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GarryP

Would a “Ghosted Text Overshoot” function be useful?

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I don’t know if this would be useful to anyone else so I’ll post it as a question first before putting in a request (if necessary).

I have often thought it would be useful, when manually trying to get nicely-justified text, if the first word on the next line could be shown at the end of the previous line in a sort of ‘ghost’ form (see attached image where the word at the end of the line – in light orange – actually comes from the next line).
This would make it a lot easier to see how much of the text was missing from the line so I could make a better judgement on what tracking/kerning/scale options I can use to get the text to fit nicely.

For instance, in my example on line 3, a little bit of a tracking change could easily bring “male” back from the next line and remove the gap to the right.
The user can then go down the text line by line getting rid of the space as necessary before justifying the text.

Obviously this feature shouldn’t be on all of the time; maybe it could be a View option, or part of a Typography Persona with other such tools.

Does anyone else think this is something that’s worth requesting, or is it just me?

P.S. I don’t know what the proper term for this is, if there is one, so I called it “Ghosted Text Overshoot”. Googling for it won’t get you much of an answer.

Annotation 2019-11-08 130112.png

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That could be useful, Garry, but I doubt I'd ever care that much about the layout, personally, that I'd want to go to that effort :)


-- Walt

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Walt: Sometimes I like to get into the nitty gritty of this sort of thing so I can tweak things just the way I want – automatic justification and hyphenation functions don’t always do the best job (see attached images) – but I can understand that most people wouldn’t want to most of the time (most of the time I don’t either but it can be quite therapeutic to put together a lovely-looking block of text).  Anyway, it’s there ‘in potentia’ just in case it tickles anyone else’s fancy.

fde101: Thanks. I don't know if any other software does this. But I agree that it’s way less critical than a load of other features. Just something to put in the ‘maybe’ box.

Annotation 2019-11-08 144421-a.png

Annotation 2019-11-08 144421.png

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This is a very novel idea. I do often clean up justified text, so I encourage anything that either makes the default results better or that helps us with manual tweaks, such as the suggestion yesterday about highlighting justification violations. Yours is one of those ideas.

I understand what you're saying, and I do think it is worth considering. I like the idea in principle, but I think I would have to spend some time using it to see if it is helpful in practice. If Serif implemented it, it would be unique for sure.

A couple points come to mind. Although your mockup shows it together with left-aligned text, I would feel the greatest need for it with justified text, but then the aligned right edge would somewhat diminish its value. Also, you have shown it with unhyphenated lorum ipsum, but long words could still offer short hyphenation options.

Anyway, thank you for thinking outside the box.

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The way ID handles it is to use a highlight color for H&J violations on each affected line. This highlight color varies in intensity according to how loose the text is.

Here are two copies of the same column of text. I adjusted one of the paragraphs on the right.

Capture_000297.png.8dd0960a5b56f3a0cbd9576999a3ddaf.png

I myself would prefer ID's method versus the ghosting.

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And in case you want to comment on the H&J violation feature request, this is the thread yesterday it was requested:

For my part, I can imagine some kind of highlighting interface (set up like the snapping interface is now) that would offer options to highlight all kinds of different things. For me, H&J Violations, style overrides, and specifically kerning/tracking overrides are the three that I would use most often. That would be the kind of whizz-bang new feature that could motivate me to immediately purchase version 2 whenever it might eventually come out.

…Who am I kidding? Despite my various requests, I am in general becoming such a fan of the Affinity line that I am sure I will purchase it day one regardless.

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3 hours ago, garrettm30 said:

Although your mockup shows it together with left-aligned text, I would feel the greatest need for it with justified text, but then the aligned right edge would somewhat diminish its value. Also, you have shown it with unhyphenated lorum ipsum, but long words could still offer short hyphenation options.

Yes, but there are ways to overcome that.  Vertical lines in some faded set of colors could be used to show where the last word of the line would be if it were left aligned and where the next word would start, as well as where the first comma would be, if it had been left-aligned...   just as an example.

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19 hours ago, GarryP said:

automatic justification and hyphenation functions don’t always do the best job (see attached images)

 

19 hours ago, GarryP said:

 

Annotation 2019-11-08 144421.png

Just a question - how will the end-of-line ghosts help you solve this?


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garrettm30: Thanks for the encouragement.
I think it’s worth noting that when doing this sort of thing I often work with left-aligned text for the early stages of the process, temporarily switching to justified every now and again to make sure everything is looking okay, before justifying at the end. This allows me to see where a lot of the problems are much easier. Also, I normally use manual hyphenation as automatic hyphenation can sometimes yield strange results. (And, if the text is justified all of the first-word-on-next-lines will be wholly outside of the text frame, which isn’t useful.) Doing most of it manually I have full control over what’s happening. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, and it’s a long-winded process, but it works for me.

Pšenda: In short, it doesn’t help with that. I still have to check for that manually and make the necessary changes where possible. It’s not a foolproof method by any means.

Just as an example, in case anyone reading this isn’t sure what I’m talking about, I’ve quickly put together an example of a paragraph that’s been typeset by the automatic defaults and the same thing done manually.
There’s not much different at first glance but look at lines 6&7&8, and 3rd&4th&5th from end, of the automatic version as opposed to the manual version. Even though I did it quickly – it’s not perfect by any means – hopefully the manual version looks a bit nicer overall.

Obviously this has to be done at the end of the creative process as changing anything about the font or frame size/shape would mean doing the whole thing again. The automatic process is great for most purposes but, sometimes, it’s nice to get something ‘handmade’.

Annotation 2019-11-09 122621.png

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I agree that your manual look has better spacing. One thing I noticed is that you twice allowed three consecutive lines to end with hyphenation, where the software (I am not sure which you used) may have been configured to only allow two, which I think might be the default in some cases.

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32 minutes ago, garrettm30 said:

three consecutive lines to end with hyphenation

This is also the reason why automatic formatting does not achieve the same/nice result ;)


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Thanks again garrettm30.

I think it’s worth reiterating that my example was put together quickly to show one of the problems with the automatic method and was not meant to be a sample of perfect typesetting. (I’ve never been a typesetter and am still very much learning this sort of thing.)
The three hyphens one-after-the-other – there are two instances – is not something I would normally be happy with (it doesn’t look nice to me), neither is having an “I” by itself at the end of a line – near the bottom of the first column. There will be other problems too, I’m sure.

It would be interesting to hear from people who have used software that was specifically designed for typesetting purposes and find out what their experiences have been.
It would also be interesting to hear from people who have been typesetters in the manual/physical domain to find out what their thoughts are on this sort of thing.

If Publisher was given more typesetting functionality – including equations, etc. – then I think it could be an alternative to things like TeX, and thus bring more (non-technical?) users into the Affinity family. (Learning TeX was a pain for me and I just gave up; learning Publisher is much easier.)

I’m thinking of a Typography Persona, that allows the user to focus more on the text, which has all kinds of wonderful graphical tools to make this sort of thing a breeze. I have no idea what these wonderful tools would be, but it’s nice to think about what sort of things the amazing Affinity developers could dream up.

From a purely commercial point-of-view, imagine all those maths/science/technical students/teachers/lecturers/practitioners buying a copy of Publisher for their dissertations, reports and papers.

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