Friday, September 12, 2008

Computers...Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Throw 'Em Out the Window

OK, anyone out there with any computer-related skills, I need your help.

I've got a client who needs documents returned with precise formatting. They're on a PC. I'm on a Mac. I use the Mac version of Windows 2004. I have no idea what they use.

I write the document. The document looks just peachy on my end. I send it over, and on their end the last line of the first page invariably rolls over onto the top of the second page. It happens sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't--even if I leave two spaces between the last line of the first page and the top of the second.

I've been poking around online and in help forums, but haven't seen mention of this particular problem. If you have any idea of how to fix it, your input would be most appreciated.

Have a great weekend!

10 comments:

David Fideler said...

The only way to do it and be 100% sure is to send them a PDF. -- David

wolf counsellor said...

you could use google docs and save it online, so your client will receive the document in the same format

http://docs.google.com

David Fideler said...

Jennifer . . . I'm afraid the only way you can control that for sure is by creating a PDF of the document. Then everything is "pasted" in place and they will get exactly the same document that you are seeing.

They are asking you to do a publishing and design function, not a copywriting function. :-)

David

Lillie Ammann said...

I agree with David. Even if you were both using a PC, there might be variations based on different versions of Word. You can't guarantee documents will look the same in two word processors on different computers.

raoul Morris said...

If you are wedded to a "Word" format, you could try saving it as an "RTF" file and be sure to tick the "make documents windows friendly" box.

Otherwise I always send as PDF.

David Fideler said...

My guess is that it could have to do with one computer having the eliminate widows setting turned on, and the other has it turned off.

Regardless of whether this is true, it's another reason you don't want to use Word for layout purposes.

David

Jennifer Williamson said...

Hey everyone, thanks so much for the advice! You're right, the only real way to do this right is to send it via PDF, which I'll talk to them about on Monday. You're right, David--this isn't usually part of my job as a copywriter and usually I wouldn't bother, but it's quite well-paying and generally hassle-free otherwise.

I think what may be happening is either the "widows and orphans" setting or the fact that they have "fix margins" turned on over on their machine, where they'll automatically change the margins back on the template to whatever they have theirs set to. I changed the margins on my template to fit more info in, and when I changed them back and deleted some spaces the problem was eliminated.

If this doesn't work next week, I'll use all these suggestions as options. Once again, thank you all SO much.

Anonymous said...

I know the problem has been solved already but just as a pointer, my IT teacher always got us to do assignments in Dreamweaver (HTML). The reason being is that just about every computer on the planet has a browser that can read and format HTML. If you don't have Dreamweaver use notepad.

Lori said...

Is it critical that they can't fix that on their side? I'd say insert a page break, but that's probably going to net a more frustrating result.

I'm with wolf counsellor who says to use Google Docs. It'll look identical from both sides with that.

Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

I think you found the best solution, maintain 'default' margins. These change depending on individual printer settings so if you've set yours wide theirs might still be default and thus, you get either printing off the edge of the page or stray next page lines.

PDF is definitely the way to go if they are after print standard layout and design. However, most PDF conversions are not editable on their end so this step should always be the final in a project, post all editing and critique.

HTML isn't an option for this sort of problem either since HTML will render based on browser settings that can force changes in font size etc.