safest fonts

Jan 10, 2007 at 4:15pm

safest fonts

Hi,

Since moving patches from one computer to another very often results
in badly fromatted text because of font substitutions and other
impoderables, I am wondering what the collective wisdom is about the
“safest” fonts to use.

Which are the most standard, universal fonts, least likely to cause
problems, most likely to look the same whenever and wherever you open
the patch?

Thanks in advance,
Ben

#29596
Jan 10, 2007 at 4:39pm

#92909
Jan 10, 2007 at 9:39pm

#92910
Jan 10, 2007 at 10:13pm

#92911
Jan 11, 2007 at 8:17am

#92912
Jan 11, 2007 at 10:16am

#92913
Jan 11, 2007 at 4:58pm

On 11-Jan-2007, at 5:16, Benjamin Thigpen wrote:
> Thanks to those who have responded to my question. Summing up so far:
[schnipp]
> 1. Genva seems to be good for Mac-to-Mac compatibility (over
> various generations and OSs, as I rcall). But not for Mac-PC
> compatibility.

FTR, Geneva’s font metrics changed a little around the time OS X was
introduced. There are very, very few people using Classic Mac OSs
nowadays, and even fewer are moving patches from there to here, so
not a big issue. But if you are concerned about long-range backwards
compatibility, even Geneva isn’t safe:-(

Also, I’m not sure if screen anti-aliasing affects Geneva’s font
metrics. I suspected this was part of the problem with screen layout
when Max 4.2 (Carbon) was introduced.

> However, the Max help patches are in Geneva, and I presume they
> look fine on PC. Perhaps the objects have been resized so there are
> no wrapping problems?

Picky picky: The help patches are in generic Sans Serif, which is
mapped to Geneva on Mac and Ariel on Windows when the patcher file is
read into memory.

It looks to me like most help patches are built with enough air
between comment boxes for it not to matter much if a comment box is
rendered w/one line more or fewer. But there may have been some
manual resizing of the boxes to keep things looking good on both
platforms.

> 2. Verdana may be good for Mac-PC compatibility.
>
> What does happen in this case? And if you build a patch on Mac
> using Verdana, does the text appear the same when you open it on
> PC? (I don’t have a PC to test on.)

Verdana isn’t touched by max-fontmappings.txt and it should render
identically on Mac and Windows. Assuming the user hasn’t trashed it
on either platform (another eventuality the patch designer might want
to take into account!-}

>> Or maybe, for the sake of compatibility, next mac version could
>> abandon the historic max font and switch to a common one, like
>> Arial, for example…
>
> 3. Arial is a common font.
>
> Which means it is likely to appear in various generations and
> across platforms, I presume. Is it likely to have the same size on
> various machines, and so not have line-wrap and/or other problems?
> And so is it perhaps a “safe” font?

Arial, like Verdana, is a TrueType font and should, hence, render
identically across platforms. However, part of Max 4.3/4.5′s cross-
platform strategy was defined by these lines from max-fontmappings.txt:

max system windows genericfontmap “Sans Serif” Arial;
max system windows genericsavefontmap Arial “Sans Serif”;
max system macintosh genericfontmap “Sans Serif” Geneva;
max system macintosh genericsavefontmap Geneva “Sans Serif”;

This mapping back and forth between Arial and Geneva for Windows/Mac
could perhaps be dropped in the future (although it would annoy
anyone who relies on it to get decent cross-platform rendering).

> Can anyone confirm if and to what extent these fonts are safe? Are
> there other common fonts that don’t (or are unlikely to) cause
> problems?

All I can say is that TrueType is TrueType. Any TrueType font should
render identically on any platform.

Also, any PostScript font will render identically on all platforms
that use Screen PostScript or Acrobat as the drawing model. Mac OS
X’s Quartz does that, I don’t know about Windows. However, AFAICT,
Max currently uses QuickDraw for all drawing, and I have no idea if
this is likely to change as soon as 5.0.

> I just want to be able to build my patches from the beginning so
> that they won’t look like dirt when opened on another machine.

Even using a TrueType fonts is no guarantee for success. Users have
the option of trashing almost any font from their system. If a font
isn’t available, the OS substitutes font and then all bets about
layout are off.

However, there is a 100.000% guaranteed cross-platform solution.

I feel like Deep Thought now. There is a solution, but you’re not
going to like it.

You’re really not going to like it.

Get the text the way you want it, select & cut, Paste as Picture…

I said you weren’t going to like it.-|

I’ve done this for a few limited things that I hope will never change.

Otherwise, stick to the standard system fonts, leave lots of space
between comment boxes, if you want specific line breaks use “2 byte
compatibility”. And check formatting on both platforms.

Hope this helps,
Peter

————– http://www.bek.no/~pcastine/Litter/ ————-
Peter Castine +–> Litter Power & Litter Bundle for Jitter
Universal Binaries on the way
iCE: Sequencing, Recording &
Interface Building for |home | chez nous|
Max/MSP Extremely cool |bei uns | i nostri|
http://www.dspaudio.com/ http://www.castine.de

#92914
Jan 13, 2007 at 7:35am

Benjamin Thigpen wrote:
> 3. Arial is a common font.

common only on Windows, a similar but a bit different font, common to
the Mac, is Helvetica. And both are one of the most ugly ones too.

A standard max font has to be a good screen font. Most fonts are made
for printing which is a completely different issue, they are mostly
unreadable in 9pt on the screen. Another Issue would be the way they are
spaced on the screen. I would prefer a font which would make it easy to
calculate the space on the screen in pixels a written messsage would need.

Stefan


Stefan Tiedje————x——-
–_____———–|————–
–(_|_ —-|—–|—–()——-
– _|_)—-|—–()————–
———-()——–www.ccmix.com

#92915
Jan 21, 2007 at 5:46pm

On 14 Jan 2007, at 18:12, vade wrote:

> Have you tried any pixel fonts, like silkscreen and whatnot? I
> really like those for display/programming

Silkscreen is (a) uppercase only, and (b) proportional, which would
make programming with it something akin to an original sin, but it
looks reasonable as a display font. It might work well for ubumenu
and friends, so long as the UC/LC thing doesn’t cause problems.

I’ve actually not explored font maintenance since Apple System 7 – it
it all still done with suitcases?

– N.

#92916
Jan 21, 2007 at 11:22pm

On 21-Jan-2007, at 18:46, Nick Rothwell wrote:

> I’ve actually not explored font maintenance since Apple System 7 –
> it it all still done with suitcases?

Sort of, but they’re pretty user transparent nowadays. If you have
60s, launch FontBook, or look inside [~/]Library/Fonts.

————– http://www.bek.no/~pcastine/Litter/ ————-
Peter Castine +–> Litter Power & Litter Bundle for Jitter
Universal Binaries on the way
iCE: Sequencing, Recording &
Interface Building for |home | chez nous|
Max/MSP Extremely cool |bei uns | i nostri|
http://www.dspaudio.com/ http://www.castine.de

#92917
Jan 21, 2007 at 11:45pm

May I suggest the free Linotype Font Explorer X, if you really need
to get into managing fonts. “sins” – hah!

On Jan 21, 2007, at 6:22 PM, Peter Castine wrote:

> On 21-Jan-2007, at 18:46, Nick Rothwell wrote:
>
>> I’ve actually not explored font maintenance since Apple System 7 –
>> it it all still done with suitcases?
>
> Sort of, but they’re pretty user transparent nowadays. If you have
> 60s, launch FontBook, or look inside [~/]Library/Fonts.
>
> ————– http://www.bek.no/~pcastine/Litter/ ————-
> Peter Castine +–> Litter Power & Litter Bundle for Jitter
> Universal Binaries on the way
> iCE: Sequencing, Recording &
> Interface Building for |home | chez nous|
> Max/MSP Extremely cool |bei uns | i nostri|
> http://www.dspaudio.com/ http://www.castine.de
>
>

v a d e //

http://www.vade.info
abstrakt.vade.info

#92918

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