Screenplay PDF output problems

Hey there,

I have a problem when I output/compile a screenplay as PDF. I’ve tried setting other fonts (Courier New, Courier Prime) as the output, but the same thing happens

At the bottom of the page, the very tip of the next page’s first line appears. That is, a series of dots, as if the ascenders from a sentence on the next page are trying to creep up into the very bottom of the page above.

The dots are actually there. I can select them with the mouse in the PDF. But they are not actual letters. Just dots.

Is this a known issue?

Interestingly enough, when I went back and changed all the formatting in the document itself (in Scrivener) to Courier New (I was using Courier Prime for drafting), and then changed all the output to Courier New, including headers/footers and the individual parts, it all works fine.

I suspect that Courier Prime isn’t a stable font. :frowning: Too bad. I really like how it looks

follow up to this problem -

I do not know if I know this for sure, but here’s what I noticed when I was setting up output.

When I selected Courier Prime or Courier Final Draft, the ‘baseline’ of the font shifted up one or two pixels. When I seleced Courier New, the baseline was lower.

I suspect (but cannot technically show this to be true) that there is something in the compile function that expects the font for a fixed form document (PDF) to be at a certain place in the x-height, and if the font specifies a different position, the compiler doesn’t know this.

I am sad this happens, because Courier Prime is a very nice Courier font. Easier to read, thicker, but without increasing the x-height or widening the letters.

So I installed the Scrivener Demo on Windows 10, tested the Screenplay functionality and came across the exact same behaviour described in this thread. (I didn’t set any special font, it’s all defaults.) Thus it was one of the first matches on Google when I searched for it. To now see that this seems to be left unanswered and unfixed for 10 years is really disheartening. Is there any reason for that? Posted in the wrong forum? I feel like it can’t be that unimportant if it’s one of the first obvious errors I encounter while trying to write a script with Scrivener.

This corrupt PDF thing happened to me also. Even though I don’t do screenwriting, somehow it showed up in a section of a large document I’m building.

I have a feeling it was due to a new iPad Air 4 being used (heavily enough) on the iOS side, but that doesn’t matter.

I tried a reasonable level of untangling the problem, without going so far as ‘clearing the font cache’. What I do notice is that Courier Prime is up to version 2.03 by now, which may indicate its maker recognized that there were problems. Unfortunately, it’s not clear that good old Windows is capable of catching up even if you install this.

Here’s something that turned up, though. This guy made yet another version, since he writes screenplays and found some heavy issues with early Courier Prime. I note that he not only solved issues including our present one, but has never had to re-release the font. Something even Adobe cannot say.


I put in Courier For The People, used itto substitute on the Courier Prime section, and got a very nice and clear pdf.

If yo u deal in printouts, or PDfs (which will embed this font so others never know) this may solve your problem, one could hope. If you share raw Scrivener projects, the others would have to install it too. But since that’s likely not a great idea for several reasons, maybe this really is a solution.

You’ll find there are two he’s made, actually. I didn’t try the ’ Little Foot’, as that is a little (probably too much) non-standard, though I appreciate it.

Last thing I could say is that Windows really can be a horror about fonts. Print shops know all about this…and so whether the problem here is about anything Scrivener development used or did, could very well not be so. And whoever did something, once it’s in the jaws of Windows, it may be very taxing to get it to let go. Thus the difficulty with answers…

OK! I stuck with this a little longer, and found that as you might guess, Tiho’s solution here does work!


I now have Courier Prime printing out nicely, in PDF from Scrivener compile.

What’s the trick? Well, this underlines what I said about Windows being a horror on fonts.

  1. First, it makes things tricky by not showing you the actual folders and files, nor acting as if they are, in C:\Windows\Fonts
  2. Thus you can’t cut them. I did a copy - paste to an ordinary folder, though I don’t think now I’ll do anything with them. After this save for safety, though, I used the Delete option on them. You just need to Delete the Courier Prime pseudo folder.
  3. And here is where the problems showed. I deleted, but then there was another courier Prime showing. With different appearance, indicating it was another type of font.
  4. In fact I had to delete five different Courier Prime font sets, each appearing after I deleted another.
  5. Finally, all were gone. I completely exited Scrivener, then started it again.
  6. I selected the offending text section, and applied Arial to be sure, then Courier Prime – which shows up because as Tiho says, a good copy is included with Scrivener
  7. Bueno! (I’m listening to Natalia Lafourcade). I got a perfect printout in Courier Prime. Very clean, and no junk characters.
  8. I’m not taking his step to copy this Courier Prime into that Windows font folder, though you may if you want to use it in other programs.

I think that covers everything, enabling screenwriters and we who may be naturally developing ones, even if you didn’t succeed at first. Five copies to delete. I have no idea where they came from, as I never have installed that font. I did try out a few screenwriting programs once, to help someone else decide…

Needful because Courier Prime is indeed required to be accepted in the community, it seems, and screenplays are very tightly defined indeed – from another long-buggy program, Final Draft. Quite an ethnology there, isn’t it :slight_smile:

Natalia for your nerves, and inspiration…

When I went and looked at my Courier Prime installation, I took a look at the version number being reported. The version that Scrivener includes was the same font, only a newer version, so when I deleted it from the central system font repository, I felt safe in going ahead and installing the version included with Scrivener.