There's no justification set in my document, and in Edit Compile Format I've turned off justification in body text and all other styles.

Yet the PDF continues to output with justification.

How can I remove justification and get ragged right with Scrivener (ver 3.0)?

  • Which version of Scrivener? – Dale Hartley Emery Nov 30 '17 at 7:41
  • @DaleHartleyEmery The latest - 3.0. – Freewalker Nov 30 '17 at 17:15

The culprit is probably a combination of:

  • the section types assigned to the documents
  • the section layouts assigned to those section types.

Section layouts apply default formatting. In some of the built-in compile formats, some of the layouts justify text by default.

I can think of two ways to fix this:

  • Override the layout using styles. The rules for this are somewhat arcane. Too complex to summarize here. And I'm not confident that I know them for sure.
  • Change the layouts to apply different formatting by default.

Here's how to find the offending layouts and change the default formatting:

  • Identify the section type associated with the documents that are being justified. It may be a section type you've assigned, or one that Scrivener assigns based on the structure of your project. You can find that information in the Inspector, under the Metadata tab.
  • In the compiler, identify the section layout assigned to that section type. The most reliable way to do this is to click the "Assign Section Layouts…" button at the bottom of the center panel in the compile window, then click on the section type and observe what section layout gets highlighted.
  • Open the compile format editor. Click the Section Layouts tab on the left. In the center panel, select the offending section layout.
  • In the formatting tab at the bottom of the center section, click the body text. If I've diagnosed the problem properly, the "justify" button will be highlighted. Select "Align Text Left" instead, save the format, and recompile.

You may need to do this for multiple section layouts, if you have several section types that are being inappropriately justified.

A few possible complications:

  • If you've used Styles in your documents, that can override the parts (or maybe all) of the formatting in the section layout.
  • If you've used Styles in your compile format, that can override parts of the formatting the section layout.

As I said earlier, when the documents, the layouts, and the format styles have differing ideas about how to format text, the rules for determining what happens are a little arcane. I'm not sure how to give a procedure to sort that out.

Please let me know how it goes.

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