Font in Composition Mode


Is it possible to configure the font in composition mode?

The reason I ask is that most agents/publishers are going to want your manuscript in Times/New Roman - I hate these fonts for composing as I find them difficult to read compared to cleaner fonts like Calibri.

It would be nice to be able to compose in whatever font we like without having to change the entire manuscript back to Times/New Roman upon completion.

Those wacky writers out there could then compose in Kingthings Pique’n’meex :open_mouth: if they wanted to without altering the actual manuscript.

Is it possible?

Many thanks in advance!


Have you been through the tutorial?

Writing in one font and compiling a finished manuscript in an entirely different font is kind of the point of Scriviner–well, that and breaking up unmanageable projects into comfortable bite-size pieces meant to be painlessly rearranged.

What the manuscript looks like when you’re writing and what it looks like when you compile are unrelated–unless you want them to be.

Every time I see a new Scrivener user ask how to go through their entire manuscript to adjust paragraph indents, fonts, etc… I just shake my head. Unless it’s painfully distracting (like having a paragraph in 20-point helvetical, followed closely by a 6-point Comic Sans), it’s best to just keep writing, and then use the Compile feature to make everything uniform. If you happen to be submitting to multiple agents or publishers, the Compile settings can be tweaked for each of them without touching any of your text. THAT is just one of the brilliant ideas that went into Scrivener, saving an author a great deal of work on the tail end of their projects.

By all means, pick a font to write in. Experiment with a new font for every document you create in Scrivener if you want. Adjust the point size as you go, until you find just the right sized letters for the screen. Once you use the compile feature, all of the font chaos will be whipped into shape for your output.

My apologies for asking a question that just makes you shake your head. I just got started with Scrivener and have been finding my own way around. I haven’t read the whole manual or gone through the tutorial because I’ve been concentrating on the actual writing.

Having said that, Scrivener is so much more powerful than I originally realised and am finding new features that surprise me every day. I’m sure that taking the time out from writing to go through the tutorial would be very sensible.

Wrist slap.

When I asked the question I hadn’t considered the compile option as this isn’t a feature I’ve really got into yet. I was simply looking for a configuration option within the compose window settings.

I’ll look into the compile options instead.

Either way, painful as it may have been, I do appreciate the replies.

A way to get a quick feel for how Compile works is to use the [b]File/Compile...[/b] menu command. Don’t worry about any of the options or anything fancy like that. Compile is quite powerful, and can do a lot of stuff, so it is easy to get lost in when you are just starting. Instead, just select the “Standard Manuscript Format” preset, from the “Format As” drop-down menu at the top. Choose PDF from the Compile For menu for a quick preview, and hit the [b]Compile[/b] button. This simple example demonstrates how, no matter what font you use to write in, you can end up with an industry standard with very little effort. In fact you could have chosen to “Override all fonts with face” in that Compile screen, chosen TNR, and probably hit very close to what you need, if not right on the nose. The built-in default for manuscripts is Courier, which is still a common standard in most parts of the world, but the override feature I mentioned is a super-easy way to get TNR if you need it.

Later on you can dig into things a bit more and play with the feature; but hopefully that demonstration is enough to ease your mind on what Scrivener can do, and that you should feel free to go on using Calibri or whatever you want in the meantime to spare your eyes the suffering of double-spaced Times New Roman!

In the meanwhile, get back to writing. :slight_smile: That’s what we’re here for and this program should only enable productive output. It’s a very forgiving program. You can make all kinds of “mistakes” early on and correct them once you learn more. I put that in quotes because hardly anything is a mistake. Some of the templates encourage a slightly more rigid way of working, but really they are just using Scrivener’s own flexibility to establish that, and these are guidelines that can be bent to work however you desire.

On your first question though: you can’t supply a separate font for Composition mode because there is unfortunately no way to temporarily override all of the fonts in the editor. The only way to do that is to actually change the fonts, and that would be undesirable 99% of the time.

Hi AmberV,

Thanks so much for your reply. And for answering my question.

I was feeling like I needed to sideline my book to start watching Scrivener tutorials instead; my original intention had been to learn each feature as I went along and get to the compile options when I came to compile.

You’ve made me feel a lot better about my approach … although I will try to get through the tutorials as I go!!

I have never felt so in control of a large volume of work before. I’ve always had scratty notes here and there. Now I have an entire book planned chapter by chapter on the corkboard - a feature which I LOVE - and now know that I can just relax and write with any formatting I choose knowing that I can whip it all into shape at the end. Brilliant! It just gets better with every feature I come across.

Oh … I just heard the clang of the MS Word for Mac disk in the waste bin! Thank heaven!! And thanks again.