invisible formatting

190208 XKCD Invisible Formatting
190208 XKCD Invisible Formatting

when i was working at the print shop in issaquah, prior to my injury, i had a customer who always provided their own “artwork” for the print jobs they wanted. the problem was that this customer used Quark eXpress (which all the GOOD customers used) but he used the “faux” formatting from the toolbar — which is okay if you are printing from a local, computer-printer, but not if you’re sending it out to a print service — rather than using the “correct” formatting, by selecting the proper typeface from the menu.

what this meant, was that, inevitably, i would, either, have to reset the entire piece, or go through the artwork — sometimes character by character — to reset all of the faux formatting he had done.

i was really impressed that this guy was actually able to use the proper program for this, but it irritated THE HELL out of me that he couldn’t learn to do this one, TEDIOUS, TIME-CONSUMING, job correctly, so that i wouldn’t have to second-guess him all the time.

finally, i had enough.

i copied the entire piece, and pasted it just outside the page, on what they call the “pasteboard”. it’s usually not a place for permanent storage, but a place that it’s convenient to store blocks of type during formatting (so that you don’t have to type them more than once). if you do it correctly, it effectively doubles the size of the document, but there is no obvious flag which indicates the location of “the rest” of the document. if you “zoom out”, it’s obvious, but most people don’t “zoom out” larger than the page size, so it’s effectively hidden.

the first couple of times i did this, he didn’t notice, because he already had a relatively old, slow computer… but after a while of my doing this on the same document, he started noticing that this particular document took FOREVER to load, and it took EVEN LONGER to save, once he had made changes.

the last time i saw him, which was just before my injury, he was complaining about “his computer”. he said that he would double click the document, and then go away for an hour and do other stuff, and when he came back, sometimes the document would be loaded… 😈

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