Font rendering in Windows 10

Apologies if this has been covered before (the most recent topic I found is from 2013, I think), but has anyone had any issues with Scrivener rendering fonts pretty badly in Windows 10?

Specifics: Running Scrivener on Windows 10 Anniversary update (1607) on a Surface Pro 4 with the screen resolution at the native 2736 X 1824. I’ve gone through ClearType configuration and rendering in every other application looks just fine. In Scrivener, it looks like the text is rendering in super-low-resolution.

I’ve also uninstalled and reinstalled the app, restart the computer, ran all possible updates, etc. No dice. Am I missing something, or is this pretty-much par for the course?

There’s a great L&L KB article on the issue and current workarounds: … i-displays

Let us know if that helps.

Depends on what font rendering issue you’re referring to, since there have been two of note – DPI awareness and jagged font display – and they’ve seemed to have been mixed together in various forum discussions.

The first issue related to the fact that before version 1.9.5 (or 6, I forget), Scrivener for Windows was not DPI-aware. This meant that Windows users with high DPI monitors discovered that their Scrivener interface had teeny tiny icons and menu bars at 100% display size. When they increased their display size beyond 100% to compensate, they now had blurry text to contend with. There were howling protests, an off-site registry hack, looting in the streets, and the Windows devs fixed the problem in the above-mentioned update.

The second issue is that font display in Scrivener Windows (kerning, tracking, smoothness, density, the full monty) has been – how to put this – kind of crappy. All fonts render with jagged curves in Scrivener Windows, some fonts have issues with kerning (Palatino seems to be the worst), and so on. It’s the reason I don’t use Scrivener for composition, only for editing. My middle-aged eyes don’t like.

Over the years, only a handful and a half have complained about this, and they’ve been advised to turn on ClearType (doesn’t do anything), fiddle with display percentage in Scrivener (600% does look fantastic), and they’re never heard from again. Narrsd seems to know the most about this/these issue(s) from a technical perspective, so perhaps he will chime in. Or not.

My issue is with the jaggy type. I don’t much notice the icons, but boy does the type display bother me. I use Scrivener often enough on both platforms that it just drives me nuts because switching makes it all the more noticeable.

Devs, if you’re reading, is there nothing you can do about awful type display? It’s a distraction when you’re writing and that’s when you want distractions the least…

I am also having the problem. it looked fine with version 1.9.0. why not revert the changes leading to this problem?
i tried the Manifest workaround but it didn’t work.

please fix this. scrivener is barely useable especially while editing, which needs a lot of reading the ugly fonts.


If fonts looked fine to you in WinScriv 1.9.0, then you don’t take issue with WinScriv’s font rendering, you have the DPI or some other problem. My monitors aren’t classy enough to have had any direct experience with the DPI issue, but the consensus is that 1.9.6 fixed scaling problems on high-DPI screens.

As for whether the devs will fix WinScriv’s jaggedy font display in 3.0, I sure hope so. Considering the UI enhancements for 3.0 that have been put forward, with a first-rate font rendering engine WinScriv 3.0 would absolutely own the Windows writing software space, pretty much indefinitely. AFAIK, however, no one from L&L has ever acknowledged complaints about the current iteration of WinScriv’s subpar font rendering. They have acknowledged the DPI issue, OTOH, and addressed it in an update.

The core of the problem is that Windows applications will default to using Microsoft’s craptastic font rendering engine unless they’re compiled with an alternate font engine, like FreeType – which is what iOS and Mac OS use. Google apparently uses its own font engine in Chrome for Google Docs, which is why GD fonts look so creamy and sharp in Chrome, even in the Atari-eqsue graphical sphere of Windows 10.

Qt 5, which is what the WinScriv devs are using to build 3.0, does support compiling with FreeType, so at least in theory font display could look as good in WinScriv 3.0 as in iOS/MacScriv 3.0. Whether this is something that’s on the Windows devs’ radar, OTOH, is anyone’s guess. Say a prayer.

You’re right, it was a DPI problem. I deactivated the high DPI scaling, as proposed here: … indows_10/ and it looks better again.

Thanks for the hint.


I am also having this problem - the text looks smudged, really, and had to do a side-by-side comparison with Word 2013 to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind. I’m new to Scrivener but this is a big problem for those of us who already suffer from poor vision and eye strain… hope they fix it soon.