no font antialiasing

I took Scrivener for a spin and the first thing I noticed was:
no font antialiasing with any font, at any zoom level.
Found a post from 2006 that described the same issue but it didn’t lead to anything.
How do I fix this?
(Mac OS 10.5.4)


I’m not at all sure what you mean… Scrivener uses the same text engine as text edit. The fonts in Scrivener appear the same as in TextEdit and as good as in Pages. Perhaps you can explain more?


You’re right! I don’t have font antialiasing in TextEdit either. I just never noticed because I don’t use TextEdit.

Here’s the thing: In my system preferences I turned off font antialiasing for fonts sizes equal to or smaller than 14 point. In other apps, if I increase the zoom level, I eventually get antialiasing. Not so in TextEdit and Scrivener: If I use, for example, a 12-point font, there is no antialiasing at any zoom level.

The work-around is to use a large font size and to reduce the zoom level. With large font sizes I get antialiasing at any zoom level.

Unfortunately, changing the default font size or font type in the Scrivener preferences does not affect existing documents.

Anyway, I should be okay from now on.

Best, Dennis


Yes, as explained in the Help file and FAQ, the text settings in the preferences apply only to new documents, but you can use Documents > Convert > Formatting > to Default Style to apply those settings to existing documents.

Certain other programs will have completely different text engines, which would explain the difference in behaviour - Word, Mellel and suchlike use different text engines, for instance. Pages uses its own, too, though it should be quite similar to TextEdit’s in behaviour over all, but I haven’t checked the antialiasing. Most shareware programs that use Cocoa - such as Scrivener, Montage, Storyist, StoryMill, Copywrite, DevonTHINK, MacJournal and numerous others - base their text system on the TextEdit text engine, as that is built into OS X and easily available to developers, so you should see the same behaviour in a lot of apps.

Anyway, glad you’ve got something that works for you.

All the best,

Change it to 8 or 10 since Zoom Level uses a form of “resolution zooming” and if the OS reads a fonts size as 12 it will be 12 at 640x480 and it will still be 12 at 1440x900.

I get it. I’m not sure, though, whether that’s a bug or a feature.

Of what? It’s most certainly not a bug of Scrivener…
All the best,

Sorry, I didn’t mean to put the blame on Scrivener.

I was referring to the “resolution zooming” as implemented in the TextEdit enginge. On my 20" iMac a 12 point font is more readable without anti-aliasing (I think). But if I increase the zoom level in my word processor or in my browser, I like anti-aliasing to kick in because the 12 point font is now effectively a … 16 point font in terms of its screen size. So, it’s screen size that matters to me aesthetically.

Out of interest, why do you like turning it off at a higher setting? By default it is turned off at 10, which I find great because by default on OS X, plain text is usually set to display at Monaco 10 (not antialiased), whereas rich text is set to display at Helvetica 12 (antialiased), which sets a nice contrast.

I turned it off at a higher setting quite some time ago, but if I remember correctly it was the antialiased fonts in Safari that drove me nuts. With the current setting web pages are typically displayed without antialiasing. I guess I simply prefer Verdana, Arial and the like crisp at 12 points.