Fonts and iPad

I have a few questions.

Why are the font choices limited? For most fonts, I cannot specify Medium, Regular or Bold. I have to take what is given. Why am I limited to 32 points? On a high-resolution screen, that can be too small when handling a lot of text.

How can I show numbering, perhaps in a half-tone, so it isn’t obtrusive? The numbering would have to adjust itself, of course, as I move entries.

How can I work on Bike outlines on my iPad or iPhone when not at the desk? This is probably the most important of all.

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I’m not sure what you mean, but generally there is no way to set specific fonts in Bike. You can choose the “base” font in the settings UI. Then when you select text in your outline and choose “Bold” command, Bike will try to load the bold version of that base font.

Some fonts (such as System) work well with this setup. Other font (for example Monaco) don’t support multiple variants. So bold text doesn’t show up. I’m not certain what the proper workaround is. Eventually (see stylesheets below) you’ll be able to specify exact font/color/etc for bold text via stylesheet.

I wanted to implement as a slider in the preferences UI. Too large a range makes the slider UI awkward I think. You can force a higher value using Terminal app and issuing this command:

defaults write com.hogbaysoftware.Bike bike.fontSize -float 64

Eventually I’ll be offering a more advanced “stylesheet” option for settings. This will enable more style rules, and also more range of values. I’m busy working on that now for Bike 2.0. The “engine” part of the new stylesheets is working well… how much I’ll be able to expose in UI is still hard to say. Bike 2.0 is taking longer than hoped.

Number color settings are not possible to change now… they follow text content color settings. Eventually I expect this sort of thing to be customized through Bike 2.0 stylesheets.

I’m not sure what you mean by this… it should be that ordered lists in Bike update numbers correctly as you move rows in the list.

It’s not ideal, but my current recommendation is:

  1. Save your outline using OPML file format (bike supports read/write of OPML formatted outlines).
  2. Use another outliner app that supports OPML. Some possibilities are listed here.

I have committed to starting work on Bike for iOS “this spring”… which is (yipes) SOON. I’ll keep that commitment, but it will likely still be some time before I have a version of Bike for iOS ready for others to use.


Inclusion of emphasized variants (italic, bold), is of course, decided by the font supplier, rather than the application designer.

See, for example:

( which lists the variant typefaces available for different fonts )

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I appreciate the help in clarifying my questions. It sounds like stylesheets may make possible much of what I’m looking for. I hope to use a font of my choice and weight (say, Bodoni Egyptian Pro in medium weight), set the font size to whatever works under lighting and other conditions, and pick up on my iPad where I left off from the desktop. No other outliner comes close to the ease of Bike, so I look forward to stylesheets.