How to Change Formatted Content in Scrivener

Hello to all the Story Empire readers, PH here today with a  Scrivener tip I hope you’ll find useful. Ever realized your formatting is incorrect throughout your documents? It could be simple things like the type of quotation marks (smart or straight) or you think there are lots of extra blank spaces present. Well, there’s a quick fix to these kinds of issues in Scrivener.Scriv Button 2

Start by clicking on Format, slide down to Convert and you’ll see a number of choices displayed on the resulting fly-out menu:

Scriv Convert Menu

You can see a number of choices you can make to handle simple types of format conversions that would otherwise take too long to find. Even then, you might miss plenty of them. Consistency is important, especially when you are ready to compile your work to send to an editor or for your own revision.  Important note, these are formatting changes and not editing changes. For making a large number of editing changes (a commonly misspelled name, a name you’ve changed, etc.), use Edit, Find, Project Replace (Warning: all the changes will go across the project so be careful as noted below).

Back to the formatting changes: now that you see what you can change with this menu, start by highlighting all of your document or the affected text to make the following changes:

  • Go from smart quotes to straight quotes after highlighting your document (TIP: if you want to choose the entire document, click into the editor to make sure you have a blinking cursor, then click Edit and then Select All).
  • Do the opposite if you need smart quotes instead of straight ones.
  • Need to change case? Just use one of the first three commands. These are very handy for specific pieces of text rather than re-typing them in the correct case.
  • Here’s a good one – do you have multiple spaces in your document but don’t want to change them one by one? Just use the Multiple Space to Space command. It’s even faster than doing a find-replace search.
  • Need to send some annotations, etc to meta-data or vice versa? Use the last four commands as appropriate.

As always before making mass changes to a document, use a snapshot strategy that fits your needs (here’s a second look at snapshots too) as well as backing up as necessary also mentioned in those posts. Want to avoid these little problems? Consider formatting a document template for use with a project. Here’s what you can include in a document template. That’s all for today.

Thanks for stopping Story Empire today. Please leave your thoughts, tips and questions in the comments section and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

P.H. Solomon

14 thoughts on “How to Change Formatted Content in Scrivener

  1. Thanks for sharing, PH. I’ve had to change quotes in Word and use the Find/Replace. I also do that change spacing from two spaces to one and use Find/Replace in Word to make a blanket change through the entire document. I LOVE that feature in Word. If/when I do make a switch to Scrivener, it’s nice to know those features will still be available!

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