Interface seems really small?

Dear all,

I have what I suspect is a pretty dumb question. I recently got a Mac (I’m a long-time PC user), and so naturally the first thing I did was to download Scrivener for Mac and buy a new registration code. When I opened up one of my old files, the interface itself seemed really small. My text doesn’t display normally – it’s too small too read unless I zoom in to at least 150%, even though it’s 12 point Times New Roman – and the buttons at the top of the page are too small, too.

Is it something I did? I’m totally ignorant here. Please help! I just want my trusty Scrivener back.

Are you using a MacBook Air? Those devices have a fairly high resolution (around 150 DPI) without any kind of scaling like the Retina models use (which are closer to 200 DPI). The scaling models will print 12pt text roughly at the same size as you would see it coming out of a printer, but the so-called “low res” displays that are only a little beneath them do not scale, and as a result those 150 pixels per inch draw 12pt fonts smaller than normal—and yes you need to crank up the text zoom a bit in Scrivener on an Air, in my opinion.

As for the overall UI, buttons and so on, would you say Scrivener is outside of the ordinary compared to other Mac programs? If they are abnormally small, could you send a screenshot with something like Mail and Scrivener’s toolbars beside each other?

Thanks for your response. It’s a MacBook Pro, so I don’t know if that means I should play around with the scaling – everything else looks fine.

I compared the Mail buttons with the Scrivener buttons, and in retrospect, maybe they’re not all that different from anything else in the Mac. It still seems really small to me, though. I’m used to everything being much bigger in Windows, though, so maybe that threw me.

Here’s a screenshot – sorry if I wasted your time…

I cropped the personal info out of your screenshot for you. For your info, you can use Shift-Cmd-4 on a Mac to switch to rectangle screenshot mode. The mouse will change to a cross-hair; just drag a rectangle around the spot you wish to capture, ignoring the rest of the screen.

This all does look normal to me. Font rendering on a Mac is indeed different than on a PC. For one thing, most Windows programs display fonts at 135% as a default (Scrivener for Windows follows this tradition), whereas on a Mac the tradition is 100%. So just by that score alone, nearly every word processor is going to be rendering fonts much smaller than you are used to, before messing with the text zoom settings. Note in the Editor preferences pane, you can adjust the default text zoom in the upper-right quadrant.

Thanks so much; I really appreciate it!

You’re welcome! I forgot to mention that like on Windows, you can change most of the presentation fonts in Scrivener as well. They aren’t sorted into a “Fonts” tree like they are in Windows, so you’ll need to poke around a bit to find them all. Just look for the big white boxes with a font name printed in them.