You would not want me to advise you on what to wear, but if you want to design a good-looking DOCX, PDF, or EPUB, I’m your girl.
And if you’ve ever wished Scrivener had Microsoft Word-like styles, get ready to rejoice, because Scrivener 3 has replaced the old Presets function—which offered formatting shortcuts without any memory—with Styles. *cue balloons and confetti*
Okay, great, but what exactly are styles?
Styles are memorized font and/or paragraph settings that act as a shortcut to quickly change the format of a section of text.
For example, if the characters in your novel often communicate via text message, you might want different font and paragraph formatting to denote the message text. Rather than format each instance manually, you could set up a style and then apply that style to the desired text with one click.
So far, that’s the same as the old presets. Here’s where it gets good.
There are two key benefits of the new Styles function.
- You can update a style’s settings and it will automatically update all instances of that style throughout your manuscript.
- Text formatted with a style can either be preserved or modified during the compile process. Your pick!
So, if the style you chose for your characters’ text messages looks great in PDF, but not so much in ebook, you can quickly change that style’s appearance in the Compile settings without modifying the original text or style.
I had a great analogy about jeans and T-shirts and high fashion—and a fabulous alternative analogy about Superman changing in a phone booth—but I’ll spare you.
Understanding When to Use Styles
Unlike Word, where a style is applied to every part of your manuscript, even the body text, Scrivener’s styles are meant for formatting exceptions.
The body text and chapter headings can be formatted when compiling, so you only have to style sections of text that need to look different from the rest of the document.
We already discussed using a style to denote text messages within a manuscript. Here are a few other examples of instances where you might want to use a style:
- Email messages
- Handwritten letters
- News articles
- Long quotes or epigraphs
- Headings for subsections within a chapter or section document
- Captions for figures and images
Creating a Style
If you find yourself wanting to apply the same format to portions of text throughout your manuscript, you can create your own style. Here’s how:
- Select a portion of text and format it as desired, using the format bar at the top of the Editor.
- With the text still selected, go to Format>Style>New Style From Selection.
- Give the style a name that will make it easy to find again.
- If you want this to be a character-only (saves only text attributes like font, color, size) or paragraph-only style (saves only paragraph attributes like line spacing, margins, indents), change the option in the Formatting dropdown menu.
- Click OK. The new style is added to the Styles list in both the format bar and the Format>Style menu.
TIP: Styles you create are only added to the current project. However, you can import the stylesheet from another project via Format>Style>Import Styles. [Read more…]