[Solved] Object positions change from laptop to desktop

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[Solved] Object positions change from laptop to desktop

Postby kswenson » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:50 pm

Hello,
I currently am preparing a presentation at home and at work.
Unfortunately, I just noticed that the same file on the two machines produce different outcomes in my two version of openoffice!

It is true that these are two different versions of openoffice (v2.2.1 and v3.0) but I do remember having this problem last year.
It appears as though my slides with the Layout "Title, Text" have the Text part higher on the desktop (v2.2.1) than the laptop (v3.0) which causes big problems because I have shapes and splines interacting with the text often...
---EDIT---
Actually see the attached figure, the problem has to do with the spacing between the lines. Font, box size and location are all the same.
--- ----
please let me know if any of you have a quick for for this because It's not easy for me to bring my laptop into work.

I appreciate the help and enjoy using this program so it would be really nice if I could get this ironed out!

overlap.jpg
The transparent version is the desktop(v2.2.1) computer while the solid is the laptop(v3.0)
Last edited by kswenson on Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: object positions change from laptop to desktop computers

Postby ccornell » Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:25 pm

Version 3.0? That hasn't been released yet :-) I assume you mean OOo 2.3.0?

My first guess is that the fonts you have installed on one computer are different than on the other. When a font requested does not exist another similar one is often substituted. For example on one computer you have Arial installed, and you create a presentation based on that font. Then you move that presentation to a second computer where Arial is not available, but Helvetica is installed. The font substitution happens behind the scenes, and in most cases you never notice. In this case it results in a fairly obvious shift in character placement.

As I said, the font is my first guess....
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Re: object positions change from laptop to desktop computers

Postby kswenson » Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:11 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I'm using the default "Nimbus Sans L" so I would expect (hope) that they are installed on both machines.
Also, check out the photo attached where I overlayed the output from the two computers...
in particular, the top line "comparisons done...". the transparent one starts above even though the text boxes are exactly the same!
The fonts also look the same in size and shape although I'll admit that the eye isn't always the best check.

Do you have a second guess by any chance?
Again, thank you for the help.
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Re: object positions change from laptop to desktop computers

Postby acknak » Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:35 pm

You never said what systems (OS) you're using. Have you read the Forum Survival Guide?

If you have the same OS, the same OOo versions, and the exact same font files (fonts can change too) on both systems, then the presentations should look the same. Otherwise, anything can happen. In general, it's very difficult to get that kind of precision across platforms.

Can you give an example of a slide where this causes a big problem?
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Re: object positions change from laptop to desktop computers

Postby ccornell » Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:43 pm

I don't have two installs to tinker with side by side. I am using the latest 2.3.1 in Linux at home, and a Solaris build at work. I have never noticed any misalignment except when it was font related.

Like I said, my first guess is font substitution problems. You said you are using Nimbus Sans... but is Nimbus Sans actually available as a font in both machines? Or is it available in one, and being substituted in another. It is often hard to tell the difference between one similar font and the next. With Nimbus Sans and Helvetica for example... they are VERY similar fonts. Arial is also so close as to be the same and is often substituted without anyone noticing... (although in this case, Arial is not being used in either machine as a substituted font). From what I can dig up, there is a slight line spacing difference between Nimbus Sans and Helvetica...

What OS are you using at home and at work? Is one Linux and the other Windows?

Have you tried changing to another font to see if there are alignment issues with a different font? For example try Times Roman. (I know, a pain when the computers are in two different physical locations...)
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Re: object positions change from laptop to desktop computers

Postby kswenson » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:04 pm

acknak wrote:You never said what systems (OS) you're using. Have you read the Forum Survival Guide?

If you have the same OS, the same OOo versions, and the exact same font files (fonts can change too) on both systems, then the presentations should look the same. Otherwise, anything can happen. In general, it's very difficult to get that kind of precision across platforms.

Can you give an example of a slide where this causes a big problem?


Sorry about the lack of information.
I am using Ubuntu 7.10 on my Laptop and Mandriva 2008 on the desktop (I like to promote (and support) "easy to use" versions of linux to friends so I keep one of each).

I'll try playing with the fonts a bit.

This makes a big difference when I try to use the curly braces or draw pictures on the slides because they do not move while the text does!
Another reason is linked to the trick I use highlighted in another post here: http://user.services.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1451...
just trying to keep my presentation looking "modern".
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Re: object positions change from laptop to desktop computers

Postby kswenson » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:34 pm

ccornell wrote:Have you tried changing to another font to see if there are alignment issues with a different font? For example try Times Roman. (I know, a pain when the computers are in two different physical locations...)


It appears as though both machines (one Ubuntu and one Mandriva) have "Nimbus Sans L" as an option in the gnome "appearances->fonts" configurations.
BUT, like you said, when I change the font to something like Times Roman things match up!
I guess I'll just have to use that font :(

Thank you very much for the persistence in getting me to do the right thing :) here ccornell.
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Re: [solved] object positions change from laptop to desktop

Postby acknak » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:09 pm

This makes a big difference when I try to use the curly braces or draw pictures on the slides because they do not move while the text does!

Well that much I can guess, that's why I was looking for a specific example.

Anyway, here's my approach: anytime you need graphic elements to stay in perfect registration, they have to be part of the same object, or otherwise tied together in some form.

E.g., if you underline words by drawing lines, they are likely to go astray at some point. If you instead underline by using the character formatting, the underlining will always match the text.

If you need a bracket to line up with some lines of text, then either the bracket and the text have to all be parts of the same object (a formula can do it), or you have to somehow group the bracket and the lines, e.g. in a table or a frame. Both strategies incur significant extra work; only you can decide whether it's worth it or not.

Trying to do figures that seriously mix character and graphic elements is very difficult for any application that uses a textual model for the characters, because of the inherent assumptions of positional flexibility. You almost have to do it in some specialized graphics utility (possibly Draw) and then insert that in your presentation.
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