Visual Rendering Matters

Visual Rendering Matters:

Examples of changes to content presented through rendering files in different environments

In conducting the research for the Rendering Matters Report a number of illustrative examples were gathered of the kinds of changes that can be introduced through rendering older files in modern software and hardware environments (e.g. opening a Wordstar file in Microsoft Word 2007).

The research documented in the Rendering Matters report did not include any attempt to evaluate the value or importance of any of the attributes that were tested. To help to enable these judgements to be made some examples of changes that were identified have been included below. These examples are included as appendix 2 of the report.

Index to examples:

  1. Microsoft Works 4.0 Document File Example
  2. DBase Database File Example
  3. Microsoft Word for Windows v2 Document File Example
  4. WordPerfect for Windows 5.1 Document File Example 1
  5. WordPerfect for Windows 5.1 Document File Example 2
  6. Corel Wordperfect Document File Example 
  7. WordStar Document file Example

MICROSOFT WORKS 4.0 DOCUMENT FILE

Figures 17 and 18 show how the word count of the Microsoft Works 4.0 file went from 334 to 477 words when rendered in Microsoft Word 2007 and a sentence fragment is now made visible that was not displayed anywhere in the original. The sentence fragment reads: “mbed and locked my hands about his neck. The stick swished twice as th”. This content may have been previously deleted in the original but continued to be stored somewhere in the file.

Figure 18 also shows that extra symbols have been added to the bottom of the document. These symbols are likely formatting information that has been interpreted as text by Microsoft Word 2007.

The formatting and font in the original rendering of the document have also changed. The centre-alignment of the poem in the Microsoft Works 4.0 rendering has changed to left-alignment in the Microsoft Word 2007 rendering and the font changed from Times New Roman to Courier New in the Microsoft Word 2007 rendering.
 
Figure17

 Figure 17: Microsoft Works 4.0 rendering of a document showing word count

 
Figure18

Figure 18: Microsoft Office 2007 rendering of a Microsoft works 4.0 file with a sentence added and different word count

 

DBASE DATABASE FILE

 
Some of the database files that were tested included structural components such as field restrictions and links. In Figures 19 and 20 changes can be seen in the field size restrictions and decimal place restrictions. Both of these have been removed in the Microsoft Access 2007 rendering but appear in the DBASE IV rendering.
 
Figure 19

Figure 19: DBASE file rendered in DBASE IV showing table structure

 
Figure 20

Figure 20: DBASE file rendered in Microsoft Access 2007 showing table structure

 

 MICROSOFT WORD FOR WINDOWS VERSION 2 DOCUMENT FILE

 
DROID identified the file in this example as a Microsoft Word for Windows version 2 file. When rendered in the nearest version that was available, Microsoft Word version 6.0c the word “certificate” in the document was displayed using the “NewCenturySchlbk” font. This was changed when the file was rendered in LibreOffice Writer 3.3.0 when “certificate” was rendered using the Times New Roman font. This may be a significant issue in certain cases. Font changes have been shown to be very problematic in cases where the font can no longer be found and substitutes are inadequate . For more information on the issues that fonts can cause see: “Born Broken: Fonts and Information Loss in Legacy Digital Documents”. Brown, Geoffrey; Woods, Kam. 2009. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/53z897zb (accessed 13/12/11)

In addition to the font change the New Zealand Forest Research Institute logo was removed in the LibreOffice Writer 3.3.0 rendering of the document.
 
Figure 21

Figure 21: Word for Windows version 2.0 file rendered in Word 6.0c for Windows 3.x

 
Figure 22

Figure 22: Word for Windows version 2 file rendered in LibreOffice Writer version 3.3.0

 

WORDPERFECT FOR WINDOWS 5.1 DOCUMENT FILE EXAMPLE 1

 
The WordPerfect for Windows 5.1 file in this example contains a cover sheet for a VHS video tape. Figures 23, 24 and 25 illustrate changes in rendering of the file between different versions of WordPerfect for Windows 3.11 and Microsoft Word 2007.

The fonts change in the Microsoft Word 2007 rendering, two “{PRIVATE}”labels are added to the heading in the top left of the document and the text identifying the VHS as holding a Black and White and 10 minute video clip move their position.

The positioning of the text on the “spine” is also changed between the different renderings. Although not visible, the WordPerfect 5.2 for Windows rendering (Figure 23) does allow for the text on the spine to be displayed via a different interface once the space on the screen is clicked on.
 
Figure 23

Figure 23: WordPerfect for Windows 5.1 file rendered in Word Perfect for Windows 5.2

 
Figure 24

Figure 24: WordPerfect for Windows 5.1 file rendered in WordPerfect for Windows 6.1

 
Figure 25

Figure 25: WordPerfect for Windows 5.1 file rendered in Microsoft Office 2007

 

 WORDPERFECT DOCUMENT FILE EXAMPLE 2

 
In the example illustrated in Figures 26 and 27 a file containing a list of films is rendered in the “control” WordPerfect for Windows 5.2 environment and in Microsoft Word 2007. In the Microsoft Word 2007 rendering content is added, the fonts are changed and the formatting is significantly altered.
 
Figure 26

Figure 26: WordPerfect file rendered in WordPerfect 5.2 for Windows

 
Figure 27

Figure 27: WordPerfect file rendered in Microsoft Office 2007

 

COREL WORDPERFECT VERSION 7 DOCUMENT FILE

 
Figures 28-31 illustrate the rendering of a file containing a report on tree growth. The report contains a number of diagrams including the one illustrated in these examples that identifies properties of a tree at different stages in its lifecycle.

The “control” Corel WordPerfect version 7 rendering of the file and the diagram is virtually identical to the Corel WordPerfect X5 rendering of the file and diagram. The LibreOffice Writer 3.3.0 and Microsoft Word 2007 renderings of the file and diagram are significantly altered. In the LibreOffice Writer 3.3.0 case almost all of the information in the diagram is lost and in the Microsoft Word 2007 case some is lost and some is altered in a way that may affect the meaning of the diagram.
 
Figure 28

Figure 28: Corel WordPerfect version 7 file rendered in Corel WordPerfect version 7

 
Figure 29

 Figure 29: Corel WordPerfect version 7 file rendered in LibreOffice Writer 3.3.0

 
Figure 30

Figure 30: Corel WordPerfect version 7 file rendered in Microsoft Office 2007

 
Figure 31

Figure 31: Corel WordPerfect version 7 file rendered in Corel WordPerfect X5

 

WORDSTAR DOCUMENT FILE

 
A set of equations was included in the WordStar file illustrated in Figures 32, 33 and 34. When rendered in all other tested environments including Microsoft Word 5.5 for MS-DOS (Figure 33) and LibreOffice Writer 3.3.0 (Figure 34) the meaning or purpose of the numbers above the equation in the examples was not apparent. When rendered in the control WordStar version 7 environment it becomes clear that the numbers above the equation in the examples are intended to be interpreted as exponents (or “powers” e.g “x²”). This meaning was presumably captured in the control environment by the creator utilizing the font spacing and text spacing functionality to position the exponents above the relevant positions of the equation on the line below.
 
Figure 32

 Figure 32: WordStar file rendered in WordStar version 7 for MS-DOS

 
Figure 33

Figure 33: WordStar file rendered in Microsoft Word 5.5 for MS-DOS

 
Figure 34

Figure 34: WordStar file rendered in LibreOffice Writer 3.3.0