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fixing split text blocks in FreeHand

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Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

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Perhaps I’m not the only dinosaur still using FreeHand, so I thought I’d share a trick I came up with over the weekend. In files coming over from Illustrator format (such as those exported from GIS), there’s often a problem with labels being broken into pieces because of the different ways that Illustrator and FreeHand handle kerning of text. So a label such as “Taurus Ave” will break into five labels, because of kerning after the T and before the A and v.

I went all the way back to ArcGIS and edited the attribute table (in Excel and Notepad) to substitute unusual characters for the ones giving me the most problems: & for T, # for W, ^ for V, and % for Av. Because kerning around those non-alphabetic characters is not common, the words including them survived the trip through Illustrator and into FreeHand, where it was a simple matter to use Text Find and Replace to correct them back to the proper spelling. You do have to be careful not to use + or other characters that have special meaning in Excel.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics



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Good idea.
If one could work out a system using non-kerning and non-magic characters, then a coder/decoder could be built into a ring one could wear on one's finger....

If it is the kerning that mucks things up, couldn't exporting in a monospaced face work too?



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We've used a similar approach when exporting Freehand files to Illustrator. It is the kerning that gives us grief so we've done similar letter/symbol substitutions to get around the problem.

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