Selecting a print area

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Selecting a print area

Postby morticiaskeeper » Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:27 pm

Hi

I'm playing about with QCad at the moment before switching from AutoCAD R14 on XP to QCad on Ubuntu.

I design and make kites, doing all my template layouts in R14. I have a standard template that has a grid drawn in a particular layer where each grid square represents the printable area of a sheet of A4 paper.

Funnily enough, this grid doesn't show on QCad, despite the rest of the layer showing, but thats a simple problem to fix.

When a sail pattern is ready to be printed, I overlay the pattern over the grid. AutoCAD gives me the option to "Pick Points" , whereby I select opposing corners of the A4 area I want to print. After I have printed, the results are taped together to give a lifesize sail plan, upto 89 sheets in one example :shock:

Is there any way I can do this in QCad?

Cheers

Paul
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Postby michael » Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:12 am

Yes is is possible.

Very easy to do. I just tried it out right now. And it works. :D
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Postby morticiaskeeper » Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:06 pm

Care to point me in the right direction then? :cry:

I've played about in print preview and moved the paper to print the area I wanted, but the scale was out. I set it to 1:1, but that isn't what was printed.

Paul
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Postby michael » Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:03 pm

Solution within QCad:


1. Hmm... I just opened a new document .dxf.
2. Setup: Nothing special.
3. -> Print preview.
4. Set scale to 1:1.
5. Select an aera (in this case A4) where you want to print out.
6. Print.


My layout:

Code: Select all
¦-------------
¦      ¦     ¦
¦  E   ¦  F  ¦
¦      ¦     ¦
¦-------------
¦      ¦     ¦
¦  C   ¦  D  ¦
¦      ¦     ¦
¦-------------
¦      ¦     ¦
¦  A   ¦  B  ¦
¦      ¦     ¦
0-------------

^
¦
+--- Zero, Zero is here



A, B, C, D, E and F are about A4 sizes, a "helper grid" for printout on A4. I did it here just as 40 x 30 mm squares border on each other.

Then I was able to place the "preview A4 paper" under one of the A, B, C, D, E or F. Then just print.

NOTE: Make sure, you select to correct printer settings. In this case: A4-porait, scale 1:1, 100%.

NOTE-2: Scale is always 1:1 in preview, and in your specific printer settings.

NOTE-3: Maybe set your correct printer settings first, before you start up and use the printer in your application (in this case QCad Professional). In Windows, it is normal, that you setup your printer first, like in Word, then Word will setup the layout according to this settings.


Solution with Postscript Tool such as "Poster":

1. Print your document to a Postscript (PS) file.
2. Use this .ps file to do anything. Printing, Scaling, etc.
3. Use a tool like "Poster" for print out posters. (Within Linux, it should be no problem). Maybe also available with "Cygwin" on Windows.


NOTE: Start reading here about the "poster" tool. http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/5682/poster.html

-------
Poster is a small utility for making a poster -- a large printed image -- from an EPS file or a one-page PS document.

If you're lucky enough to have access to a large-media printer/plotter, you can print it on that.

Otherwise, Poster can print it out on your regular printer, on lots of sheets of paper which you glue together to make the poster.
----


NOTE: You can also create PDF files by using "ps2pdf" or similar programs.


Some instructions from an other QCad user:
---------------

My best advise is to print to a postscript file in A4 format and then use some Postscript utility (poster, pstops, ...) to blow the PS up to the desired size.

If your drawing fits on an available papersize, set that papersize in (drawing prefs. Otherwise set to A4. (I have not tried custom sizes)

Fit the drawing to the page.

Note the scale factor if not one. Compute 1/scalefactor in your head
(well, ok, let's be user friendly and say you can use a calculator).

In print preview, print to pdf. (Note that printing to postscript results in a pdf file! This doesn't happen in Preview or other mac apps so I don't know what's going on there.)

From a shell prompt, convert the pdf to eps (NOT PS.) I modded pdf2ps into pdf2eps; I'll put that code at the end of this post.

sh ./pdf2eps infile.pdf

Now, at last, run poster on it:

poster -v -mletter -s<1/scalefactor> -w10% infile.eps > outfile.ps

the 10% is to deal with unprintable borders on my printer, you may have to adjust to suit. If you are using different sizes in your printer, set the -m option to suit. Note that the 1/scalefactor scales the drawing to the bounding box so the -m option is independent of the paper you saved to in qcad.

One more thing: preview won't open any of the postscript files. However, gs and gv (ghostscript and ghostview) both will. I use gv to print. gv requires that you're using X11, but that goes without saying.

(You can also print with "lpr outfile.ps", hopefully.)

I upgraded to GPL Ghostscript 8.56 (2007-03-14)
from http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/doc/GPL/gpl856.htm
(dont forget the fonts directory; it goes in
/usr/local/share/ghostscript/fonts)

here is a link to poster:
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/5682/poster.html

and got gv from fink commander, along with psutils

I hope that's as useful as it was painful!

Here's my hacked version of ps2eps; just paste it into a file named
ps2eps along with your drawings. Set permissions etc if you know how to do that. Otherwise, run as above.

Code:


Code: Select all
#!/bin/sh
# modified from pdf2ps
# Convert PDF to encapsulated PostScript.

# This definition is changed on install to match the
# executable name set in the makefile
GS_EXECUTABLE=gs

OPTIONS=""
while true
do
        case "$1" in
        -?*) OPTIONS="$OPTIONS $1" ;;
        *)  break ;;
        esac
        shift
done

if [ $# -eq 2 ]
then
    outfile=$2
elif [ $# -eq 1 ]
then
    outfile=`basename "$1" \.pdf`.eps
else
    echo "Usage: `basename $0` [-dASCII85EncodePages=false] [-dLanguageLevel=1|2|3] input.pdf [output.eps]" 1>&2
    exit 1
fi

# Doing an initial 'save' helps keep fonts from being flushed between pages.
# We have to include the options twice because -I only takes effect if it
# appears before other options.
exec $GS_EXECUTABLE $OPTIONS -q -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -dSAFER -sDEVICE=epswrite "-sOutputFile=$outfile" $OPTIONS -c save pop -f "$1"


-------------


morticiaskeeper wrote:Care to point me in the right direction then? :cry:

I've played about in print preview and moved the paper to print the area I wanted, but the scale was out. I set it to 1:1, but that isn't what was printed.

Paul
--
Do you CAD? - I do QCad.
QCad Professional Order Online now:
http://www.ribbonsoft.com/qcad_order.html
michael
Site Admin
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:14 pm
Location: Switzerland

Postby morticiaskeeper » Sat Oct 13, 2007 8:43 pm

Thanks very much for your help, Michael.

I've done a few test prints now, measured the result and everything's fine.

I've used some poster software before but didn't get on with it. Every grid square I print out has a co-ordinate number on it, B3 would be the second row up and third sheet along. My grid squares are 241mm x 197mm because that was all my printer would do, now I can print to the edges of the paper, but that wouldn't give me any overlap for joining sheets.

If the template is for one job, I keep to the paper, sometimes even stitching through the paper. If it's a multiple job, as more and more are, I draw around the template onto a sheet of MDF or hand the DXF file to a local sheet metal company and get them to do it!!
morticiaskeeper
Newbie Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:11 pm


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