Hey, Apple, Fix This! – Apple Notes: The lack of default font options causes problems

Note: this is the first article of a new Macworld column entitled Hey, Apple, Fix This! In this column, I’ll look at problems with Apple software and hardware, and suggest how it should be fixed, along with workarounds and alternatives, whenever possible. Tune in every other Friday for more.

Apple’s Notes app is quite useful. You can store notes on your Macs and iOS devices, and they sync via iCloud. You can add and view attachments, and you can even lock individual notes in the latest versions of Apple’s operating systems to protect them from prying eyes.

But I won’t use Notes.

Apple made a bewildering design decision: They don’t allow users to choose a default font and size in the OS X version of the app. On iOS, the Notes app inherits the overall font settings you choose; if you choose to increase the size of the system font, in Settings > Display & Brightness > Text Size, then the font in Notes gets bigger, as it does in apps such as Mail, Reminders, and others. (Not all apps support this Dynamic Type setting.) But there is no such system font size option on OS X. So all notes start out in a tiny (to me) font.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

10 thoughts on “Hey, Apple, Fix This! – Apple Notes: The lack of default font options causes problems

  1. I’ve never found Apple Notes to be useful for anything other than a piece of “scrap paper”. Even now, composing this comment, there are other places I think of first for a blank “piece of paper” to jot something down. Now that Apple Notes finally syncs across all devices, one would think that the developers have finally decided to make the app useful, but nope. There is still no good reason to switch from far better, free, cloud based options such as Microsoft’s One Note (my choice), which I can use on all of my Apple devices, and my work PC with ease.

  2. I’ve never found Apple Notes to be useful for anything other than a piece of “scrap paper”. Even now, composing this comment, there are other places I think of first for a blank “piece of paper” to jot something down. Now that Apple Notes finally syncs across all devices, one would think that the developers have finally decided to make the app useful, but nope. There is still no good reason to switch from far better, free, cloud based options such as Microsoft’s One Note (my choice), which I can use on all of my Apple devices, and my work PC with ease.

    • That’s exactly where I drafted my comment above, but I didn’t think it was worth mentioning because I thought it might have seemed like an unusual and clunky option that only I use. Thanks for confirming that I’m not out on an island doing this 🙂 Of course, these quickly drafted and discarded text edits are not what a useful, functional cloud based note taking app should be these days, in my opinion. Most of us, I imagine, have a whole encyclopedia of notes about various work and home related subjects that we need to keep organized, easily searchable, and stored in the cloud for internet access from any device, automatically synced. MS One Note does this for me, and I’m guessing there are many others, free or paid. Unfortunately Apple Notes is not even close yet. Adding “Rich Text Format” would be just the beginning of persuading me to make a switch.

    • That’s exactly where I drafted my comment above, but I didn’t think it was worth mentioning because I thought it might have seemed like an unusual and clunky option that only I use. Thanks for confirming that I’m not out on an island doing this 🙂 Of course, these quickly drafted and discarded text edits are not what a useful, functional cloud based note taking app should be these days, in my opinion. Most of us, I imagine, have a whole encyclopedia of notes about various work and home related subjects that we need to keep organized, easily searchable, and stored in the cloud for internet access from any device, automatically synced. MS One Note does this for me, and I’m guessing there are many others, free or paid. Unfortunately Apple Notes is not even close yet. Adding “Rich Text Format” would be just the beginning of persuading me to make a switch.

  3. I was asking generally, but nice to know I’m not the only one either!

    What I tend to do is go to mail (macmail) on whatever computery thing I’m using, open new email, write something, then close it (making sure I hit save). Then that note is in the drafts of everywhere I sign in or am signed in of that email account. Very simple. Works with webpages, pics, text, font, text style, text size, music, video, oh.. sorry, I don’t need to list all the things now, do i?

    I am, however, interested in why I should use Notes instead for any of the above? Apart from complicating life further…;)

    • The only real advantage I see is the ability to lock individual notes and password protect them.

      Interesting idea, though, keeping drafts of texts in Mail. I tend to use Day One for that now, since it syncs across my devices, and I can add images, links, etc.

  4. I was asking generally, but nice to know I’m not the only one either!

    What I tend to do is go to mail (macmail) on whatever computery thing I’m using, open new email, write something, then close it (making sure I hit save). Then that note is in the drafts of everywhere I sign in or am signed in of that email account. Very simple. Works with webpages, pics, text, font, text style, text size, music, video, oh.. sorry, I don’t need to list all the things now, do i?

    I am, however, interested in why I should use Notes instead for any of the above? Apart from complicating life further…;)

    • The only real advantage I see is the ability to lock individual notes and password protect them.

      Interesting idea, though, keeping drafts of texts in Mail. I tend to use Day One for that now, since it syncs across my devices, and I can add images, links, etc.

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