BibDesk option-key citation-dragging format

I have set up BibDesk templates to allow me to drag natbib citations into Scrivener in two forms:

(i) a \citep form: [][#Wolfe]

(ii) a \citet form: [;][#Wolfe]

I use the option-key–drag technique to get the second form. I just now copied both the above citations using this method from BiBDesk with no problem.

However, when I do this in Scrivener, the first citation comes out in the font of the current document (for me Monaco 12 pt, which is my Main Text Document default), but the second comes out in Helvetica (which is such a pain!) (No really, it is, since any continuation of that part of the document is also in Helvetica…)

Anyone know what is going on? I assume there is a font preference somewhere that is screwing me up. Scrivener is the only application giving me this problem.


Just to make sure of that, give it a shot in TextEdit as well. Copy and paste one of your sections from Scrivener into TextEdit, and then do an Opt-drag from BibDesk to see if you get Helvetica. That would test whether or not what you are seeing is in the OS X text engine code or not. The other programs you tried might not be using that. Word, for example, has their own text engine and doesn’t interface with the Mac at all at that level, so bugs in the OS X kit might not show up.

“Just to make sure of that, give it a shot in TextEdit as well.”

Good point! I should have said Scrivener is the only application other than TextMate and TextEdit in plain text mode screwing me up.

I set the Preferences of TextEdit to:

Plain text font: Courier 18
Rich text font: Optima Regular 14
Format: Plain text

and opened a new document. I dragged and option-dragged the same BibDesk cite to that document. In both cases, they came out in Courier 18.

I then set the Preferences of TextEdit to:

Plain text font: Courier 18 (same)
Rich text font: Optima Regular 14 (same)
Format: Rich text (different)

Aha! The dragged cite was Optima 14, the option-dragged cite was… Helvetica 12.

So Scrivener is behaving like TextEdit in RTF mode. And for some reason, Helvetica 12 is some deep default?


Yeah, Helvetica is a deep default, you could put it that way, and so anything that “breaks” the normal pattern of text entry can cause it to appear. There are some convoluted things you can do with the bullet feature that will cause it to appear, for example.

That makes sense that it wouldn’t do anything strange in plain-text mode, because the font settings there are just a display setting. The underlying plain-text file has no conception at all of fonts, and so no way of switching to a different font halfway through the stream, which is why changing the font with the palette in plain-text mode will adjust the whole document no matter what is selected.

Sounds like something to bring up to the BibDesk crew. They must be doing something with the opt-drag variant that violates the standard protocols for text drops—probably just not inserting the right information into the RTF/D pasteboard.

Yeah I have been unable to reproduce this behavior between TextEdit windows or between TextEdit and Scrivener. It seems that it is BibDesk specific.

I’ll look for a good BibDesk forum or file a bug report.



Once I got my BiBDesk templates sorted (tho counterintuitive), it works fine. If anyone finds this thread and runs into the same problem pm me…