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.

  1 comment for “Paste and Match Style

  1. January 6, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks! I was trying to copy something into Scrivener this afternoon, and succeeded because I’d just read your post. I probably I knew about this, but hadn’t used it recently. So much easier than trying to reformat in place.

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