Per document font settings

I am totally loving Scrivener and plan to buy it when the final version is released. However, I do have one request that would kick the app over into the “practically perfect” category for me.

I’ve been using Scrivener for the novel I’m writing but also to organize my legal research for law school and to take general notes on other projects. The issue I’m having is that I’d like different font and paragraph settings for each. For my novel, I like indented paragraphs in a nicely spaced courier. But this doesn’t work too well for the random notes of legal research, where I want more of a standard, Helvetica at single space without indentation. The trouble is, since Scrivener only allows a single default font setting, each time a create a new document within any of my files, it sets itself to the global default and I have to manually change it – which is rather cumbersome.

Is there some way the global font preferences could become document specific?

Thank you,
Aaron Powell

Hmm… The idea is that you set up the font in preferences that you prefer to look at on the computer, and that you use Project Settings to choose the font used when you export using Export Draft (which can also be used to print your work). This way, you can always have your preferred font when editing, but you can export or print in a different font for each project.
All the best,

Right. Scrivener already does exactly what you want. Just make sure that little checkbox in the Export Draft screen is ticked off. The one that says, “Use export text formatting.” Then set up the preferred look for the document in Project Settings (located in the View menu).

What you see on the screen is strictly for the ease of your own eyes. What looks good in print is generally fatigue-inducing on a monitor; and vice versa. Scrivener is the first application I’ve come across that easily addresses this old problem that has existed ever since WYSIWY"G" became popular.

AmberV, since you’ve obviouly given this some thought, do you have any preferred fonts for long blocks of onscreen text? I’m in the process of cleaning up a lot of articles in Scrivener and Devonthink and I haven’t yet hit on a font that looks best on my big screen for reading purposes.



Actually the Scrivener default is pretty close to what I like. I think a long time ago Keith saw a screenshot of mine and liked it too. Scrivener (way pre-Gold) used to be Courier New, or one of the other monospace fonts.

My ideal is Optima 13pt, with a 1.2 line spacing multiplier and 8pts between paragraphs. For contrast the colour you see in Full Screen default is about what I like. I slightly warm feel with dark text on a light background. Not black on white though. That feels harsh to me after a few hours.

I go back and forth between 12pt and 13pt for font sizes. 13pt feels a lot nice to me, but sometimes it also feels a bit “fuzzy” and 12pt works better when I am in that mood. :slight_smile: That might sound excessively minimal, but for some reason there is a pretty substantial difference between Optima 12 and 13. The anti-aliasing model is different, kerning feels different. I am sure part of it is just my imagination.

Another thing that I do (and this is a bit more esoteric, and might Greek unless you know a bit about graphic design) is set my monitor’s white point temperature to D50 instead of the typical 9500º. When you first switch that on, it feels very orange, like walking into an art gallery from a bright sunny day. But your eyes calibrate to it, and I find the D50 setting to be more comfortable on my vision than the blueish white hot 9500º. I used to get headaches after writing for a while, but now I do not.

Thanks for the detailed suggestions. I’ve set up an “AmberV” style in my cocoa ruler With Optima13/1.2/4p spacing (I prefer things a bit tighter) It seems very clean and legible. I’ll see how it works for me. And thanks too for the D50 tip - my new 24" Imac is unbelievably bright: “Deadwood” looks beautiful but it could use a little softening for text work. Feels more like my trusty powerbook now; much easier on the eyes in the long run, I’m sure. It’s amazing how quickly the eyes/brain adjust: after 10 minutes it no longer looks orange to me.
It would be great to discover that my recent bout of headaches came from the screen rather than the red wine. (Recently back from 2 years in Paris - I’m still getting sticker shock at the Quebec-government-run wine stores, and the cheaper stuff is just killing my head)

BTW, have you tried “Profont” it’s an old programmer’s font that I use for text on the Pbook because it looks great in small sizes.



I wish that desktop LCDs had the same response curve on the brightness control that the Powerbooks and iBooks had. I would run mine at one or two stops above off, and it almost felt like paper to me. Very easy on my ridiculously sensitive eyes.

I use ProFont too when I need monospace! Lovely font at 9pts. Anything bigger and it feels a bit blocky to me. In TextMate you can turn off anti-aliasing, and I think that looks even better with that font.

What are wine prices like in Quebec? Around here it is hard to find a good wine under $11 Canadian. Anything over three or four years old is more like $30.

I suspect our wine prices are only slightly higher than yours, thanks to taxes. But our local caviste in Paris had great little reds at 3 euros a bottle and we got used to having the recommended 2/3 glasses a day. On top of that I spent all of August in Edinburgh (for the Theatre Festival) and somehow got it into my head to try all the available South African Pinotages and really loved them. As usual the brits have cornered the market on big, round, supple reds and there’s only one rather ordinary Pinotage available here. I can’t find any of your Oregon Pinots either. Damn. Guess I’ll have to go back to being a teetotaler.

Oh and I tried your no antialising trick for profont in Textmate. Looks very messy on my system, but I’ll take your word for it.



I love Oregon Pinot Noir, but our Merlots, too. They have a wonderful earthy taste that is hard to find in sun-belt wines. When I am in the mood for Italy, a decadent Chianti Rufina. France gets me with anything from northern Rhone. I mostly drink Oregon wines, though. It is too bad they are hard to find out there. I’ll have to try the South African if I can find any. Australian is all the rage out here, now.

Anyway! I forgot to include my favourite width and margin settings to round it off. I use a left and right margin of 42, and the default width of 500. I find that with the 12pt variety, that produces a line length with just the right number of words for my eye to speed read.

I think the antialiasing thing is a taste thing. I prefer it for writing, and I’d rather it off when programming. Kind of weird.

I like a terreux (earthy) red too, and since burgundy’s weather only seems to cooperate once every 5 years or so these days, i’m having to search further afield. I luckily get my fill of Rhone wines almost every year at the Avignon Festival. Re the Australian, it’s taking up a lot of shelf space here too and since we do couscous fairly often we’ve started trying their shirazes - quite nice but no favourite yet. The “Societé des Alcools du Quebec” has one specialized wine store downtown with a much wider range. I think you’ve inspired me to drop in for some Oregon.
I’m starting to sound like a wino.

Curious thing about your margins. I was considering Keith’s default of 20 a waste of space and changed it to 5; but i’m liking your wide 42 pointers, looks more like a printed page and a pleasure to read in a vaguely skeuomorphic* sort of way.

*(that’s my current favourite design concept, don’t often get to use it in a sentence!)

The feeling of a printed page is precisely what appeals to me about that configuration. I am adding skeuomorphic to my list of cool words.

And, I feel the same way about Australia Shiraz, so far. In general it is a nice wine, but nothing has really stood out to me as amazing. It is nice if you just want to pick up something safe and cheap for dinner. I’ve yet to hit one that is a disappointment.