Struggling with Styles Import and Shortcuts

Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 07, 2013 9:04 pm
Platform: Mac

Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:57 pm Post

I just upgraded to Version 3. I've been using Scrivener for four or five years for all my writing. I use styles extensively while writing--it's how I keep track of all the bits and pieces, and how I see my hierarchy. And I have a shortcut for every style, which I assign using the OS system preferences.

Two questions. First, I can't get Styles > Import to work. It either shows me the pre-loaded V3 styles (for projects already converted in V3, or "Nothing to Convert " for projects not yet converted. I know my custom "formatting" is still in those projects.

So how do get my old formatting styles into V3. I read the relevant parts of the manual and I see the new rules (project based styles), which is great. Seems like once I get my formatting imported to one V3 project, I can move them around at will. But I have a lot of old styles and I don't want to have to rewrite all of them. I want to import.

(I still have V2 on my laptop, everything synced through Dropbox. So I can still go in there and do things, if that helps.)

Second question: what is that short list of Shortcuts available for new styles? They are not the shortcuts I want. Can I get rid of them? And, I just tried adding a shortcut to new style H3 through the OS Preferences, as I always do, but it's not working. I did get one to work for Centered Line (a menu item), so it's just not working for styles (Maybe I should start a new thread about shortcuts?)


Posts: 1780
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:22 pm
Platform: Mac

Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:00 pm Post


Version 3 styles are different from the old V2 formatting presets in several ways. Basically, V2 presets were really only a quick way of applying a particular combination of formats to text. Once you'd applied that preset, there was no easy way of updating every instance of that format dynamically.

V3 styles are much more like the concept you get in Word: text is marked as belonging to a certain Style, and if you decide to alter that style, then Scrivener will update every instance of that style in the document for you. Furthermore, those styles can be carried forward to Compilation where they can be passed through or amended to suit each compilation format.

That's mainly why you can't import the old formats — they're different beasts. But there is a relatively easy way to create new styles from a V2 project: I suggest you test this first on a copy project till you're happy with the process. As an example, I'm going to use an old preset Heading 1 and convert it to the Style Heading 1.

1. Select the entire manuscript as a scrivening.

2. Go to the first example of your old preset Heading 1 and select it.

3. In the Style Panel (Ctl-s), use the gear icon and choose Select Similar Formatting. Scroll down your scrivening -- it should have selected ever single instance of the old V2 Preset Heading 1.
Screenshot 2017-12-30 18.40.16.png
Screenshot 2017-12-30 18.40.16.png (360.68 KiB) Viewed 873 times

4. In the Style Panel, is there an existing style called Heading 1? If there is, then right click on the Heading 1 entry in the panel and choose 'Redefine Paragraph Style from Selection'. If there isn't a Heading 1 style already defined, then Format > Style > New Style from selection from the main Scrivener menu bar.

5. In both cases you'll be taken to a dialogue box. Enter 'Heading 1' in the Name box if it's not already there. Choose a shortcut (for the time being just choose one off the list -- I'll discuss shortcuts in general later). We're talking about a heading here which is usually a Paragraph style -- so choose this from the Formatting dropdown box. You'll probably want to tick include font family and font-size as well for a paragraph style. You can choose to add a coloured box round the style if you want. Finally choose which style you want to be automatically chosen when you press Enter at the end of Heading 1. Then press OK. If you've redefined an existing style, you'll be warned that every instance of Heading 1 will be updated to the new format. Press OK again. (In the screenshot below I've named the old style V2 and the new one V3 just to be clearer -- you wouldn't actually do this!)

Screenshot 2017-12-30 18.43.54.png
Screenshot 2017-12-30 18.43.54.png (423.25 KiB) Viewed 873 times

You've now created a new defined Style (in my case V3 Heading 1) and allocated to all the instances of the old V2 preset. Here I've right clicked on V3 Heading 1 in the Style Panel and chosen Select All Text with Paragraph Style -- use this to make sure the conversion has been done properly.

Screenshot 2017-12-30 18.47.57.png
Screenshot 2017-12-30 18.47.57.png (332.15 KiB) Viewed 873 times

All you need to do is repeat it for your other styles. You'll only ever have to do this once -- because once you've defined the styles in this project, you can import them to other v3 projects using the Import Styles feature.

Other points:

1. Don't create a special style for body text -- this will make compilation harder than it should be. The idea is that you only use a style when you want something different from the default -- you shouldn't have a style allocated to every single bit of text. Set your default paragraph formatting in Preferences > Editing > Formatting -- it will appear in 'No Style' in the Style panel.

2. Shortcuts. Scrivener allocates cmd-shift-1 to 9 to styles (cmd-0 returns you to 'No Style') -- you can choose which style gets which shortcut. You can't add you own shortcuts within Scrivener, but you can of course use the standard Mac System Preferences route to add your own if you want. I don't bother -- I've just adapted to using the inbuilt Scrivener shortcuts.

Hope this helps!