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Tech Tuesday: Scrivener Format Menu Tidbits

[Aug 10, 2012 UPDATE: A reader pointed out that this entire post was out of date because the Text menu made like the dinosaurs sometime in the two years since I wrote this. Most Text menu features are now available under the Format menu on both Mac and PC. I've changed the instructions below accordingly.]

Scrivener is full of many small but very useful features. I have stumbled across most of them by accident, and I thought I'd share them over the next couple of Tuesdays.

Converting Multiple Spaces to Single Space

In many parts of the publishing world, the new standard for spacing is a single-space between sentences. Until I got used to typing that way though, I had a complete MS that was double-spaced. You could use Project Replace to fix it, but there's an even easier way. Of course.

1. View the affected text in the Editor (view your Manuscript folder in Scrivenings view to affect the entire MS), and click inside the Editor pane to activate it.

2. From the Format menu, choose Convert.

Note that the Convert submenu also offers easy text conversions for UPPERCASE, lowercase, and Title Case.

3. Click Multiple Spaces to Space.

If you just can't get over typing two spaces between words, another option is to convert from multiple to single spaces during the compile process. You'll find the option under the Transformations tab.

Show Invisible (non-printing) Characters

Have you ever wanted to view the non-printing characters in your MS? You know, like paragraph marks and spaces? Scrivener has a function called Show Invisibles that does just that.

1. From the Format menu, choose Options, then Show Invisibles (affects all documents).

2. To remove, repeat Step 1.

Use Typewriter Scrolling in the Editor Window

In Full Screen mode, the line you're typing is always at the center of the page by default. Unless I'm editing, I love it because I'm not always looking at the bottom of the window while typing, but I don't always write in Full Screen. This feature–called Typewriter Scrolling–is also available in the Editor window.

1. Click within a text document.

2. From the Format menu, choose Options, then Typewriter Scrolling.

3. Will affect all documents until you turn it off by repeating Step 2.

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

 If you have any ideas for future Tech Tuesday columns, please let me know. Happy writing!

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