Print a chart to PDF as one piece

I have had to remind myself how to creat a PDF file of a chart in one piece, and so I am writing the instructions here for next time.

I use Windows 7, and used similar instructions on my old Vista laptop.

  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 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. NOW create your chart in TMG.
  7. The chart should display on the screen without cut marks.
  8. If it doesn’t, go back and do it all again. You must close VCF.
  9. Use Print Preview to be sure.
  10. Print the chart to PDF.
  11. It should be one continuous piece instead of lots of pieces to stick together. If you have a lot of long thin pieces with a small part of the chart on each you have done it wrong. This is the result if you try to change the page size from within VCF when you are printing it.
  12. Once you have created the PDF to your satisfaction  then go back and reset the page size in PDFCreator and change your default printer back to whatever it was before.

I’m sure I didn’t have to make the PDFCreator the default printer before, but it doesn’t allow me to to change the page size while I am in VCF until I try to print it, so there is no alternative.

These instructions are based on a forum post here: Thanks Robin!

Please send me your data

Today the TMG Sydney User Group had a workshop on ‘What to do when someone asks you to send them information’. I am calling it a workshop because it was more of a discussion than the usual presentation with one person doing all the talking at the front.

Rather than use a whiteboard to record all the ideas that the group came up with I used PowerPoint,and typed in the responses as we went along. I can now publish the slides so that everyone has a record of what we came up with.

Topics of discussion were:

  • What do you ask when you get a request?
  • How do you decide whether to comply?
  • What do you share?
  • What format do you send?
  • How do you ask them for more information?

Here are the slides:

After this discussion we looked at how to extract data or reports on TMG, and I can’t reproduce that here.