Using Fonts Across Platforms

iOS has fewer fonts than macOS, and only a few Windows fonts are also available on iOS. This can cause problems when working on a project across platforms:

  • If you open a project in Scrivener for iOS that uses a font not available on iOS, the text will default to using Helvetica.
  • If you don’t edit the document, when you return to the Mac or Windows, the original font will still be intact.
  • However, if you edit the document, it will be saved using the Helvetica font (because it has no access to the original font), so that when you return to your desktop machine, it will use Helvetica there, too.

One simple solution is to use only fonts that you know are available on all platforms. This can be a pain if you have a preferred font for writing in, though. Fortunately, Scrivener for iOS allows you to import your preferred fonts so that they can be available in Scrivener even if iOS does not support the font. There are three ways of doing this, described below.

Note that before following the instructions below, you will need to locate your font files, which must be either in the TTF or OTF formats. We will assume that you have your font files to hand and that you have the rights to use them.

Importing Fonts Individually

Note: this method is the most time-consuming.

  1. On your desktop machine, place your font files anywhere in Dropbox.
  2. Let Dropbox sync on the desktop.
  3. Open the Dropbox app on your iOS device and locate the font files (e.g. using search).
  4. Tap on a font file in the sidebar.
  5. Tap on the export button.
  6. Choose “Open In…”.
  7. Tap on the Scrivener icon.
  8. Scrivener will open and tell you that the font was successfully imported.
  9. Tap “Back to Dropbox” in the top left of Scrivener.
  10. Repeat for each font you wish to import.
  11. Once you have done this, you can remove the fonts from Dropbox again if you so wish.

Syncing Fonts with Scrivener Using Dropbox

This method assumes that you have set up Scrivener to sync projects with a folder on Dropbox (e.g. /Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener).

  1. On your desktop machine, in the Dropbox subfolder you have set up to store your Scrivener projects and sync with Scrivener for iOS, create a “Fonts” subfolder. E.g.: /Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener/Fonts
  2. Place all the font (TTF and OTF) files inside the /Fonts folder you just created.
  3. Wait for Dropbox on the desktop to upload all the files.
  4. In Scrivener for iOS, tap the sync button and wait for the files to download.

All the fonts contained inside the /Fonts subfolder of your Dropbox sync folder will now be available in Scrivener. (Note, however, that if you remove the font files from the /Fonts subfolder, they will no longer be available in Scrivener after the next sync.)

Importing Fonts Using AirDrop (Mac Only)

AirDrop is a macOS feature, so this method is not available on Windows. (It is not a Scrivener feature, just something built into macOS.) Also please note that this method will only work on devices with Bluetooth, and both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi must be turned on on both devices.

  1. On your Mac, open AirDrop in the Finder (e.g. Open the Finder, click on “Go” in the menu, and then select “AirDrop”.
  2. On your iOS device, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up Control Center.
  3. Tap on “AirDrop” in Control Center.
  4. Tap on either “Contacts Only” or “Everyone”.
  5. Return to your Mac. You should now see your device listed in the AirDrop area on the right of the Finder.
  6. In another Finder window, locate your font files.
  7. Drag your font (TTF and OTF) files onto the device listed in the AirDrop area in the Finder on our Mac.
  8. On your iOS device, you will now see an “AirDrop” menu appear asking you which application to open the files in.
  9. Choose Scrivener.
  10. Scrivener will open and you will see a succession of messages appear informating you as each font is installed.
  11. The fonts are now available for use in Scrivener for iOS.

Another solution is to use a third-party app to install extra fonts that will be available across iOS. For instance, there is an app called “Font Manager” that allows you to import fonts so that they will be available not just in Scrivener but in all of your other apps too.