NewDeal Hot Tip 1907

[Hot Tips for...] NewWrite

Line Spacing and Manual Leading

Setting a line-spacing of 0.5 for a 14 point font is not the same as setting a manual leading of 7.

Line-Spacing is something of a misnomer. A line spacing of .5 actually sets the height of each line to one half of what the line would be naturally. In the case of a 14 point font, the space for characters to be drawn in becomes 7 points tall.

Manual leading sets the distance between the baselines of adjacent lines. For example, the distance between the baselines might be set to 7 points, but the space for characters to be drawn in remains 14 points tall.

The result in the case of setting line-spacing to 0.5 is that each line is drawn, and then the area below the line is whited out. This results in a heavily obliterated document. The text is drawn from the top of the line, and then 7 points below that NewWrite starts whiting stuff out to make room for the next line.

In the case of manual leading, the baseline is shifted up to make it 7 points below the line above, but the entire height of the characters is drawn, even if it overlaps the characters on the adjacent line.

Think about it this way: Line spacing moves the line up or down by changing the height of the line. If it moves it up (making the line shorter) then the line above will be clipped.

Manual-leading moves the baseline of each line up or down but leaves the height of the lines alone. The result will be that lines are not clipped, instead you have lines crashing into each other.

I hope this makes sense. It doesn't really solve the problem of having lines crashing into each other and making your screen a mess, but perhaps it will make it easier when deciding which of these two features to use when you are trying to generate an effect.

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Last Modified 7 Mar 1999