner colors are no longer a feature. A nice colored edge indicates the label color. I use point-of -view. To show the color go to View->Corkboard Options->Show Label Colors Along Edges. See how pretty it looks.

If you want to make changes to the Corkboard go to Scrivener->Preferences->Appearance and in the left panel select Corkboard.

Here you’ll be able to make the changes you want. If you want to change the index cards, select Index Cards. You’ll have the same tabs. If you want to change the theme of the index card, you’ll be able to choose from Standard, Lined, Plain, Rounded, and Rounded and Lined. You can also change the font of the title and the text, as well as change the color of the card.

If I want to see how my POV chapters look by “Arrange by Label”, I click on the icon that looks like two tracks with cards on it that’s found on at the corkboard’s footer on the right-hand side. Once selected, it turns blue when it’s activated.

At this early point of the story, I can see each chapter with the POVs of the major characters. A few things to note: In label, I went and deleted everything that wasn’t a point of view and rearranged te the order of POVs so I could see them closer together. Otherwise, I had other colored tracks that fell between each POV and I couldn’t see where each perspective lands on the tracks and where in the story that POV appears again.

If I want to change the tracks to a column view, just toggle the button to the left of the track icon.

There are some neat tricks of moving cards to different tracks and how that changes the label properties. For instance, if I have a track that has the label Completed and the color is fuschia, my card’s colored edge changes to that color once I move it to that track

At this point, I don’t see myself using this layout in the Corkboard. It just might have to do with the size of my monitor, but I’ll be curious to see how other Scrivener aficionados use it and learn from them.


Composition Mode in Scrivener 3

A reader recently pointed out that Composition Mode in Scrivener 3 is different from what I posted back in May 2104. He wrote:

“This has all changed with Scrivener 3. The defaule background in composition mode is dark and the text is bright. There is no “Paper” option listed., though the text option is still there.

I’m looking for a way to set things up in 3 the way I have them in 2…”

Let’s take a side-by-side look at the differences in Composition Mode in Scrivener 2 and 3.

Scrivener 2  

Scrivener 3

Apart from the obvious design changes in the footer, (see below), the big difference is the color of the editor (paper) and text. Before we get to making changes to the editor and text, let’s take a quick look at some differences.

Composition Mode Footer in Scrivener 2

Composition Mode Footer in Scrivener 3

As you can see, Paper Position is no longer a drop down menu in Scrivener 3. To change the position of the editor, just use the slider. Paper width works in the same manner, and remember that if you want to change the height of the paper, simply hit the alt key and it will toggle over to Paper Height. Keywords works in the same way as in Scrivener 2. The window floats, but the design has changed.

Keywords in Scrivener 2

Keywords in Scrivener 3

Ditto for the Inspector and Go To (see below).

Inspector in Scrivener 2


Inspector in Scrivener 3

Go To in Scrivener 2



Go To in Scrivener 3

The color of the paper and background isn’t absolute—don’t despair—you can change it to suit your aesthetics. Simply go to menubar and select Scrivener->Preferences->Appearance ->Composition Mode. In the pane to the right you’ll see Options and Colors. Click on Colors.

From there, select the feature you want to change. Click on the box that shows the current color and a color wheel will open up. At the point, make your preferred color selection.

I fiddled a bit with mine and this how it looks:

Note: If you want to use an image, make sure to resize it to less than 1 MB.

Poking Around in Scrivener 3’s Inspector

Scrivener’s Inspector has always been one of my favorite features. I usually keep it open because I often use Document Notes when I’m working on an article or scene. In version three, Literature and Latte decided to make some design and functionality changes for the Inspector. They’ve streamlined it and made it less clunky.

Let’s take a tour of the new Inspector and look at some before and after images so my sloppy explanation is clearer. NOTE: To see the images larger, click on them.

Previously, the Inspector’s header in Scrivener 2 looked like this:

Scrivener 2


From left to right you have: notes, references, keywords, metadata, snapshots, footnotes and comments, and the padlock.

In Scrivener 3, the header’s icons have a cleaner minimalist look:

Scrivener 3


From left to right you have: notes, references is now bookmarks, metadata, snapshots, and comments and footnotes. Keyword and the padlock icons have been ditched.

The footer in Scrivener 3 is where you can now find Label and Status.

When you clicked on Notes in Scrivener 2, the Inspector was divided into three panes–Synopsis, General, and Document Notes:

In Scrivener 3, we see a few changes:

First, the center pane is gone. General has been folded into Metadata. Label and Status, as I showed above, are now located at the footer. And here’s the cool part: you can expand Synopsis. It’s no longer fixed. If you’re wordy, like me, simply go to the edge of the index card and drag down the border, or click on the arrow on the notes pane to close it, and you’ll have a larger space to write on the index card.

Click on the bookmark icon and the third pane in Scrivener 2 changes to Document References The top two panes remain the same (Synopsis and General). In this version, you can close the these top two panes to have more room in the third pane.

In Scrivener 3, References has had a name change: Bookmarks. Instead of three panes, you have two. In the top pane, you can drag documents or external files. In the bottom pane, you’ll see the selected item.

In Scrivener 2, Keywords had a dedicated icon in the Inspector. The third pane changes to accommodate keywords.

Whereas in Scrivener 3, Keywords and General Metadata and Custom Metadata are included.

Note the difference in Scrivener 2:

Snapshots in Scrivener 3 has had a tiny facelift. The major difference in Scrivener 3 is that it has the title of the document and the pane below is shaded. See the differences below:

Scrivener 2

Scrivener 3

Comments & Footnotes in Scrivener 3 has a small design change the plus sign to add comment in Scrivener 2 has been replaced with a comment icon and the +fn has been relaced with cf.

Scrivener 3

Scrivener 2

And there you have it! Overall the changes are not that dramatic. I was slightly thrown off with the location change for Status and Label, but I like that it remains static when the Inspector is open.

Adverb Honing with Scrivener 3’s Linguistic Focus

Hello, my name is Simply Scrivener and I use adverbs often that would make Stephen King cringe. Well, that’s a fib. I was trying to come up with a clever way to get your attention and introduce Scrivener 3’s Linguistic Focus.

I don’t agree with Stephen King’s opinion about adverbs. Like most things in life I believe they can be used in moderation. Some writers—mostly novice scribes—tend to sprinkle adverbs like fairy dust throughout their prose.

Sometimes when you’re in deep writing mode and your story has carried you into a different world you tend not to notice when you’ve been generous with adverb usage. And that’s why Linguistic Focus is such a great tool because with a click of your mouse, you can see all your adverbs stand out in the spotlight.

To use Linguistic Focus go to Edit->Writing Tools->Lingusitic Focus. A window will open that allows you to select what part of speech you want to standout. There’s also a slider that fades your unselected text.

Here’s some text from a chapter, highlighting the adverbs I used:

Linguistic focus will never replace a good copyeditor, but it will help you trim your usage of adverbs or any other part of speech. It’s a good tool to use when you’re at the beginning of your revisions.

*H/T to Alan McGrath for catching to two grammatical errors. THANK YOU!

Creating a Readable Outline with Scrivener 3’s Centered Outliner

If you stop by my other blog, you’ll see that I write a lot about the trials and tribulations of my work-in-progress. This has been a ten year project. There’s been much stumbling around, many revisions, revelations, and long periods of not working on it because of plain old ennui.

I’m happy to write that I’ve been consistenly working on the novel since July and I am making progress. If all goes well, I might finish it by the end of the year.

For this tutorial, I’ll be showing how to use the Centered Outliner, but also my process. Typically I am a plontser. A combination pantser and plotter. As I pointed out in a previous post, I use Alexandra Sokoloff’s structure for my WIP: three acts and broken down into eight sequences. Each sequence holds x number of scenes or chapters.

Once I have my structure set up in my binder, I typically create a document and give it a title and write a short blurb of what it’s about in the synopsis. I do this until the end of the sequence and then start writing.

For this exercise, I want to try to think more as an outliner and get down all the major details of each scene so I could easily flesh it out while I write the chapter. To achieve this I use the synopsis pane found in the Inspector.

If you’ve been using older versions of Scrivener, you already know that text in your synopsis will appear in either the Corkboard or the Outliner. In this new version of Scrivener, users have more room to write longer synopsis. I used a modified outline structure that was taught when I was in elementary school.

After I completed each of the synopses, this what my Centered Outline looked on the screen.

But what if I wanted to print it out? Simply go to File->Print Current Document. You’ll get this window:

Open the PDF in Preview and this is what it will look like when you print it out:

I like this new feature to the Outliner a lot. I don’t like printing out spread sheet because it never prints out in one cohesive and neat document. This way, I can write it out in my modified manner and comes out in a readable format that can be popped into a three-ring binder.