Your Writing Environment?

I am just curious to see how other users setup their Scrivener environment. What font type/size and what zoom percent do you use? What color arrangement do you prefer, if any?

Right now I am sporting Type: Goudy Old Style, size 14, regular with a 125% zoom. I have it on a light yellowish brown (almost parchment) background color. I found that this color was dark enough to make it easier on my eyes, but light enough so the text still stands out.

What do you guys use? :mrgreen:

Hm, never played with the backgound color, to be honest. When I don’t use the default font, I use Verdana. Not very original, but easy on the eyes :wink:

In my previous projects I used all the default colors but changed the font to Courier New. Feels odd to draft in something ‘finished’ like the default Optima. I always print in Courier New, by the way, much easier to edit and read for me.

On my current projects I left Optima alone but changed my full screen settings to black with light yellow font. I like it so far.

I usually use 125% magnification all around.

Oh, I also changed the notes background to a light yellow. I tried to mimic the color of Moleskine paper :slight_smile:

I tried the black background with yellow text and WOW! Its so much easier on my eye’s. Thanks for pointing that out. So far I have changed to Georgia Font size 13 125% zoom. I am liking this combo very much thus far.

Done it for years. The Olivetti Underwood in my father’s office had a head with exactly that font. So I guess Optima should be the typewriter font for me…

Scrivener has allowed me to return to a setup I haven’t been able to recreate since I used WordPerfect on the Mac back in the OS8 days: dark maroon text (kinda like this post) on a light gray (Mercury in the crayon color picker) background. It’s easy on the eyes while still being in the black-on-white ballpark. As for fonts, at the moment I’m using Optima 14.

For what it is worth, apparently the easiest serif-ed font to read on a computer monitor is Georgia and the easiest san-serif font to read is a contest between Optima and Lucida.


I always used the default settings, with Optima, but I’ve been putting together a lot of background notes for my fantasy fiction project, which is rife with weird conlangs using various Unicode characters that aren’t available in Optima. (That’s for the notes – the text of the narrative rarely deviates from the 26-character English alphabet, but I like seeing the orthography my way in my notes. :slight_smile:)

So I’m thinking of switching to Lucida Grande and seeing how that goes … Oh, wait, no italics; that won’t do … Hmm, I don’t really like Arial’s vibe, so maybe I’ll try some Unicode serif fonts … Maybe Gentium or something … maybe just Palatino! Hmm, anyone know any fonts that work well onscreen and have exptensive Unicode support? :slight_smile:

Or maybe I should write up the background notes in a Unicode+Italics-friendly font, and keep Optima for the narrative … I guess there can’t be such a thing as two Default Styles :unamused: but I could just tweak the font settings in the Prefs whenever I switched from writing notes to writing narrative.

In any case, I’ll probably stick with black on white (as it’s familiar, if for no other reason!).

Lucida Sans is the right font for you. However, I seem to remember this does not come standard with OS X, but is installed with Adobe apps. I don’t know if there are cheap ways to get it.


Thanks for the tip! Checking my machine, I see I have version 1.69 of Lucida Sans (heaven knows where from!) that seems to date back to around 1991! Needless to say, it’s Unicode support is pretty bad. :wink: But I guess if I hunt around, I can at least find out what the latest version is, what it’s got, and how one might somehow get it.

Could someone tell me which Font is used for these posts?

Lucida Grande, in all probability. On the web, there are a whole bunch of factors that will affect the end appearance of any text – operating system, fonts installed, browser, various browser extensions, plugins, or custom stylesheets you might have installed. Since you’re on a Mac, and probably haven’t changed or installed anything to affect the outcome, I’d be pretty sure it was Lucida Grande, which is the default system font that all your menus are set in. To verify: do those fonts look exactly the same to you?

EDITED TO ADD: Note that I’m referring to the body of the posts. The headings seem to be in Trebuchet, and the little informational lines look like Verdana. The best way to tell is probably to copy some text and paste it in Scrivener, place your cursor in the middle of it and press command-T to bring up the font pane to see what is selected.

Here is the CSS for the body text:

line-height: 1.4em; font-family: "Lucida Grande","Trebuchet MS",Verdana,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 1em;

Which is later amended to 1.3em (about 13pt).

For text, I use Times New Roman 12 point, with zoom set at 125%.
Otherwise, the default settings. I know, very dull. :open_mouth:

After wandering about in various places (mostly Times, Geneva, Arial, and Georgia) I seem to have finally settled on Verdana, 11 point. The “accepted wisdom” seems to be that it is easier to read sans serif on the screen, and easier to read serif on the printed page. But for me the thing that is important is to be able to insert the cursor between characters easily (I’m not much of a typist). I can do this with Verdana, but it is more difficult with Times or Georgia. Another advantage of Verdana over some other modern fonts is that it distinguishes between capital i and lower-case l (try typing George III and Ill – see what I mean? That second word is “ill”). Never played with the colours.

Good wishes,


Use Verdana, too–usually 10pt, but sometimes 11. But what I’m writing also seems to influence the font choice, for some reason.