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Printing Large Charts to .pdf

large charts printing PDFCreator plotter setup Windows 7

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#1 ggilbert1

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    Glenn Gilbert

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:33 AM

The instructions given in the Printing Charts Section of Visual Chartform (VCF) Notes by Douglas Hill, published on the Ottawa TMG Users Group web site were written in 2008 for earlier Windows Operating Systems the instructions for setting up PDFCreator have changed for newer operating systems.

To locate the original article go to the Articles and Presentations page scroll down to 2008 and locate Visual Chartform (VCF) Notes, by Douglas Hill (June 2008)

The South King County Genealogical Society (SKCGS) - TMG User Group developed revised instructions for Windows 7 based on Douglas Hill's article.

Attached File  Update-Printing-Charts.pdf   671.47KB   1313 downloads

20 May 2013 Adding a note that these instructions are written specifically for use with PDFCreator and may NOT work with other programs that create PDFs.

31 May 2014 Fixed broken text colors in 20 May 2013 edit.

23 Aug 2015 This article has not been reviewed since May 2012 your mileage may vary.


Edited by ggilbert1, 23 August 2015 - 12:42 PM.

Glenn Gilbert
Gilbert-Genealogy

#2 RobinL

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:47 PM

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.
Robin Lamacraft
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#3 rowan.bradley

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 02:51 AM

Very useful instructions. I managed to make them work using PDFill PDF & Image Writer (Free).

But the need for this complicated procedure is presumably because Visual Chartform is missing some features that it ought to have? In particular, it seems to have a Custom Size option in chart size, but no way of specifying what the custom size is...

Rowan

#4 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:16 AM

Rowan -

A change in the Microsoft operating system in Vista and Win7 removed the option to set the custom paper size in VCF and has necessitated this workaround. People using WinXP are able to set the custom paper size directly. RM5 uses the same basic chart software (with fewer options than VCF) and has the same problem with custom paper size in Win7/Vista.

Virginia
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#5 RobinL

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:21 AM

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
Robin Lamacraft
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#6 RobinL

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 06:11 AM

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.m...8c-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
Robin Lamacraft
Adelaide, Australia

#7 rowan.bradley

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:19 AM

Interesting info thank you. I understand and agree with the logic for being able to select a different paper size at a late stage. But messing with the default printer is, as you say, a very non-obvious and inelegant solution. Never mind, I now understand how to do this, and it has enabled me to do what I was trying to do. It would just be nice if the software industry (in which I include MS and WG) thought a bit harder about ease of use and the range of uses to which their software may be put, and did a bit more user research, before arbitrarily changing things in new versions...

Rowan





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