Ruler units in points and picas?

12 points per pica, 6 picas per inch.

Not really important but, as someone who used to do projects in PageMaker and InDesign, points and picas are a comfort zone for me — the proportions work out better if to someone who’s conscious about font sizes. Inches and centimeters are kinda, meh.

Sure, given that it’s only a couple of minutes’ coding, why not? :slight_smile: (It’s one of the few things that really is that easy using the OS X text system.) I’ve just added it for 2.0.

All the best,

This message altered to protect the intelligent from reading it.
What? More stuff added to 2.0? I bet nary a keg to be seen in the binder. Shame. Shame.
The question is who is no longer among the intelligent?

Is it really that easy?

Just wondering because iWork gets this wrong, or if it’s right, then it’s based on a logic I haven’t heard of yet. The desktop publishing standards are 72 points = 1 inch and 6 picas = 1 inch and that’s what InDesign, Quark Xpress and PageMaker did with their rulers. But for some reason, iWork groups points into 100s instead of 72s; and picas into 10s instead of 6s. I don’t know anyone who uses points and picas who think of them the way iWork does and so iWork feels wrong.

Could iWork be using the metric system?

That is a joke. You should be laughing. If you are not laughing then you might want to question the meaning of my existence.

I think it means that the people who’re developing iWork think they are making it easier for the great unwashed; but, of course, the great unwashed are not going to be thinking in terms of points and picas … they have enough trouble with centimetres and inches!

Of course computer points are already a rationalisation — though one that should be welcomed — since generally printer’s points were 72.27 to the inch. I wonder who’s to blame for that … :slight_smile:


I was thinking about this, it makes sense in terms of pixels. For something like Keynote, that makes sense since that stuff tend to get projected onto a large screen. When you’re trying to figure out how large something is compared to the rest of the screen, it probably is better to think in terms of hundreds.

But projects done in Pages tend to get printed out where people are either thinking in metric with centimeters or in english where the inch rules. It’d be nice we could have the option to choose between dtp standards vs screen standards. Or better yet, points in dtp standards whereas pixels are in screen standards.

At least though, Apple is consistent. I was just poking around in Microsoft Word and picas are grouped in 6 per inch but, points are grouped in 50 points per 0.694 inches. Very strange.

Prolly for the same reason that the atomic weight of hydrogen is 1.0079 grams. It seems that publishers have no problem adjusting their units to match technology whereas if scientists did the same thing, it would throw them all off or something.

Ah. In that case, no, it’s not so easy. The OS X text system does it the same as in Pages. I don’t see that there is any way to set where the dividing marks come. Sorry!
All the best,

Actually, it turns out I can set it so that picas get counted in sixes, as in InDesign, but not so with points. This is the only setting in OS X that controls the ruler points: … Units.html

What this means is that I can tell the ruler the following:

• How many points are in a unit (e.g. 12 points per pica).
• If the view is zoomed out, where the numbers should go (the “stepUpCycle”). E.g. If the view cannot count every single pica without it becoming crowded (with a 1, 2, 3 etc over every single pica demarcation), how many jumps there should be between numbers. The default is 10, but by setting this to 6 it means that at normal zoom levels you will see 0, 6, 12 picas marked.
• If the view is zoomed in, what extra markings to put in (e.g. mark half-picas etc if there is space).

Adjusting this for picas, so that it shows them in groups of six rather than groups of ten, works fine. but adjusting it for points does not, because the jump from groups of ten to groups of 72 is so big. What it results in is no markers in between the big blank gaps of 72s.

The problem with the system is that although it allows you to tell it how to group markings if it can’t show each individual one, and what extra markings to put in if it has extra space, it doesn’t allow you to say “group them in 72s and show the 32 mark and each halfway mark in between” or suchlike.

So the long and the short of it is that although I have added the option for picas and points, picas will be displayed as in InDesign, but points will be like in Pages.

All the best,

I was thinking about this and how about grouping the points into 12s since 12 pt = 1 pi? From there, it’s very easy to make the mental leap to group them into 72s.

But surely in that case you may as well use picas?
All the best,