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(Archived) Cross-platform monofont hack for musicians - must-read for musicians using evernote

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Hi people!

As most of you musicians out there probably have noticed there is no friggin way to get cross-platform monofonts in evernote between say Ipad and the Mac. Yes I know, there is a monofont available on the desktop versions but this isn't shown when synced or even crashes the ipad app (!!). I assume most of you just put up with not using monofonts trying to line up the chords as good as possible with the normal arial font. First of all this isn't very nice for musicians and second, even worse, is that the spaces change between the Ipad version and the Desktop version so what looks reasonably ok on Ipad looks all wrong at the desktop version and you're ready to just pull your hair out in anger.

I've tried a number of ideas and solutions and think I came up with THE best solution until monofont support finds it's way into the mobile versions OR at least the spacing looks the same between platforms.

What you do to get cross-platform monofont support between Ipad, Mac and probably PC (haven't tested) is this:

  1. Create a new note
  2. Go to a website with some sample text with the Courier New font, for example: http://web.mit.edu/jmorzins/www/fonts.html
  3. Copy a sample of courier new text (CMD-C or Ctrl-C)
  4. Go into the newly created note in Evernote and paste this sample. Follow this by an Enter and you can start writing your music in peace with a true monofont. (remember to delete the pasted sample at the top of the note)
  5. When you sync this note to the ipad it WILL be both displayed and EDIT correctly in monofont (feel free to scream right out in surprise and relief!)
  6. When you have done this a few times you'll have notes at the top of your list featuring the font so you don't need to go to the website but can simply take a sample from your own notes. The reason you have to do this is because Courier New isn't selectable by default in the font picker in Evernote. There IS ANOTHER MONOFONT available, do not use this, it will crash your ipad app completely, needing it to be reinstalled to work again.

Assuming you want to start the note on the Ipad rather than the desktop the way to go is similar:

  1. Either open an old note and copy a sample of courier new text or go to the website using safari and copy the sample there.
  2. Paste this sample in a new note and continue writing your music below this.
  3. When syncing the note it will look exactly the same on the desktop client. So, as you see, a very similar to the approach above.

(You copy and paste by tapping or holding and using the select, copy and paste buttons on Ipad)

Now a word of warning: The android version of evernote DOES NOT handle things as expected. You can easily view notes using Courier new correctly, but if you start editing the note it will be converted to the standard arial font ***** UP ALL SPACING. If you still edit it and save it the note will be screwed up. DON'T PANIC! Just open the smashed-and-burned note in the desktop app and paste a sample of Courier new into it at the bottom of the note. Now copy the entire note (apart from the sample) and head back to right below the sample. Now go into Edit -> Paste without formatting. Your note will magically be fixed and you can delete the broken copy above aswell as the sample text. DO NOTE however that whatever work you did while within the Android client will now be spaced differently so that needs some fixing but the rest of the note is saved.

Now a note to the Evernote crew: MUSICIANS NEEDS MONOFONT CAPABILITY THAT WORKS CROSSPLATFORM. What is otherwise the use for us to sync between a million devices? We need exact chords and Evernote is just horrible in this aspect. Hopefully a hardworking musicians will soon sneak into your headquarter stealing all form of media players. Maybe a few weeks in silence will make you re-prioritize our requests ;)

If I were you I'd pin this topic but it's up to you ;)

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Hi. Welcome to the forums! Thanks for such a detailed description. I am sure it will be helpful to many people.

I'll elaborate a bit here on some of the points:

I also prefer monospaced fonts, and I tend to use Courier New as well. It is not available in the dropdown list on the OSX client, but you can go into your Preferences and set the default font as Courier New. Once you do that, all of the notes you make on the OSX client will automatically have Courier New. If you are only using OSX, this is probably the way to go.

If you are using multiple clients, then this will be displayed incorrectly. The iOS and Android apps display it as Arial (?). The note font doesn't change, though, just how it is displayed. Following your advice to paste in a section of text in the target font and depending on the rest of the text to inherit that font will, ironically, not work if your default is the same as the target font. In other words, if your default on the Mac is Courier New, and you paste in text that is in Courier New font, it will display as Arial on the iPad. You need to have your default setting as something else like Times New Roman, and then paste in the Courier New font in order to have the font display correctly and be inheritable on the iPad.

More fonts, the ability to change fonts on iOS, and more consistency in the rendering of fonts across platforms have been requested quite a bit on the forums. Creative use of Pages, plain text editors, etc. on the iPad can alleviate the problem somewhat :)

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You are running into the difference in handling of default fonts and explicitly selected fonts,

Default fonts at source are rendered as default font in viewing client.

Explicit, non default, fonts are rendered as closest equivalent font in the viewing client.

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You are running into the difference in handling of default fonts and explicitly selected fonts,

Default fonts at source are rendered as default font in viewing client.

Explicit, non default, fonts are rendered as closest equivalent font in the viewing client.

That makes sense. A succinct way of explaining the problem. Another way to put my main point: when the default font and the explicitly selected fonts are the same on the desktop, the "default" font wins out, and your text will display as the "default" Arial (?) font on the mobile versions.

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Yep.

Simple workaround for the general case is to create a template note and copy it as required.

In this case I would use the ENML Editor to verify the xml/html in the template.

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You are running into the difference in handling of default fonts and explicitly selected fonts,

Default fonts at source are rendered as default font in viewing client.

Explicit, non default, fonts are rendered as closest equivalent font in the viewing client.

I wasn't aware of this and thought it would mean I have a solution that is better, but I do not. I tried 4 common fonts EXPLICITABLY selected and then synced to Ipad (making sure the font was indeed selected and not default) and it still is just as misaligned as before. Unusable for chords.

Setting the default font to Courier new could be an option if it wouldn't, like you already noticed, cripples the method I'm using. If desktop reliability is the only thing you need, just use the mono font available in the drop down list (yes that one that will make the ipad version crash).

Creating a template note does however work and is a slightly more elegant way of doing this. Let's just say I'm EXTREMELY SURPRISED at how poorly this is handled on an app as big and mature as Evernote.

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I don't have an iPad to test on, but, try this note as a portable editable template.

https://www.evernote...b4e4f0a9e69c0de

You can save the note to your database and copy it for testing.

I have explicity coded font face="Courier New" so it should not be seen as a default font.

ENML for note:


<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
<!DOCTYPE en-note SYSTEM "http://xml.evernote.com/pub/enml2.dtd">
<en-note style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space;">
<div style="font-size: 19px;">
<font face="Courier New">
- Edit in this area -
</font>
</div>
</en-note>

Edited by Owyn
Cleaned up template a bit

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I don't have an iPad to test on, but, try this note as a portable editable template.

https://www.evernote...b4e4f0a9e69c0de

You can save the note to your database and copy it for testing.

I have explicity coded font face="Courier New" so it should not be seen as a default font.

ENML for note:


<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
<!DOCTYPE en-note SYSTEM "http://xml.evernote.com/pub/enml2.dtd">
<en-note style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space;">
<div style="font-size: 19px;">
<font face="Courier New">
- Edit in this area -
</font>
</div>
</en-note>

- This should work fine, it's essentially the same as I'm doing except I copy a text snippet from another note on the iPad, while this would mean copy another note and use this. The problem is that there is no note copy capability on iPad as far as I know, that feature is lacking so I never attempted this approach. Maybe I've missed something but I've never seen a feature like that?

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The template was the minimum I could devise which demonstrated what should work.

You workaround the lack of copy note on iPad by creating the copies on your Mac desktop and then syncing them to your iPad.

If the starting template works reliably then customize a copy of it (on your Mac) for tab/chord/song charts. The template could have all your standard boilerplate and formatting.

When you are satisfied with the format, then, make some additional copies which you can then sync to your iPad. They will be ready and waiting for you as need them for new notes. Rename, edit content, move to new notebook, etc.

FYI: I keep my templates in a separate "Templates" notebook with tag "Template".

PS: If you have a note which reliably crashes your iPad, then you should export it to .ENEX format and attach it to a support request. See my signature for link.

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Now that was a good idea!! I could just keep a bunch of them in a separate notebook. What I wonder here however, is whatever this approach will really be any faster since my default view always is my song notebook. Opening the last song copying a snippet then clicking new, paste, backspace and starting writing is hard to beat but I'll test this one, seeing if it beats it ;)

Your method is doubtlessly best if there is anything beyond font that is relevant such as preset text, headers, information etc.

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Yep. The advantages of templates are:

- They can be as rich as needed

- They provide exact, tested. documentation of your standard usage

- Copies of templates are first generation. They do not include possible artefacts in snippets from other notes.

In your case I would pre-move the copies to your "song" notebook.

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