Font Change Between Mac and Windows 8

I had posted this under Using Mac and Windows … Same Project…Different Issue, but it got no traction…maybe buried too deep, so I thought maybe a new topic:

I’m working on the same project at various times with both an iMac and a Windows 8 machine, but every time I open the project on the Windows box I find in some of the text in some of the chapters the font has changed from the default font (Courier New) and what was on screen at last save to the MS Shell Dig 2 font… think MS UGLY! The default format fonts on both machines is set to Courier New, both installed from same source.

So, typically, before I can start work on the Win 8 box, I have to deal with the irritation of re-formatting the changed font back to the default, and if I hit each chapter during a session, I’ll probably have to go through this on each one…frustrating :cry:

This can happen even after I correct all the fonts back to Courier new in all chapters, save, close project and reopen…some chapters will, without predictability, contain text formatted with the MS Shell Dig font.

I would not be surprised if this is a Windows OS issue, but thought I’d pose it to the forum in hopes that someone may have a suggestion as to how to ‘lock down’ the font to default so I can avoid the distracting, frustrating font correction every time I try to get some writing done.

The problem does not present the same on the Mac, BUT I suppose that I should add that when I create a new text page on the Win 8 machine using the default and manually confirmed Courier New font, when I open that same page in the Mac the font has changed to Courier, despite the fact that both machines have installed Courier New fonts from the same source…I’d wish that fonts would be recognized across platforms, but …

Thanks for your assists…


I had a big fight dealing with Courier fonts and going cross-platform, so my suggestion would be to try using another font. I think a lot of people use Times New Roman successfully, but there are of course others. The trouble with Courier is that it’s not supported in the Windows version because it’s a bitmap font, so Windows Scrivener uses Courier New; I’m not sure what the Mac is doing with this, but at any rate once it sets it at Courier, Windows can’t support that and it ends up falling back on something else. I thought this had been adjusted so that the fallback font was something other than Ms Shell Dlg 2, but maybe that didn’t work out; at any rate, it’s going to need to change it to something, so you’re better off trying a different font entirely to find something that is more cross-platform friendly.

That said, a few people have been reporting various problems of other fonts switching within documents going from Windows to Mac and back, so there may be another specific trigger that’s causing this for some users beyond the general Win-Mac OS compatibilities issues (fonts being a big one, as you mention) but we haven’t yet gotten a reproducible case to try and find what may be additionally affecting this. If you do find you’re consistently getting this even after trying some other fonts, please post any patterns you notice about when and where the text alters. If we can get steps to reliably cause the font to change in a predictable way, that would give the developer something to work with to improve the case within Scrivener.

Thank you, Jennifer (mm)…very helpful. It is interesting, though that the problem exhibits, as I recall (I’ll have to re-check) with the Courier Prime and Courier Screenplay fonts, both of which are True Type. It would seem to me that if TTFs from the same source are presenting the same issue then either MS or Apple is doing something wrong in interpreting the font or, as you suggest, their may be something triggering the behavior in Scrivener. I’ll try to run it down more on my end and be back in touch.

Thanks again.


So far, so good. It appears that the Courier Screenplay font holds formatting across both systems. I did notice that Scrivener was getting hung up on the Win 8 change from Courier to Courier Screenplay for a single chapter, one on which both novel and screenplay formatting are uses (yellow icon in binder). When I would select all and make the font change, a progress bar would appear showing 59% complete and hung at that point. As I scrolled through the chapter, I found that there was actually a few lines of MS Shell Dig and I think it was somehow interfering with the font change completion; when I hilighted the MS Shell Dig text and changed font to Courier Screenplay it too and has held as I open and close across both Mac and Win 8. For me, that’s a win and I’ll get back to writing.

Again, Jennifer (mm), thank you for your insights.

When I change between PC and Mac the Scrivenerfiles that I have updated on my PC has changed fontype, from Palatino to Courier.

If Palatino is installed on both machines, this sounds like a bug.

If Palatino is not installed on both machines, it’s a feature.