In Word, if the cursor is in a part of the text that has some style applied to it, such as Title, the format will be highlighted in the ribbon to let you know: enter image description here

Scrivener, however, is lazy, and doesn't seem to show the currently applied preset: enter image description here

Is there a way to make Scrivener show the currently applied preset like in Word?


Not yet on Windows - Scrivener 3 (Q2 2019 for Windows) will have this

I looked through the documentation that I could find and apparently there is no such feature right now for the windows version of Scrivener. The developers mentioned this in their blog post Scrivener 3: Doing it with Style(s). I'll copy the interesting part of the blog post here and add emphasis to the most important parts:

Over the years, one of the most oft-requested features for Scrivener has been a styles system such as can be found in most word processors. For those unfamiliar with styles systems, this is what they offer:

  1. Styles are essentially named sets of formatting instructions. For instance, you might have a “Block Quote” style that contains instructions for making the text indented with a smaller font, or a “Heading 1” style which makes the text large and bold.

2. When you apply a style to a section of text, that section of text knows what style it is. So, when you click into some text formatted as a “Block Quote”, some control in the UI will report that the cursor is currently inside a “Block Quote” paragraph.

  1. If you change the formatting of a style, the formatting of all text associated with that style is automatically updated. This is really the big advantage of a styles system. For instance, suppose you decide that you want all your “Heading 1” paragraphs to be blue and all “Block Quote” paragraphs to be italicised. Rather than having to go through all the text and update each paragraph one-by-one, with a styles system you just update the style, and all text to which it has been applied is updated automatically.

Scrivener 2 on macOS and Scrivener 1 on Windows currently has “Formatting Presets”, but not a true styles system. Formatting Presets provide (1) above but not (2) or (3). You can use them to quickly format a piece of writing, but you can’t easily update formatting to multiple areas of text after you’ve applied it.

All of this changes with Scrivener 3, which introduces a true styles system.

The blog post is from September 2017 and mentions that this should change with Scrivener 3, which should be released on Windows in Q2 2019.

This tutorial from scrivenerclasses.com shows something that very much looks like what you are looking for. Sadly there is no indication when this tutorial was written, so I don't know which version of Scrivener they are talking about, but judging by the fact that the breadcrumb navigation mentions a tutorial for Scrivener 3 I'd say that the new version of Scrivener is what you are looking for.

I think you are probably using the Windows version because you previously mentioned that you are working on Windows in your question Why is more than my copied link highlighted as a hyperlink when pasting content into scapple? so chances are you are probably working on a Windows machine in general.

The estimation for the release date was also mentioned on 10th December 2018 by the developers in their blog post Scrivener 3 for Windows.

You can find a free public beta here. It's valid until 30th April 2019. I just tested it and I can see that the new style display works the way you describe when I am looking at the starter project.

  • Thank you for your answer... why did you put a bounty on this question, though? XD
    – noClue
    Mar 19 '19 at 22:12
  • @noClue I added the bounty first and after I got the message that "your bounty will expire in 3 days" I thought nobody would answer this, so I researched it myself.
    – Secespitus
    Mar 20 '19 at 7:48

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