Further on Platform Specificity

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Sun Aug 8 22:44:02 EDT 2004

Dar Scott wrote:

> On Aug 8, 2004, at 5:08 PM, Richard Gaskin wrote:
>>> Does that take care of the problem that there is no available font 
>>> that works the same on both Windows and OS X?
>> I rarely make "multimedia" apps that use one font on all platforms.  
>> For production apps it's far better to use the font specified by the 
>> target HIG....
> Then text can extend beyond the right or bottom of the field.  Do you 
> tweak the font size until text fits?  Do you do something special for 
> objects that float to the left of a paragraph?

Most text in the stuff I build tends to be of three types:

- Labels for fields or other controls
   I usually have those to the left of the entry field, and
   right-aligned with a little extra space at the left to
   account for differences in font metrics.

- Blocks of stack text
   Usually just a couple lines, often used for descriptions.
   Sometimes I'll put in my own hard returns if I'm picky about
   the flow of wording.  I leave a little extra space on these

- Scrolling text
   Used for Help fields and other detailed descriptions, and
   since it scrolls it takes care of itself.

On very rare occasions I'll use an image of text to ensure it displays 
precisely.  For example, each of the main WebMerge tabs have an 
explanation of what the controls on that tab do; space was limited and 
it had to be very clear, so I did the text once just the way I wanted it 
and then screen-grabbed it, hid the field, and put the image where the 
field had been.  I don't do that often, but when precise control is 
needed it's the surest bet.

Fortunately very few things require such precision. :)

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  Rev tools and more:  http://www.fourthworld.com/rev

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