View print size incorrect in Tiger, but ok in WinXP?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
A friend of mine pointed out this great feature in Windows that I can't seem to find anywhere on Tiger. That is, we can specify the actual DPI of the monitor we're using, taking into consideration physical dimensions and actual number of pixels.



With this information, all programs that understand it can display a print preview at the right size. That is, 100% view in MS Word will reflect the actual paper size physically, on the screen! Similarly, Adobe Reader displays 100% PDFs the correct size as they would be in real life. Finally all 72 point fonts are exactly an inch high!



At first I thought that if I used an all-Apple configuration, then the OS would know what resolution I'm running at, and everything just works. But this doesn't appear to be the case. 100% in MS Word 2004 (mac) isn't anywhere close to the actual paper size. Similarly, print size in Photoshop is no where near what is specified in the image. In Adobe Reader however, you can manually specify a DPI setting and then 100% will be 100%.



Any insights?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Update: It seems that Photoshop has a bug in its View > Print Size command...



    http://www.digitalmastery.com/compan...e/psuser51.pdf



    But still, what about other applications?
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Anyone?



    I know Tiger does not yet have resolution independent UI and I don't expect the UI to scale. But surely, setting 100% on Preview.app should scale the PDF or image to actual physical size? How can Apple software still assume a display size of 72PPI when clearly all their products that has a display built-in or standalone display is approximately 100PPI?
  • Reply 3 of 7
    I've had this discussion with several people lately. Many people expect 100% to be actual size. This isn't the case because of the differences in screen resolutions. An image that is 4 x 5 viewed at 100% on a monitor that is using 800 x 600 is going to look bigger than the same image viewed at 100% on a monitor that is using 1024 x 768.



    I don't know if Apple is still this way but it used to be 72 pixels per inch and Windows used 96. that is why things look bigger on Windows. That is also another reason that the Mac was more popular with graphics professionals because 72 pixels per inch makes 72 point type exactly 1 inch. I've been told by old school typesetters that this preferred over the 96 pixels per inch found on Windows.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    Actually Tiger does have some resolution independent code in Quartz. If you have the dev tools installed and play with Quartz Debug, you can change the dpi for all Quartz functions (including user interface).
  • Reply 5 of 7
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by drumsticks

    Anyone?



    I know Tiger does not yet have resolution independent UI and I don't expect the UI to scale. But surely, setting 100% on Preview.app should scale the PDF or image to actual physical size? How can Apple software still assume a display size of 72PPI when clearly all their products that has a display built-in or standalone display is approximately 100PPI?




    As the good Dr. said, all of Apple's displays used to be 72dpi, period. This was actually a strong selling point with publication houses, before everyone got used to 100% simply being the actual size relative to the page displayed on the screen. Now, I think most people realize there's a difference, and adjust accordingly. At least, I haven't had anyone mention this as a problem to me.



    One *could* go through and try and jerry-rig a solution in the drawing layers, but it makes much more sense for Apple to just wait for resolution independence across the board. At that point, every app gets it for free, instead of the per-app ad hoc approach they'd have to take now.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by drumsticks

    A friend of mine pointed out this great feature in Windows that I can't seem to find anywhere on Tiger. That is, we can specify the actual DPI of the monitor we're using, taking into consideration physical dimensions and actual number of pixels.



    With this information, all programs that understand it can display a print preview at the right size. That is, 100% view in MS Word will reflect the actual paper size physically, on the screen! Similarly, Adobe Reader displays 100% PDFs the correct size as they would be in real life. Finally all 72 point fonts are exactly an inch high!



    At first I thought that if I used an all-Apple configuration, then the OS would know what resolution I'm running at, and everything just works. But this doesn't appear to be the case. 100% in MS Word 2004 (mac) isn't anywhere close to the actual paper size. Similarly, print size in Photoshop is no where near what is specified in the image. In Adobe Reader however, you can manually specify a DPI setting and then 100% will be 100%.



    Any insights?




    For the most part, I agree with the responses above. However, there is no substitute for knowing the exact size of your text. It seems that some Windows users visually size their text. You should always format by point size. You also have to develop a sense for how text will look on paper because it will not look the same on even the highest resolution screen available.



    The bottomline is this: there will always be people who like text to appear on screen at a different size than it appears on paper. Resolution independence will have benefits, but it will not solve the fundamental problem of user carelessness.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    Thanks for your replies.



    I understand that 100% will not appear the same size across physical screen sizes and resolutions, but my point is that once you know the PPI of the screen, rendered content should scale appropriately (ignoring UI elements for now). That's exactly how the old 72PPI screens worked - one pixel equals one point in print. But there's no reason not to have a say, 144PPI screen use two pixels to represent one point!



    Of course, the UI elements like buttons etc, are dependent on screen resolutions (they are raster images at this stage!), but text should be completely scaleable, even if the displayed content does not look the same as printed due to aliasing issues with the relatively low spatial sampling of the display (compared to 600PPI+ of laser printers).



    I found this great article about grid fitting fonts at http://www.windowsforms.net/Articles/gdiptext.aspx It clearly shows how fonts will be different to their printed counterparts due to aliasing on a low PPI screen, but the *size* should still be the same!



    I've since switched to using Adobe Reader to view my PDFs simply because it allows me to specify a custom screen PPI even if the rest of the applications do not. With other applications, I need to view things at 100/72 = 138% to get real sized previews.
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