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# 1.15 oval margin

• To: <support@gesn.com>
• Subject: 1.15 oval margin
• From: "Ken Clark" <ken@gesn.com>
• Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 18:42:48 -0600
• Importance: Normal

Here's an explanation of the new oval margin layout rules for 1.15.

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.

Enter candidate 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.

Ken