Mac to Mobile Unexpectedly Changes Text Styles

Hello. This is first post. I’m writing a novel and on my desktop, I selected a specific body copy style. I later went to my iPhone app and edited that text. When I saved it and re-opened it on my desktop, the mobile app (I’m guessing) had switch the font back to Helvetica, and had done so in many places (all the places I had edited). In the desktop app, I selected the text, changed it back to the font I desired, and then went to the Style menu and selected “Redefine the paragraph style from selection” but I didn’t, even though those other selections were no longer the desired font. What is going on?

Is the font you want installed on the iPhone?

No. But I don’t mine the swapping fonts on the phone. I expected that. What confused and flummoxed me was why, when I opened it back on the desktop, it retained the ‘swapped’ font, and then wouldn’t change all those styled entries (the ones it had swapped) back even when I manually tried to force it.

Something that may help overall, is that it sounds like you are trying to force Scrivener into using a “body” style, which it isn’t designed to do. For best results you should leave all body text alone, and only use styles for remarkable formatting. You’ll potentially run into a number of issues trying to do things any other way.

So one thing you could try—and you may want to experiment with this idea on a copy of your project rather than original—is to delete the body style from the project, and then use the Documents ▸ Convert ▸ Text to Default Formatting... menu command. That’s going to be a useful command to keep in mind, whenever switching back from iOS. If the results of that look good, then discard the other project and go on using this new project.

That command, along with how the compiler works to naturally reformat unstyled text, are two reasons for why body styles aren’t terribly necessary in Scrivener.

Now, if you aren’t using a body text style and I misread you, or you really really want to work that way anyway—then I would double-check the style’s settings when redefining it. Make sure the font family checkbox is enabled—otherwise the style will do nothing about fonts, and act just like you described.

This morning I looked at another project and you are right, in that project there was no Body style, just something called ‘Regular Text’. I’ll try your suggestion. But gosh, the default styles in the project were both ugly and distracting. I will investigate your suggestion, as I obviously can’t work with everything changing as I go back and forth. But for me, maybe, the solution might be to just work on my desktop.

Thank you so much.

You can change the default text formatting, you just don’t want to use a “body” style to do it.

On the Mac, once you’ve formatted one paragraph to work the way you want, you can use the Project → Project Settings → Formatting pane to make it the default for this project, or Scrivener → Scrivener Preferences → Editing → Formatting to make it the default Scrivener-wide.

Then, the Documents → Convert → Text to Default Formatting command will reformat existing text to the new default.

Bear in mind it is very easy to install fonts into Scrivener for iOS. Search the built-in tutorial for complete instructions, but I just send the fonts to the device with AirDrop from my Mac, and choose to open them in Scrivener when asked—it’s super easy. If you have a preference other than Helvetica, in most cases you shouldn’t have to live with fonts changing every time you switch platforms. Some fonts don’t work as well as others, but most do work well.

And worst case, like I say that menu command to reformat the text is awfully handy when you’re pasting stuff in from other sources, or seeing shifts between platforms. I’ve got it bound to a custom shortcut, myself.

When you say "Search Built-in Tutorial, do you mean Scrivener for iOS?

I don’t think you understand the situation I’m describing. I have made a custom Template Sheet for characters. In that template, I have changed some of the default Paragraph Styles that come with a New Novel Project. In that Project, in the Character Sketch Template, the text is formatted but not Styled (meaning Styled using the standard Paragraph Styles (it’s all styled “No Style”). What I did, and what you said wasn’t going to work, was to create a “Body” style. There is no ‘style’ in that list that corresponds to what I would call ‘body’. Are you saying that I should make the Default style in the Project Preferences the style I want for the main body of the documents?

Correct, the Mac tutorial does not have any information on how to install fonts into the iOS version.

I have followed what was written in the Tutorial (placing folders with Fonts in the Srivener folder that I sync). I will try this tonight. Thank you for all the help.

Well, this didn’t work like advertised.

I placed Fonts into the Scrivener Dropbox Folder as the documentation instructed. I changed the Font used in the following styles: Heading 1, Heading 2, Subhead, and the Main Text Formatting. I Synced the project in Dropbox and opened it.

Only the Font I had spec’ed for Heading 2 showed up correctly in iOS. Then, when I Synced one line of an edit, I synced back, and re-opened on my desktop.

The Main Test Formatting was now all Helvetica (not the font I had spec’ed. and Heading 1 and Subhead were back to what iOS wanted them to be.

What is going on?

I’m more than a little frustrated.

Oh, some clarifications:

I had set those style and font changes in the Desktop version; then saved. Opened the file in Dropbox, made that one line edit in one document. Synced back

Opened that one document on Desktop; the font substitutions had been made in THAT DOCUMENT ONLY. Other documents had not been touched. Note tha in iOS, the only document I had opened was that doc.

Why would the iOS version see only ONE of the Fonts I had installed – that font remained fine cross-platform – but not the other fonts?

Just to eliminate any potential complexity, since it sounds like a lot of pieces of technology and preconditions are being tested at once here, this is how I would test a new font:

  1. Install it on iOS.
  2. Create a new blank document in the binder, type in some words.
  3. Select one or two of the words and assign the font you are testing.
  4. Copy the project to the other machine and see if the font carries over.

Not all fonts work, as I mentioned. We are working with two different operating systems here, even if they are closely related, and font naming is one of those things that seems to have never acquired a decent universal standard for some reason. It is not unusual to have to reset fonts when switching platforms or working with collaborators.