Footnotes hard to read in the inspector

I’ve been trying out Scrivener for the past week, and one of the problems I’m seeing is that the footnotes are almost unreadably small in the inspector window on one of my machines.

On my laptop with an old 1024x768 screen, they look normal. On my desktop (1680x1050), they are unreadable small. I can fix it by selecting all of them and choosing the default formatting option, but it doesn’t stick when I open and close Scrivener, and anyway, they should look the same on both PCs, right?

Any help much appreciated.

Hello Eraserdust,
Options/Appearance/Fonts/ Open arrow on general/ Inspector Footnotes and then increase the font size or change font. This will work for your new footnotes. For existing ones, right mouse on them and select convert to default; this will resize to your new font size.
Pretty much everything can be altered in Scrivener to your preference, it’s just a matter of exploring.
They cannot look the same on both machines if the resolution is vastly different. You should only need to set each machine the once as your preferences should be saved. There is also the manage layouts facility in options. Worth exploring; as is the layout manager.

Hi Shass,

Thanks for replying. Actually, it seems the resolutions thing was a red herring.

The default font and size for footnotes, according to the options -> appearance -> fonts -> inspector footnotes setting is Helvetica 11pt. That is perfectly readable, and, in fact, what they change to when I apply default formatting as you suggested.

The problem is that as soon as I leave a particular document (chapter, in this case) and return, they have all reset to HelveticaNeueLT Pro 37 ThCn 11pt, which is not readable.

This does not happen on the laptop. I have synchronized files between the two, so this is happening with the exact same project. The behaviour happens with all projects. Even blank ones. But only on the desktop.

I’ve also tried uninstalling and reinstalling Scrivener, but no luck there either.

Both machines are running Windows 7. The desktop is 64-bit, the laptop 32-bit, if that makes a difference.

I had the same problem with the 1.7 Beta (I do not own 1.7.1), if you have more than one Helvetica typeface on your computer, Scrivener will almost certainly confuse them. My problem was the exact opposite - it was choosing a bold variant, making everything too readable :slight_smile: This was happening on a 64bit Windows 7 computer as well, everything was ok on a 32bit laptop (but there were no Helvetica variants installed on the laptop either).


Interesting. As an experiment, I switched the default font for the inspector footnotes to a font that had no other variants. However, the behaviour is the same. As soon as I switch to another document and back again, the footnotes reset to the unreadable Helvetica variant.

Did you report this bug? If not, I will make a new topic in the bugs forum.

There’s no need to create a new thread for the issue, but if you could post steps for reproducing the problem starting from a new blank project, that would be very helpful. Is this happening with any other fonts?

There are no steps to reproducing this error. On the affected desktop, I simply open any existing project, whether created on the desktop or on my laptop, or start a new project. I create a new text item, enter text, select it and create a footnote. The footnote is then in the incorrect font until I select that note an apply default formatting. Then it’s fine.

I switch to a different document by clicking on a folder or text item and switch back to the original text I was working on, and the footnotes have reverted to the unreadable HelveticaNeue.

I have not found any workaround or alternative workflow that solves this problem.

My workaround was to uninstall all Helvetica variants except the regular one. Changing the default font didn’t work for me either, it was like Scrivener was refering to a setting that couldn’t be changed.

I have something else to add.

My issue with the 1.7 beta and Helvetica was that Scrivener was using it to display the Manuscript format and the Template sheets and, in my case, confusing it with another Helvetica variant.

I see that in the final, 1.7.1 version Helvetica has been replaced with Arial, except when it comes to footers, which are still using Helvetica as a default font (and causing subsequent clashes between variants).

On MacOS, Helvetica is a default font, but Windows uses Arial instead – you must buy Helvetica if you want to use it. So Scrivener should definitely not use Helvetica as a default font, since almost certainly a lot of users do not own it. And those who do, like myself, probably have other variants that will clash with the default etc.


Thanks for the workaround. It has solved the problem for now, although it’s really crappy that I can’t make Scrivener use the default display font that I specify.

Yes, that’s a bug and I’ve filed it (likewise the problem with the Helvetia variants, which is a separate issue).

I’ve been following this thread with some interest, mainly out of curiosity. On Windows 7 Pro, as cf13 says, I do not have any Helvetica font. Trying out writing a footnote in the inspector, I find that Scrivener displays “Helvetica” in the font list on the format toolbar. A brief examination suggests that what is actually being typed is in fact Arial. Having no Helvetica fonts, I don’t have the issue with variants. But it is quite confusing, and I second the hope that it will be fixed.

Yes, sorry I was not clear above; the Helvetica used in a few places will be switched, aside from the problem of the incorrect variants being used.

Thanks, MM.