Font Rendering in Editor

Hey guys, great work on the new release!

I’ve been working with Scrivener for about three months now, new enough that I’m still looking for the font I like the best for the editor… which is what I was doing (again) this morning before my writing session. But then I realized that there have been a couple of fonts that I’ve come across that I thought would be workable… until I get them into place and look at some text. Then, what had been a very nice font elsewhere gets washed out in the Scrivener editor… parts of letters are less visible (see image). I don’t know if this is a smoothing issue or an anti-aliasing issue or something else.

An example:

I don’t think this is truly a bug, per se, and I’ve noticed it across the three releases that I’ve been using (023, 024, & 025). I’m wondering if there is something wrong with the way Scrivener renders the fonts? Or is there only a certain kind of font that Scriv likes better (TTF vs. OTF)? Is anyone else noticing this? My enjoyment of Scriv would go through the roof if I could actually use the fonts I prefer… and if I could stop looking for one that I like that also works properly in the editor. Any ideas?

Nothing off the top of my head, so I’ll have to dig into this a little. Does adjusting the zoom in the editor (accessible from the editor footer or View>Zoom) make a difference at all?

Thanks for getting back to me on this.

Changing the zoom (the pic was at 140%, I think) changes it… some. The smaller the font (i.e., zoomed out), the better the rendering… but the harder the reading and the working-with. Also the floated F11 environment is a bit better, but still with noticeable rendering problems. Enough to have that not be a fix.

I’ve also noticed where if I’m working in a section, some of the text which has been (up to then) richly rendered in strong black tones suddenly changes to that washed out gray. Some parts are gray, some are black.

If there are other screenshots you want, either different zooms or different fonts, etc., let me know. I’ll do whatever I can to help.

OK, I’ll admit it. I was simply curious. So I attempted to reproduce this bug. And it was immediately obvious to me that I wasn’t going to be able to. “LM Sans 10” is not a font that is installed on my Vista OS. Or it’s a font that Scrivener decides not to put in its font menu.

Is the font free somehow? Does one have to pay for it? Or am I simply in the dark about fonts my Windows machine has that I don’t know how to access?

I did try some large font sizes of what I would consider “challenging” fonts to render, e.g., Rockwell Extra Bold at 48 points. Seemed to render correctly.

If someone can tell me how to obtain the font, but only if it’s free, I’ll try to reproduce the bug.

That’s funny… I only found the font in the first place because of this error. Thinking that this sort of gray/black, in/out rendering was the way Scrivener was and that I just needed to find a way to get along with it, I was looking for a font that other people use. You know, find what their workarounds might be. I searched the forums and someone suggested this font. It’s free here:

But this is, by far, not the only font doing this to me. I will try to get some other screenshots up of different fonts… maybe later tonight after the little one is in bed.

Thanks for the pointer. I downloaded and installed the LM Sans 10 fonts. Then I tried them in Scrivener. Other than finding the 12 point rendering of the font to be too small for my eyes, I didn’t see the same major rendering problems you did. I have attached 12 point and 24 point screenshots of my tests below.



What I did see was some inconsistency in the rendering of two of the glyphs. This is actually noticeably worse in these JPEGs, given the lossy compression. In the 24 point text, notice the “h” in “the” and “their” and the “u” in “country.” The lower half of the left side of the “h” is thinner than it should be. The opposite problem occurs with the “u”. The left side of the “u” is wider than it should be.

These errors don’t seem to be as noticeable as your screenshot. Perhaps the difference is screen size? I am using a 24" LCD monitor. Or Scrivener’s magnification? For these tests, my magnification was set at 135%. As you did, I can get various glyphs to render differently at different magnifications.

In any case, I don’t think the issue with this font is Scrivener. As a confirmation of that, bring up WordPad and type 12 and 24 point lines of the above. The renderings are different, but there are still glyphs with inconsistent widths of various strokes. I suspect it is a problem with the coding of the font itself.

Is your screen set to its native resolution? All LCD monitors have a “sweet spot” where they display best. Or are you using slackware 13.37? There was an issue with it and font rendering on some screens.

OK, here are a couple more screenshots. The problems in these shots are not as considerable as in the first, but still noticeable.

Notice the vertical lines of the Rs in this one:

And, in this one, the left edge of the letter ‘o’:

Here is another Latin Modern Font, this one LM Roman 10:

The similarity between the LM Sans 10 and the LM Roman 10 rendering (and my suspicion that those two fonts were made by the same people) would make me wonder if it is a font issue… except that the other problems exist, too, and the LM fonts render fine in other settings (Word, Notepad, Publisher, etc.). Maybe, instead, they share some commonality that makes them vulnerable to whatever is going on? For the record, file formats and font types are as follows:

LM Sans 10 (OpenType)= OTF
Orator STD (TrueType) = OTF
Garamond Premr Pro (TrueType) = OTF
LM Roman 10 - Regular (OpenType) = OTF

Just saw some of the other responses, so let me add:

No slackware. I’m running XP SP3.
I have a dual LCD setup, both at 1280x1024, 32 Bit color depth.
NVidia GeForce 7800 GS (256 MB)
Forceware 169.21

I saw issues like this on my laptop, I think… but I don’t remember the specific fonts. I’ll check those that have come up in this discussion against my laptop display and report back on how that turns out. I’m also investigating new video drivers, just to rule that out.

This is one time I’m hoping the problem is on my end. If I can fix it, I won’t have to wait for the next Scriv release to get the problem corrected!

Okay…in the nvidia drivers, is there an option for antialiasing? Might try playing around with that…if those values are out of whack, it could be causing issues. If that doesn’t do the trick, then might want to try updating the video card drivers. (Sometimes newer drivers can make a big difference…yours are 3 years’ old.)

Could also try this: … step1.aspx

That has not been my experience with the LM Sans 10 font. It does not render consistently for me in either WordPad or LibreOffice. Here is a screenshot from LibreOffice Writer of LM Sans 10 at 24 pt.:


Notice the lower half of the right side of the “d” and, again, the left side of the “u”. They’re too big. I still think it’s the font.

In reference to garpu’s link, I think that’s what we’re really talking about to circumvent or minimize the problem, font anti-aliasing.

I haven’t worked with such things for a long time, probably because I now almost always use the system-supplied fonts. Perhaps these fonts were reviewed on a system with good anti-aliasing support, and so the reviewer didn’t see the problems you’re seeing. Note that I’m not seeing the severity of rendering problems you’re experiencing. We’re running different versions of Windows and I think – someone please correct me if I’m wrong – that anti-aliasing changes/improves with each release of Windows. So my results on Vista will probably be different from someone else’s results on Windows 7, and also different from yet another person’s results on Windows XP. I have done nothing to prove or disprove this, but I think that’s the case.

And then there’s the ClearType Tuner technology that garpu mentions which adds yet another variable into the font rendering equation.

Thanks for the help, everybody. I, too, am starting to think this is just a problem on my end, with how my system renders the fonts, rather than a Scrivener issue.

I updated my video drivers to the latest, but that didn’t really make a dent. Also, I see no setting in the driver panel for antialiasing as regards fonts… only 3D games. However, I did check out garpu’s link (thank you for that), and the ClearType Tuner application helped some. LM Sans 10 doesn’t cut out anymore… now the problem has been reduced to the left side of a lower case ‘u’ rendering darker than the surrounding text. Maybe I can tune things a little better and eliminate that problem… or just try another font.

In any case, I agree with jravan that there is likely an issue with some of these fonts, so I’ll just have to continue my search for something to fit my taste. Thank you all again.