12 Replies Latest reply: Feb 14, 2012 2:17 AM by winterm RSS

    The point of two points?

    [Ariel] Community Member

      Hello,

       

      I've been meaning to ask for a long time: I often find myself cycling

      through the measurement units (CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-U by default), especially

      to switch between pts and mm.

       

      Anway, I notice that there seem to be two types of points, or at least,

      when you cycle through, to get past pts you have to press twice.

       

      So I'm wondering: what is (is there?) a difference between those two

      point measurements? What is the difference? How do I know which is

      which? What's the real point? What am I asking? Why am I here?

       

      No, but seriously. Do you know?

       

      Thanks,

      Ariel

       

        • 1. Re: The point of two points?
          Daniel Flavin Community Member

          This sounds like one for Ann Marie at InDesign Secrets...

          • 2. Re: The point of two points?
            P Spier CommunityMVP

            On my system when you run through that way you go through Pixels (which is the same as points) then custom, then real points.

            • 3. Re: The point of two points?
              [Ariel] Community Member

              I should have mentioned that I'm on CS4 (ME if that's relevant but I

              think not in this case).

              • 4. Re: The point of two points?
                P Spier CommunityMVP

                I thnk you're seeinghte Custom units.

                 

                Go to the prefs and set your ruler to custom and I bet it shows 12 (the default) which would look just like the reguular points settings.

                • 5. Re: The point of two points?
                  mpc999 Community Member

                  Maybe you're seeing Postscript points and traditional points, two choices in units preferences that are very similar.

                  • 6. Re: The point of two points?
                    P Spier CommunityMVP

                    mpc999 wrote:

                     

                    Maybe you're seeing Postscript points and traditional points, two choices in units preferences that are very similar.

                    No, that governs the spacing of the tick marks in rulers that use points. The custom setting is also points, but changes the number of minor ticks between major lines. If you leave it at twelve, you'll be looking at Pica divisions.

                    • 7. Re: The point of two points?
                      [Ariel] Community Member

                      Hi mpc999: I also considered that -- but I measured carefully, well

                      zoomed in, and I saw that there was no difference. I think that's a

                      choice you make in preferences only (ie Adobe points or Trad points) and

                      it redefines the points measurement wherever it is used throughout the

                      document.

                      • 8. Re: The point of two points?
                        [Ariel] Community Member

                        Peter, you're right. Selecting custom in the prefs brings up 12pt in the

                        adjacent box (never noticed those boxes before, never used custom

                        either). I tried changing custom to 36pts, and lo! that change is

                        clearly reflected in the ruler when I cycle through the units. So one of

                        the points is the regular point, and the other is the custom.

                         

                        But, if I'm guessing correctly, the custom unit IS actually points? It's

                        just the display on the ruler that changes when you select custom,

                        right? I guess some people want to be able to easily tick-off every 54th

                        point or what have you. But the underlying measurement unit remains

                        points, which is why (at least in CS4) it displays as points (ie all

                        measurements have the pt suffix).

                         

                        So in that case Custom is not really the same as the other units.

                        Because for all other units, if  you type 1 in some measurement box,

                        you'll get different actual lengths; but for custom and points you'll

                        get 1 point in both cases. Wait, and I guess that the same for inches

                        and decimal inches too.

                         

                        Okay, I guess this is making sense. Thanks!

                         

                        Ariel

                        • 9. Re: The point of two points?
                          P Spier CommunityMVP

                          I think tha about sums it up. Custom is useful if you want easy oddball increments to show on the ruler (maybe for colmns of some sort), but it's still just points.

                          • 10. Re: The point of two points?
                            [Ariel] Community Member

                            Thanks all!

                            • 11. Re: The point of two points?
                              John Hawkinson CommunityMVP

                              If you want to know what unit you have selected, Control-click the intersection of the two rulers.

                              Reading this thread it looks like you didn't try that, but maybe I'm wrong.

                              It's a moot point anyhow, I guess, if it is even a point.

                              • 12. Re: The point of two points?
                                winterm Community Member

                                John Hawkinson wrote:

                                 

                                If you want to know what unit you have selected, Control-click the intersection of the two rulers.

                                That's on Mac, I suppose. In Windows - right click that intersection for context menu.