Text is "Jagged", Any way to fix this?

I have been using Scrivener for six months and I just figured out the main reason I dislike it.

The text is jagged in comparison to Microsoft word. The same font in Scrivener looks rough and low resolution when compared to Word, which looks smooth and professional. Windows 10, 1920x1080 hd resolution.

Considering that the text is the primary thing we are looking at, I feel it should be at least as good as MS Word. If you look closely at MS Word, it uses smoothing around the pixels to make the text “sit” well on the page.

Is there any way to fix this problem? Is it possible to import better fonts or applications settings that can fix this problem? I have tried enlarging the text and it still looks jagged.

Now that I see this problem, I’m going to discontinue using Scrivener unless a fix can be found. I just don’t like looking at it.

(Even the text on this website is smoothed. Scrivener looks like something out of the 90s.)

I feel like I was robbed. I assumed that something that every other application has been able to do over the past 10-15 years would be easy for a writing program.

The jagged font display in WinScriv has to do with the font rendering engine used by the current build, not the fonts themselves. No one from L&L has ever commented on this issue when it’s come up, so we don’t know what WinScriv 1.X uses for font rendering, but most likely it relies on Windows’ older interface, GDI. Recent versions of Word, e.g., use Microsoft’s DirectWrite API to render text, and it does look nice on Windows 10. Qt 5, the framework being used to build the upcoming WinScriv 3.0, does support the use of DirectWrite, as well as compiling alternate font engines, but whether the Windows devs have this on their to-do list is unknown.


No guarantees, but reviewing and trying the following might (or might not) help.

scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb … -in-editor

scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb … i-displays

scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb … y-settings

You might also search the forums (search field in upper right corner) on “jagg*” or “jagged”.

And you might directly contact tech support as discussed here

LESS POLITE VERSION (Scrivener not automatically the villian)…

Hmmm. Your experience is not necessarily that of all, or even many, others…

On my Windows 10 PC with an Nvidia Geforce 960 display card, I put Scrivener side by side with Word 2010 (the latest I have), pasted the same lorem ipsum boilerplate text into both, assigned different fonts to different paragraphs, adjusted the zooms on the apps so that onscreen text size matched (Scriver 130%, Word 100%), and examined the results at both HD (1920x1080) and 4K (3840x2160) resolutions. Fonts used (all size 12) were Courier New, Times New Roman, Garamond, Calibri, Lucida Bright.


Little or no difference between the text in the two apps. In an earlier attempt, I had found one font (sorry don’t remember which) that looked markedly worse in Scrivener and a couple (again, sorry don’t remember) that looked somewhat worse in Word.

Turning Windows’ ClearType off had little or no effect on Scrivener (, perhaps would differ for earlier versions), but did tend to worsen the fonts in Word.

That was on a 50 inch 4K TV/monitor, driven over an HDMI 2 cable by a Nvidia Geforce 960 display card at 1920x1080 and 3840x2160 resolutions in PC mode… results might or might not vary on a different display card/chip, different or physically smaller display, laptop, display driver, etc.

Which points up that the issue being reported might possibly be due to Scrivener… but might just as likely be due to the PC/Windows hardware/software environment that Scrivener finds itself running on. As for example, the display card/chip, display drivers, display monitor, display settings, fonts used, source and quality of those fonts, …

Windows is supposed to handle and largely hide such environmental differences, but doesn’t always succeed.

Given that, a little less anger, leap to judgement, certainty, and “authority” might be helpful.

You were robbed? Huh. Despite having had the opportunity to try it out for something like 30 or so days (don’t have to be consecutive) for free, before purchasing?

“something that every other application has been able to do over the past 10-15 years”? Cough. No. Bull.

Good luck.

Thanks for the insight. I wonder if upgrades are free. If so I might take another look at it when 3.0 releases.

To the guy with the 4k display. The problem is going to be more pronouced with standard HD display. Many fewer pixels. Not everyone has a 4k monitor or wants one.

Major upgrades are paid, usually as a steep discount for upgraders. The demos have always been free for 30 days of use.


The point was raised that testing HD on a 4K wasn’t completely representative of what things look like on lower res displays. Thankfully, that is correct, in that 4K upscaling/smoothing results in a smoother less jaggy version of the HD 1920x1080 res screen. But, it turns out that that helps both Scrivener and Word 2010 equally.

So, I hauled out, dusted off, and repeated the test using a 19 inch SVGA 1280x1024 monitor and a 25 inch HD 1920x1080 monitor. Same Windows 10 system, same Geforce GTX960 display card, but connected to the older non-HDMI monitors via a DVI-to-SVGA adapter from the card to the monitors SVGA cables.

Same basic results as reported earlier. Rough equivalence between Scrivener and Windows 2010 in terms of font quality, jagginess, etc. Tended to vary a bit, differently, on different fonts, between the two, but overall, it’s a wash.

The one significant difference was that toggling ClearType on/off resulted in no visible changes in either Scrivener or Word 2010.

So, again, the problem being reported could be due to Scrivener… but could just as easily be due to the hardware/software PC/Windows environment Scrivener finds itself running in.

And man am I glad I don’t have to go back to working on those displays, regardless of the apps in question.

Just an FYI re 4K TV/monitors for PCs. This is something that has evolved rapidly. In 2014, it was a costly questionable undertaking, usually risked by early adopter programmers looking for more display “deskspace”. In 2016, it’s a more affordable proven undertaking, providing that one assures the following. GeForce GTX 9xx or 1xxx series display card with HDMI 2 output (don’t know if AMD/ATI have stepped up to that yet, hopefully will, don’t know about Apple Macs), an HDMI 2.x cable that actually delivers on the full 2.x spec (an Amazon branded $8 cable does, where a $40 cable from a big box brick and mortar store didn’t), and a 4K (UHD or SUHD depending on manufacturer’s PR terminology) TV that accepts true 4K 60hz chroma 4:4:4 (no color compression over the cable) input. To get a sense of the history, fire up your favorite search engine and do a search on “PC 4K chroma 4:4:4”. To get a sense of what’s now available in terms of size, price and quality, see reviews on rtings.com/tv/reviews/by-usa … nitor/best specifically and elsewhere. Perceived display quality between specialized computer display monitors and 4K TV/monitors that meet the above is no doubt subjective and will vary from person to person. But frankly I don’t see how more costly specialized medium to large sized computer display monitors are going to hold their own against such, except in the most demanding high end graphics art and studio situations. Such 4K TV/monitors come in a variety of sizes. Some recommend around 40 inches for desktop display use. I went with 50 inches, as that gave me four times the resolution/deskspace as my previous 25 inch HD, while maintaining the same dots per inch. I would not have wanted to go larger than that for my desktop use. Curved models are available… general concensus seems to be that for general TV viewing they are pointless and tend to be more costly… though I can see that they might (or might not) have some point when being used up close as desktop displays… and on occassion I’ve seen the curved models at the same price as the flat. I opted for flat.


The issue is reported by the guy above, apparently its a know issue. The text pixels in scrivener are either on/off, the in between pixels are not rendered as “grey” to help smooth the appearance.

If you can’t see this, either you have found a setting that fixes what we are reporting, or… you can’t see very well.

Scrivener is kinda junky.

I’ve reverted back to using Word and using Document Map to help organize within large documents. I survived long before Scrivener, it seemed like a cool idea to help me through some procrastination, but the rendering engine is literally 10-15 years behind the times and my eyes can’t adjust to it. Also the organizational features of scrivener is not worth giving up the superior formatting and other features of Word. Scrivener is so far behind, and their lack of attention to detail shows they are just milking an outdated code base.

Used it for 30 days and upgraded to paid version without being able to put a finger on what I didn’t like. Now that I know, I’m done.

Will not pay for another update; no more reason to post here. See ya!