0.9pt line height multiple cutting top off letters


When I set my paragraph text to 0.9pt line height multiple, the very top line of text on the page has the tops cut off.

Is this the expected behaviour? All the other lines on the page are fine.

I’d like to keep the line spacing if possible - does anybody know of a workaround?

Many thanks,

Yes, I would expect that setting the spacing to less than one line would cut off parts of some letters.


I was just unsure as to why it was only the very top line - all others are unaffected.

Seems odd to have an option that doesn’t display correctly.

It’s because of the way the text is laid out. Your text is laid out in a rectangle, with the first line at the top. Around this rectangle there is space for the margins and the header and footer, but that space is not part of the inner text rectangle. When you set the spacing to 0.9, the top of the text goes beyond the top of that inner rectangle, and so cannot be drawn.

Try opening TextEdit, setting the same font you are using here, and setting the line spacing to 0.9 - you will see that the top of the first line disappears off the top of TextEdit’s editor. That’s what is going on here, it’s just that the white text box containing your text is surrounded by white margins in this case - but the text cannot overlap into those margins.

Thanks for the reply Keith.

So is it best practice to avoid line-heights less than 1pt? Or are there workarounds to it (some way to pad the top line perhaps)?

If not, is there a reason to have these options if they don’t display correctly? I only ask because it wasn’t an obvious issue to spot, and I’ve only realised after three hardcover proofs have come back. I wouldn’t want anyone else to be caught out by it. :slight_smile:

Many thanks for your help,

p.s. If there is a workaround it would save me a whole lot of layout changes, as going up to 1pt will radically alter my page count, which will have a knock-on effect with the spine width and cover design… :cry:

The problem here is that the drawing is clipped off at the Apple framework level. You can try using the same font and line spacing in Scrivener’s editor and you will see the same problem with it getting clipped, even though there is white padding above the editor. And in the editor, that white padding is part of Apple’s editor, so the clipping is occurring at the text container level (the boxes Apple uses to hold the text). So unfortunately, this means that there isn’t anything I can do to fix this my end.

As for the options, they are just part of the standard macOS text system, so you’d have to ask Apple about that one. :slight_smile: The problem is generally down to fonts, however. Some fonts have strangely high baselines. If you try Helvetica, Times or Verdana - just to give some examples - this problem does not occur. But with other fonts it is a issue.

However, there might be a solution: instead of setting the line height multiple to less than 1.0, reduce the inter-line spacing. For instance, suppose you currently have a line height multiple of 0.9 and a font size of 12; changing that to a line height multiple of 1.0 with an inter-line spacing of -1.2 (10% of the font height) should get you much the same spacing as you already have but without the problem, since inter-line spacing doesn’t affect the top line.

Of course, this may still throw out your page count marginally, but it should provide the best solution.

All the best,

Ah, that’s brill, thanks Keith! I’d hoped you would have a solution! :slight_smile:

Yes, the inter-line spacing option allows me to play around to get close enough to what I need.

Thanks ever so much for your prompt replies and explanations.


Great, glad that helped!