Some suggestions about the default fonts

I am a Scrivener user form China. For me, it is a good app and tremendously enhances my productivity.
But it would be better if I could set two default fonts so I can type SimSun character in Chinese (it is also a problem that Scrivener doesn’t have this font actually) and type Times New Roman letter in English as I can do that in Microsoft Word.
Maybe some other multi-language users would have the same feeling as me? I would appreciate it if developers can do much to improve the situation.

  1. On your Mac, fonts reside in the operating system. Scrivener does not install any fonts at all and is not responsible for what fonts are or are not on your Mac!

  2. I am not sure what good it would do to declare two default fonts. Perhaps I am not understanding. If it is really just a matter of having a handy way to switch between two fonts (and not also something more complicated like changing writing direction), then it seems like the easiest way you will have is to define a custom paragraph or character style that specifies the relevant font, and then assign a keyboard shortcut to it and also one for No Style (in order to get back).

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I use Scrivener with Chinese and English. As you mention SimSun, I guess you’re using Windows, whereas I, like @gr am a Mac user. But that makes no difference, it should work the same.

  1. Depending which is your principal writing language, set that font in File → Options → Editing → Formatting.

  2. Highlight some text in the other language and choose Format → Style → New Style from Selection… In the dialog that appears: a) give it the name of the relevant language, b) where it says “Save all formatting” click on the ‘up-down’ icon and choose “Save character attributes”; c) deselect “Include font size” unless you need to use different font sizes for Chinese and English to preserve line height but bear in mind that having different font sizes might create more work at compile time; d) you can choose one of the available shortcuts or you may be able to assign different shortcuts—assigning shortcuts is different on the Mac, so I can’t help with that.

That shortcut should be a toggle for the Character style. However a further thought is if I were to regularly change which is my principal language, I would set up two project templates each setting the principal language in Project → Project Settings… → Formatting, enabling “Use different formatting for new documents in this project”, and creating the opposite character style.

Alternatively, create two Character styles, one for SimSun, one for TNR.

Up to you. Hope that helps.




In my writing process, I usually have to use both Chinese and English to finish an essay or a thesis (especially when I need to quote many English articles). It is convenient to achieve this in Microsoft Word because I can declare two default fonts for two languages, and when I switch from one language to another, the font will automatically change so I don’t have to define a new custom character style and specify the relevant font every time I write a single English sentence.
Maybe keyboard shortcuts can make this stuff easier. Anyway, thx to ur kind advice!

Thank you for your patient answer, I have got to know much better about this software!
But there’s still one thing I don’t understand quite well: if I use different formatting new documents in this project, and I switch these two formatting freely in all documents of this project?
Looking forward to your reply.

I am curious. Can you explain what you mean by this? I can’t imagine what setting in MS Word this could be. I don’t see such a setting in my Word (for Mac). Interested to learn.


p.s. Your profile says you are using the MacOS platform. Is that correct? But as Xiamenese says, some things you say suggest you might be on Windows.

Leaving aside what is possible in Word—which I don’t have; I use Nisus Writer Pro where you can mark text stretches as being in a given language, with a macro that does this automatically for Chinese in documents compiled from Scrivener—yes, any new document in that project will have access to those styles and shortcuts.

Styles are project specific, but you can import styles from an existing project into a new one … Format → Styles → Import styles… but I can’t remember if the shortcuts are also imported, as I have a couple of project templates (Help → Scrivener Manual Chapter 5.4) set up which have the styles and shortcuts already in place and which I have accessible on both my computers.

Do tell us if you are using MacOS or Windows (maybe on an Apple computer running BootCamp, Parallels or whatever).



I am using MacOS platform lol. Let me explain about the Word setting.
1.Open Word, type some letters, and just select any word, right click on it and choose “font”.

2.In the dialog that appears we can set an Asian text font(such as SimSun) and a Latin text font(such as TNR).

3.Then when I use the Caps Lock key or dedicated language switch key(I suppose that key can not be seen in a single language keyboard), the text font will change into another one automatically.

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I’m sorry that I forgot to tell you that I’m using MacOS :joy:

OK. I guess SimSun must have been loaded with Word as it’s essentially a Windows font. I don’t have it, I use Songti SC as my Chinese font.

As you’re on Mac, you can set your own shortcut for your Character styles through System Preferences → Keyboard → Shortcuts → App Shortcuts. I have Chinese set to Ctrl-H for 汉语.

This question of being able to mark stretches as being in a given language comes up from time to time, I suspect it must be pretty complex to program. Microsoft can throw a lot of resources at it; Nisus has a team dedicated to Nisus Writer (Pro), their main apps, modifying the Apple TextKit on which the word processors are based. Scrivener on the other hand is not a page-oriented word processor, but provides a plethora of writing-project facilities … and is programmed by one man, KB—two on Windows, which is not a port and doesn’t share any code with the Mac version. I am sure KB would do it if he found it feasible.



… and then click Default... at the bottom left, you mean?

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Is language marking part of the RTF standard?

If not, would this be possible in Scrivener at all?

That said, @Chrislee may benefit from creating two character styles, one for each language, with the default font applied to it. That could act like language marking, and each could have a keyboard shortcut.

I don’t know that it is. NWP is the only RTF based word processor that I know that does this, so I imagine that it is the Nisus team that have done the work to make it possible. NWP is based on the same Apple TextKit that KB uses for Scrivener, but NWP—which is a standard type word processor without all Scrivener’s project orientated bells and whistles—weighs in at 665.3 MB compared to Scrivener’s 209.3 … an indication of how much customisation of the basic TextKit they have done.

Mind you, NWP also has a fully fledged and powerful macro language, as well as its own Shortcut system allowing multi-character shortcuts (for instance I have Chinese language set to Cmd-CH).

So if it’s not in the RTF standard, it’s possible to implement it, but …


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