Complete newbie with a far-out request :)

I’ve just come across Scrivener, downloaded it, run through the tutorial … and with one exception and a feature I’d like, it looks like it might make some of may favourite apps (OmniOutliner, NWE/NWPro, Yojimbo …) remain in the drawer rather more of the time …
I’m a lecturer at a university in China, so most of my writing is lecture notes, but I keep wanting to pull the course notes together in a much more substantial format. Looking at Scrivener suggests that it would be a great help in doing that as it combines the functionality that I use in those three into one workspace.
I also do a lot of work editing the English versions of dubbing scripts for promotional videos, English language text materials for the university and periodically English language textbooks. I can see how it might be useful there.
The exception to my needs is of course that it doesn’t export to Keynote … but then that is not what it is for and I can live with that.
The feature? Well, here I am in China and much of the work that I’m involved in also includes Simplified Chinese, mixed texts in English and Chinese. The issue for me is that although I have the main–for “main” read “roman”–font in the editor set to Optima, which I like to work in, when I switch to Chinese it defaults to Hiragino Mincho-Pro, which (a) I don’t like–it’s like working in Arial!–and (b) is principally a Japanese, rather than a Chinese font.
This means that currently, every time I switch to Chinese, I will have to go to the font panel to set the font I would like. Therefore the feature request: would it be possible to have a preference for a secondary font, so that I, and other users of non-roman languages, could set the one of their choice … e.g. Russian users could set a cyrillic font as their main one, and the roman font of their choice as secondary.
That said, I really look forward to putting Scrivener through its paces.


You need to go to System Preferences --> International --> Input Menu tab and DESELECT the palettes you dont want. (namely the Japanese palette.)

You have three choices of Simplified Chinese (ITABC, Wubi Xing, Wubi Hua) and five Traditional Chinese choice (Hanin Cangjie, Jianyi, Dayi-Pro, and Pinyin) So fire away.

Be sure to select “Allow a different input source for each document” and “Show input menu in menu bar” at the bottom left.

You can also choose the Language tab and remove the languages you dont want.

After you close System Prefs a flag will show up on the menu bar, and you can choose your language there when you want to switch to Chinese for however long. If you type PinYin correctly, the Chinese text will appear.

“The exception to my needs is of course that it doesn’t export to Keynote … but then that is not what it is for and I can live with that.”

But you can export to a format that Pages uses, format there, and it will export to Keynote zoom-o.

Why in God’s name did Apple call it Pages?


After you do all I said in System Prefs, dont forget to check out the Keyboard Viewer under the Menu Flag for the Input Keyboards to see what your Chinese keyboard looks like . . . and if there is a problem, make sure you have the right fonts in your /library/Font file or ~/Library/Fonts File (meaning either the system library font file, or your home directory library font file.)

Hi ajea,
Thanks for your input and with all due respect, I have done all that … I’ve been using Macs and using Chinese and other languages/keyboards on them for many, many years.
The problem is not getting it to select Chinese and input it, it is the default font … I guess Hiragino Mincho-Pro is the system font if you switch your system to have Chinese as the interface … so, as I say, it is like having to do your work in Lucida Grande, Helvetica or even Arial, gawd help us! I would like to be able to work as normal in STSong, which is more like the Times equivalent … Sadly, as I have discovered, Song, which is the true Times/Times New Roman of the Simplified Chinese world, seems to have postscript errors which prevent it from being loaded on on an Intel machine … but that constitutes a problem of a different hue and is a totally different issue not related to this thread.
Going the other way, setting STSong as the main font and simply using the built in Roman glyphs in that code set is even worse … it is like an extremely badly designed and kerned, hinted cross between Monaco and Times, and uses the Chinese punctuation marks, which are monospaced to go with the Chinese characters … unbelievably ugly.
As I said in my original post, this issue also potentially affects users of other non-Roman languages, such as those which use Cyrillic, or Devanagari, or Thai, and many others, leave alone the other CJK languages or scripts.
I am fully prepared for Keith to say, “Not possible”, “Don’t hold your breath” or even “Sorry, not interested”, but if it were not too much of a programming headache, being able to set the “other language font of choice” would be a feature that would enhance the user experience greatly for many multi-language writers–take a look at Mellel or Nisus Writer Express, for instance, for an implementation.

Thanks for this suggestion too ajea … I hadn’t thought of that, but then I avoid Pages if I can … don’t really get on with it. I was thinking of trying exporting to plain text or RTF, importing that into OmniOutliner Pro and using that to cut it into suitable size chunks for exporting to Keynote as necessary. I must explore … in particular the outliner in Scrivener in relation to OOPro.
As for “Why did Apple call it Pages?” … perhaps because they realised it would not be very good at creating documents, only at creating individual pages :wink: ?


Now bear with me, Mark, because I went through this nonsense with having Japanese fonts playing Chinese and I fixed it on my other laptop which is off having a few beers with AppleCare. I cant remember exactly what I did but I fixed that problem you’re having because I had the same complaint.

Go read this:
Yaaas, I know it’s about 10.3 but just skim for the font sets.

Hiragino Mincho Pro (W3 and W6) is an otf font (Open Type). I KNOW the says you can’t disable font inside the System --> Library --> Font folder but that was 10.3 . . . and it isnt even clear they mean the foreign language fonts. Lucida Grande, Geneva, I get, and besides, they’re .dfonts.

Now read this and ignore the 10.3 bit.
Use Font (Applications) and go in and disable.

You absolutely can control it via invoking the Chinese keyboard and pre-setting/disabling your fonts at a lower level than the app. I just can’t remember what I did. I needed to use Traditional Chinese Fonts and I, like you, was frustrated by the extra work EVERY time I wanted to use them. Plus I wanted to be able to use a tablet to draw them when I needed to. So I got a graphic designer friend from China who uses a Mac and works both there and in the USA to show me what to do.

I know this might not be informative, but there is a solution that will rig it for your entire computer, not just Scrivener.

Pages 2 (iWork '06) was quite a bit better than Pages 1 which invoked SNIPER mode in me. I understand we are days, hours, minutes away from Pages 3 which is a leap year ahead in capability . . . so who knows.

Amazon inadvertently put it (iWork '07) up on their site two weeks ago and Apple hit the roof. Apparently, Amazon put a smart-ass remark up about in its place, and then had to take it down too.

Scuttlebutt is that it will have the project capability of current Word.

Thanks ajea … I’ve had a look. I think I’m going to pass on doing it. It’s not that huge an issue, certainly not a deal breaker, and I can ignore it and then do the changing in NWE after exporting texts. And actually,in general for me it is different paragraphs in the different languages, so I can just set up styles to handle it in NWE …

I just think globally, it would be a useful feature, and setting secondary fonts must be possible since NWE and Mellel both implement it—Mellel better than NWE, I think, but I’m not really keen on the Mellel interface. Still, the suggestion is there for Keith to take up if he reads this thread and if he feels it worth while.

But I’ll keep a note of those Apple pages, for the future.


I didn’t really get on with Pages 2 either … I’m not keen on apps that try to force you to do your thing their way (Anyone mention Word, by the way? :smiling_imp: ) . I made a template modifying one of the inbuilt templates in Pages 2, then tried it out; as soon as I ran onto page 2 I was back with their creation and couldn’t find any way to have the second page use my modifications. Yes, I know I could start from scratch and design my own template from a blank page … but I’ve done that in NWE which I find more intuitive. And I prefer apps that use an industry standard format, rather than ones using a propietary format that you have to export from. Incidentally, I don’t include Scrivener in that last comment, any more than I would Montage or any other app dedicated to a specific purpose, which brings together a wide range of data that is not a single document.
So, I’ll be having a look at what else Pages 3 may offer, and in the meantime am very much looking forward to Nisus Writer Pro when the public betas become available.


Oi. My favourite is Mail. Searching for tech support on Mail in Google is just about impossible.

Wait until Charts comes out. :unamused:

Hmm … I don’t seem to be very compatible with Apple Apps any more, apart from Tiger … I use GyazMail, no problem searching for that one, and OmniWeb, not a problem … Charts? I used to wish that they would bring it out sooner so that I could get away from Excel … but now I’ve found Tables … Mind you that’s not a good name to search for, either!


Hi xiamenese,

Unfortunately, I have to say, that I wouldn’t even know where to begin with this one. :slight_smile: If I understand you correctly, what happens is that if you have Optima set to your editor font, when you switch to Chinese, the equivalent font (as defined by the system) is not to your liking. What you are asking for is some way that the font that gets switched to on changing languages can be user-defined. I hope that I have understood this much… If so, I am afraid that I know of no way of doing this. The font that gets switched to is defined by internal Apple code to which I have no access.

As a workaround, you might want to define a style in the Ruler using your preferred font, so that instead of having to call up the Font panel you can use the pop-up control in the ruler… Sorry I can’t be of more help on this one. It might be one to take up with Apple - at you can make enhancment requests for OS X, and I think this definitely sounds like a system-wide enhancement request.

Thanks and best regards,

OK … try 3!

Thanks for the response Keith. I am not a programmer so I have no idea how one might go about implementing it; all I know is that both Mellel and NWE have preferences for setting secondary fonts. I don’t think it’s a bug-report issue, 'cos what is happening is that in the event of being unable to set the font of your choice, Apps use the appropriate system font, Lucida Grande for English, Hiragino Mincho Pro for Simplified Chinese. It was a problem for a while some time ago on importing docs from Word, which ignored the font set in Preferences and all the English turned up in Lucida. Mind you, Mellel and NWE are word-processors, which Scrivener is not, of course, and that might make a difference.
It’s not a deal breaker for me … it would be nice though, and I think there are potentially many people who would benefit, but I can understand that it would be no sort of priority for you.
As for the ruler and its style-control pop-up, I had spotted that a while after making my original post. I can certainly use that as a work-around. It bears a more-than-passing resemblance to the ruler in Yojimbo, so it won’t be difficult to do … I must just get down to a lot more playing to see if it works for me the way I hope it does.
Anyway, leaving my own personal issue aside, Scrivener looks like a great piece of software. I’m very impressed; congratulations.

Indeed, that is precisely the source of the disconnect at hand. Scrivener (and Yojimbo for that matter), is using a free “word processor” text engine that is provided by Apple. It allows a programmer to, in a few hours, create an application with enough text editing functionality that would otherwise probably take years of coding to duplicate. That is great; it means reasonable typography, spell checking in a dozen languages, that spiffy ruler you noticed, handy importers and exporters, and many other things we wouldn’t have (or at least not in 2007) if Keith had to do all of this from scratch.

Word processors on the other hand always use their own text editing and processing engine. They are generally coded from scratch (or very close to it), and have full control over everything from the ground up.

Actually, Nisus is based on the same text engine, though I understand it’s pretty heavily modified … at least it’s based on the same text engine as TextEdit, which I guess is the one Scrivener uses. But given that it’s a word processor, that heavy modification is necessary … Yes, Scrivener doesn’t need that level of modification, as formatting is not it’s main function.
Mellel on the other hand does have its own text engine …

Right you are; I did not know that about Nisus. Hmm, I wonder if they are friendly and would impart the great secret of language based font selection.

In my experience, they are very friendly and very helpful. I noticed that in another thread somewhere on the forum, Keith, I think it was, had answered a problem with exporting RTF with footnotes to Nisus that Martin at Nisus had been in touch saying that it was a bug in Nisus footnotes code and providing a work-around for Scrivener for the moment until Nisus sorted it out at their end … I think that was it.
Mind you, whether they would part with their secrets of language-based font selection, I have no idea. They must also be very busy at the moment working on Nisus Writer Pro, having said that the public betas of it are imminent.