micinfo

Option-Space no longer a non-breaking character?

Discussion created by micinfo on Sep 10, 2012
Latest reply on Sep 16, 2012 by mbraendle

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.

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