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Everything posted by RobinL

  1. I thought I would share with you what you can do to create a chart that shows all persons in a project who are connected together. This single A0 (47" * 33") page has 254 persons on it. It was created in a number of steps and used flags to identify focus persons and overlaps of descendancy. The blue lines highlight the ancestry of a family but also shows the siblings and their descendants as far as they were recorded in the project. It is the result of 18 separate executions of Visual Chartform which have been edited and linked together. Where for the best use of space the chart has to be broken into pieces, then the curved dashed blue lines go between 2 boxes that represent the same person, usually a female who then becomes the wife in a more extensive chart piece. I present it to show that Visual Chartform is a very powerful creation and editing tool. RobinL
  2. I have put up a picture to help others who are following this topic: RobinL
  3. This happens in some situations. It particularly prevalent when using UK marriage style in top-to-bottom charts when showing of multiple spouses. The second, and more spouses (including the "unknown person") can be placed very far to the right creating a gap. This happens when the first marriage has no or a small number of children (with zero descendants) while the second or more marriage has a larger tree of descendants. If you are using the UK-style marriage layout, just try the US-style marriage style to see whether the gaps persist. If they persist then your problem is described below. It can also happen when the compacting section of the layout algorithm fails to recognise an unusual situation and applies a rule that creates the extra space. There is no change of a setting in Chart Options that will help. In both these cases the gaps can be manually reduced by editing the created chart (an option that is not available in many other family history charting programs). Sensibly dealing with gaps in the UK-marriage style takes a lot more skill than removing the gaps that are present in both marriage styles. There are some non-visible objects on the chart that are used to place how the inter-generational lines are placed. To under-stand this, select a rectangular region of a couple and their children. You will find a "connection point" object highlighted near where the lines from each child connect to the line from the parents. To maintain a sensible layout of a chart as you edit, your must also move that object to maintain the interconnection line arrangement. With this understanding you can now select a rectangle of the chart, right-click group it, then drag that to a desired location to remove the gap, then right-click un-group it. There is finesse in the choice in the order of making moves and how much to try to move in one action. TIP: pressing SHIFT while dragging will maintain vertical or horizontal alignment. HINT: It is often difficult to select just the boxes you want move because the selection rectangle (marquee) also selects unwanted boxes. In these circumstances, select the boxes in a small region that you don't want to select for group that you are to move, and right-click-group them. Now those boxes will not be selected in you bigger selection unless your marquee also totally encloses the unwanted grouped selection. Save the .VC2 file and experiment on a copy. Also when doing this re-shaping process save .VC2 files after each major successful move. These intermediate .VC2 files can be deleted once you have completed the task. I hope that this helps. RobinL
  4. manrich23, I have had a lot of experience with larger charts. I also live in Adelaide. Please send me an email here, so we can arrange a meeting to discuss your problem. The approach that I have adopted in the past for these very large initial families is to produce a sub-chart for each sibling and their descendants, as top-to-bottom. The maximum width of all of the these charts defines the final chart initial width. Now create a left-to-right 2 generation chart starting at the progenitor. This then enables (with careful editing) you to place all charts on the final canvas linked in child order down the page. The vertical gap between the initial siblings can be adjusted for the height of the previous siblings descendants. As a rule of thumb, the width a simple top-to-bottom descendancy chart is about 40% of (the number of persons in the chart) multiplied by (the width of one box + its gap to the next box). This is based on the observation that about 40% of the people are shown in the widest generation, usually the penultimate. With 674 persons and a box width + gap (160+20pixels @ 96ppi = 2" or 50mm) giving 540" or over 13.5m. If there is significant in-balance between the size of the various sub-charts there is a way to reduce the depth of the chart or the width of the chart, a technique I call re-shaping. Shown on page 143 of the Getting the Most Out of The Master Genealogist (Ed. by Lee Hoffman). I hope that this helps RobinL
  5. Virginia - that was it. THANKS The include blank surety was not checked and some children had both parents and others only had one. I am waiting for a reply from Tauceti to confirm all is now OK. RobinL
  6. I now have a .SQZ backup of this project. I will investigate further but the first indications are that the Descendant Box Chart produced by Visual Chartform does not have the same person relationships as the chart created by the Descendant Indented Chart. We have conducted all the maintenance tasks several time so to reduce VFI down to zero errors. The error still persists. I will look at the contents of the event tables as it appears that the primary indicator of some tags (and child-parent links) are not being interpreted correctly in the GenBridge export to Visual Chartform, while the Descendant Indented Chart appears to be producing the expected result.The person views in TMG are as expected. Data for births, deaths and marriages which are in the project are not on the chart, but appear in the Descendant Indented Chart. Parentage of children results in a lot of "unknown" persons" in VCF but no unexpected ones in the DIC. This has to be a project data problem. I will report further once I have had the time to dig deeper. RobinL.
  7. tauceti - I live in Adelaide and could help you if give me a call or email me RobinL
  8. Two topics here: A. longer/wider PDF files I had a PDF writer that would create files up to 650" (16.51m) in either direction. This was the DocuDESK deskPDF v2.55 which I had used for over 8 years without problems. Recently they released deskPDF 2014 Studio X.as it had some new features that I required. To my dismay, the "Postscript Custom Page Size" option is very broken (ignores the setting and produced 1 page at the same standard size of the Windows Default Printer). I have been in a many message dialogue with DocuDESK Support for the last 3 months about getting this functionality re-instated. To my knowledge this was the only product that would work beyond the Adobe 200" limit. I have been promised a beta version to test once it is available. I will add a commentary to this thread once I have had the chance to test the update. B. Re-shaping the chart (NOTE: This process should be first tried on a COPY of your saved. VC2 file until you are confident with your chart editing skills. It is also sensible to save intermediate versions under temp names as after each creation of a group. Grouping can take a seemingly long time on larger charts.) On page 243 of "Getting the Most Out of The Master Genealogist" Compiled and edited by Lee Hoffman, I described a technique to reshape a chart 1) While viewing the chart at View > Normal, In Tools > Diagram >Diagram Measurements, make the height at least 3 times the current height - this gives you new space for the later operations. 2) By selecting the left-most large sub-branch of the tree, grouping it, dragging it down the page, and then to the left.. 3) Then grouping the remainder of the chart to the right hand piece , then dragging it to the left to close the gap. 4) This process can be repeated on other large sub-branches, to form a second or third row of branches. 5) When you are done, ungroup all the grouped sub-branches. 6) Use Tools > Diagram > Size to Components to reduce the canvas down to the required size. Typically, the minimum length/width of the re-shaped chart is governed by the width of the largest sub-branch - that is, it spans the full width of the final page. So you may be able to reduce a very wide chart to one that is about 1/3 wide and 3 times higher.. A helpful display hint before you start moving sub-branches is to i. Select one individual in the second or third last generation, right-click menu > Select Generation ii. While all these boxes are selected, right-click > Properties, Line tab , change line colour to red, [OK] out iii. Now when you have finished all the reshaping, all persons with a red outline are all at the same generation, making it easier to compare cousin-ships in such a chart. BTW: It is unlikely that this technique would reduce the 13m width sufficiently to get it under the 5.08m (200") limit but it may work. This can take some effort but it does make all the content to be easier to display. Virginia's method may be easier for you to achieve. It depends on what you want finally. RobinL
  9. Another approach - if you are wanting a JPG file of a small chart to include in a wordprocessing file. Create a chart where all the box sizes and font heights, etc are a multiple of the required final size, say 4 times. Then the JPG will contain 16 times the number of pixels. When it is viewed it iwill be less likley to be blurred. Also that JPG can then be shrunk as it is inserted in to a Word document to give a better quality image than the original 96 dpi one. RobinL
  10. A JPG saved from VCF is 96 dpi. It will blur as you magnify it. Don't save it as a JPG, save it as a PDF. To do this you will need to save it with (in Vista, Win7, Win 8) the PDF writer as the default windows printer. Save the chart as PDF then it will not pixellate. This file will then magnify as you expect. RobinL
  11. This is most likely an incompatibility between VCF and certain images in the chart in Windows 7. I presume that your chart works as expected if you don't request images? You will need to isolate the problem by creating a series of ONE GENERATION descendant charts (with image), where the focus person is one whose picture you suspect as creating the problem. Each chart will only show the focus person. Once you have found a case that consistently crashes VCF then you will need to send a project that just contains that person to Wholly Genes support. You can export just that person to a new much smaller project. You will also need to send the offending image. This problem is not something that can resolved without a test case that can be sent to the developers. RobinL
  12. Image Placement

    A wishlist request to add this option was made by me many years ago but it has not been acted upon. A problem with the current left/right options is that they make ALL boxes wide enough to hold an image, thus making the chart much wider than necessay.. A CENTRE option would have all boxes at the same witdth, but only growing depth when an image was present. This, of course, would then increase the distance from generation to generation making the total depth of the chart larger.
  13. To the Cloud

    For several years I have been using all my TMG projects stored and used from my first NAS. Regular backups (not TMG initiated) then copy these to my second NAS. I have not seen any performance hit. I assign the same drive letter to this partition of NAS1 on both the XP and W7 computers so that the various paths are not confused. (BTW: I use the data_paths.txt method to relocate all TMG folders to the NAS1.) Somewhere in the TMG archives (or forum) - I have previously listed most of the issues associated with 2 or more concurrent TMG editing sessions of the same project. Basically, operations on a single tag, name, source, citations, place, repository precludes operation on that object by another computer. HOWEVER, any operation that implies global changes will not proceed in concurrent mode. That is, editing in the Master Place List, Backups, VFI, Optimise, Add a new flag, Renumber Persons, etc require exclusive access to the whole project .It will halt the session that is trying perform one of these operations until it is only thesession on that project. e.g. other uses must be terminated by their user (but there is no indicattion to the other users that this must happen!).
  14. 2 ideas that might help - 1) Can you create the Descendants chart using the Sample project? - If so, then it is not likley to be Visual Chartform, but something in your project's data that is causing it. 2) Can you create a Descendants chart on your project but starting with a small numer of generations (say 3)? If that works then increase the number of generations until it fails. The most likley problem is that you somehow have got a relationship link that makes an ancestor appear as the child of a descendant child. "I am my own grand-pa". Then VCF will keeep going round that loop exhausting the availale memory. I have not seen your reported crash in the many thousands of VCF charts that I have run.
  15. Larry, If filters use custom flags, then custom flags are only defined for a specific data set. Hence you may find that the filters will need to be adjusted for the new dataset (assuming that you are using custom flags of the same name in both places). Custom flags get a suffix added to their name of the form #<datset number> like related#3 for dataset 3. Robin
  16. In the past (about 5 days ago), after viewing View New Content, a refresh of it did not show the topics that you had viewed on today. Now it seems that this flag is not being updated until the change of date in the US. Doesn't work well for others in non-USA time zones. Is this a deliberate change? RobinL
  17. Laura, When you say there are a lot of blank pages, you mean entirely blank? Is there anything obvious about pages that are above or below a blank page that gives you a clue as to why the page is blank? Remember that when using a small page size (say Letter), VCF outputs the full rectangle of pages (including blanks) when it prints that chart - there is no option to avoid printing blank pages. Robin
  18. Try googling " Win7 Printer Button Page Setup " (without the quotes) to see that this change has frustrated users and developers of many different packages. Clearly Microsoft in their workaround did not understand that the changing of a printer and then the selected page size was an operation that needs to be done on a job-by-job situation. Messing with the Windows Defaiult printer was not the solution. I might have 3 applications open whose output I might want to print while also working a VCF chart. (I have 5 active physical printers on our network and 3 of them and 3 PDF writers can set custom page sizes.) For a reasonabale explanation please look at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/br/winforms/thread/29b17b85-3c33-4eb1-9a8c-84f1360f7347 The assumption is that you only need to change the page size as you go to actually print. This does not work in any application that edits a canvas, CAD, graphics or montages. It also doen't work when you can edit to a custom page that you need size of for the application use in some oparation to mark or partition the canvas. Basically, to resolve this printer selection problem, the Page Setup part of VCF needs to be recoded by Wholly Genes. RobinL
  19. Rowan, VCF uses an algorithm to lay out the chart according to the rules for spacing the boxes and page margins, etc. VCF assumes that it has an infinite canvas while it is constructing the chart - that is, the construction is independent of the page size for the selected printer. At File > Print and File > Print Preview it uses the currently selected printer page size to partition the final chart into pieces that fit onto the selected printer page size. This process is important because the saved VC2 file is not pre-cut into pages. This is very important for persons who wish to send the VC2 file to another party (with Visual Chartform, like Wholly Genes) to print that chart on a larger sheet of paper.If the cut into pages was done before saving the VC2 file then it would be impossible to then later print the whole chart unbroken at the small page boundaries on a single larger piece of paper. The actual composed chart size is found under Tools > Diagram > Diagram Measurements. The canvas size can be re-adjusted here - especially, if you choose to add more images or annotations or move boxes around. Many Descendant Box Charts are very wide and very shallow in height, wasting considerable areas of paper. I would very much dislike it if the user expected VCF to fit the chart into X pages of some size. This could lead to some infeasible outcomes. (E.g. large font, large number of boxes on a small page!). So create the chart - then look at Tools > Diagram > Diagram Measurements, and then work out the best match to your available paper sizes. Then work towards that critical dimension by adjusting the canvas size and moving boxes to fit in that size. It doesn't take long to work out how to reshape a chart to better use the white space on a paper roll of a particular width. (Most printing houses charge by the length of paper roll used.) I hope that this helps. RobinL
  20. Glenn, Very good instructions. I also use this method to send an image of a VCF file to others so they can view it with a PDF Reader. One trap to creating large canvas PDFs is that some later versions of Adobe Reader cannot render them correctly. But I find that the free Foxit PDF Reader has always worked. I don't use PDFCreator but another commercial package that allows me to create PDFs on a canvas upto 650 * 650 inches.
  21. The traditional Fan Chart is a compact way of displaying all ANCESTORS of an individual. Your request is to follow just male lines as DESCENDANTS. There are some family history applications that will produce a descendant form of Fan Chart. HOWEVER, wilth the varying number of sons in each branch, these become extremely difficult to interpret (as more extensive branches require a large fraction of the circle to display them). I would not recommend them as the most effective metthod of display. Many years ago I submitted a wish that VCF box charts had an option (mainly for DNA studies) to only show a selected gender of persons. Unfortunately, this has nor been acted upon.
  22. T2quirke, Are you using Vista, Win7 or XP? Even so, there are 2 issues here. The JPG that is saved from Visual Chartform is only 96dpi so it can be lower quality than the PDF process. Also JPG has number of pixel limitations - so don't use it for very large charts. The advantage of the JPG method is that it doesn't refer to a printer page size - all the chart is in one image. The JPG method. Use File > Export (make sure that the file type is Jpeg.) This file can be scaled but sharp contrasts lile the edges of boxes may become blurred. The PDF method This requires you to install a 3rd party application that looks like and acts like a print to a Windows application. You then File > Print to that "PDF printer". Earlier messages in this thread explain some of the issues. THE CATCH OF THE PDF METHOD is that Visual Chartform takes the currently set page size of the PDF Printer. It creates a separate page for each part until it covers the whole chart. When you take such a file to an external printing house they will print N pages each equivalent to the content of a Letter or A4 page (typically). The advantage of the PDF method is that the image is drawn using vecrtors and will scale without loss of detail. BTW: I don't know of any print service bureau that will stick multiple pages back together to make one large page for you. Besides there is a bug in the VCF code that carves up the chart into pages - it looses 3 pixels at each boundary, so stitched text acoss a boundary is has at least one squashed character. SO ... before you try to print to a PDF printer, you must set the page size in the PDF printer to one that will hold the whole chart on a single page. The proof that you have achieved this is to see that FILE > PRINT PREVIEW shows the whole chart on one page. Now this is where the tricky bit starts - it will work as expected on Win XP, if you set the PDF page size via the FILE > PAGE SETUP before you print. (Microsoft has been unkind in later versions of its OS's) On Vista and Win7, FILE > PAGE SETUP does not have a printer selection button, therefore before opening Visual Chartform you must make the PDF Printer the Windows Default Printer via Control Panel or Printers and Devices. It is a good idea to also at least select the Custom Page Size in Control Panel. Some users have had probelems in getting these custom page sizes to be be recognised by VCF. So just to make sure set the page size in PAGE SETUP, then OK out, and then try PAGE SETUP again to see whether your selection has stuck. Then use PRINT PREVIEW to confirm that all is as expected, print to the PDF printer.
  23. Before any thing else - Make sure that you have saved the chart file as a .VC2 file (use File > Save As ...) It sounds like you are on Vista or Win7. You are probably seeing just the options available for your Windows Default printer. When you open File > Page Setup does the window have a [Printer ...] button in the bottom right corner? If no [Printer ..] button you are on Vista or Win7 - that means that you need to go to Start Menu > Printers and Devices and make the PDF writer (say PDF995) is set as the Wndows Default printer. Now re-open Visual Chartform and open the saved .VC2 file. Now in VCF when you File > Page Setup you should now get a page size entry, like Custom, Postscript Page Size, or something like it Once you get that you should be able to set the page size required. Make sure that you then do a File > Save to ensure that setting is in the saved .VC2 file. The proof of your setting comes when File > Print Preview shows the whole chart on a single page. Finally, look at your output PDF in a PDF viewer Adobe or Foxit as single page. Only then can you take the PDF to your local printing house.
  24. Report: List of all Persons

    I have had a paralell experience with Excel 2007 on XP but not related to TMG. I get an Excell .xls file sent to me as an attachment (recieved in Firefox). Click on the attachment to open it and Excel opens with no file shown. Wait a few minutes and finally the file shows (small 5 sheet file, each of the 4 sheets, each of less than 50 rows and 6 columns, no graphics). If you reclick on the Firefox attachment, then Ecell instantly shows the file. If you save the file to the desktop, click on it from the desktop the same delay occurs. Or once save you click on the file in Windows Explorere Excel opens and then has a long delay in showing the file. If you click again on the file in WE once the empty Excel is showing, the file renders very quickly. My analysis, is that Excel is expecting a .XLSX file. It takes a long time to open itself, then unpick the .XLS file. There could be some setting in Excel that would improve its performance.
  25. a footnote: Some usual Winows processes in opening a .VC2 file in VCF don't work as expected on _some_ operating systems. 1) If you find a .VC2 listed in Windows Explorer, then double clicking that entry will open VCF with a blank screen, that is, it opened the right package but did not open the file within it. You need to use the File > Open navigation to actually open the file. 2) If you have VCF window already open, then click on the .VC2 entry in Windows Explorer then drag that entry to the VCF window, the file will not open the chart in VCF.