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Scrivener for Windows gets an awesome update (1.7.1)

Scrivener for Windows might be the baby of the Scrivener family, but it’s catching up to its big brother quickly (and, happily, making my book even more useful to Windows users). The May 27th update to 1.7.1 is huge. It brings to Windows some of the key features for which many users have been waiting, even if they didn’t know it. 😉

Here are just a few of the additions I think will make PC people very, very happy.

Creating a Table of Contents
Creating your own TOC used to be a pain. Now it’s a cinch. Just select the items in the Binder that you want to include in the contents list (using Ctrl+click or Shift+click). To create a TOC with page numbers (say for a POD book or Word doc), go to Edit—>Copy Special—>Copy Documents as ToC. Create a blank document and paste the list.



To create your own ebook TOC (maybe more or less detailed than the one that’s created automatically), use Copy Documents as Scrivener Links instead.

Preserving Formatting
If you have a section of text with special formatting that you don’t want to lose when you compile, you can preserve it. Scrivener will protect the font, alignment, font size, spacing, everything. Just select the desired text and go to Format—>Formatting—>Preserve Formatting.

Using Format Presets
Want to apply a group of font and/or paragraph settings to select sections of text over and over? You can create and apply presets. This works nicely in conjunction with Preserve Formatting to apply style and preservation to things like quotes, representations of letters, text messages, or emails, or subheadings that you’ve embedded directly into the text.

Presets are found under Format—>Formatting. See this post for more on how presets and preserved formatting work.

To add the Preset Selector button to your format bar, go to Tools—>Customize Toolbars. Select the Format Toolbar in the box at the top right. In the left column, select Preset Selector (should be near the top) and click the right arrow button at the center to move it to the right column. Use the up/down arrows to adjust its position, if desired.

PresetSelectorCustomizing Icons
You can now customize the icon for any object in your Binder. Just right-click the item and choose Change Icon.


Adding a Full Screen Background Image
In the past it was difficult to add an image to the full screen backdrop, and if you did, it affected all projects. Now you can quickly select a backdrop image, and choose a different one for each project. Go to View—>Full Screen Backdrop. You can then select an image from the list (culled from those in your Binder, if any), or click Choose to select an image from any drive attached to your computer. Click here to learn more.

BackdropMenuFullScreenCreating Multiple Project Notes
If you’re like me, you can think of several uses for the Project Notes section. No need to choose, or clutter up the space. You can now create multiple project notes and toggle between them by clicking on the Notes header. To create a new project note, click the Notes header in the Inspector and choose Manage Project Notes. In the Project Notes Window, click the [+] button to add a new note. Click the X on a note’s tab to delete it.


Creating Documents from a Template
Do you have a form you like to use over and over? For example, a character information sheet. Now you can create document templates and then create new documents using the template. This way you won’t overwrite your original, and creating a new one is a snap. The Novel template comes preloaded with Character and Setting Sketch templates, but you can create your own.

Compiling Your Work
There have been several much-needed updates to the Compile function. Here’s a quick list.
– You now have the ability to create one or more front matter folders outside of the Draft that can be added in when compiling. You can have one for your ebooks, another for your print version, and still another for your submissions to editors/agents.
– Windows has finally eliminated the need to click an extra button (Modify) to access the formatting editor on the Formatting tab of Compile. (Guess I should update some of my posts…)
– The compile preview should provide more accurate results since it’s now based on PDF output.
– There are more options under Transformations tab, like Remove Highlighting and Remove Text Color.

And there’s much more (e.g. adding custom meta-data, additional placeholder tags). For the complete list, click here.

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.

 Happy writing!

Tech Tuesday: Formatting tips for Scrivener

Scrivener is meant for drafting manuscripts, and isn’t focused much on formatting them. But it’s understandable that you might have preferences for how the text in your editing window appears. Here are a few quick tips for setting it up.

Setting the Standard Format for New Documents (Mac)

The following steps will let you set the standard for all new documents in all projects within Scrivener, but will not change existing documents.

1. Go to Scrivener—>Preferences. (Mac v3: Go to Scrivener>Preferences>Editing>Formatting and skip to step 3.)

2. Click the Formatting button at the top.

3. Click in the small text editor at the top and use the formatting buttons to set up the way you want your documents to look.

4. All new documents in all projects will use this format (unless you set a project-specific format [Mac only], which I'll get to in a minute).

5. Close the Preferences window.

Setting the Standard Format for New Documents (Windows)

The following steps will let you set the standard for all new documents in all projects within Scrivener, but will not change existing documents.

1. Go to Tools—>Options.

2. From the row of buttons along the left side, select Editor.

3. Click in the Default Main Text Attributes editor at the top of the window and use the formatting buttons to set up the way you want your documents to look.

4. Click OK.

Applying Default Formatting to Existing Documents (Mac and Windows)

If you have existing documents that don't match the default formatting (either the out-of-the-box settings or the changes you just made in the previous section), you can convert them with the following steps.

1. Select the desired file or files in the Binder. Mac users can choose a folder or multiple files, Windows users must select the files separately from the folder. If not in Scrivenings mode (multiple document view), go to View—>Scrivenings.

2. Mac users only: Click in the text in the Editor pane. If your cursor is not in the Editor, the formatting options are not available.

3. Go to Documents—>Convert—>Formatting To Default Text Style. A small window appears.

4. Leave all boxes unchecked in order to convert all aspects of the style, and click OK.

The selected document is converted to the standard format you set in the previous section.

NOTE to Mac users: If you have already set a project style as below, converting a file with these steps will convert it to the project text style instead.

Setting the Default Text Style for a Single Project (Mac only as of 3/14/13)

You can set up a default text style for each individual project that overrides the global format you set in Preferences. Here's how:

1. Choose Project—>Text Preferences. (Mac v3: Go to Project>Project Settings>Formatting.)

2. Select the checkbox to Override Text Formatting For This Project. (Mac v3: Select the checkbox for “Use different default formatting for new documents in this project.”)

3. To use the settings in the current document, click Use Current. Otherwise, make changes in the Editor pane using the format bar that's provided.

4. Click OK.

All new documents created within that project will use the default text style you just created. To change an existing document to the default (whether set here or in Preferences), go to Documents—>Convert—>Formatting To Default Text Style.

Creating a Preset (NOTE: Scrivener 3 has Styles.)

Presets allow you to apply a previously defined set of formatting rules to existing text.

1. Format a section of text to match the settings you want for your preset. Or, find a section of text that is already set up the way you want it.

2. Click within the properly formatted text.

3. Go to Format—>Formatting—>New Preset From Selection.

4. Give your preset a name that specifies what it is. For example, I used TNRwIndent to represent my double-spaced, Times New Roman 14 pt with first-line indent.

5. Click OK.

Applying a Preset

Once you have created a preset, you can apply it to a paragraph or a selection within your document.

1. Click within the paragraph, or select all of the text, to which you want to apply your preset.

2. Go to Format—>Formatting—>Apply Preset.

3. Select the desired preset to apply.

Deleting a Preset

You can easily delete a preset that you no longer want.

1. Go to Format—>Formatting—>Delete Preset.

2. Select the preset you wish to remove.

Preserving Formatting

If you have text with a special format—maybe to represent letters, text messages, emails, or quotes—that you don't want to be overridden when you compile the project, you can preserve the font, spacing, size, indents, and alignment of it.

1. Select the text to preserve.

2. Go to Format—>Formatting—>Preserve Formatting.

The selected text is surrounded by a dashed line and highlighted in pale blue to show that it is preserved. Remove preserved formatting with the same procedure.

Want to know more? 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.

 Write on!

[Updated 4/3/19]