Helvetica Across Platforms (Mac to Windows)


I use both Mac and Windows versions of Scrivener, and my main issue has been getting Helvetica recognised on Windows. For whatever reason, whatever Helvetica I manage to download to my PC isn’t recognised as the same font as the Helvetica that comes standard with Mac.

Does anyone know how to remedy this? I’m not sure if it’s possible to pull the direct font from the Mac to install on the PC, or if there may even just be a way to name the fonts on PC to make them recognised? It’s an issue not only in having to reformat the fonts of everything I open on PC, but it’s created some strange issues with documents (such as turning the text clear with a black-outline that’s seemingly irreversible).

I could, of course, switch my default font to Ariel or something cross-platform by default, but I really prefer Helvetica.


This is an example of something that happens when I open a file on Windows. It’s still like this on Mac now and can’t seem to find a way to fix it:

Weirdly, it only happens to particular notes within Scrivener. Some just change from Helvetica to Ariel, others do this.

Hi Matt,

I’m no font expert, so take my input with a grain of salt.

Disclaimer aside, while Helvetica came ‘free’ with your Mac, it is not a free font. My understanding is that the Helvetica fonts you’ve downloaded from the free sites are, strictly speaking, pirated. They may also be incomplete and/or corrupted versions of the font, which may be the cause of your troubles.

Your best bet is to pick another font that comes standard on both Mac & Windows platforms, which is close enough to Helvetica to work for you. Or you could peruse a legit free font site like fontsquirrel.com and find something close to Helvetica to download to both your platforms. (That usually works, but sometimes I find fonts that work in Windows but not on iOS, or vice versa. YMMV.) Or, you could head over to Linotype.com and buy Helvetica for your PC, although that might be cost prohibitive. :frowning: Finally, you could seek out and buy some Windows software that comes bundled with Helvetica. I believe some Adobe products do.

Probably not what you want to hear. Perhaps someone else will come along with better news for you. :slight_smile: