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#1 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:48 AM

Chart2.jpg Chart1.jpg

Gary -

If you are going to send the charts to WG for printing, you do not need to be concerned about a printer. You create your chart in VCF, using the chart ruler to gauge the size of the chart and send that .vc2 file to WG for printing. Instructions are on their web site for chart printing here.

They can make the chart any size you want (up to 3'x25', I think).

Almost always the left-to-right orientation will get more generations on a page.

To fit more boxes on a page, if you are using portrait mode, make the boxes squarish - screenshot 1

If using landscape mode, make them long and narrow - screenshot 2

Take time to plan carefully what data to include and what data format to use, so you can get the most information in the smallest space. For help with setting the data type options, see here.

Compacting the chart: fancy frames may not be practical - they take up a lot of space; use smaller fonts and no shadows - but consider the font size and line widths for viewing from a distance when making a wall chart. Follow the spacing recommendations for the one-page charts to eliminate extra space between generations, but again keep in mind that people will be standing back from the chart.

Virginia
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#2 Jim Byram

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 01:39 PM

One comment... The system font should be set to normal/small/smaller (100%, the default) depending on your version of Windows when composing a chart for WG to print. (This advice came from Dorothy Turner who printed the charts at WG for many years and still might <AFAIK>.)

#3 RobinL

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:50 PM

Gary,

I find that left-to-right charts become unworkable if they exceed 8ft in height (typically over 400 persons on the chart).

Take a look at the technique that I described on page 243 of GTMOOTMG (Edited by Lee Hoffman). This can halve the width of very wide chart without a loss in the comprehension. With several "group" operations you can drag blocks of boxes to reduce the width and increase the height of the chart. You don't have work box by box. The only finesse is in making the extended lines joining the marriage partners that are separated by a move to take the path that you desire.

I regularly use this technique to make larger charts much easier to display (and use less paper). The largest chart that I can print is 49ft * 3ft on a single page, but most of the time I try to make several sub-charts each of which is less than 20ft across as long wall spaces clear of doors and windows are uncommon at the venues of most family reunions.

Robin

Gary -

<snip>

Almost always the left-to-right orientation will get more generations on a page.

To fit more boxes on a page, if you are using portrait mode, make the boxes squarish - screenshot 1

<snip>


Virginia


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#4 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:47 AM

Gary -

There is an example of a large chart broken down into color-coded smaller trees here.

I made the main chart top-to-bottom and smaller charts left-to-right - but all of them could be either orientation.

Virginia
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#5 Mike Talbot

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 12:40 PM

Example of an 8.5 x 33 inch composite chart

This line of descent chart is a composite of components from about 15 standard 5 generations VCF ancestor charts and one 3 gen. descendant chart for a total of 35 generations. It is reasonably certain that no genealogy program could ever generate such a chart as a standard. So, if you want one, you must build your own. Luckily, TMG provides all of the needed tools.


Start with a blank VCF chart.


>One by one, generate standard VCF ancestor charts and hand select the needed boxes. Copy and paste them to the initially blank chart. Then rearrange the boxes as required by your design. Repeat until all needed ancestor boxes are included. There are VCF menu entries that assist you in aligning and spacing the boxes.
>Generate a 3 generations descendant chart. Delete all connector lines and move boxes to the required locations as shown. Copy and paste them to your destination chart.
>Add connector lines as shown.
>Add desired explanatory text. You may now import any desired large images.
This example chart took about half a day to construct, including finding and fixing mistakes. Only the order of constructing the chart is described, here. Details of performing individual tasks are described in numerous places in this forum,

Note: Those confusing spouse connector lines are gone and replaced by overlapping spouse boxes. A single connector line connects a multi-generational line of boxes. Pictures and judicious use of color, make the chart more interesting. You should have identical definitions of boxes for ancestor and descendant charts. Don't forget to save your work, frequently. More lines of descent may be added, each will widen the chart by about 4 inches,

For this example, details on living people were hand deleted from the individual boxes.

For a composite, 4 generations descendant chart with some added ancestors that measures
8.5 inches x 16 feet, see (and scroll):
http://lagenealogy.net/Talbot.aspx

There are hundreds of boxes on that one. There are many other examples of completed VCF edited charts at this site.

Best wishes and enjoy VCF,

(what you see with this forum editor is not exactly what you get. Sorry about that. My first attempt to fix this message in quick edit mode failed. Then the fix was easy in full edit mode.)


.

Attached Thumbnails

  • talbotRoyal.jpg

Edited by Mike Talbot, 04 April 2011 - 03:31 AM.


#6 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:06 PM

Take a look at the technique that I described on page 243 of GTMOOTMG (Edited by Lee Hoffman). This can halve the width of very wide chart without a loss in the comprehension. With several "group" operations you can drag blocks of boxes to reduce the width and increase the height of the chart. You don't have work box by box. The only finesse is in making the extended lines joining the marriage partners that are separated by a move to take the path that you desire.


MoveBoxes.png

I think this is the technique Robin uses to compact a chart - and may be similar to the chart to which you linked on the mailing list (and which I found confusing to follow). I highlighted the boxes I moved from the second row down to a third row - and then moved the outside boxes in the 2d row toward the middle. You will notice that several of the connector lines were lost in the process. This is the skilled part of Robin's technique that takes some practice to get right (and which I have not mastered). Also note that this realignment of boxes means that a generation will not be on a horizontal line.

Virginia
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#7 Gary Martens

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 02:57 PM

Read pages 242 & 243 of Lee Hoffman's book to get some ideas on what has to be done to resize charts and move things around. From that I see that trying to realign children under parents is not the proper way to change the charts, as shown in Figures 14-10 and 14-11 of the book. You need to select and move whole families.



1. Generate the chart for the number of generations you want.



2. Go to File->Page Setup and adjust the paper size to a large size like A0, then change to Landscape.



3. Go to Tools->Diagram->Resize Drawing, and change the width of the drawing. If you initial chart was 10 inches wide, don't make the new size 20 because VCF will resize the boxes, and not add white space to the right side of a Left to Right Chart.



4. The first problem I ran into in doing this with a Left to Right chart was when I tried to move a family where there were 2 wives, each with children, when I tried to move a wife and her children, VCF did a very poor arrangement of the children, lines drawn through other children, and several were left unattached - no line going to them. So I went to a Top to Bottom chart, husband with two wives, tried to move a wife and children down. It moved the group, but I ended up with a set of children in the original place and another set of the same children down where I moved them to.



5. So back to Lee Hoffman's book. You need to use the marguee method to moves groups around, which is selecting people by drawing a box around them with the mouse, like you do in graphics programs to select an area. On a Left to Right chart, the first thing I found was that if the line to a wife comes out the bottom of the husband box, you have to keep it that way. If you try to move the wife to the right of the husband, you end up with a line through the middle of the husband box. Same for Wife with husband below.



6. To unselect an area that you have selected with the mouse, make sure you left click, don't use Ctrl-Z. You can do a Ctrl-Z one time to undo the last move.



7. Depending on how the family is arranged on the chart, you may not be able to select a whole family, but you may have to move just the person at the head of the family first (wife or husband), then the spouse, then the children. In the marquee method, you are drawing a line around the object, and you don't want to include parts of another family in that rectangular selection.



8. I ended up with some strange left over lines that went nowhere. I couldn't select them with the mouse and delete them. Is there a way to get rid of these lines?



9. My conclusion is that I'm going to have to move ahead at least one generation and create a number of charts, because moving things with these extremely large charts just becomes a tangled mess.



Gary Martens





#8 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 04:00 PM

Gary -

Re step 3, above. To change the dimensions of the chart, do not use Resize. On the same menu, use Diagram Measurements to set the new size. VCF will not change the box sizes in this case.

You may get some ideas from the tutorial videos in the pinned message at the top of this forum. The videos are short with no sound (the accompanying messages explain them). To print a forum message, go to Options in the upper right corner of the message and click on 'Print this topic'. A couple of the tutorials are on connector lines and their junctions (which I call Rubik's cubes). You want to watch out for those and use them to align boxes and lines correctly.

Good luck. Ask if you need help -

Virginia
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#9 Mike Talbot

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 05:10 PM

Gary -

Re step 3, above. To change the dimensions of the chart, do not use Resize. On the same menu, use Diagram Measurements to set the new size. VCF will not change the box sizes in this case.

You may get some ideas from the tutorial videos in the pinned message at the top of this forum. The videos are short with no sound (the accompanying messages explain them). To print a forum message, go to Options in the upper right corner of the message and click on 'Print this topic'. A couple of the tutorials are on connector lines and their junctions (which I call Rubik's cubes). You want to watch out for those and use them to align boxes and lines correctly.

Good luck. Ask if you need help -

Virginia


Please tell me how to find Gary's original question/message.

Thank you,

#10 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 05:26 PM

For the mailing list threads on this subject of large charts, see the April list archives and messages by Gary Martens:

http://archiver.root...dex/TMG/2011-04

Virginia
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#11 Gary Martens

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:41 PM

I had a very strange chart produced by VCF. The chart was a Descendant Chart, Left to Right, on standard size paper, box size of 90 pixels. VCF put the title at the top, with the oldest person partway into the title. Then there was 71 inches of absolutely nothing until you get to the descendants. I moved that one box down about 80 inches, so it's back in front of the descendants, then moved the chart title down. Now there's 70 inches of blank space at the top of the chart. VCF won't let you select and delete that white space, so I selected the whole chart and moved it to the top. I'll have to use a PDF editor to get rid of the white space from 19" to 91" on the chart, unless someone knows a better way of getting rid of it.

#12 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 02:11 PM

Gary

Now that you have moved the chart to the top, to get rid of the white space, change the diagram measurements to your paper size. Do that on the menu: Tools > Diagram > Diagram Measurements. You have a choice of units of measure.

You should have your ruler and page bounds turned on (the View Menu). Set the View to 50% (so you can see the whole chart on the page), use Ctrl-A to select your entire chart and then use the up/down/right/left arrows to center your chart on the page. This is explained in the message (see steps 1-10) and video here:

http://www.whollygen...showtopic=12918

I can't explain the distance between the oldest person and the next person. Are you using the default numbers on the Chart Style tab for Title location, Diagram location, and Gap between boxes? Those defaults are 0,0 - 50,15 -
20,30. You can add more space between the title and the diagram (so they don't overlap) by increasing the number for the Diagram location > offset from top margin.

Virginia
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#13 Gary Martens

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:11 PM

Virginia:

I found another way to get rid of that 71 inches of white space at the bottom of the chart, after I moved everything to the top of the chart, just do a Tools->Diagram->Repaginate and it removes it.

After doing some editing to compact things a little, this chart printed nicely on my wide format HP 7000 printer, on 13x19 inch paper. Probably a way Windows 7 handles printers, but I had to have my HP 7000 set as default, then run VCF through TMG, then print the chart. Running VCF by itself continued to default to the PDFcreator, and changing printers in VCF didn't help. Wihtout doing that, all I got was blank pages.

This all might be a Windows thing, because I have 5 real printers installed, and 7 other print devices shown.

Gary Martens

#14 Gary Martens

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 06:10 PM

I've been trying various PDF creators/print drivers (PDFcreator, PDF995, Foxit PDF Converter, Soda PDF 2011) and the free PDF creator works as good or better than any of them,

I'm creating Descendant charts, PDF files that are 12 to 20" wide and up to 30 feet or longer. When printing the files in VCF, some have suggested using the Postcript Custom Size paper. When doing that, I don't get acceptable results. Even when I specify really long page sizes, when you look at the crezted PDF pages, they are only 3 feet long, with a bunch of white space before the next page. I get the best results by specifying the A0 size paper, which is 33x47 inches. There is also size B0 which is 39.4 x 55.6 inches. The only negative to this way is you end up with a dashed line across the page at the page breaks.

Getting large charts printed at FedEx Office (Kinko's) is fairly simple. The only problem is that for some unknown reason, when they look at the charts created using the A0 size, all charts look like 35x56 inches. I note the size of the chart in VCF, and give the people at FedEx Office that size, and they can adjust the output to be that sze.

#15 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 07:33 PM

Gary -

Re the dashed line at page breaks - could the option be set to Print cut marks (VCF File menu) and that is what you are seeing?

Would it work for a big chart to download the Postscript printer driver from Kinko's site, select that printer in VCF, and send that file to Kinko's instead of a PDF?

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#16 Gary Martens

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 03:13 AM

The print cut marks are shown whether you have that option turned on or off. If you specify the Postscript Custom size and specify the length of the chart, it simply does not make one long chart, but splits into pieces, with a long white space before the end of each page. Besides the PDF devices I listed in the previous message, also tried CutePDF that someone indicated as a choice.

The Fexex Office Print driver may work, but at this point I don't want to spent the money to find out. If you sue that driver as default and print to it, it automatically sends the file to FedEx, and I see no way of previewing the file. The only options are submit for printing, or remove.

I'll stick with A0 paper size with the page break lines at 47 inches.

Gary

#17 RobinL

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 03:38 AM

The print cut marks are shown whether you have that option turned on or off. If you specify the Postscript Custom size and specify the length of the chart, it simply does not make one long chart, but splits into pieces, with a long white space before the end of each page. Besides the PDF devices I listed in the previous message, also tried CutePDF that someone indicated as a choice.

Gary


Gary,

I believe that then white space problem is in 2 parts:

1) are you running Vista or Win7? IF so you need to manage the desired page size externally to VCF. That is, you need to set the PDF printer the windows default printer AND set the default page size for that device to be the the desired page size for THIS CHART. This setting must be done before you open VCF to print that chart. Usually that means saving the chart as a VC2 file, looling at the Tools > Diagram > Diagram Measurements for the desired single page output, then exiting VCF. Set the PDF printer as the default.Change the Srver Properties of the PDF printer to select the desired page size. Then re-open VCF on the saved PDF file. Now look art File > Print Preview to check that your settings have worked. BEWARE that some PDF printers have limitations in the largest page size that you can print (some are limited to A0, etc). I regularly produce PDFs without gaps that are 20ft (6m) across.

2) Note that in Vista and Win7 VCF: File > Page Setup uses the default page size of the default windows printer to paginate the content to go on the printed pages. Setting a different page size in File > Print _DOES NOT_ effect the pagination of that content that is the printed hence the excess white space. It is just a tedious process to exit VCF make the default page size change and re-open VCF.

Please do the process in the desired sequence and report back whether you still get the white space.

RobinL
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#18 Gary Martens

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 11:27 AM

Robin:

What PDF creator/driver are you using?

Gary

#19 RobinL

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 04:42 PM

Robin:

What PDF creator/driver are you using?

Gary


For about the last 5 years I have been using a pay-for version of deskPDF from www.docudesk.com. They do have free trial downloads on their site. The main advantage to me was that it will produce single page PDFs up to 650 in in either direction (16.510 m). It has a number of features that I find useful.

Also, Some PDF viewers get confused with very large PDF files, (especially page size and it orientation). You may need to experiment with settings to get the full content on a single page view. Always enter dimensions in the portrait mode (width less than height), then select landscape mode if that is what you want.

BTW: I have no association with docudesk.

Robin
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#20 Gary Martens

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 07:10 PM

I'm using Windows 7. I had version 2.5 of deskPDF Pro, and couldn't get it to work, so I downloaded the current version of deskPDF Std and installed it after uninstalling all other PDF drivers.

I knew I wanted a chart of 13.25 x 165 inches, so before even getting into TMG and VCF, I went into deskPDF, set it to Postcript Custom, and set the page size to 13.25 x 165, and exit after saving. I go back into the properties of deskPro and it is reset to 8.5 x 11. When I go into VCF, the Tools->Diagram->Diagram Measurements are set to 13.25 x 184 (not 165) after I make sure that Page Setup is set to Postcript Custom. deskPDF does not save Postcript settings.

When I load the previously created chart, it has the dimensions set at 13,25 x 185, but it has the dashed pages makes set as if I want 8.5x11 paper, and when I print the chart, it comes out as 8.5x11 pieces. Poscript Custom just does not work.




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