PowerPoint 2008: Can’t even render Arial font properly

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft
February 11th, 2008 • 11:40 am

As another piece of evidence that I am not making things up when it comes to Microsoft’s incompetence, here’s what a text box containing a simple line of text in a PowerPoint slide that I am editing today looks like:

Kerning problems in PowerPoint 2008

Nice kerning, uh?

And don’t imagine for a moment that this is Microsoft software struggling to render a third-party Postscript font or anything like this. This text is formatted in Microsoft’s own TrueType font Arial 10 pt, viewed with a zoom setting of 154%. Changing the zoom setting does not change anything to the problem. It just makes it smaller or bigger.

And to confirm that things are completely screwed, here’s what the right-hand side of the same text box looks like after I press command-A to select the entire text in the text box:

Selection highlighting all wrong

The selection highlighting is clearly all wrong, and the obvious reason is that PowerPoint itself does not have any idea what the text actually looks like.

Nice job, Microsoft.

Do I even want to spend any time trying to figure out how to reproduce this problem? Fat chance. Microsoft does not deserve an extra second of my time. All I did was to open a PowerPoint file sent to me by someone else. This is not a bug. This is solid proof of Microsoft’s incompetence or utter carelessness when it comes to developing Mac software.

(UPDATE: Apparently, it’s the presence of some text in superscript in this text box that is enough to throw PowerPoint’s text rendering engine off. Superscript text? No one ever uses that, do they?)

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