Default Preferences to Emulate Plain-Text

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AmberV
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Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:55 pm Post

The user manual describes a few settings you can alter to make Scrivener work more like a plain-text editor. For those authors who primarily use the program to compose in MultiMarkdown, HTML, LaTeX, or any of the other common mark-up syntax systems, emulating a plain-text appearance can prove beneficial. The default settings in Scrivener assume one has a word processor background in mind. It uses a carefully typeset layout that mimics common end-production feel with indentation of paragraphs, pseudo-spacing between paragraphs, and a nice classic serif font, Cochin. As nice as this looks, it can be deceiving to use indents and paragraph spacing when you need to be aware of such things as literal whitespace characters in your document.

So to save you some time, I’ve put together a preference file (compatible with Scrivener 3x for Mac, and 1x Windows) which changes a few of the defaults to better suit a plain-text driven authoring environment.

  • The preferences below use the Inconsolata XL font which has been included in the zip file. You should install this font first, before using the preferences file, if you’d like to try it out. Otherwise you could change the default formatting to use Menlo, Consolas, or whatever font you prefer.
  • All pseudo-spacing at the paragraph level has been disabled. There will be no first-line indents or extra spaces following a carriage return.
  • Tab stops are set to every 29pts, which closely emulates four spaces.
  • All typographic substitutions have been disabled in the Corrections pane, so as to produce valid ASCII txt on output. You could reenable these and then add Replacements in compile to turn them into XML or HTML entities, though.
  • A 12pt block cursor has been enabled. This will work best with fixed-width fonts.
  • Mac Only – Fixed-width editing settings are modified to closely emulate an 80-column width text editor. For those who are coding, this can be useful for keeping your code readable in a context beyond Scrivener.
Also included, for Scrivener 3, is a project template with a stylesheet that has been modified to present a less flamboyant and more “syntax highlighting” style approach to marking text. It also includes three editing character styles (Addition, Deletion and Highlight) which will by default generate CriticMarkup when using our provided Markdown-based compile formats. To bring this stylesheet into your working project:

  1. From your project, use the Format/Style/Import Styles... menu command.
  2. Locate and open this project.
  3. Confirm any overwrites or duplications of styles if need be.
Download for Mac

To use these preferences, download the zip file above, decompress it using the Finder by double-clicking on it. Then load up Scrivener’s Preference pane, and use the Manage... drop-down menu to “Load all preferences…”. Choose the .pref file with the file chooser, and click Okay.

Download for Windows

After downloading, if necessary open the .zip window using your browser’s download list, or File Explorer. Drag the *.prefs file to your Desktop, or somewhere else handy, and switch to Scrivener. Open the Options window from the Tools menu, and use the Manage drop-down menu to “Load Preferences…”. Select the .prefs file you extracted from the zip, and click the Okay button.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Philipp
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Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:02 pm Post

... a small reminder, version 1.03 is out :mrgreen:

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AmberV
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Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:12 am Post

Right you are! I've edited the original post. Thanks for reminding me.
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Ioa Petra'ka
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Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:37 am Post

Got it! Thanks a lot.

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sigfried
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Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:36 pm Post

Will these preferences fix auto-converted stuff in existing Scrivener projects or does it just help keep things plain-text going forward? If the latter, could you point me toward instructions for porting a project made with Scrivener defaults to MMD?
Thanks!
Sigfried

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AmberV
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Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:55 pm Post

These are just some formatting and behaviour settings you can apply to your project. As with all formatting default changes, they make no impact on existing documents (as most people are using the rich text features and blowing that away with a mere setting adjustment would be wildly destructive), and so one must manually ask for a default formatting revert, using the `Documents/Convert/Formatting to Default Text Style` menu command, which can be run on large selections of items at once.
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Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

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sigfried
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Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:04 pm Post

Thanks!

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sero
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Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:25 am Post

Thanks Ioa. May I suggest to change the Mac font from Monaco to Menlo? The two are very similar and Menlo provides additional italic/bold/bold-italic typefaces, while Monaco only has the regular typeface.

As a result, Monaco breaks Cmd-b and Cmd-i because the font doesn't provide the needed typefaces.

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AmberV
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Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:34 pm Post

Is Menlo available all the way back to Tiger? I chose Monaco for its ubiquitousness, and it is my understanding that Menlo is a fairly new addition to the stable of standard fonts.
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Ioa Petra'ka
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sero
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Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:29 pm Post

AmberV wrote:Is Menlo available all the way back to Tiger? I chose Monaco for its ubiquitousness, and it is my understanding that Menlo is a fairly new addition to the stable of standard fonts.


I just checked: Menlo was introduced in 10.6 (Snow Leopard). I see your point.

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jinchoung
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:47 pm Post

"Mac Only -- Fixed-width editor window has been enabled for all editing, and it has been set to a pixel width which should closely emulate an 80-column width text editor. For those who are coding, this can be useful for keeping your code readable in a context beyond Scrivener."

is there a difference between this mac only mode vs. the previous bullet point of just choosing a fixed width font?

if so, what precisely IS the difference? and can we expect a windows version of this setting at some point?

also, can anyone recommend a fixed width font for xp?

thanks much.

jin

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brookter
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:30 pm Post

The Mac version has a setting in Preferences > Editor of 'Use Fixed Width', which basically means that when you change the size of the whole Scrivener Window, the Editor adds whitespace on the right and left so that the visible text width remains the (user-configurable) same, instead of wrapping to the new size of the window, which is what happens by default.

I'm presuming the Windows version doesn't have this option.

HTH

David

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jinchoung
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:49 pm Post

brookter wrote: the Editor adds whitespace on the right and left so that the visible text width remains the (user-configurable) same, instead of wrapping to the new size of the window, which is what happens by default.


that only applies (adding white space) to when you make the editor window larger... correct?

what happens when you make the window smaller?

jin

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brookter
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Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:55 pm Post

Then the text wraps...

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sero
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Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:44 pm Post

AmberV wrote:Is Menlo available all the way back to Tiger? I chose Monaco for its ubiquitousness, and it is my understanding that Menlo is a fairly new addition to the stable of standard fonts.


Since Scrivener 2.3.1 requires Snow Leopard, maybe you could give Menlo a second chance as the default font?