How to change the pagesize in VCF without regenerating the chart in TMG

You’ve run the chart, made lots of changes, added new people, removed others, moved them around, and so on and so on, and then you realise that the page size is A4. Aaarrrrrgh!

According to my previous post you need to change the default printer and page size in Windows before generating the chart in TMG, and you didn’t do that. Do you have to make all those manual changes again?

This is the question I had to answer yesterday, and the answer, I’m grateful to be able to say, is no. I went searching and came across the answer buried in a forum discussion with Robin Lamacraft and others on the Wholly Genes website.

The answer relies on the fact that the pagesize is buried in the .VC2 file. Once you create the chart it’s too late to change it. So the answer is to create another one. Some of these steps are the same as for creating the chart from scratch in TMG, so I have copied them directly from the previous post.

  1. Make sure PDFCreator is installed. This is free software to allow you to print a file as a PDF. The following instructions probably work with other PDF software but this is the one I use.
  2. Set PDFCreator as the default printer in Windows.
  3. While you are there, right click on the PDFCreator icon and select Printer Preferences.
  4. This is where you are going to change the size of the page. You have to do this here, it doesn’t allow it from within VCF.*
    1. Select the orientation of the paper. A long skinny chart might be better in landscape; a not-so-skinny chart might be better in portrait.
    2. Click on the Advanced button.
    3. Change the Paper Size to PostScript Custom Page Size
    4. Click on the Edit Custom Page Size button
    5. The width and height are probably set to A4, ie Width 210.00 and Height 297.00. Change these to suit. For example, if you have set the orientation to Landscape so that you have a single chart with multiple A4 sheets end to end then multiply the Height by the number of pages.
    6. If in doubt, bigger is better than smaller.
    7. Paper feed direction seems not to matter.
  5. Click OK and OK again.
  6. Make sure VCF is closed.
  7. Open VCF. It now knows about the new default printer and page size.
  8. Now create a new, empty chart in VCF. It will be in the new page size.
  9. Now open the one you spent all that time changing, and CNTRL-A to select everything on the chart.
  10. Copy the chart and paste it into the new chart. (Use CNTRL-C in the old chart and CNTRL-V in the new one).
  11. Make sure the new chart is centred correctly, and check that when you turn the page bounds on (in View) that you can’t see any.
  12. If you can see the same ones that you see for A4 then something is wrong and you need to go back to the beginning.
  13. If the diagram is not quite long enough you may need to make it a little bigger – go to Tools -> Diagram -> Diagram Measurements.
  14. The page bound should be past the end of the diagram.
* When you bring up the Print window there should be a button to change the printer. I don’t see this button. Apparently this is a Vista issue, and doesn’t happen to everyone. I now have a Windows 7 computer and I still don’t see the Printer button. I’m not sure that this would help even if I could see it and change the printer, if the page size is stored in the VC2 file itself.



One thought on “How to change the pagesize in VCF without regenerating the chart in TMG

  1. This didn’t work for me. Whenever I got to step 10 and tried to copy the original chart to the newly created file I got an out of memory error. Odd, since I have 8 GB of RAM. I was able to solve the problem on my Win7 Professional version, 64 bit machine by running the XP emulator from Microsoft. Here are the steps if you have this version of Win7:

    1) Download the Microsoft XP Emulator at
    2) Run the XP Emulator
    3) Download TMG8 and PDFCreator or another pdf printer into the XP environment
    4) Copy your vc2 file into the XP environment
    5) Open the pdf printer in the XP environment, make it the default printer and set the page size to a value big enough to hold your chart on a single page
    6) Run the visual chartform program in the XP environment and load your vc2 file
    7) Select page setup and make sure the page size is the same as the value set on your pdf printer
    8) Select Print Preview to make sure the entire chart is on a single page
    9) Save the vc2 file with a new name (you can print it now if you wish or later when you copy to the Win7 environment)
    10) Copy the new vc2 file to the Win7 environment. It is now able to print on a single page in Win7.
    11) Exit from the XP Simulator
    12) Set the pdf printer as your default printer in the Win7 environment & make sure the page size is correct
    13) Open your new vc2 file with vcf and use page setup to select the correct page size
    14) Print to your pdf printer

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