Beta 27: Font appearance, the new story

Tiho, noting all the hard work on the compiler, I began trying it out with my font tests.

And realized the last go we had probably headed in the wrong direction.

Here’s what’s what actually:

  • given Font Hinting is turned on, the output via PDF from Scrivener looks just right, for the several quite different fonts.
  • That’s just how it should be, for the impression the art of each gives.

Then, the issue really is with Editors, not Compilation. But, ‘fixing’ the Editor problem as we found puts the danger of running the Compile with it off – which does unsurprisingly give quite poor results. I think it’s not necessary to look at past pictures.

I would propose then that Compile simply be set to always have Font Hinting set to On, internally. I can’t think of a reason in fact that one would want to turn it off for output, and in fact it’s set in the Editor options, after all.

This will remove what is most likely a false problem. It will allow us to use the workaround of turning Font Hiinting off to get proper screen appearance for fonts, equally or more important.

And until the actual problem can get worked out, any who have gotten used to thin screen appearance can still get it with the other choice. Once it is fixed, then a thin appearance will come if a thin font is used, of which there are many.

Does this sound like an approach which can get ‘filed’ and on the docket?


We have added two separate font hinting preferences, one for display and one for printing purposes. By default Scrivener will use the default OS hinting preferences. You will be able to choose between Default, No Hinting, Vertical Hinting and Full Hinting options for both display and print. This should cover all the requested user cases. Give it a spin in the next Beta 29 and let us know how it works, Clive. Thanks!

P.S. More details about the different hinting modes and their meaning can be found here: … rence-enum

Tiho, thanks – to you :slight_smile:

What you’re doing sounds the best of all worlds to get us good-looking appearance on screen, on viewing intermediaries like exported PDF, and on actual print. As well, it may help discover ‘in the field’ about any best default settings for future. Well done.

I had a look through those tables and implications you linked, which at the least indicate the Qt people have by now probably gotten what they need to in hand to solve their long-exposed problems.

It is indeed a very complicated subject, and in layers.

I remembered about famous Don Knuth, and the passed-around tale which said he opined he’d write a book about computerized typography in a next year, and then came back actually eleven years later with it. The history seems to indicate much more detailed stages, almost beginning with his invention of TeX, and that there may be five books to make the set, but I think the eleven years are there.

Let’s see. What is the history of Scrivener Win?? Hope to make you and especially now-quiet Lee have a grin.

Best to you both, and looking forward to this, which I’m confident will make my own work happy.

Also, one or two of those settings sound as though they may give nice opportunity for anyone who has gotten used to the not-fully-actually-hinted look, or who will benefit from adjustments to suit their own eyesight – good!