July 14, 2004
Tripping the Mac-PC font rift

How often have you experienced this: you receive a FLA file from one of your expensive freelance designers but after you publish the file most of the texts are shifted out of place? The reason for this is of course the same reason why her rates are so high: she still has to pay off her Mac. Not enough that all the fonts she uses have different names than the ones on your PC - fortunately Flash has the font substitution table and can handle this - no, even if you manage to get an "identical" PC version of that font, Flash handles them differently. I don't now if that's a Flash problem or a general font problem, but unfortunately it's a fact of life. Until now the only way to handle this situation was to do the final publishing either on a Mac or to fix all the shifted textfields manually and have the Mac not touch that file again.

But thanks to Nate from slice media you don't have to to this tedious task manually anymore, as long as you have Flash MX 2004. He has written a JSFL command that shifts all textfields containing the same font in a move down an arbitrary number of pixels. Really useful I'd say! Just imagine: from the time you save using this tool you could even buy your designer a decent computer...

Posted at July 14, 2004 10:19 PM | Further reading

What about the problem between OS 9 and OSX fonts. Does this JSFL command also solve that problem?

AWESOME!!! I"m gonna try it out.

Posted by: Fish on July 14, 2004 11:23 PM

Does this JSFL command save my new Vaio 3.2ghz P4 w/ 2GB of RAM from stuttering every time I feel like multi tasking? Man XP sucks. . .

-oh and could you do something about encoding the mailto: in your comments? Every poor sucker who posts their email on your site must be getting spammed to death.

Posted by: Alexis on July 14, 2004 11:55 PM

As useful as this program will be it's pleasant surprise is completely overshadowed to me by your ignorance. Granted I too have more than once suffered the plague of shifting text when moving from one platform to the other, but I would never blame it on a Mac.

I am a designer so many times I have had to shift between two platforms' versions of a program but the only time I have EVER had a problem with text is in Flash. This makes me assume that the glitch of the shift is most assuredly in Flash's rendering of it rather than what platform I'm working on.

I think that your site and your work is amazing so I would assume that surely anyone so experienced as you would know the difference between Mac and PC processors and to what each is better suited and not make such unfounded remarks as you did. It has been well documented and is, at least I thought, well known in the design world that Mac's non-linear processing architecture makes them exponentially better at design and graphics programs like Flash or Photoshop. Repeated testing from both sides of the platform fence has shown that. Don't get me wrong, I use PCs in my work as well and they are great machines but they are better suited to programs that take advantage of their linear processing architecture like high powered engineering, mathematical, or business programs.

I understand choosing a favorite when it comes to the computer world and admittedly Mac is mine, but that doesn't mean that I verbally dump on PCs and their users because of it. Check out some of the testing results on comparing the new G5s to extent Pentium and PC based machines on Apple.com and see what I'm talking about.

Posted by: Red on July 15, 2004 08:24 PM

Red - perhaps I should have added some more ;-) to this text. Of course it's not the Macintoshs or their owners that are to blame. Sorry, but after sharing more than 5 years of my lifetime with a so called "Apple Evangelist" I developed something like a Mac allergy and my reactions are probably a bit too biased. The machines themselves, their design and their OS may be really the state of the art, but the whole religious Apple worshipping business that comes as a free extra is something that really puts me off.

Also, if you are doing a lot of Flash work, Macs become something like a wrath: you build a site that runs fast and smooth on every standard Windows PC. Test it on a Mac and start crying.

Posted by: Mario Klingemann on July 15, 2004 11:11 PM

Having reviewed an enormous number of designer portfolios for jobs in a high profile design shop I've learned one thing: Windows choice is antithetical to skilled design.

Posted by: a.c. on July 17, 2004 01:35 AM

Mac flash performance does suck, i have to say, it gets me really angry too. Its macromedia fault for not optomizing it for the mac platform.
My view on the whole mac/pc thing? Use the tool that gets the job done faster.

Posted by: Mik on July 22, 2004 07:18 PM

At line 30 of file "pixelShift"
selection: Argument number 1 is invalid

(win xp pro / flash mx 2004 pro)

seems to be related to empty first frames on layers..or empty layers

even when the script doesnt crash the shifting is not always happening with the right value...

Posted by: sadman on July 27, 2004 10:47 AM

The problem with Mac people is that they usually don't know how to work with 98% of the rest of the world. They assume that since it looks good on their screen and printers, it will be fine everywhere else.

Use skilled designers on Mac for static designs, not for work that will be integrated.

Posted by: iS on July 29, 2004 06:32 PM
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