1 2 3 4 Previous Next 54 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2012 8:35 AM by mbraendle

    Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?

    micinfo

      Greetings, file makers:

       

      Ever since the Mac was first introduced in 1984 and Apple established itself as the "desktop publishing" pioneer, the character "option-space" has served as an invisible "hard" character that was treated as a non-space character in digital typography. And so likewise, in all versions of FMP up through 8.5 the option-space character was recognized as a full-status character in all text processing functions including justification. This means that if you have a center-justified paragraph of monospace typeface and you type "<option-space>XXX<option-space>", you would end up with "XXX" exactly in the center, but if you typed "<option-space>XXX<option-space><option-space><option-space>", then the "XXX" would be skewed to the left since the option-space is not ignored as leading or trailling spaces in the justification scheme.

       

      However, in FMP 11 that has changed. In that version, trailing option-space characters are no longer treated as an invisible "hard" character and so all of my attempts at specific character placements are thrown off. The result is that in FMP 11 (and 12?), the string "<option-space>XXX<option-space><option-space><option-space>" is treated only as "<option-space>XXX" which skews the "XXX" to the right rather than to the left.

       

      So my (multi-part) question is:

       

      a. Can anyone else confirm that FMP11 has changed its treament of the option-space character, at least as a non-space trailing character?,

       

      b. Do you have any idea WHY, after almost 30 years of consistent typographic rules, the FMI coders broke rank?, and,

       

      c. Are there arny other invisible non-printing characters that will be treated as a hard character in a center-justified format?

       

      Notes:

      1. FMP does not treat a trailing option-tab as a hard character.

      2. Option-space is indeed still treated as a hard character in other Apple apps like TextEdit and MS Word, at least up to 10.7.4 (Haven't tried 10.8 yet).

       

       

      Thanks so much for your consideration.

       

      Phil.

        • 1. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
          taylorsharpe

          I tried this on a text field with FileMaker 11.0v4 on a Mac and option-space worked just like a non-breaking character for most purposes such as a keeping a word from breaking at the end of a line such as "Mr. Smith" not breaking between "Mr." and "Smith".  However, you are correct about adding hard characters at the end of a centered line does not shift the words like a hard space was entered.  I looked in the character viewer on the Mac and did not find anything.  I did go to Microsoft Word and try it there and it works the way you want and not the FileMaker way.  Most interesting.  My only suggestion is to use another character such as an "_" and turn the color white so you can't tell it is there.  Sorry. 

          • 2. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
            keywords

            Option + space still works as always in FMP all versions, as far as I can tell. I can add, however, that Adobe has not recognised this character set for some time now (at least CS6 and CS5, but I think earlier still), so FileMaker is not the only culprit.

            • 3. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
              micinfo

              Taylor,

              Thanks so much for looking into this and confirming what I've observed with FMP 11. It's definitely a departure from  FMP 8.5 and 6.0v4 functionality. That small inexplicable (or at least undocumented) change in the treatment of a  Mac typographical standard was a potentially huge problem for our  medical education business. Fortunately, we caught it before any incorrectly processed grades were sent out.

               

              keywords,

              Thanks for the ping, but please specifically test whether the use of  option-space as a TRAILING character in FMP11 serves to modify placement of text in a center-justified block. Taylor has confirmed my observation that it does not, and as such represents different functionality than previous FMP versions.

              • 4. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
                keywords

                I don't have FM8.5 but can confirm the following:

                 

                option-space as a TRAILING character—

                 

                DOES modify placement of text in a center-justified block in FM8 and FM9

                 

                DOES NOT modify placement of text in a center-justified block in FM10 onwards

                • 5. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
                  micinfo

                  keywords, thank you so much for confirming that.

                  • 6. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
                    comment

                    keywords wrote:

                     

                    DOES NOT modify placement of text in a center-justified block in FM10 onwards

                     

                    Perhaps one should look at the version of OS as well - since I definitely do see the text move in version 11 under MacOS 10.5.8.

                    • 7. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
                      comment

                      micinfo wrote:

                       

                      That small inexplicable (or at least undocumented) change in the treatment of a  Mac typographical standard was a potentially huge problem for our  medical education business. Fortunately, we caught it before any incorrectly processed grades were sent out.

                       

                      Not to brush off the issue, but it shouldn't be "a potentially huge problem". It certainly shouldn't affect any processing of your data. I am not even sure it's good practice display-wise - it seems like a tab would be a better choice.

                      • 8. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
                        keywords

                        My test was on MacOSX 10.7.4

                        • 9. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
                          comment

                          Have you also tested how TextEdit handles centered text with trailing non-breaking spaces?

                          • 10. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
                            keywords

                            Yes I have. TextEdit on MacOSX 10.7.4 DOES modify placement in centred text with trailing option+space (as per FM 9 and earlier)

                            • 11. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
                              keywords

                              Another observation on this behaviour. In FM10+, trailing option+space is also disregarded if text is right aligned, whereas LEADING option+space is treated as "hard space" in either centre aligned or left aligned text (and TextEdit honours both as "hard spaces").

                              • 12. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
                                comment

                                keywords wrote:

                                 

                                trailing option+space is also disregarded if text is right aligned

                                 

                                Again, I don't observe this in v.11 running under Leopard.

                                • 13. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?
                                  micinfo

                                  Michael, I mean no disrespect, but please don't meddle in another professional's design philosophy. We have every right to rely on the use of a specific typeface and font size in whatever text format we choose as being meaningful to the display and processing of our data, especially when FileMaker touts its software as being a virtuoso in page layout, report design, graphic user interface, and data display to imbue meaning in the data. Modern databases do far more than simply "process" data. They "manage" data, and that includes incorporating additional meaning and value into the data by virtue of its display and presentation.

                                   

                                  What if FMI suddently decided to abandon being able to script font style? If Mac Mail suddenly eliminated the option to display unread messages in bold, how else would we know if a message was unread? We most certainly have every right to use the presentation of data to convey meaning about that data.

                                   

                                  You cannot possibly presume the innumerable challenges a developer confronts. Filemaker is allowed zero slack on the degree to which it allows a developer to rely on the integrity of its features. Once we triage which features are more important in the sense of being able to rely on them or the "importance" they play in managing data, then all hell breaks loose.

                                  • 14. Re: Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?

                                    Micinfo said, "Michael, I mean no disrespect, but please don't meddle in another professional's design philosophy. "

                                     

                                    Responding on your post is called ASSISTANCE.  Michael took his valuable time to help you and you call it meddling?  He was continuing a conversation with keywords anyway for goodness sakes! 

                                     

                                    Of the easily 30,000 posts from Michael Horak, he has only made 3-4 mistakes and three of those were typos.   If he makes a statement you can put it in the bank.  If you choose not to listen that is your right but there are thousands of Developers here who DO want his input.  For you to call his assistance meddling IS disrespectful.

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