Is Mac OS X biased toward Keynote vs. Powerpoint?

Scottyk9

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
648
0
Canada
So I do a lot of presentations, and for many of those I use pictures from articles that are in pdf format. I noticed that when I switched to the Mac about a year ago, that the quality of the images that I cut and pasted from pdfs was quite poor, especially if you try to enlarge them. I attributed this to not using Adobe Acrobat.

So I bought Acrobat Professional - but no luck, they still look lousy.

Anyway, I now am playing around with keynote 2.0 and guess what? The excerpts from the pdfs look great! Inserting them into powerpoint is still the same - crappy. And another thing - if I cut and paste from Acrobat, they look crappy in both Keynote and Powerpoint.

Does anyone know why this is? Is there some way to ensure the all cutting and pasting from pdf (from preview) are stored as high quality?

Thanks
 

dvdh

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2004
429
0
Keynote, like Preview, is likely using antialiasing on your images. Therefore, your images should end up looking smoother even if they were low quality source. I'm not sure that Powerpoint does this. I doubt that it has anything to do with the OS, though.

On the following image the left side is like what you get with Preview or Keynote, while the right is like not having antialiasing (or bicubic resizing in this case) (I have exaggerated the scale to make the difference more obvious)

Does this look like what's happening?
 

Attachments

Comment

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
You might want to try zooming in with Preview until you reach what appears to be the "native" size of the image, then do your cut and paste. That should capture all the detail.
 
Comment

Scottyk9

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
648
0
Canada
jsw said:
Want to share a sample PDF?
Ok, here is a screenshot, with Keynote (KN) and Powerpoint (PP). Both images are taken from the same pdf opened in preview, and enlarged to fill most of the slide. Running them as slideshow does not alter image quality

Maybe you're right, perhaps it is more a function of powerpoint than anything else. Although when I cut the same image from Adobe and past, it looks equally lousy in Keynote as it does in Powerpoint.
 

Attachments

Comment

Scottyk9

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
648
0
Canada
jsw said:
You might want to try zooming in with Preview until you reach what appears to be the "native" size of the image, then do your cut and paste. That should capture all the detail.
I tried that with powerpoint - still look the same (i.e. crappy).
Thanks for the thought though.
 
Comment

jamdr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
659
0
Bay Area
To answer your question, no. The OS does not have control over other programs like that. There is no function in OS X that looks like this:

void paste(image theImage) {
if (programRunning == "M$ PowerPoint")​
makeImageLookLikeCrap(theImage);​
else​
makeImageLookReallyGood(theImage);​
paste(theImage);​
}

Maybe PowerPoint purposefully imports images from the clipboard in lower resolution. I would suggest that instead of pasting the images, save them as a png or whatever and then import them into PowerPoint.
 
Comment

andrewm

macrumors regular
Apr 2, 2004
132
3
Los Angeles, CA
Quartz

Disclaimer: Following Opinion From the Perspective of a Programmer ;-)

Keynote is a Cocoa (i.e., Mac OS X native) application and, like Preview (which is also Cocoa) it makes use of Apple's system-wide Quartz rendering libraries. While PowerPoint has many more effects, it is still a Carbon programme. Carbon essentially contains many legacy technologies left over from OS 9 (and even before), as well as some Windows-compatibility code (if I recall correctly). Although it is now geared toward gradually easing developers into Cocoa, the sheer task of porting a monolithic suite of tools like Microsoft Office for Mac to another language, after they've used the same one for years, is not something that Microsoft likely intends to take on.

Carbon, as you might gather, is a bit messier than Cocoa, and although a 'good' (well-written) Carbon programme, with up-to-date code, can take advantage of most of the system libraries (thanks to some parallelism by Apple parallelism in modern Carbon and Cocoa), PowerPoint is not up-to-date in many areas, including its rendering engine, which is probably a standard Microsoft thing that saves them a great deal of effort, but yields the reported results.
 
Comment

jamdr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
659
0
Bay Area
andrewm said:
Disclaimer: Following Opinion From the Perspective of a Programmer ;-)

Keynote is a Cocoa (i.e., Mac OS X native) application and, like Preview (which is also Cocoa) it makes use of Apple's system-wide Quartz rendering libraries. While PowerPoint has many more effects, it is still a Carbon programme. Carbon essentially contains many legacy technologies left over from OS 9 (and even before), as well as some Windows-compatibility code (if I recall correctly). Although it is now geared toward gradually easing developers into Cocoa, the sheer task of porting a monolithic suite of tools like Microsoft Office for Mac to another language, after they've used the same one for years, is not something that Microsoft likely intends to take on.

Carbon, as you might gather, is a bit messier than Cocoa, and although a 'good' (well-written) Carbon programme, with up-to-date code, can take advantage of most of the system libraries (thanks to some parallelism by Apple parallelism in modern Carbon and Cocoa), PowerPoint is not up-to-date in many areas, including its rendering engine, which is probably a standard Microsoft thing that saves them a great deal of effort, but yields the reported results.
I don't program on OS X (or any Mac OS for that matter), but I don't really think is the issue. I would think that rendering would be a basic thing that M$ would want to implement correctly, regardless of whether they are using Cocoa or Carbon. If fact, I was unable to reproduce the user's problem and suspect it has nothing to do with either PowerPoint or Keynote at all. I can paste an image from Preview or Acrobat Pro into PowerPoint or Keynote, and it is rendered identically.
 
Comment

Scottyk9

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
648
0
Canada
jamdr said:
void paste(image theImage) {
if (programRunning == "M$ PowerPoint")​
makeImageLookLikeCrap(theImage);​
.
ok, you've made your point. Although I seriously would wonder if those commands are a core component of MS software.

Thanks for all the suggestions. The question for me is more theoretical now, as I don't have to screw around with image manipulation to make the slides look good anymore, I can simply drag and drop into Keynote.
 
Comment

Scottyk9

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
648
0
Canada
jamdr said:
If fact, I was unable to reproduce the user's problem and suspect it has nothing to do with either PowerPoint or Keynote at all. I can paste an image from Preview or Acrobat Pro into PowerPoint or Keynote, and it is rendered identically.
WTF? what am I doing wrong then? The image quality of the pdf's attached of powerpoint are what I have been struggling with for a long time now...
 
Comment

jamdr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
659
0
Bay Area
Why don't you post the original PDF file that is causing the problem and I can try it on my machine. I'll see if I get the same results. I'm using Keynote 2 and Office 2004.
 
Comment

Scottyk9

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
648
0
Canada
jamdr said:
Why don't you post the original PDF file that is causing the problem and I can try it on my machine. I'll see if I get the same results. I'm using Keynote 2 and Office 2004.
Thanks for that offer. Here is the pdf that I am working off of, with the graph on the 5th page. I have replicated the issue on multiple different pdf documents, and a few different Macs

thanks again
 

Attachments

Comment

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
Scottyk9 said:
Thanks for that offer. Here is the pdf that I am working off of, with the graph on the 5th page. I have replicated the issue on multiple different pdf documents, and a few different Macs

thanks again
Part of your problem is that that graph is poorly scanned, so a "perfect" capture will show the flaws. I suspect that Keynote is, as mentioned, anti-aliasing it to make it look better, something PowerPoint won't do.
 
Comment

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,910
41
Andover, MA
As you can see, the graph itself - the actual image - sucks. Click to see full-scale to see how bad it is.
 

Attachments

Comment

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
But it looked much worse in PP than that.

I think I know the reason, though. Keynote uses Cocoa and supports pdf, that means the pdf content can remain unchanged and is rendered in Keynote as pdf and not as a bitmap image.

PowerPoint on the other hand does not support embedded pdf, so the content is rendered to a bitmap image before it is copied, the scanning looks like it has a resolution of about 300 dpi this is rendered at screen resolution which is around 72 dpi. This gives the exact screen pixels that you see if you choose Show -> Normal size in Preview, and hence it looks like crap.

This theory could also explain why it looks like crap when it is copied from Acrobat Professional, because Acrobat probably doesn't offer the clipboard copy as pdf content to Keynote, so it will be rendered as an image using the same rules as before.

I think you can solve this by zooming in with Preview, take a screenshot to the clipboard with cmd+ctrl+shift+4 and paste into PowerPoint.
 
Comment

Scottyk9

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
648
0
Canada
jsw said:
As you can see, the graph itself - the actual image - sucks. Click to see full-scale to see how bad it is.
No arguement, the image is not high quality, but that is not the issue. See my post above where I have attached pdf's of how this image looks in Keynote vs Powerpoint. Keynote preserves the image quality(or lack thereof), where as in powerpoint the numbers on the figure are unreadable, and is not suitable for presentation.

Take a look at those - there is a huge difference
 
Comment

Scottyk9

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 18, 2004
648
0
Canada
gekko513 said:
I think you can solve this by zooming in with Preview, take a screenshot to the clipboard with cmd+ctrl+shift+4 and paste into PowerPoint.
Hey that worked, thanks!
Now I have a work around in case I have to use powerpoint.
 
Comment

johnnyjibbs

macrumors 68030
Sep 18, 2003
2,959
119
London, UK
I think it is basically because Acrobat and PowerPoint, as aforementioned above, are crappy carbon ports and don't take advantage of many of OS X's rendering capabilities. In the case of PowerPoint, it also probably uses many legacy rules and technologies that used to cripple images, etc to save memory on slower computers 5-10 years ago but that Microsoft hasn't bothered to update in its code. On the other hand, Keynote and Preview are newly developed cocoa programs that take advantage of OS X to its fullest and therefore produce much better looking results.

I think it is for this reason that Keynote and Pages were developed in the first place - as up-to-date versions of PowerPoint and Word that did make use of OS X's decent graphics abilities. I'm 99% certain the problem you're having is nothing to do with OS X itself.

The best solution? Use Keynote for presentations. Its PowerPoint exporter is very good and it blows PowerPoint completely out of the water in my opinion. Ditch PowerPoint and its crappy ageing technologies.
 
Comment

snkTab

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2004
579
0
Cincinnati, OH
I've worked with importing images in PowerPoint using Windows and the graphics suck as well.

I say, Keynote is just better in this aspect. I mean really, whens the last time PowerPoint was enhanced. Hello, 1980s are calling and it wants it's PowerPoint back.
 
Comment

Pittsax

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2004
445
0
Toronto, Ontario
I might be missing something, but why not just use Acrobat to select the area of the PDF you want? I copy figures from PDFs into Powerpoint all the time, and I've never had a problem as long as I zoom in on the original graph before copying it in.
 
Comment

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2003
2,921
3,119
Interesting conclusion to suspect Apple for wrong doing than Microsoft for not building a quality product.

What you are seeing is the reason why graphic designers, artists, video editors, et al, generally prefer the Mac and non-MS products such as those from Adobe or Macromedia. OSX is designed with a fine eye for image detail.

Microsoft is an engineering company by trade and culture. Accordingly, MS products tend to do poor output from a visual perspective. Just look at the difference between the text printout in Word vs any other program out there. Word looks terrible. And in this scenario, Apple isn't involved at all.

You're blaming the wrong player here. Leave feedback for MS that they need to improve their product, but don't create a conspiracy theory where one doesn't exist.
 
Comment

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2003
2,921
3,119
One other thought: there is a company which uses hidden API's and secret product information to give their products a leg up. There is also a company which notoriously uses their OS to break competitors' product.

But that company is Microsoft, and accordingly, they have been sued and found guilty by every G7 country and major player in the business.

Need some current proof from 2 weeks ago:

The latest window security update changed user preferences for search away from Google to MSN. Think about that. A security update, so you have to install it, with a hidden "feature" to turn off Google and make people use MSn. THAT, my friend, is Microsoft.

No, Apple isn't perfect, but they are not scum bags like Microsoft.
 
Comment

Similar threads

Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.