All Projects Blank!

I have a suspicion that this happened because I went digging around in Scrivener’s package contents–but I didn’t DO anything! I was looking at the available XSLT files for MMD -> Latex. I closed the packaged–didn’t even open an XSLT file–and now whenever I open one of my projects they’re completely blank. I’m not terribly panicked since I opened the project packages and everything is there, but what’s up with that? And how do I fix it?

Have you disabled any fonts on your system?

Yes, as a matter of fact I have.

That’ll be the problem. Re-enable at least Helvetica, Lucida Grande, Courier and Optima.

Wow. I had all of them enabled except Courier. I never noticed what a crucial role it played! Thanks so much. Everything appears to be in order now.

Just on a point of order ere shipmates!! How the ell `m I supposed to know anything about that kinda stuff!? tch! tch!:shock:

I think(?) I agree with the pirate dog. There are a number of fonts that the System will not allow you to deactivate since the system (Mac OS X) depends on them. It would be nice Scrivener knew how to fall back on those non-deactivatable fonts.

Non-deactivatable. What a horrid looking word. I guess “default” would be prettier.

vic-k, you go messing around in your fonts and you should expect to make a mess of your system. You should just focus on getting phil out of the brain and finding a wifi hot spot.

ruzel, you should be careful in agreeing with the three legged wonder drunk. It might tarnish your reputation.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Jaysen, but from the outlook of a software designer, nothing that a user does or can do within the confines of preferences and settings should disable a piece of software or damage their hard work. Consider a programmer’s rule of “do no harm.” Turning off fonts can actually be a very good idea as too many fonts can gum up the works and slow down rendering times for certain programs and menus, etc. And Mac OS X won’t let you turn off certain key fonts (see? Do no harm). in that regard, Scrivener should fall back on using Lucinda Grande or some similar font that can’t be shut off without a warning.

At any rate, as I’m new to these forum-parts, I will definitely take heed to your advice about the wonder drunk. Strange dogs should be avoided. So should pirates. It would seem to go without saying that one should steer widely clear of strange pirate dogs.


As a user and a systems person, the “do no harm” philosophy is ideal that in reality is very difficult to attain. While I understand (and agree with) your point of “fall back to system defaults” one could make the argument that the fonts listed ARE defaults that OS X should mandate. One could go even further and suggest that users should not be able to manage fonts in the first place forbidding them to “do harm” to themselves. I think the reality of the situation is that all software has requirements that you must meet. Of the very few that scrivener requires, you have stumbled on one that occasionally crops up.

But I digress.

Vic-k is notorious for “messing” around in his systems and inflicting harm upon himself. A bit of a masochist if you think about it. If he were a relative of mine (which I am sure he is glad he is not) I would probably suggest that he stick to paper and pen. But then he might get confused by all the lines on the page. He is harmless but frequently pickled. Very little bark and more slobbering licking thatn biting.

BTW, welcome on aboard. The Scriverati (those who are not vic-k, wock or me) are a very helpful and diverse bunch. Captain Blount is quick to respond and scriv has more than its fair share of uber-tech users so post any tech questions and someone will reply. Feel free to post about anything else, we like to share ideas too.

I absolutely agree that Scrivener shouldn’t fail in this situation (although in all fairness, when you go to disable Courier, Font Book does give you a warning that it is a system font and disabling it may therefore adversely affect applications - the user has been warned in this instance). I have actually tried a number of things to have Scrivener “fall back” on fonts that definitely are installed, but clearly so far none of these attempts have worked. I think I have it cracked for 2.0 (I just tested disabling Courier and it doesn’t affect 2.0).
All the best,

I might just put in a brief 5 cents worth to say that the problem I had a weeks or so back (“Blank Editor”) sounds very similar to ruzel’s.

The problem in my case was fixed by using FontExplorer to clean the system font caches (Thanks Wock and Keith for their help).

I guess it’s worth a reminder that a symptom like a blank project is likely to be due either to a missing font or corrupt font cache.

Mind you, I don’t know what happens if you do start fiddling with the XSLT files inside your project package… :slight_smile:


In short, don’t do it! If you do want to fiddle with the XSLT docs, it’s best to download and install the MultiMarkdown program by itself and install it in /Library/Application Support. Then when you set your multimarkdown settings in File > Multimarkdown Settings in Scrivener using the “LaTeX XSLT” for whatever reason, Scrivener knows to use the new version of MultiMarkdown in Application Support. And this way you don’t have to do anything to the Scrivener package.

Fiddling with those would have absolutely no impact on Scrivener’s operation, anyway. They are only used at the very tail end of the compile process and only if the user has specifically selected one of the options which utilise them. At worst, you’d get a nice little warning box saying that compile failed. The vast majority of people never use those options in the first place. You could replace all of the XSLTs with JPEGs of Kermit and nothing would break.

But yes. Download MMD and mess with your own directory. :slight_smile:

Actually a user can. Some software can. And some software can actually cause havoc during installation (Namely Helvetica).

There are 4 locations locations for standard font installation for OSX. One of those locations is the attempt to keep people from messing with system fonts. (HD/SYSTEM/FONTS) but with the admin password and the delete key a person make the OS completely inoperable.

Some software even has locations that only that software can access for fonts and no other software is that font available for (like Indesign).

Fonts have always been a nightmare for computers and are usually the source of most problems, where duplicates, corrupt fonts or font caches, font locations, or even font types. The main example of this is once again Helvetica. Helevtica prior to OSX was NOT a system font and since it is one of the two most widely used fonts in Graphic design that is the first font REPLACED with a Postscript Font. (Truetype sucks and causes major problems and delays in PRINTING). In fact almost all fonts are usually replaced with PostScript fonts.

The old rule of thumb was to rid oneself of all fonts except those named after major cities and of course COURIER.

With OSX new fonts like Lucida, Lucida Grande, and Helvetica are seen as dependent for the GUI and their new format .dfont some confusion comes into play when customizing fonts
Apple’s attempt at Font management was a slim offering (Font Book) since it lacks auto activation and its method of resolving duplicates does not put a priority on a font based on use (like being used by the system).

In the end, GUI’s suffer and weird “bugs” appear at times.

One thing a software designer can do to help is to make a list of needed fonts and to inform the user that these fonts need to remain on or a problem can occur. (Documentation)

Other than that its up to the actual user to make sure they are not causing a conflict, corruption, or disabling fonts needed.