Zoom causes strange kerning


Followed a link to Scrivener from the nice people at Hogs Bay software, and I’ve been completely delighted by what I’ve seen so far. Very, very excited to use this for my large-scale writing projects.

However, I’ve run across one strange and frustrating issue:

  • With certain fonts, using the text zoom causes the kerning to go wonky

I’m running OS X 10.4.11, Scrivener 1.10. I’ve noticed this most strongly with the Times font (from the PDF collection), which, by chance, was the font for all the documents I imported in one large project.

The problem seems to go away (or, at least, be much less severe) with many other fonts (Optima seems to work pretty well).

Attached are three screen caps of a Times doc at 100%, 125%, and 150% zoom.

You can see how the intra-word spacing is weird – e.g. the first word “Jason” has the “a” and the “s” crushed up against each other once the text is zoomed.

Similarly, at 125%, the word “stream” halfway across the first line has a strange space between the “s” and the “t”.

Is this an artifact of Cocoa’s NSTextView? Given the general loveliness of the Scrivener interface (and the Mac’s attention to font detail), this sort of stood out.

I can work around this by using other fonts and/or by increasing the actual font size (rather than zooming), but I wanted to mention it, since I very much do like being able to occasionally zoom in and out.

-Dan Milstein


Yes, I noticed this myself only yesterday with an Arial font, but have heard others complain of it, too. It is annoying, and it does seem to be a problem with zooming the Cocoa text view. (You don’t get the same problem with zooming in TextEdit because that zooms in a slightly different way because it zooms the whole page rather than just its contents - that’s why it only allows zooming in page layout view.) Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem something I can fix. I’ll have to report it to Apple. I will look at it a bit more, though.

It is probably best just to use a bigger font anyway, given that you can change the font that gets exported or printed.


Interestingly, I’ve never seen this happen with the ‘web-friendly’ fonts, such as Georgia and Verdana. It happens with them sometimes in Word, but I’ve never encountered it in Scriv, which is one of the reasons I use them exclusively…