4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2010 7:54 AM by ninja

    Printing alignment changes from Mac to PC

    ninja

      Title

      Printing alignment changes from Mac to PC

      Post

      Howdy all,

       

      Been beating my head against this for too long.  I can't believe I haven't posted already.

       

      My facility runs both PC (XP-SP3) and Mac (various).  All are on FMP8 save myself.  I'm on FMP8Adv.

      FMP does an all around nice job with the very occasional Get(SystemPlatform) step needed.

       

      The problem:

      Every lot of material we manufacture goes out with a certification form (4000+ products, 400+ different form layouts depending on data reported).

      The Cert form has anywhere from 14 to 40 fields ranging from customer, city, state, country, to Dielectric Constant, Frequency at which Permeability was measured, Firing profile used for testing...whatever.

       

      - If I lay out the forms on PC, they print fine from any PC.

      - If I lay out the forms on a Mac, they print fine from most (possibly all) Macs.

      - If I lay out the forms on PC, the alignment goes out the window when printing from a Mac...and vice versa.

      - This shift in alignment is both horizontal and vertical.

      - Objects that are grouped together (Fields and line graphics drawn in FMP8) will move relative to the other objects in that same group.

      - The movement of layout objects can be seen by entering Preview mode...it is not even necessary to print.

      - The printed page matches (as best I can tell) the rendering shown in Preview Mode.

      - FMP8 does not have anchoring...I don't know if that would help or not.

       

      My first thought was to Get(SystemPlatform) and choose a Mac printing layout or a PC printing layout based on the result...but there are 400+ layouts.  Ouch, ouch, ouch.

       

      My second thought was to investigate the platforms printing default settings...but I wouldn't know where to start on a Mac.

       

      My third thought was to commonize the platform (ditch the Macs) but they are used by the Directors.  Everyone else has a PC except for the occasional Director hand-me-down.  I won't ask the Directors to ditch thier Macs...especially when FMP was purchased as a viable cross-platform technology.  Much of our equipment is PC controlled and is not available with a Mac on board.

       

      My fourth thought should have been my second...to ask you fine folks.

      I am not against upgrading the whole facility if it will solve the issue...but I will need to prove the solution to justify the expense.

       

      Surely I am far from the first to face this annoyance.  Please share your collective voice of experience...

      I thank you for all ideas...I'm fresh out.

        • 1. Re: Printing alignment changes from Mac to PC
          philmodjunk
            

          Are you aware that windows machines require a touch more horizontal and vertical space to display the same text? If your layouts are "tight", this might affect things for you though it's mainly a problem when displaying a mac designed layout on windows.

           

          Are you using "Plain Vanilla" fonts that aren't likely to be substituted for something different on the "other machine"?

          • 2. Re: Printing alignment changes from Mac to PC
            ninja
              

            PhilModJunk wrote:

            Are you aware that windows machines require a touch more horizontal and vertical space to display the same text? If your layouts are "tight", this might affect things for you though it's mainly a problem when displaying a mac designed layout on windows.

            PC drawn layout objects shift both horizontally and vertically when viewed through a Mac...even when part of a 'group' of objects that are not tight against each other (1/4" between objects).

             

            Are you using "Plain Vanilla" fonts that aren't likely to be substituted for something different on the "other machine"?

            All fonts are Arial, Arial Narrow, Arial Bold or TimesNewRoman.  All show the same effect but degrees may differ.  All fonts show up under "Text Format..." the same on both platforms.


             

            Excellent questions.  I should have included them in the OP.
            • 3. Re: Printing alignment changes from Mac to PC
              philmodjunk
                

              PC drawn layout objects shift both horizontally and vertically when viewed through a Mac...even when part of a 'group' of objects that are not tight against each other (1/4" between objects).

               

              That's exactly the issue I am describing. "Tight" layouts simply make this more visible as you may see blocks of layout text overlapping or wrapping in unexpected ways.

               

              The simplest fix is to design all layouts on a PC as the shift from "more space required" to "less space required" causes fewer problems than the reverse for most layouts.

               

              For mac created layouts, open them on a PC and tweak your layout text and field widths until they look right. They likely will then be fine on both Mac and Windows.

              • 4. Re: Printing alignment changes from Mac to PC
                ninja
                  

                Howdy,

                 

                Not totally solved yet, but Phil pointed me in a direction I hadn't tried yet and there was some fruit there.

                 

                It seems that FMP gives an option for setting page margins (Layout>Layout Setup>Printing tab) that is unchecked by default...makes sense that it would be.

                 

                Without checking this box, each system seems to "decide" for itself what page margins to use, typically minimum margins maximum print area or so it seems.

                 

                Simply checking the box for "Use fixed page margins" and accepting the default values of T=0, L=0, B=0.33, R=0.33 made a huge impact on the uniformity of printed layout between the two platforms.  There are still some slight differences, but they are now measured in fractions of a millimeter rather than fractions of an inch.

                 

                I'll continue to optimize by experimenting with the margin values, but this has been a huge step forward.

                 

                Thanks Phil!