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Colors, Fonts and Leading


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#1 Rick Yentzer

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:30 PM

My wish list for Accordance:

1. Use of the Apple color picker instead of the predefined color choices.

I simply do not like the color choices. What can I say, I'm a designer!


2. The ability to change the color of the background via the Apple color picker.

See my response to a post on this here.


3. The ability to change the leading of a font. Leading is the space between lines of text. Some fonts have different line heights and their default height is not always conducive to easy readability. This may seem like I'm being picky, okay, I am. But it is because Accordance is highly respectable in the content it offers, in the format it offers. I'm simply trying to improve the product.

While the 3 are related the first two are highly desirable for me. As Accordance now stands, I have this wealth of info that is hard to read because the screen is too contrastive to use for extended periods. :(

Edited by Rick Yentzer, 22 October 2007 - 09:31 PM.

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#2 Rick Yentzer

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 09:34 PM

I just came across an online bible that has excellent readibility via color choices and leading. Have a look at the pic.

Posted Image

Which do find the easiest to read???
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#3 Joe Weaks

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 12:53 AM

Rick,
Your comparison seems a little lame since the chief factor contributing to readability is spacing between paragraphs, which you oddly left out of Accordance. And you can control leading by changing what font you use in the first place.
Background color would be nice, and I wouldn't think should be that hard to implement.
Joe
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#4 Rick Yentzer

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 08:23 PM

Your comparison seems a little lame since the chief factor contributing to readability is spacing between paragraphs, which you oddly left out of Accordance.

Fair enough. I changed to paragraph spacing and took another screenshot comparing true apples to apples.

And you can control leading by changing what font you use in the first place.

This is not true. You cannot control leading by changing the font. If you meant to say you get different leading with different fonts then yes you are correct but there is no control over leading. But, if I like the readability of a certain font, I may not like the separation between lines of text so now I have to compromise one for the other—which I have been forced to do.

Posted Image

Nonetheless, I would like to be able to adjust the text color, the leading and the background color to suit my needs. My only other choice at the moment would be to have two monitor calibration settings one for Accordance and one for design work.

Note: When previewing this post, the image is reduced to 67%. This magnifies the issue. At 67% I can clearly read the text on the left, but not so with the text on the right. The sentences even with paragraph spacing on are running into each other.
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#5 Charles Stock

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 06:59 AM

Rick's suggestions are excellent.

Accordance is an amazing program. I use it hours each day.

With an Apple Cinema Display set on it's dimmest setting, I still get eye fatigue from the high contrast.

The display settings would greatly improve the joy of using Accordance. This would take Accordance to yet another level of excellence!

#6 David Lang

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:42 AM

Rick,

We'll certainly consider your suggestions. In fact, the ability to change the background color has long been on our list for version 8. That, of course, doesn't mean it will necessarily make the cut, but it does mean that we've set it as a priority.

The example you gave does illustrate the value of adding leading, but you still haven't achieved a true apples to apples comparison. First, the web Bible you show does not display the superscript footnote markers, yet you have not selected the hide superscripts option in Accordance. You could also reduce the contrast in Accordance by changing the text color to something other than black (realizing of course that you want better color options). Finally, I assume you're using that san-serif font in Accordance because you're trying to match the look of the web Bible, but as a designer I'm sure you realize that san-serif fonts are a poor choice if your goal is readability. They are, of course, an excellent choice if what you are after is legibility. But since your original complaint had to do with fatigue after reading the text for long periods, a good serif font will go a long way.

Please understand that I'm not arguing against your suggestions. We'll do our best to implement at least some of them. But in the meantime, there is a lot you can do to make text in Accordance more readable.
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#7 Rick Yentzer

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 01:07 PM

"The display settings would greatly improve the joy of using Accordance. This would take Accordance to yet another level of excellence!" — Charles

Absolutely! I really like Accordance and have been using it for quite some time, although not near to its full potential.

Finally, I assume you're using that san-serif font in Accordance because you're trying to match the look of the web Bible, but as a designer I'm sure you realize that san-serif fonts are a poor choice if your goal is readability.


You're assumption was correct. I was trying to match the web Bible, although I missed the footnotes. Doh.

I appreciate the willingness to look into this. I really think it can help ease the eye fatigue associated with reading on a monitor for long periods of time.

Here is how I have mine currently setup. I'm using the light gray color. The black is too harsh and this gray works better for me. A little too light but better than the black. The font I'm using is called MattAntique BT Roman .

Posted Image
"I'm not afraid of failure. I'm afraid to succeed in something that isn't important." William Carey

#8 Alistair

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 11:09 AM

Joe is wrong about paragraph spacing being a key to legibility, it is line spacing or "leading", and he is also wrong about changing the leading by changing the typeface. Sorry Joe!

I agree that Rick's suggestions are excellent.

David's proposals are also noteworthy, now can anyone propose specific settings for font, font size, paragraph settings etc that would actually help??

~A!

#9 Kevin Soars

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 02:25 PM

Without wanting to change the topic (although I don't fully understand it, it is obviously very interesting and I would not want to interrupt it) may I ask a question (of Rick or anyone else) at this stage? In Rick's online Bible text, I very much like having the book of the Bible at the top of the page and then just the verse number by each verse itself. Can this be reproduced in Accordance (and in Accordance with Tiger - for the moment!)?

Thank you.

Kevin.
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#10 Rick Yentzer

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 04:01 PM

Without wanting to change the topic (although I don't fully understand it, it is obviously very interesting and I would not want to interrupt it) may I ask a question (of Rick or anyone else) at this stage? In Rick's online Bible text, I very much like having the book of the Bible at the top of the page and then just the verse number by each verse itself. Can this be reproduced in Accordance (and in Accordance with Tiger - for the moment!)?

Thank you.

Kevin.


Yes, and I didn't discover this until researching display settings!
I'll post a screenshot.
Posted Image



Hey David, another nice feature would be a preview checkbox in the Text Settings Display to preview changes before committing.
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#11 Kevin Soars

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 04:40 AM

Dear Rick,

Thank you for your reply to my question. I had already tried your suggestion but my 'version' does not look as good as your own. I am adding a screenshot.

[attachment=212:Picture_2.png] (I hope I have done this correctly!)

In your version, the Book Reference, Genesis, stands out 'on top of' the text and is much clearer.

Kevin.
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#12 Joe Weaks

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 02:16 PM

These have been good discussions. And what Rick just said about it being a long time before discovering an option in the text display dialog is so indicative... there is much you can do to improve and customize readability, but very few users take advantage of it. I'm not sure what Allistair's rant was about, but adding paragraph spacing hugely improves readability, and different fonts do make for different lead spacing and can be a big help. It's true that we can't adjust lead spacing for any given font, and that is a shame.
Rick's comments about changing the text from black to something with less contrast is also a help. This would only be enhanced if Accordance adds the ability to change background color.

As for the scripture reference, I think what you're wanting, Kevin, is to set the reference to appear above the verse. In paragraph mode, this reduces its occurrence to the line above each paragraph.
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#13 Kevin Soars

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 03:56 PM

Joe,

You sensed what I was looking for even if I was not able to express well my own request. That is certainly nearer to what I wanted. However, would it be possible to just have the book reference at the beginning of each chapter (with chapter and verse references throughout the chapter)?

You are certainly right with, "...there is much you can do to improve and customise readability, but very few users take advantage of it". I am fully aware that I have only scratched the surface when it comes to the capabilities of Accordance, and the answer to my question is probably somewhere in Help. However, I, for one, need to turn to yourself and others like you, who are always so willing to help the rest of us. We really are fortunate to have a great programme, great support from the Accordance Team and a great Forum.

Thank you,

Kevin.
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#14 Charles Stock

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 06:41 AM

"The display settings would greatly improve the joy of using Accordance. This would take Accordance to yet another level of excellence!" — Charles

Absolutely! I really like Accordance and have been using it for quite some time, although not near to its full potential.
You're assumption was correct. I was trying to match the web Bible, although I missed the footnotes. Doh.

I appreciate the willingness to look into this. I really think it can help ease the eye fatigue associated with reading on a monitor for long periods of time.

Here is how I have mine currently setup. I'm using the light gray color. The black is too harsh and this gray works better for me. A little too light but better than the black. The font I'm using is called MattAntique BT Roman .


Your post spurred me to experiment with text colors. I have found the Accordance Teal to be quite readable.

All this may lead a more colorful Accordance!

Edited by Helen Brown, 02 November 2007 - 08:30 AM.
Duplicate image removed


#15 Joe Weaks

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 09:43 AM

would it be possible to just have the book reference at the beginning of each chapter (with chapter and verse references throughout the chapter)?

No, it is not.
Also, for those who are cutting/pasting, don't forget how powerful the customized citation copy format options are now.

#16 Alistair

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 04:01 PM

I didn't realise that Joe had made a comment here (Oct 31st 2007) or else I would have replied sooner. Sorry, Joe!

David seems to have made a very subtle distinction between legibility and readability, which I don't quite understand, because aren't these two words synonymous?

The basic "rules" of typsetting that I have been taught are:

1) Serif fonts are (generally) easier to read than sans-serif fonts, everything else more or less being equal (e.g. size, leading, tracking, contrast, etc)

2) In order to keep lines of text readable it is recommended to keep line lengths approximately equal to two consecutive lower case alphabets (i.e. the space occupied by typing a to z twice without any spaces), irrespective of the typeface used.

3) Line spacing (or leading, rhymes with 'ledding') should be approx 120% the size of the typeface used, and is one of the major keys to readability/legibility/ease of understanding.

4) Paragraph spacing aids the reader in understanding and separating blocks of thought, though not actually an aid to reading.

These issues relate to Accordance as follows:

1) The Accordance User can choose whatever font they have on their Mac.

2) It is unlikely to be an issue.

3) This is what some users are requesting to be able to adjust manually, similar to the way most word processors allow the user to adjust the line spacing irrespective of the typeface used.

4) This functionality is already available to some degree.

Factors affecting readability:
a. Choice of typeface (style or design)
b. Size of typeface
c. Colour of typeface and of background, degree of contrast between the two
d. Leading or line spacing
e. Paragraph spacing

It seems to me that what is requested here is more control/greater flexibility in areas © and (d). David has hinted at © being in the works for version 8.

Joe's comment maintaining "different fonts do make for different lead spacing and can be a big help" is partially accurate (it depends on the typeface) but perhaps misses the point that users are requesting the functionality to change the leading independently of changing the typeface.

Bear in mind also that these "rules" have been established for print media, so screen resolution and monitor brightness are not factored in.

God bless you!

Edited by Alistair, 22 April 2008 - 04:03 PM.





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