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Judy Chambers

Inserting Images as Background

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I am new to VCF and am having trouble inserting an image as background and having it come out the right size and print well. I want a chart that is 16 x 20. I need 5 generations. Setting up the chart data is no problem. What file formats work best for images? Is there any way to take an image saved as a pdf file and convert it so it can be used in the background? I know this image has been printed as a large poster from the pdf file. What image size would be needed to get a printout that large that is clear? Do I need to save it to a different format? I am just learning about using images. I hope this makes sense.


Thank you,



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Please read and understand Virginia's reply. As Virgina said, make frequent inttermediate backup copies of your VCF chart, during editing. The purpose of this reply is to give an example and some restrictions.


I prefer JPG format pics to import into VCF. BMP and a few other graphics formats are also supported for VCF importation.


PDF file import is not supported by VCF. You must first convert the PDF file to a graphics format that VCF can handle. That topic is best addressed in an ADOBE forum or support group.


The size of a VCF imported graphics file must be smaller than your VCF."canvas". You can make your canvas really big to begin, then trim it to your desired page size later.


In the following example the ancestor chart was generated and edited to fit on letter size paper (see the 5 generation chart topic in this forum from July). The techniques work on any reasonable size..


Expand your canvas size to be larger than the background picture and then import it. It is best to have a picture slightly larger than the desired final size, resolution will not be lost when you resize it. Move the picture to the upper or left edge of your page to serve as an anchor for resizing the picture.


To resize, select the picture, it is still covering part of your chart. You will see 8 dots around your picture, one at each corner and one at the mid point of each border. Place the mouse cursor on the lower right corner dot, while holding down the left mouse button. If you want.to preserve the picture's aspect ratio, simultaneously hold down the keyboard shift key. Move the mouse while holding down the left button toward the center of your picture until it is reduced to your desired size (probably when it is at or within the opposite page border from your chosen anchor border).


Now use the BACK menu entry to place your picture in the background, behind your chart. You may now move your background picture to yor desired location, since you can now see what parts of the background are covered by your chart.. Don't be afraid to slightly move a few chart components if they cover a key portion of your background. Finally, perform other desired chart editing and trim the chart to the final desired size.


There are two background pictures in the attached example chart plus three person boxes copied and pasted from other charts. The identical example chart is shown twice in both JPG and PDF format. It is easier to do than to describe.


Good luck,



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