5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 5, 2013 11:43 AM by ingridblaauw

    Layout Consistency Across Platforms


      I design boilerplate documents for use by both Mac and PC users. I use fonts like Helvetica and Times New Roman so that my documents should look the same on both Macs and PCs, but they don't. Is there something I can do to better control consistency in my documents between both platforms? The problem is most noticeable when I have to incorporate large blocks of text. On the Mac they will look condensed, and on the PC they will take up the whole page.


      Thank you in advance for any advice.

        • 1. Re: Layout Consistency Across Platforms

          It's the fonts. This is an age-old problem.


          People have come up with different solutions:

          • Try one of the "cross-platform" fonts - Verdana or Tahoma aren't bad
          • Custom formatting can help - test for the platform and adjust the font slightly (maybe 11pt vs 12pt)
          • Display text in a webviewer where you have more control via CSS


          With small blocks of text the problem isn't as noticeable. But with your large text blocks the problem snowballs and will get worse as the text block increases size.


          You have to find the solution that works best for your database. No magic-bullet option unfortunately.

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          • 2. Re: Layout Consistency Across Platforms
            Stephen Huston

            Windows and Mac systems render standard fonts differently -- Windows making most of them a bit larger and with more space. My experience has been that you need to allow an extra 10% of space for text when designing on Macs to allow for how Windows will render the "same" font.


            Cross-platform fonts such as Verdana and Times New Roman seem to be among the most predictable, but there is still a difference.


            If anyone knows of a x-plat font that is standard (pre-installed on all Mac/Win OS systems) and renders with the same metrics, please let us know!

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            • 3. Re: Layout Consistency Across Platforms

              You need to use custom line space to make the layout cross platform.  Use pixels (FM11) or points (FM12) instead of lines.  On a windows computer a line is 16 points and on a Mac a line is around 14 points.  If you set the line spacing to points or pixels they should display about the same way on a Mac or PC.

              • 4. Re: Layout Consistency Across Platforms
                Stephen Huston

                Rgordon is correct about using custom line spacing to simulate the same line height cross-platform, but that has no effect on character width for larger text blocks, which can force text into more lines on Windows. The issue remains one of Font rendering for larger text blocks due to character widths differing on the different platforms.

                • 5. Re: Layout Consistency Across Platforms

                  Thank you all for your insights.  I will try the custom line spacing; I was aware that this is an old issue, related to OS rather than FM Pro itself, but just wondered if there were any more recent developments. 


                  Much appreciated!