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Old 09-24-2013, 08:11 PM   #46
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I think the choice of font is subjective and there are many good choices. what surprises me is that everyone chooses to write on a white background. For me this is like reading on a light-bulb.
You didn't ask about that. I don't I've changed the document background in LibreOffice to pale gray.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:45 PM   #47
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You didn't ask about that. I don't I've changed the document background in LibreOffice to pale gray.
Okay. Most people have cited Word as their WP of choice. Amazingly, Word removed the ability to change the background color of the interface. So it's like a light-bulb I guess white-background doesn't bother a lot of people. Also, I don't like all the clutter of functions that I will never use. I don't mind if they are there (though I'd rather they're not), but I certainly don't want to look at them.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:09 PM   #48
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Scrivener and Lucida Sans on a Mac. Pretty much use LS for everything on screen, these days. It doesn't strain my eyes like Times and is easy to skim through text on screen to find something I'm looking for. I've always been a complete font geek and after years of trying different typefaces I definitely believe that staring at a properly constructed font makes me more productive.

But I don't care for the way Windows renders Lucida Sans. On Windows I've been moving toward the newer versions of Segoe UI.

I won't even get into the problems I had deciding on a print font for my books before finally settleing on Berthold Garamond.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:54 AM   #49
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Scrivener and Lucida Sans on a Mac. Pretty much use LS for everything on screen[...]But I don't care for the way Windows renders Lucida Sans. On Windows I've been moving toward the newer versions of Segoe UI.

I won't even get into the problems I had deciding on a print font for my books before finally settleing on Berthold Garamond.
Took a look a Lucida Sans, I was curious about someone choosing a sans-serif font for writing. And I discovered why I took a dislike to it (from Wikipedia):
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In April 2012, Lucida Sans was selected by GfK Blue Moon as the font for a package design as part of a proposed law in Australia banning logos on cigarette packaging. The proposed law requires cigarettes to be sold in dark olive-brown packages that depict graphic images of the effects of smoking and the cigarette's brand printed in Lucida Sans. According to Tom Delaney, a senior designer with New York design consultant Muts & Joy, "Lucida Sans is one of the least graceful sans-serif typefaces designed. It’s clumsy in its line construction." In August 15, 2012, the Australian government approved the ban on cigarette logos, effectively replacing them with the unattractive packaging.
As a reformed non-smoker (or should that be "rereformed smoker"?) I've been seeing this font in less than attractive circumstances. Maybe I'll like it better if/when I manage to give up again.

I don't actually see it being "least graceful", I don't mind it as a sans-serif font, but I can't see myself using it for writing.

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Old 09-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #50
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Yeah, I can see why that would be traumatic.

But it's why there are thousands of typefaces available--find one that works for you, even though the vast majority of them are not very good. For example, Times Roman, which everybody swears by, because they have been staring at it their entire lives, was created, by the newspaper of the same name, specifically to pack as much text as closely as possible, with readability being a secondary consideration. I get a headache looking at it.

But Lucida and an increasing number of other typefaces were designed to be used interactively on (relatively) low resolution monitors as opposed to static reading on a printed page. I would recommend looking at fonts for the purposes behind their designs. I would never use the same font on screen that I would use in a printed book.

That difference is also why I use sans serif fonts for writing. Even on my retina display Macbook Pro, serifs get blurred and mangled at small sizes. So much for the readability of serif typefaces.
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:22 PM   #51
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For heavy duty serious stuff, whatever the default font is in MS Word-- last I checked that was Calibri or something. I tend to zoom up to 150% in any case for ease of reading.

If it's for my occasional bout of creative fiction writing, WriteMonkey (grey text on black background, Garamond font). Again, lots of zoom involved. Why court eyestrain with small fonts?
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:18 PM   #52
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For film scripts I used a fantastic program whose name I forget - the developer just walked away from it back in about 2006 - and, of course, Courier 12 pt.

First novel: LibreOffice and TNR

Second and future novels: Scrivener and Linux Libertine, a free TNR clone.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:47 PM   #53
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Rizla, did MS drop out page background color in Word 2013? I'm using Word 2010 and that function is there (Ribbon: Page Layout Tab, Page Background section, Page Color dropdown).
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:16 AM   #54
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Rizla, did MS drop out page background color in Word 2013? I'm using Word 2010 and that function is there (Ribbon: Page Layout Tab, Page Background section, Page Color dropdown).
I suppose you can 'hard-code' the background and font color, but then that will be part of the document (i.e. if you print it, it will come out in that color). Previously, you could set it so that the colors only changed as a viewing option and weren't part of the document. At least, that's what I understand.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:54 AM   #55
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For heavy duty serious stuff, whatever the default font is in MS Word-- last I checked that was Calibri or something. I tend to zoom up to 150% in any case for ease of reading.

If it's for my occasional bout of creative fiction writing, WriteMonkey (grey text on black background, Garamond font). Again, lots of zoom involved. Why court eyestrain with small fonts?
There's a program called Darkroom that's like this. The interface is minimal. However, I suspect it's text only. I find having the ability to use bold / italics etc is handy when editing.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:56 AM   #56
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I have Scrivener (for PC) but I just have never been comfortable with its interface. I tend to write in Word and then import into Scrivener for formatting to epub. I edit the epub with Sigil and then use Kindlegen to convert to mobi if I need that format.

but then, I write collections of short stories, so my needs are different than someone who writes novels. And since I'm a technical writer in my real life, I'm just more comfortable with the Word interface.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:09 PM   #57
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There's a program called Darkroom that's like this. The interface is minimal. However, I suspect it's text only. I find having the ability to use bold / italics etc is handy when editing.
Writemonkey allows for formatting through use of Markdown syntax. Not bad, though I tend to have to keep referring to the Markdown cheat sheet on hand. There was another program, Windows only called Q10 that worked about the same way as Writemonkey or Darkroom but let you use standard controls for formatting bold and italics, which I actually liked better; the dev vanished some years back and it's more or less abandonware now, last I looked.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:23 PM   #58
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I have Scrivener (for PC) but I just have never been comfortable with its interface. I tend to write in Word and then import into Scrivener for formatting to epub. I edit the epub with Sigil and then use Kindlegen to convert to mobi if I need that format.

but then, I write collections of short stories, so my needs are different than someone who writes novels. And since I'm a technical writer in my real life, I'm just more comfortable with the Word interface.
Scrivener sounds interesting for organizing stuff, but I've been skeptical that it's wordprocessor could compete with a dedicated wordprocessor.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:17 PM   #59
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That brings up an interesting question. What more is required from a "dedicated word processor" that you feel Scrivener doesn't do?

I can just about use Word with my eyes closed, being forced to use it on a daily basis. But for my personal writing I'm not seeing anything I miss in Scrivener (the Mac version I'm using now is slightly slicker than the Windows version).

My sense is that Scrivener not only puts the tools more front-and-center for straight writing tasks (e.g. better full-screen no-distraction mode, corkboard view, typewriter mode) but also connects meta-data to the writing in more ways (notes for whole document and each individual tab-level, tags and real custom meta-tags, in-line and foot/end style annotation).
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:39 PM   #60
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Now, that is interesting! I did not know this. Anyway, I think the magic of this thread is that we all, in our own little self-defined cubicles, work away on our manuscripts on one program and font or another. It's the one thing we have in common. And I think our discussion of it here, helps us alleviate some of our self-imposed isolation.

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