Font too small to print

I have been using Rich Text for notes in DTPO and It has been working well so far. I have a meeting this morning at 10 and as I am preparing I printed out my notes. On the screen the font size looks great, about 12 point. Printing It however yields a page with tiny font size, about 6 point is my guess.

I experimented and sure enough, changing the font size to 24 prints half that, 12 point size (as I normally compare It)

I don’t see any way to change this and I certainly do not find this helpful.

Have I found a bug, or is there something here that I am missing?


DEVONthink uses text code included in OS X. The behavior of plain or rich text documents created or edited in DEVONthink is very similar to that in the Wrap to Window mode of TextEdit. Which is to say, the wider the window, the smaller fonts will appear when printed.

When I need to make a printout of a text document, I usually open it under Bean or other text editor, which will allow management of margins, retention of font size, and addition of header and footer information.

Opening the document externally under TextEdit will allow change to Wrap to Page (Format > Wrap to Page), so that font size is retained when the document is printed from TextEdit…

I am not sure my meaning was clear? My apologies if It was not. I am using a rich text note field, generated from within DTPO. I wanted to use TaskPaper which has been my best app for organized thinking. But, using Markdown apps like the markdown generated note in DTPO or TaskPaper, I cannot apply a style to a word or a line. If I struck out a line that has been done in DTPO linked to TaskPaper, all lines in the document get underlined. And if I look at a Taskpaper document in DTPO with a line struck through, that line wont show in the DTPO text window.

So, I have been using Rich text in DTPO. It allows me to strike out lines, color and bold text. The only problem with that is, when I am working in a comfortable size of font on my screen in DTPO, hitting Print, prints the text at half size to the screen text. It is not using apples built in way of doing things. In a PDF for example, I can greatly expand the page size for viewing, but the printed page will still be in whatever font size the document was in.

Please look at my examples. The first version is a straight screen shot of what the text looks like at Its working size in DTPO. The smaller, second version is a screen shot from the same document print/save as/pdf in preview.

I have never seen this behavior on a Mac before. Unless there is some sort of page control I am unaware of that has boosted the Rich Text note? Even so, that print out is definitely not the correct size for the font selected.

My work-around at the moment has been to duplicate and change a couple of the native Format/Applescripts that came in DTPO. After doing that I can quickly change to 24 point to print at 12 point. I can also change back. I suppose I could make an Applescript to print by selecting all, change to 24 size, print, change back to 14 size … But that seems an unnecessary set of steps. Surely there is something amiss here?


My previous response does cover and explain the change in apparent font size that is seen when a text document is printed. You will see the same behavior if you print a text document from TextEdit, with Format > Wrap to Window.

It’s not necessary to actually change font size to make display of text documents readable onscreen.

I normally use Times Roman 12 when making rich text notes. That’s not a comfortable view size on my MacBook Pro Retina. Rather than change font size, the apparent size can be increased (magnified) using the keyboard shortcut Shift-Control-Command-= (or Control-Command-+). Each time that key combination is pressed, the apparent size of the print increases. The font size is still 12, but looks larger. The change in magnification will be remembered for text documents.

If I copy/paste a text note in DEVONthink to a more feature-filled editor such as Pages, I don’t have to change font size in Pages. It will be Times Roman 12.

When you print a text document that is in the equivalent of TextEdit’s Wrap to Window mode under TextEdit’s Format menu, the wider the window, the smaller the font will appear when printed. This is not a bug. It’s just the way Wrap to Window behaves. DEVONthink normally is in the Wrap to Window mode for display of text documents. Wrap to Window allows flow of text to the width of the pane that displays the document content, and that’s convenient for onscreen viewing.

Usually, when I want to print out a text document I open the document externally in Bean, which has margin controls and allows addition of a header and footer – the latter for pagination. My font and size setting will be honored when I print the document. And if I want to distribute my note in PDF format, it can be printed as PDF.

I still don’t think you are understanding what I am saying. Of course, I could also be not understanding you. The problem I have been describing has nothing - at all - to do with screen formatting. The problem is that the output of a rich text note in DTPO, prints at a much smaller size. Have you tested this? Using TexEdit or Bean or anything else I can try, setting a 12 point font in the document will also print out as a 12 point font.

Using the scripts menu, change some text using Format/Body. It will contain the following line:

set properties to {alignment:justified, font:"Times", size:12, color:{5000, 5000, 5000}, background:{65535, 65535, 65535}}

```As you can see, this is a 12 point Times font. It should print as a 12 point, times font. But, when sending it to print from a Rich Text window in DTPO, It previews or prints in about half that font size. Please try It.

FWIW, looking at 12 point font in a RichText window in DTPO also looks smaller than It should. I have to set It to 16 for day to day work. Docuemtns that print at 12 are still easily readable to me.  I am guessing this is some internal design shoice (or flaw) by the DevonThink group. Perhaps one of them will weigh in here? Repeating myself but, no matter how small or large It looks in the window, DTPO, Bean TextEdit, pages, etc,. If the font is set to a specific font size, It should print in that specific font size.

Bill is one of the DEVONthink group.

No offense intended, I don’t know anyone here yet. But my point, my observation, still requires testing.

I find the issue to be as the op stated. Rich text notes created in DTPO using a 12 pt font print out in much smaller font size than is the case with TextEdit (or wp programs) regardless of the window size. A test print with both DTPO and TextEdit windows the same size, using the same font at the same size, resulted in DTPO printing smaller and TextEdit printing the appropriate font size. So like the op I may be missing something, but what he described happening is accurate…at least in my case.

:smiley: Thank you.

Here too. I’ve never had good results printing RTFs from DEVONthink (both print-to-paper and print-to-PDF), and I’ve been at this for years. I usually use Word documents or Markdown (which I preview and print from Marked – I don’t like DEVONthink’s Markdown rendering either, sorry :confused: ). I rarely use DEVONthink for note taking since there are far better editors available and it’s easy to use Data > New > From Template where I’ve stored lots of templates for doc types from my favorite editors. I suppose this opinion doesn’t help the OP at all, though. Just mentioning it’s possible to settle into a very productive operating mode that also avoids the things that I personally believe are DEVONthink’s weaknesses. Just my opinion.

No, It helps a lot because that was in fact my point. I was wondering if this was a weakness, possibly a design flaw? Remember, It also displays in the rich text window at smaller than normal sizes than the font reports.

I have started to use DTPO in this way. I have found a work around of sorts using the scripts menu to change the font before I print. I may put It into a KeyboardMaestro script and include telling It to print and restoring the font all with a keystroke. I will also experiment with using bean or textedit text files external to DTPO and index them for my use as project notes as well.

If this is really a problem in DTPO, and It apparently is, I hope this thread can be of some use to the developer team as they approach future versions of DTPO.


Have you tried the “Rewrap content to fit page” option in the Print pane?
The doc in my screenshot uses a 11pt font.

RTF editing/printing in DT can be considered sub-optimal due to the use of Apple code (as mentioned by Bill).
Now that Apple (almost) abandoned RTF while DEVONtech seems to stick with it (and support RTF whit proprietary code in DTTG 2.0) they should probably go with a DIY approach on OS X as well.

I don’t find this to be the case, however as Bill mentioned you can customize this to your liking in DEVONthink by using Shift-Control-Command-= to increase the display size, and also Control-Command-minus key to reduce the display size. This is a global command that will change the display for all RTF(D) documents. The actual size of the font in the document will remain unchanged. Note that this is not the same as actually changing the font size with Command-= (larger font) and Command-minus sign (smaller font).

I seldom print anything from my Mac, but I’ve found the rewrap contents setting mentioned by @johseb takes care of the font size on paper when printing from DEVONthink.

DEVONtechnologies focusses on database tools that facilitate use of information provided by a variety of document types that may be captured within a database. Development focus is not on development of proprietary document types, but on accommodation to management of document display in OS X code (including Quick Look) or in third-party applications. DEVONthink doesn’t write text editors.

Rich text isn’t dead yet. It still has advantages in file size for easy accommodation of font formatting, images, links, tables and lists. Most of my notes can be copy/pasted in one pass to Pages without loss of features.

The problem the OP stated is that text documents printed within DEVONthink do not preserve the font size specified for the document, but will print out text with smaller than specified font size, that grows smaller the wider the text window happens to be. That’s the result of using the plain and rich text code in OS X.

There are three possible solutions (other than recreating text code by DEVONtechnologies): 1) A messy kludge, reduce the width of the window in which the document is displayed, in order to make the print size larger (but the font size isn’t sacrosanct). 2) Reformat the text to force page orientation and margins, like the Wrap to Page mode of TextEdit e.g., use the Rewrap content to fit page option in the Print panel (I would prefer this to permanently changing formatting, as it will continue to allow text flow to accommodate window width for onscreen viewing). 3) Transfer the text content to another text editor that includes page wrap and other features such as header/footer, etc. for printing.

I prefer option 3). That lets me control header/footer (unlike the option in the Print panel to add header/footer) and may use footnotes or endnotes. I almost never print notes to paper, but frequently do convert them to PDF for distribution to others. My note specifies font and font size and those choices will be carried over in the transfer to a more full-featured text editor.

For simple tasks I open the text document externally in Bean, add the title as a header and page numbering, e.g., 1 of n, and print to paper or as PDF.

For more complex layout I’ll usually copy/paste the document into Pages, which carries over in one pass images as well as text (MS Word won’t do that). From Pages, after final polish the document can be printed to paper, to PDF or exported as MS Word.

I should have mentioned the Print panel option to wrap text to page. I don’t use that myself, as I want more control, especially of header/footer.

There was a time when TextEdit exhibited the same phenomenon for printing in Wrap to Window as does DEVONthink – increasingly smaller font size as window width increases. :slight_smile:

I am new here, but I paid for a seat too. I see that one of the benefits of using DTPO is that there is more than one way to use It. I use a text editor of some kind to track progress on projects I am working on. No, I am not using this as a formal “Project Manager”. My needs are simpler than that. If you speak for the development team of DTPO and you say there is no interest at all in making the RichText Notes print properly then, so be It. I say too bad but, I will continue to work around It. BTW, DTPO has provided Text editors already, just not done a very good job of implementing them. :unamused:

ADDED: I have settled on a sollution thet works. Using KeyboardMaestro I run an applescript to set the text to 36 (prints like 12 pts), prints, presses return (enter), runs an applescript to return the text to 14 pts. All from a pulldown menu (or a keystroke).

DEVONtechnologies did not develop the OS X code for editing and displaying plain or rich text, nor the OS X WebKit code for displaying HTML and WebArchive filetypes, nor the OS X PDFKit code for creating/displaying PDF files. None of those repositories of code in OS X is as full-featured as are some third-party apps for those filetypes, or even Apple’s proprietary apps, such as Preview for PDF. But DEVONthink cooperates with external apps that are capable of opening and editing documents in a database.

As noted, I use Bean most of the time when printing a rich text document to paper or PDF. In the Finder I defined Bean as the parent application for rich text. To print a rich text note all I have to do is select the document, click on the Open Externally button in the Toolbar (or press Shift-Command-O) and the document is open in Bean. Press Command-P to open the Print panel. The document name is automatically entered as the header and Page 1 of n (where n is the total number of pages) is automatically entered as the footer. Hit the Print (or PDF) button. Done. My font choice of Times Roman 12 is maintained.

That’s fast and easy. No need to do a workaround changing font sizes, then changing them back. I could have used any of a number of text editors available to do specific tasks that are not as well supported in Apple’s basic text editing code on in TextEdit.

DEVONtechnologies didn’t have to spend development resources to write an alternative text editor, and certainly wouldn’t want to develop a proprietary one. There are lots of choices available to the user.

LIkewise, if I need to edit HTML, I wouldn’t choose the basic WebKit code in OS X. There are a number of apps for more full-featured and convenient editing of HTML. I can choose one that I prefer for a task.

What happens when you run this macro on a document that has mixed font sizes? Or wasn’t formatted in 14 points to begin with? I cannot imagine why anyone would want to write a script and call a macro that blindly modifies a document (twice), when clicking the “Rewrap content to fit page” option in the print dialog works.

Of course you are right, It is not the best solution. But, since I like to track progress with notes and need to print out those notes and the DTPO team does not have making that work as a priority (and apparently have no interest in It at all), I have done my best to make a workable solution.

Twice of course is so that I can print my notes at all, as already discussed It wont print as It should according to font size without such a hack.

Generally speaking these notes documents are not very complicated, a meeting agenda, tracking what I promised myself I would do, etc. A system like DTPO that is so powerful and wide reaching is going to require some actual note taking on my part to use It. I have memory and concentration problems which I don’t feel a need to go into here on a public forum but I do need to track my own progress as I sort through all this information. And those notes will on occasion need printing.

My solution also kills the bolding (which I do use often) and yes, I have to decide on what font size to leave It in although I have made a few duplicate scripts and named them accordingly to return to other font sizes. They’re all in the scripts pulldown menu so no big deal there.

My apologies if I have missed it, but I have yet to see where you mention that you have tried the “Rewrap content to fit page” option as described, and pictured above, and it does not work for you. If it indeed does not work,if you could explain what the issue with that process is and perhaps the forum can help you discover where the problem lies.

I do not have that option. I am running DTPO Version 2.8.4 under Mavericks. Someone earlier in this thread "johseb“ posted a screen shot of his print dialog with the “Rewrap Contents To Fit Page” option circled but I do not have that option on my print screen - I am attaching my own screen shot.

Someone else mentioned using Format/Wrap and I do not have that option either - attaching a screenshot of my Format menu.

I was about to go to the Applescripts section and post there to ask if someone can advise on how to tell a selection in DTPO to open using textedit? That might be the more elegant solution to my problem. I like the immediacy of taking notes directly in DTPO. I like formatting the notes. If I could trigger an applescript that opened the notes in a proper text editor which would retain formatting and print properly then that is what I call a win/win.
Screen Shot Format Menu.png