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Mac to PC - Why is it soooo different?


hugh71158
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Hi all,

 

having got to the end of my project, I lifted my pride and joy solution off the Mac I did all the work on, and onto a PC.

 

I was prepared for some reformatting, moving some fields around, changing fonts etc, BUT I WAS HORRIFIED TO SEE THE THE END RESULT! Sorry, some dramatic effect there :-)

 

The layout elements that looked crisp, sleek, and somewhat dainty in their design, ported over to the PC as huge, "that's WAY too big for this screen" horribly boxy, things!

 

Now it may seem like I am over stating the issue - believe me, I am not. The text was way to big, in fact I would say the whole solution was around 1.5 times the size displayed on the mac. Both laptops have the same screen size, but obviously the Mac's resolution is better.

 

Maybe the year old laptop that I put it on is crappy. But the text is so "jaggy" looking. Really, it looks terrible to my eyes.

 

Although sold as a cross platform application, perhaps Filemaker would be better described as a "somewhat" cross platform application. I did not expect to have to reformat EVERY single element. Even buttons and their text have had to be ungrouped, resized, grouped, then linked to a script all over again. It's tedious stuff when you have already done all of this work.

 

So, my rant is now over!

 

Am I missing something, should I have tweaked a setting?

 

Regards,

 

Hugh

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Both laptops have the same screen size, but obviously the Mac's resolution is better.

far as I know, you should be able to adjust screen resolution on windows computers as well.

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Hugh,

There is no getting around the fact that fonts render differently on different platforms. However the choice of font can be a factor in the extent of the difference.

 

One thing to check is that the fonts you used are all available/installed on both machines. If not, you'll have some font substitution going on, and that can account for some of the worst x-plat experiences.

 

You might also want to compare the cross-platform appearance of a few different fonts, as you'll find that some are more consistent (in either size or appearance or both) than others. smiley-wink

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I find verdana or arial translate "somewhat" better between platforms than other fonts. But you are right, a solution that looks beautiful on a mac can conversely look terrible on PC. I think macs anti-alias alot of their screen fonts and images which give them that softer/smoother look, whereas PC is far too "crisp" as far as everything goes

 

Plus on the PC, window flashing is a major pain in the arse. Plus the fact that you need the filemaker window open, in addition to the database window (mac's are much nicer because you only have the one window with filemaker menu @ the very top).

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If you are using FileMaker 9 on both platforms then use Open Type Fonts. These play the cross-platform game far better than other font types. I don't believe previous versions of FileMaker on Windows work with OTF files.

 

See here for a more detailed explanation.

 

..And here.

 

Since I started using OT fonts in my FM solutions many of my font-related cross platform headaches have become non-issues, however there are still occasional cosmetic differences at the system level (which depend on the specific font being used also) and are not the fault of FileMaker.

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Hi,

 

I actually thought I had chosen a relatively safe font, Arial. As a die hard Apple fan (bought my first one way back in '87) it's yet more confirmation that I am on the right platform. Oh, that could stir the pot, right?

 

I note that here in this very thread, and in other places, there are comments about how a layout can look beautiful on the Mac, and terrible on the PC.

 

What about the other way around? Can you build a beautiful layout on a PC and have it look terrible on a Mac?

 

Thanks for the replies guys, appreciated.

 

Hugh

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...in this very thread, and in other places, there are comments about how a layout can look beautiful on the Mac, and terrible on the PC...What about the other way around? Can you build a beautiful layout on a PC and have it look terrible on a Mac?

 

There are a few posts here on this issue here's one of mine from a few months back.

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In some respects Filemaker Pro acts like most other "universal" products. Think about your own experience with "universal" mounting brackets. You just bought a "universal" bracket for mounting "X" but when you get "X" mounted you're somewhere between slightly and really disappointed with the results. You have just discovered the true meaning of the word:

 

u·ni·ver·sal

 

1. Made to fit everything, but doesn't actually fit anything well.

 

 

I'm a 100% windows guy so I don't ever consider the cross platform challenges. That said, I've seen others use FM on the Mac before and in my opinion FM is really designed for the Mac; which isn't surprising since Filemaker is an Apple company. Most things seem to operate smoother and more cleanly on the Mac than they do on Windows. For instance, on Windows all the flashing that was mentioned earlier sometimes makes you feel like you're at a Paris Hilton press conference. I think it leaves the users with a less than stellar impression of Filemaker Pro.

 

So I'm not a big fan of things "universal". Not to go off on political tangent but for guys like me the current push for "Universal Health Care" that seems to be so popular in the USA nowdays is a bit unsettling.

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So I'm not a big fan of things "universal". Not to go off on political tangent but for guys like me the current push for "Universal Health Care" that seems to be so popular in the USA nowdays is a bit unsettling.

 

Yes, this is a completely different topic. But since we have started...

 

Although living the last year in the USA, married to an American girl, I am from Scotland. My biggest worry here? Guns and healthcare.

 

People often resist change, fearing what a new situation will bring. Here is a personal experience.

 

Three years ago, my son, ages 20, was diagnosed with bone cancer in his knee. Diagnosed Friday, treatment started Tuesday! He had months of chemotherapy.

 

Then they took out his knee and replaced it with a titanium joint. The cost of the joint alone - around $35,000. I shudder to think what the actual total cost was. Then months of physiotherapy.

 

Six months later he fell and shattered his thigh bone. Another major operation to screw everything together again.

 

The treatment was superb, in a state of the art hospital (2 years old) and even I was treated well, with meals available if I needed or wanted.

 

Total Cost To Me - NIL.

 

The movie Sicko is well worth a viewing. It shows the strange practice in a UK hospital where patients get paid by the hospital for turning up! Actually, that's a system where if you are on a low income, and traveling is hard for you to pay for, the government will foot the bill for you in hard cash, on the day you travel

 

Yes, the money has to come from somewhere, yes it's built into taxes. My wife spent 2 years in Scotland, and had a couple of doctor and hospital visits, as well as some dental treatment. No charge!!!

 

When we had our child here in Michigan, even with insurance, it cost almost $3,000. Still we get bills coming thru for this x-ray, that scan, etc.

 

No matter what your circumstances, no matter what happens to you, getting treatment on an equal basis is very, very cool.

 

Or being really sick, calling the doctors office, and having him come to your home on a house visit, now that's nice. Who want's to drag themselves out when feeling really crappy? Try it, you'll love it!!! (a bit like switching to a Mac) :-)

 

The bottom line is - people die here, all because they can't afford the inflated medical charges. That is a very sad affair.

 

Sorry, not the content for this forum, please forgive my little mini rant.

 

Hugh

 

BTW, the BBC filmed my son's surgery for a documentary, and I have the DVD. It is very high tech stuff.

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I think 'universal' and 'public' should not be mixed as terms. Good public health care should not be universal but personal. as Hugh's son's case seems to show.... I hope he's doing well now!

 

Now about universal software... don't get me started! :(

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Well Hugh,

 

This is not the correct forum for political discussions and I shouldn't have injected politics into this thread so I think we should let it go but let me assure you that while YOUR direct cost may have been zero, it certainly wasn't free.

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Well Hugh,

 

This is not the correct forum for political discussions and I shouldn't have injected politics into this thread so I think we should let it go but let me assure you that while YOUR direct cost may have been zero, it certainly wasn't free.

 

Yes, I already said tat it wasn't free, but in taxes. But one thing it most certainly is - equal.

 

Regardless of race, position, standing in the community, etc., etc, it is equal to everyone. At 49 years of age I have my wife complaining that I never get my health checked over here. I keep saying, there's nothing wrong with me, why use one of our "allocated" doctor visits.

 

Balancing cost against my own health? Bad idea. CNN looked at the figures quoted on Sicko, and found them ALL to be correct. That it was all down to money and political issues. Well worth watching.

 

Hey, I am off again!!! Sorry.

 

So, universal software, yes, I absolutely LOVE my Mac, and personally now no several "switchers" who also love their Macs, and would NEVER go back.

 

So here's my suggestion: If manufacture of PS's can be stopped, eventually all of the systems will dies out, .......

 

KIDDING, just kidding guys, really. Oh No! smiley-wink

 

If everyone liked the same things there would only be one model of computer, one car etc. Variety, the spice of life.

 

Have a VERY good day.

 

Hugh

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Are both the PC and MAC screens the same (ie 16x9)?

 

I use a PC as a server and the MAC as a remote machine and except for a slight difference in color rendition there is little or no difference. Both of my computers are "widescreen" or 16x9 format. Obviously the same application on a 4x3 screen will look totally different.

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Hi,

 

I am not expert, but if I take a graphic and put it on both machines then the PC displays it larger.

 

Ok, just looked. Silly really, should have looked at this before. All the hours staring at Filemaker are frazzling my brain!!!

 

Here are the maximum settings available for both machines in front of me.

 

PC. 1024 x 768 pixels

Mac 1440 x 900 pixels.

 

Bet you can guess which one I watch movies on.

 

So, I suppose I could drop the resolution on the Mac to that of the PC while working. Hmm, but then it would not be the same experience, especially if I spend many hours looking at the interface.

 

Probably better to suffer the annoyance of resizing everything on the PC.

 

Hugh

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Regardless of the screen resolution of the machine you work on, you should design the interface with the screen resolution of your users in mind. You can still use a big display for development (comes in handy with ever-expanding relationship graphs), but have the interface window sized specifically to fit what your users/client needs. Then work within the confines of that interface.

 

See here for more thoughts on screen sizes:

Determining a layout screen size

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Hey Shuggie laddie! quit yer moanin' about health and stuff man, this is another country (as folks say [rudely sometimes], if ya don't like it... well you know the rest). Actually I agree with most of what you said

 

Different horses for different courses and all that. I remember the frustration you are feeling... having developed on a mac, spending hours and long-nights just to make things look 'perfect', you stick it on a PC and OMG!

 

Solutions for different platforms (IMO) should be built independently from the ground up, just do it all over again for the PC. The data is universal, the fields are universal, the scripts and code are universal (almost), but the layouts, look, feel and so on are entirely different... so have some fun (at least translate it into fun in your own mind) and build a new PC version of your magic

 

When you build a solution, don't build one... build two! - it really ain't that big a job (even for an extensive solution), and it allows you to get rid of these fields that you didn't really need, some of the layouts that were surplus and scripts that aren't even used, find the good in the situation and your PC version will be even better than your Mac version... and hey! your market just multiplied ten times!

 

Sorry to hear 'bout your lad, very trying and testing... but the health care here is good, just keep paying that $1,000 monthly! (or whatever) and building two versions of each solution... what about Unix?

 

Where in Alba are ya from? - d'ya still have the brogue Shug ya wee bampot ?smiley-wink

 

Have fun!

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Hey Shuggie laddie! quit yer moanin' about health and stuff man, this is another country (as folks say [rudely sometimes], if ya don't like it... well you know the rest). Actually I agree with most of what you said

 

Different horses for different courses and all that. I remember the frustration you are feeling... having developed on a mac, spending hours and long-nights just to make things look 'perfect', you stick it on a PC and OMG!

 

Solutions for different platforms (IMO) should be built independently from the ground up, just do it all over again for the PC. The data is universal, the fields are universal, the scripts and code are universal (almost), but the layouts, look, feel and so on are entirely different... so have some fun (at least translate it into fun in your own mind) and build a new PC version of your magic

 

When you build a solution, don't build one... build two! - it really ain't that big a job (even for an extensive solution), and it allows you to get rid of these fields that you didn't really need, some of the layouts that were surplus and scripts that aren't even used, find the good in the situation and your PC version will be even better than your Mac version... and hey! your market just multiplied ten times!

 

Sorry to hear 'bout your lad, very trying and testing... but the health care here is good, just keep paying that $1,000 monthly! (or whatever) and building two versions of each solution... what about Unix?

 

Where in Alba are ya from? - d'ya still have the brogue Shug ya wee bampot ?smiley-wink

 

Have fun!

 

 

lol, too funny!

 

I am from Edinburgh, and I am assuming you hail from that side of the world too.

 

And yes, after just a year the accent is still as heavy.

 

Hugh

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Aye shug, embra... I ken it weel! - you remember a guy that lent you a ten-spot a number years back in Clouds Disco? or was Flannigans in Rose St? - well... that was me, and I want it back! - I hope you remember you were pretty pished at the time! ha!

 

A word in yer lug, like... one year and still a brogue? wait a decade... still got mine, although my mother thinks I sound like John Wayne! (aye deid!) - don't focus on the differences, focus on the similarities, countries and software

 

FM solutions are best built on the machine(s) that are actually going to use them, the design, layout, touchie-feel bit is what most clients want, the coding etc., they simply expect (and you will not get paid unless it meets expectation). Give the customer what they want, on their machine(s), involve them in the design stuff and only move to fields, scripts code etc., after they have signed-off on design (not returning to design unless with a change-order), I promise you it will be to your benefit as well as the customer

 

If you are wanting to produce "off-the-shelf" type solutions that folks can download or stick in from a disc, then it needs a bunch of opening script, calc, result stuff... size of screen, platform, resolution bla, bla... it is only with this data that you can have your solution "automatically" adjust to THAT users circumstances, then... what about their preferences?

 

Some like it big, some like it small, some wanna run it as a app, some wanna run it as a utility, each client is different and each set of requirements are unique, develop a custom consultative approach and it will pay dividends

 

FM is a wonderful and powerful product, think about what it competes with? - access? no competition! - Lotus notes? ever priced a solution from an value-added lotus notes provider? - think about FM as a different product on Mac and PC, although some of the behind-the-scenes stuff may be the same, or very similar, treat them as different. Color is different, fonts (as you mentioned), even the length of a 1pt.line can be different

 

Anyway... where in Embra? - oh! I was Dunblane

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Aye shug, embra... I ken it weel! - you remember a guy that lent you a ten-spot a number years back in Clouds Disco? or was Flannigans in Rose St? - well... that was me, and I want it back! - I hope you remember you were pretty pished at the time! ha!

 

A word in yer lug, like... one year and still a brogue? wait a decade... still got mine, although my mother thinks I sound like John Wayne! (aye deid!) - don't focus on the differences, focus on the similarities, countries and software

 

FM solutions are best built on the machine(s) that are actually going to use them, the design, layout, touchie-feel bit is what most clients want, the coding etc., they simply expect (and you will not get paid unless it meets expectation). Give the customer what they want, on their machine(s), involve them in the design stuff and only move to fields, scripts code etc., after they have signed-off on design (not returning to design unless with a change-order), I promise you it will be to your benefit as well as the customer

 

If you are wanting to produce "off-the-shelf" type solutions that folks can download or stick in from a disc, then it needs a bunch of opening script, calc, result stuff... size of screen, platform, resolution bla, bla... it is only with this data that you can have your solution "automatically" adjust to THAT users circumstances, then... what about their preferences?

 

Some like it big, some like it small, some wanna run it as a app, some wanna run it as a utility, each client is different and each set of requirements are unique, develop a custom consultative approach and it will pay dividends

 

FM is a wonderful and powerful product, think about what it competes with? - access? no competition! - Lotus notes? ever priced a solution from an value-added lotus notes provider? - think about FM as a different product on Mac and PC, although some of the behind-the-scenes stuff may be the same, or very similar, treat them as different. Color is different, fonts (as you mentioned), even the length of a 1pt.line can be different

 

Anyway... where in Embra? - oh! I was Dunblane

 

 

I just took my solution over to my father in law, 17 inch monitor as opposed to the laptop 15 inch, still looked crap!

 

I don't work in the development of FM solutions. I am, with my wife, a photographer.

 

The solution that I have put together is basically to run our own business, tracking clients etc, and probably useful to other people in our business.

 

Possibly the thing I struggled with most is protection. (tried pulling a condom over my computer but you could still copy the solution!!!)

 

Anyway, I plumped for writing a little script that grabs, then sends, the buyers NIC address to me. I then hard code it into the solution, and it only works on their machine. Not perfect, but it helps.

 

What I would have liked, it for that to happen when the buyer runs the solution for the first time. I am sure that's possible, but it does not stop them giving the zipped file to others.

 

So, a solution that would download, unzip, install NIC number one time, then delete the original zip file would be just great.

 

Possible???

 

BTW, I was in Morningside. Oh, and Dunblane was one of my favourite places! I worked there often for a conservatory company, I designed and sold them. ANY appointment that came in from Dunblane was always a sale!

 

Hugh

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I was in Morningside. Oh, and Dunblane was one of my favourite places! I worked there often for a conservatory company, I designed and sold them. ANY appointment that came in from Dunblane was always a sale!

 

Hugh

 

Hi Hugh! - morningside huh? - the Canny Mans (first pub in scotland to have go-go dancers) and the other one up the road, the Merlin?! (probably all gone now), aye sur! - I remeber it weel. Yes Dunlane is a good hunting ground for home improvement sales, lot of disposable income there. I build the software that companies like your conservatory company use to generate their sits (appointments) and track jobs, won't bore ya with the detail but the clever bit is all about online/offline routines to ensure state and fed. DNC listing compliance

 

All the stuff you mentioned is possible, and more... but to what end? - do you wanna sell to other photographers in addition to your photography work itself?

 

Photography is a big market for FMP, you know what you guys charge!!! - shocked the stuffing outta me when I found out (and that's a while back) it can make all the difference between you being selected over the next guy if you provide value added service.

 

Do you have FM online where my bride and I can go look at our pics and select and purchase the ones we want? where we can select the albums? where the guests can go and do the same?

 

If not Shug, you are missing a trick

 

The front end tracking bit is about following the bouncing ball... the key from what I understand about your market is maximizing the back end sales, and doing so automatically using the web

 

To get to that level you would probably need to spend some bucks on FMSA and put together a custom job web interface, catalog, shopping-cart etc., perhaps using PHP, I still throw my web stuff together on FM4 and any old Mac box running 7.x onwards coz... well, just because ha!

 

But you could buy a nice Mac mini, throw FMSA onto it, spend a bunch of time 'trying' to get it work and find yourself some time later, a bunch of cash down and still with no product

 

There are some good PHP folks here, if you ever move in the business direction I mentioned you could think about asking them for a quote or two, just a thought (maybe you have all this currently). We can't all be expert at everything, it's good to share the cake around

 

And if ya thunk the format etc., between Mac and PC is whatever its... wait till ya go online and start looking at browser/platform/HTML/CSS considerations! ha!

 

Good luck with your photography, I hope business is good

 

BTW, I used to know a photgrapher who had his gallery etc., on Morningside Rd, he was into art and framing too, cut his teeth years ago as a photographer for eh, let's just say... 'out-of-uniform' folks in the north of an Island a few miles west of Scotland, it not you is it? - that would be too much! - there use to be an old snooker hall in Morningside, the angle club I think... it that still there? (jordan ln)

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Do you have FM online where my bride and I can go look at our pics and select and purchase the ones we want? where we can select the albums? where the guests can go and do the same?

 

If not Shug, you are missing a trick

 

 

Shug,

 

not been called that for a long while, :-) Actually, I don't know your name or I would use it. Did I read a post from you once that you were about to change your user name?

 

The stuff at the top of this post, now that's what I hope to achieve.

 

Currently, I am using a package called PhotoCart, all php, and to be honest, I love it. $285 one time fee, free upgrades for life, no monthly fees, works great. I am very happy with it. The guy who built it is very good when you have an issue, right on the ball. http://www.picturespro.com

 

The stuff I am working on is really to store all info of the wedding day, who is involved, calculating prices, etc.

 

Now, all these places you mention. Canny Mans is still there, never changed. Merlin is very trendy and a nice place to eat. The snooker club is also sill there.

 

And business, although we are a new company, is not too bad, slowly picking up. Sorry, I was not the Morningside demon photographer smiley-laughing

 

It always fascinates me, no matter where I go in the world, no matter who I talk to, just about everyone seems to know someone, is related to someone, or descended from someone, from Scotland. And yet it is such a tiny place!

 

So, right now I am off to install Windows onto my Mac as a dual boot. I can just switch from one to the other as needed.

 

Hugh

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It always fascinates me, no matter where I go in the world, no matter who I talk to, just about everyone seems to know someone, is related to someone, or descended from someone, from Scotland. And yet it is such a tiny place!

 

So, right now I am off to install Windows onto my Mac as a dual boot. I can just switch from one to the other as needed.

 

Hugh

 

Hi Hugh! new ID, new name (or rather, old name... robin) and a wife who thinks I sound a little less like, eh... Garry Glitter. Thx for the prompt, I needed to do that. The IBIS bit is the name of our business btw

 

Yup! finding experienced haggis hunters happens all the time... as I like to say to my Jewish friends... at the end of the day, we are all Scottish, ha! (don't read anything into that... it's just a bit of fun that I like poking)

 

So, good to meet ya and feel free to write anytime (even if just for a chat) mailto:dse3@charter.net

 

Thx for the feedback 'bout the old country, you are like a blast from the past for me, I am soooo outta touch with the old place now, time changes everything, but I do know where you are from... used to date a wee lass from Balcarres St(sp?!) a zillion years ago, and we are about ages with each other so I guess we might even have stood in the same bar at the same time and shared a pint and some banter, who knows

 

I understand what you are doing and creating with your solution, good for you! - as you know there is a whole bunch of help here, what a wonderful resource!

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  • 1 year later...

As an additional tip, try installing the free M$ Clear Type Power Toy control panel in XP. This makes font display in Windows XP much, much closer to how fonts display in OS X. It certainly makes those cross-platform FM solutions look more consistent across OS'es. Use that coupled with Open Type fonts in your solutions and you're getting as close to identical cross-platform font display as is likely.

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I have videos of my cartaract surgery where they removed my organic lenses and replaced them with plastic. Really neat closeups of the eye and fortunately no sound... arrggghhh..

 

Anyway, the answer to the situation is to create good looking layouts on both platforms using a mac and a pc. Then view the pc layouts on various pcs and monitors to see how badly even the best pc layout/graphic can be rendered. Cheap has its price.

 

However, my $400 Toshiba has a dual core cpu and runs at over two Ghz and shipped with 2 gigs of ram. Makes me long for the days of my $2400 17 in PowerBook. Did I mention the week after I bought it Walmart started selling the 17" version for $400. I still want a new MacBook Air...

 

So, what you do is create a layout for Mac and a layout for PC and use an if statement to select the layout.

 

If (Mac)

got to layout Form Mac

else

go to layout Form Windows

end if

 

You can even go so far as to create layouts for various window sizes and use the same idea by checking the window resolution.

 

Next, watch out for printing. Windows does not print Mac created reports very well.

 

Also, watch out for Macs uing Bonjour that can locate printers quite easily on a Windows network. The owner might not appreciate your Mac printing out your test prints on his LaserPrinter when it is filled with custom printed checks.

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Macs use a version of display Postscript to render the screens, producing superb positional fidelity. They also have a philosophically different approach to font rendering.

 

From http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2007/06/12.html

"Apple generally believes that the goal of the algorithm should be to preserve the design of the typeface as much as possible, even at the cost of a little bit of blurriness.

Microsoft generally believes that the shape of each letter should be hammered into pixel boundaries to prevent blur and improve readability, even at the cost of not being true to the typeface."

 

Some people believe that the Microsoft approach is superior, as it produces "less fuzzy" fonts.

Personally, I find the pixelated fonts in Windows abhorrent.

 

However, try this - take a document in the Windows flagship word processor MS Word, at 100%. Note the words at the end of each line. Now change the display to 75 or 150% - the words don't wrap in the same place anymore.

 

Do that on a Mac - the word wrap rendering is identical, regardless of window size.

 

A single word text area in FM on Mac or Windows seems to render pretty well. However, spaces breaks the model quickly. If you make a text area on the Mac with 2 or more words, leave 20% more area than the text takes to insure that Windows does not cut the words off.

 

If you want to resize everything, in layout mode, select all and group, then size. That way, the objects all scale as one. If you do not group first, then the relative positions change based on the size of the objects being scaled.

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take a document in the Windows flagship word processor MS Word, at 100%. Note the words at the end of each line. Now change the display to 75 or 150% - the words don't wrap in the same place anymore.

 

Nice notes kirkrr. I will play the advocate and argue that FM does the same thing at various zoom levels...on both Windows and Mac. Unless you are on "design quality" software, you will see this with most software.

 

The whole display/font/rendering thing has always been a source of frustration. FM on Mac definitely looks better. I personally like to have both platforms available...good thing I have that money tree in the back yard!!! smiley-money-mouth

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