Font keeps resetting

Hi, when I highlight a font in a document, and set it to say Damascus in Preferences>Editing>Formatting then go back to the document it then says it’s Helvetica, however many times I do it, even after ensuring that I don’t have any Styles set.

What am I doing wrong?

I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong within Scrivener. The same behavior happens to me.

The same also happens in other apps. For example, Apple’s Notes app also defaults to Helvetica if Damascus is selected. Other apps (when the choice is even available) do the same. Helvetica is set as a default within the OS (don’t know if Scrivener could set its own default) when a font request/action cannot be met.

Regardless of what can be seen in the font list, I’m pretty sure which fonts are actually available to you is governed by what is chosen at macOS System Preferences > Language & Region.

Edit to add:
There are different keyboard input options available in macOS at – System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources > + – that might serve as a short-term solution. I’ve never tried it in Scrivener.

The Preferences pane changes the default font for new documents. It doesn’t affect existing text. For that, you want the Format menu.

If it still doesn’t work, try setting the font to Damascus in TextEdit. If that doesn’t work either, it’s a system-level issue.

Or, try selecting a document and using Documents->Convert->Text to default formatting… Does that help?

Hi Silverdragon, unfortunately that didn’t work either. I’m using a Mac the same as you, but I can’t think why it would be behaving like this. Never mind, I’m sure I’m missing the obvious here :blush:

If you think of anything else, let me know if you would.


I can confirm this behavior. Scrivener 3.2.2 / macOS 11.4. “Damascus” instantly switches to “Helvetica”. Doesn’t look like a user error.

Just for the record, Damascus is exclusively an Arabic (and similar) font, it doesn’t even have Latin letters. So what you’re observing is the standard system behaviour of selecting a fallback font if a letter cannot be displayed.


Thank you AmberV, that makes a lot of sense. Though it doesn’t explain why it chooses Helvetica and not another font.

MacOS uses Helvetica as its first choice for a proportional font if it can’t render characters in the font you choose. This holds true in iOS as well. If MacOS can’t render the characters in Helvetica either, it will start going through its other built-in fonts. As a last resort, it will display blank boxes.

Ah, thank you. I hadn’t thought of that. Out of the answers I’ve received yours makes the most sense :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: and I notice you’re in California as well! :joy: One of my ‘long to’ visit States. California, the land of milk and honey :relaxed: :pray:

Do come and visit! I hope you enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed my visits to the UK!

Oh, you’ve been to the UK? wonderful, which parts did you visit?