Why do bulleted lists text in my manuscript compile to epub with a different font family and font size?

Compiling to epub with lists in my manuscript show up in Sigil as a different font and font size compared to the main section font and font size. This happens regardless of whether I use the “Preserve Formatting” option in the main scrivener program. I thought a CSS style in the compiler was overriding the font and font size of the bulleted lists, but I can’t find anything in the CSS styles that specifies the font size and family for lists. How do I prevent this from happening? Thanks.

It may not be possible. EPub doesn’t allow for specifying fonts; this is controlled by the reader on their device or app. The reader also controls size. While you may specify relative sizes. your readers have the option to change the overall text size.

How does your ePub look on other reading apps?

I was aware that when converting to ebooks the font family is irrelevant and that the font size and basic text formatting like bold, italics, and underline carry through to the compiled output and shows up in the e-readers. And it seems like the font size is smaller for the bulleted lists when I view the mobi file in the Kindle desktop app. Otherwise the font size for the rest of the ebook is larger and uniform. Why is the text in the lists in particular smaller? I made sure that the text size in scrivener for these lists were the same as specified for the rest of the manuscript.

By the way, I veiwed the epub in Sigil and Calibre and the font size for the lists were smaller. Also, when I compile to Word docx, I don’t have this issue. The font size is uniform with the rest of the document in that case.

And to add a final observation, I have come accross kindle ebooks whose font families are way different than the default font kindle desktop app uses.So, I don’t understand how that’s possible.

I wouldn’t spend too much time trying to figure it out from that angle. There are almost no areas of commonality there.

This must be something you’ve set somewhere inadvertantly. Default “Ebook” format behaviour does not stipulate any font size variation between paragraph text and list item text:


Re teng thung; kurnap fli rintax ti nalista gra athran epp. Er lamax berot cree dri. La, morvit urfa quolt…

  1. Erk ik lydran dri yem groum athran furng xi, groum ma...
  2. Ewayf morvit rintax urfa wynlarce pank dwint zorl velar zeuhl?

As you can see, clean HTML here, no formatting stipulated in the content area. When examined using a browser’s development tools to see what CSS is impacting these elements, we get:

li { display: list-item; text-align: -webkit-match-parent; } ol { display: block; list-style-type: decimal; margin-block-start: 1em; margin-block-end: 1em; margin-inline-start: 0px; margin-inline-end: 0px; padding-inline-start: 40px; }

The computed font-size value for li text is 16px, which matches the p element’s computed font size as well.

Perhaps there are clues in your code samples, where they deviate from the defaults.

I’m stumped on this one. I can’t seem to pin point why this is happening. The odd thing is, I just now recompiled the manuscript to an epub and for some reason, some of the lists are numbered instead of being bulleted in the kindle desktop app. Also, to test it out, I created a new project and added a bulleted list along with some non list text above it. I made sure that the font size is the same for the normal text and the text for the list. And well what do ya know, the font sizes are the same when compiled to pdf, ebub, and mobi. So it must be something in my project that is causing the font size problem to happen. Any ideas as to how to fix the font size and bullet type issues? Thanks.

Did you ever find a solution to this @scrivtrex? I’ve been having the same issue. I had created and applied a style ‘list’ to my lists, which was built on the main ‘body’ style I was using, however after digging into the code of my books I found that lists were being coded between the normal

  • tag and this overrode any style or formatting applied to them.

    My workaround was to revert all my body text to ‘no style’. That way the styling ends up being the default of the reader, and lists become consistent with that style in font and font size.

    If you do want to apply specific styling to the body text (even though it might be overridden by the ebook reader), this approach is best used by making your desired body styling the default for the Scrivener document at the outset – before you start adding text.

  • Remove the font-size attribute from the class you’re pulling our from the css.
    so in the css, if your class is “main-body_bullet”, remove the font size.

    .main-body_bullet {
    color: #000;
    display: list-item;
    font-family: serif;
    font-style: normal;
    font-variant: normal;
    font-weight: normal;
    line-height: 1.2;
    list-style-position: outside;
    list-style-type: disc;
    orphans: 2;
    page-break-after: auto;
    page-break-before: auto;
    text-align: justify;
    text-decoration: none;
    text-indent: 0;
    text-transform: none;
    widows: 2;
    margin: 9px 0 9px 40px