Font rendering

I think Scrivener has a problem with font rendering — particularly for the first letter in a paragraph. This is a bit of a problem for us aesthetically-minded people: I for one like to write using a nice font and these problems bother me.

I’ve attached an example with the word “Żądania” (in Polish) rendered in Scrivener (left) and Pages (right). The font is Calluna, 12-point (

Notice how:

  1. The dot above the Z gets lost somehow.
  2. The spacing between the Ż and ą is all wrong (too wide).

Any chance this could be fixed?

There’s not much I can do about this, I’m afraid. Scrivener uses the OS X text engine for rendering text, which is coded by Apple, not by me. That particular font seems to draw outside of the top edge of the line, which is one problem with it. Try using the font in TextEdit and you will see the same issue there. Scrivener uses Mac OS X’s NSText system (as most third-party rich text editors on the Mac do, so you’ll see the same issue in WriteRoom, Nisus Writer and many others); Pages uses a custom text engine based on the WebKit (Mail is also built on the WebKit, and notice the font is rendered better there, too). So without spending a couple of years writing my own text system based on the WebKit, I have no control over how this font is rendered in Apple’s text system. Sorry.

I should add that this is an issue with this particular font, though - the text system renders most fonts very well.

All the best,

That’s a real pity. You’re right — I checked and other applications seem to have the same problem.

It renders fine in all iWork apps, as well as in webkit-based software, such as Safari, NetNewsWire, etc.
Unfortunately, the problem isn’t limited to just this one font — I’ve encountered similar spacing issues with several other fonts as well.

Perhaps you can file this as a bug with Apple?

Thanks anyway!

I just filed it with Apple - bug ID #7706809. I wouldn’t hold your breath, though. When it comes to the NSText system, Apple seem to be adding bells and whistles but fixing and enhancing nothing substantial. My guess is that because Pages, Mail and Safari use in-house WebKit-based text systems, they aren’t too bothered about the NSText system these days, as that is only used by third-party devs. It may be that eventually they replace it with a WebKit-based system - it would make sense as it would work on the iPad as well as OS X - but I think we’re a few years away from that point as yet.
All the best,

You can also try changing the Apple font rendering setting available under Text>Font>Kern, Ligature, Baseline, and Character Shape.