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1.15 oval margin
explanation of the new oval margin layout rules for
GEMS has had the
oval margin parameter since day one to allow space between the ovals and
the race box line. Ovals can only occupy positions snapped to a
quarter inch. Box lines were also fixed to the quarter inch.
The oval margin was only applied to the first candidate column of the
race. The theory was there is no point in wasting space on an oval
margin for the other candidate columns: The candidate margin keeps
the text away from the ovals in the next candidate column.
vertical lines. These get drawn between candidates, which is to say just
to the left of the oval when using left ovals. This defeats the oval
margins, since we have a line up against the oval again.
The solution is to
apply the oval margin to each candidate column of the race. This is great,
except that now database upgraded from previous releases will lay out with
different oval positions when you have more than one candidate column. No
way around that.
So far so good, but
we are still wasting a full quarter inch for every candidate column on the
ballot. The ovals really only need 1/8" (less?) of an inch to
themselves. The answer is to allow the shifting of the whole race box
over. This is the new Shift X parameter in Oval/Box. It can be
negative (left) and positive (right). It is similar to the old "Shift
Down" parameter, only horizontal.
Candidates remain up
against the oval on the left but the space on the right is extended into the
next column. This gives you 1/8" (or more) space for each candidate, while
only having to sacrifice the rightmost column of the card. Here is what
the final result looks like with a oval margin of 1 and a Shift X of 12 (these
are nice defaults even for single column candidate artwork). Note the
gridlines relative to the race box:
This feature will
also allow us to have thick race lines in the future without causing Ian to
loose any more hair.