Using the Patron Card Creator

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The following was an IRC tutorial that Chris Nighswonger gave Nicole Engard. This is what will be used to create the manual pages on this topic. This information can also be used to help with the Label Creator tool.

  • [11:30] <chris_n> go to the patron card tool page
  • [11:31] <nengard> there
  • [11:31] <chris_n> om
  • [11:33] <chris_n> now go to the Manage Templates page
  • [11:33] <chris_n> and you should see one template
  • [11:33] <nengard> yes i do
  • [11:33] <chris_n> HB-PC0001
  • [11:33] <chris_n> select and click edit
  • [11:33] <nengard> yup
  • [11:33] <nengard> there
  • [11:33] <chris_n> this is basically the exact same as the labels templates
  • [11:34] <chris_n> om
  • [11:35] <chris_n> wow, cool, someone organize the tools page...
  • [11:35]* chris_n reels in confusion for a moment
  • [11:35] <nengard> yeah - i asked for it and Garry did it
  • [11:36] <chris_n> nice work
  • [11:36] <chris_n> owen was working on some help for the template editor in the labels section
  • [11:36] <chris_n> but I don't see it so I'll have to check with him
  • [11:36] <chris_n> but this section works just the same
  • [11:37] <chris_n> this info is usually available from the label manufacture's or distributor's website
  • [11:37] <chris_n> as a label template
  • [11:37] <nengard> ah - okey dokey
  • [11:37] <chris_n> I also wrote some help files for the labels stuff which do not appear on my install at present
  • [11:38] <chris_n> they could be duplicated for use here pretty much
  • [11:38] <chris_n> if you go to the Manage Profiles screen and select and edit
  • [11:38] <nengard> yes, please submit them!
  • [11:38] <chris_n> you will see the profile stuff is the same again as the labels profile stuff
  • [11:39] <nengard> can we take a step back - what is a layout, a template, a profile, and a batch?
  • [11:39]* chris_n notes the online help seems to be totally missing from this install
  • [11:39] <chris_n> ok
  • [11:40] <chris_n> template applies to the label/card stock you are using
  • [11:40] <chris_n> ie Avery 5160, etc
  • [11:41] <chris_n> profile is a set of "adjustments" applied to a given template just prior to "printing" which compensates for anomalies unique and peculiar to a given printer (to which the profile is assigned)
  • [11:41] <chris_n> standard printing industry terms are used throughout btw
  • [11:42] <chris_n> a layout describes the data to be included and the layout of that data
  • [11:42] <nengard> thank you :)
  • [11:42] <chris_n> a batch is a collection of items/patrons for which/whom we want to generate labels/cards
  • [11:43] <chris_n> we apply a template and layout to a batch to generate labels/cards
  • [11:43] <chris_n> we apply a profile to a template
  • [11:43] <nengard> we need a flow chart :) hehe maybe I'll do one for the manual
  • [11:43] <nengard> now - i'm on the profiles page and see only 1 item
  • [11:44] <chris_n> at "generation" time we are prompted to select the template, profile, and layout to be applied to the batch
  • [11:44] <chris_n> k, select and edit the profile
  • [11:44] <chris_n> offset describes what happens when the entire image is off center either vert or horz
  • [11:45] <nengard> if there was more than one would i be able to select multiple and edit at once?
  • [11:45] <chris_n> not atm, but soon
  • [11:45] <nengard> k
  • [11:45] <nengard> that's a note i need to add :)
  • [11:45] <chris_n> it will warn you if you try
  • [11:45] <chris_n> won't let you even
  • [11:45] <nengard> so for offset - does that mean that the image is centered by default?
  • [11:45] <nengard> good!! warnings are good
  • [11:45] <chris_n> if your template is correct, yes
  • [11:46] <nengard> k
  • [11:46] <chris_n> but from your printer's prospective it may not be
  • [11:46] <nengard> ahh - so you need to use offset to get it back to center?
  • [11:46] <chris_n> right
  • [11:46] <nengard> got it
  • [11:46] <chris_n> we run a test run with no profile applied
  • [11:46] <chris_n> if it is off
  • [11:46] <chris_n> we build a profile to correct it
  • [11:46] <nengard> wonderful - i get it :)
  • [11:46] <nengard> what is creep?
  • [11:46] <chris_n> this *will* change from printer to printer
  • [11:47] <nengard> right
  • [11:47] <chris_n> creep describes a condition where the distance between the labels changes across the page
  • [11:47] <chris_n> or up and down the page
  • [11:47] <chris_n> ie.
  • [11:48] <chris_n> the text is .25" from the left edge of the first label
  • [11:48] <chris_n> the text is .28" from the left edge of the second label
  • [11:48] <chris_n> the text is .30" from the left edge of the third label
  • [11:48] <nengard> that happens all the time with my return address labels - they creep to the left - on my old printer that was - i have a new one now - haven't tried it yet :)
  • [11:48] <chris_n> so it creeps
  • [11:49] <chris_n> we can compensate for that by changing the creep measures in the profile
  • [11:49] <nengard> to .03?
  • [11:49] <chris_n> iirc, negative numbers move the error up and to the left
  • [11:49] <chris_n> iirc, positive numbers move the error down and to the right
  • [11:50] <chris_n> yup
  • [11:50] <nengard> k
  • [11:50] <chris_n> .0003 even if your printer will do that resolution
  • [11:50] <chris_n> the signing of the numbers has similar effect for offset
  • [11:50] <chris_n> this is a common method of correction in label printing software
  • [11:51] <nengard> which you can tell i've never used :)
  • [11:51] <chris_n> hehe
  • [11:51] <nengard> so - you don't always need a profile to go along with a template
  • [11:51] <chris_n> no
  • [11:51] <nengard> you only need it if the template isn't printing quite right
  • [11:51] <chris_n> you can ignore them at your own risk
  • [11:51] <chris_n> if you're happy with the default template positioning
  • [11:52] <chris_n> great
  • [11:52] <chris_n> but don't blame me if the labels run off the sheet ;-)
  • [11:53] <nengard> got it - no blaming the developer :)
  • [11:53] <chris_n> ok, next go to the Manage Layouts screen, select and edit the only layout there
  • [11:53] <chris_n> this is the biggie
  • [11:54] <nengard> this page needs a bit of the owen touch ... :)
  • [11:54] <chris_n> yea, he'll have to be careful, though
  • [11:54] <chris_n> functionality is dependent on the order of the elements on the form
  • [11:55] <nengard> ahhh
  • [11:55] <chris_n> this is noted in the tmpl file, however
  • [11:55] <nengard> okay - so what do i need to do here
  • [11:55] <chris_n> not a show stopper if you know it ahead of time
  • [11:55] <chris_n> here you set the layout name and units
  • [11:55] <nengard> oh - and i have a question - which you may go over but i don't want to forget
  • [11:55] <chris_n> k
  • [11:55] <chris_n> shoot
  • [11:56] <nengard> patron images - are they the same images on the patron profile - and if so - did you change the max size for the patron images on the patron record? or just on the patron card?
  • [11:56] <nengard> that's what started me on this path - i read your patch and then went to test it - and found i couldn't :)
  • [11:56] <chris_n> the size change applies globally to the patron images
  • [11:56] <chris_n> you can resize them here for printing on the cards
  • [11:57] <chris_n> this is a very crude, non-gui version of gimp :-)
  • [11:57] <nengard> k - good to know - i have to update my docs on patron images then :)
  • [11:57] <nengard> okay - back to the layout
  • [11:57] <chris_n> next I have to select whether this template is for the front or back of the cards
  • [11:58] <chris_n> then I have the option of adding up to three text fields to the card
  • [11:58] <chris_n> in the "Text" field
  • [11:58] <chris_n> I can have plain text
  • [11:58] <chris_n> or embed fields from the borrowers table
  • [11:58] <chris_n> in the form <fieldname>
  • [11:58] <chris_n> as you see
  • [11:59] <chris_n> the proper substitutions will be made when the cards are generated
  • [11:59] <nengard> yup
  • [11:59] <chris_n> I must set coordinates for the lower left corner of the text field
  • [11:59] <chris_n> the coordinate grid has its origin at the lower left corner of the card
  • [12:00] <chris_n> on the right side of the form
  • [12:00] <chris_n> I can elect to print the card number as a barcode
  • [12:00] <nengard> this i dont' know if i understand -- the coordinates
  • [12:00] <nengard> does this mean it's 100 pt from the edge?
  • [12:01] <chris_n> the first text field will have it's lower left corner 100 points from the left edge and 100 points from the bottom edge
  • [12:01] <chris_n> that is roughly 1.3 inches
  • [12:01] <nengard> okay
  • [12:01] <chris_n> or you could select inches as your units
  • [12:01] <chris_n> btw
  • [12:02] <chris_n> units are local to the form
  • [12:02] <nengard> so X is left corner -- and Y is bottom
  • [12:02] <chris_n> in other words
  • [12:02] <chris_n> you can use inches here and points on the template and cm on the profile if you like
  • [12:02] <nengard> yup - just played with that
  • [12:02] <chris_n> correct on X and Y
  • [12:02] <nengard> got it
  • [12:03] <chris_n> just like your trig problems involving graphing lines, etc
  • [12:03] <chris_n> same coordinate system
  • [12:03] <chris_n> just in the first quadrant
  • [12:03]* chris_n tries to keep from wandering off into math
  • [12:03] <chris_n> :-)
  • [12:04] <chris_n> so back to barcodes
  • [12:04] <chris_n> if you select the barcode option you will see additional fields appear
  • [12:04] <nengard> i suck at math and never took trig :) fyi
  • [12:04] <nengard> so yes - if i don't want the barcode will it appear as numbers instead?
  • [12:04] <chris_n> here you can position, select the type of barcode, and elect to print the barcode as text under the image
  • [12:05] <chris_n> no, not unless you specify <cardnumber> in one of the text fields
  • [12:05] <nengard> ahh - good to know
  • [12:05] <nengard> but the number will print as a barcode and as text if i check that box?
  • [12:05] <chris_n> some strange people may not want the card number anywhere
  • [12:05] <chris_n> yes
  • [12:05] <nengard> got it
  • [12:05] <chris_n> below that
  • [12:06] <chris_n> you can add up to two images
  • [12:06] <nengard> can i trick the text fields by putting a /n in it? to giving me another line of text?
  • [12:06] <nengard> so you could have a library logo image and a patron image?
  • [12:06] <chris_n> probably not
  • [12:06] <nengard> k
  • [12:06] <chris_n> yes
  • [12:06] <nengard> k
  • [12:06] <chris_n> heh
  • [12:06] <nengard> :)
  • [12:06] <chris_n> you can select image source
  • [12:07] <chris_n> selecting patron image will simply put the correct image where you tell it to
  • [12:07] <chris_n> you can define the display height of the picture
  • [12:07] <chris_n> this will scale the image accordingly
  • [12:07] <chris_n> if you select "Other Image"
  • [12:07] <chris_n> a drop down will appear to define the source
  • [12:07] <chris_n> image rather
  • [12:08] <chris_n> this will only be populated if
  • [12:08] <chris_n> you have uploaded images via the Manage Images interface
  • [12:08] <chris_n> we'll look at that next
  • [12:08] <nengard> got it
  • [12:08] <nengard> wow - so much to learn here :)
  • [12:08] <chris_n> the other parameters are the same: display height, etc
  • [12:08] <chris_n> its really simple once you got through it a time or two
  • [12:09] <chris_n> I am hoping to do up some sample images of cards
  • [12:09] <chris_n> but... time
  • [12:09] <nengard> well this is time one for me - and time 2 will be when i write it up for the manual :)
  • [12:09] <chris_n> moving on to the Manage Images page
  • [12:09] <nengard> if I come up with a nice card I'll make sure I include that as a sample in the manual and send to you for the page i fyou want
  • [12:09] <nengard> okay - there
  • [12:10] <chris_n> this page provides an interface for uploading/managing images
  • [12:10] <chris_n> note: there is a system preference to establish a limit on the number of images that can be uploaded total
  • [12:10] <chris_n> you can see this under the Creators tab in the admin page
  • [12:11] <chris_n> as an aside: I intend on adding preferences to allow control of image file size and dimensional size for both these images
  • [12:11] <chris_n> and the patron images
  • [12:11] <chris_n> thus removing the hard coded limits presently in place
  • [12:11] <nengard> where did creators come from? why that word?
  • [12:11] <chris_n> but again.. time
  • [12:11] <chris_n> ahh... because these tools allow us to create things
  • [12:12] <chris_n> generators sounded tacky
  • [12:12] <nengard> okay i'll allow it for now :) hehe
  • [12:12] <chris_n> as did makers
  • [12:12] <chris_n> I'm all for suggestions... creators sounded the least tacky
  • [12:12] <nengard> 'Custom Content' ?
  • [12:12] <chris_n> but still tacky
  • [12:13] <chris_n> Graphics?
  • [12:13] <nengard> Graphics works well
  • [12:13] <nengard> but you want to allow for other rules in there related to creating things ... not just graphics
  • [12:13] <nengard> right?
  • [12:13] <chris_n> right
  • [12:14]* chris_n thinks we should toss this one in along with the budget discussion to really crack thing sup
  • [12:14] <nengard> LOL
  • [12:14] <nengard> okay - back to the manage images tool
  • [12:14] <nengard> what folder will the images be uploaded to?
  • [12:14] <chris_n> plenty of hints here to help guide the uninitiated
  • [12:15] <chris_n> they won't to a folder
  • [12:15] <chris_n> they are stored in the database
  • [12:15] <chris_n> we are modern
  • [12:15] <nengard> ahhh
  • [12:15] <chris_n> :-)
  • [12:15] <chris_n> so you select a file
  • [12:15] <chris_n> and a name
  • [12:15] <nengard> so you have to use this tool to upload images - you can't do it in bulk via FTP if you wanted
  • [12:15] <chris_n> and upload
  • [12:15] <chris_n> a script could be easily created using the exiting api
  • [12:16] <chris_n> but really, how many pic are you wanting to upload for patron cards?
  • [12:16] <nengard> no clue
  • [12:16] <nengard> just coming up with possible questions i'd get in training :)
  • [12:16] <nengard> okay i have uploaded an image
  • [12:16] <nengard> successfully
  • [12:16] <chris_n> hehe
  • [12:16] <nengard> is there a way to preview the image
  • [12:16] <nengard> ?
  • [12:17] <chris_n> no, you should already know what it looks like
  • [12:17] <chris_n> the only thing you can do with it is to set the display height
  • [12:17] <chris_n> after it is uploaded
  • [12:17] <chris_n> on the layout
  • [12:17] <chris_n> so it needs to be "print ready" when you upload it
  • [12:17] <nengard> k
  • [12:17] <chris_n> I recommend gimp personally
  • [12:18] <chris_n> images in the db will appear on the left with the option to delete
  • [12:18] <chris_n> you can do mass deletes
  • [12:18] <chris_n> here only
  • [12:18] <chris_n> plus
  • [12:18] <chris_n> previewing it in the browser will *not* present the image the way it will look in print
  • [12:19] <chris_n> aamof, the image will look better in print even than in the pdf view
  • [12:19] <chris_n> pics should be a minimum of 300dpi
  • [12:19] <chris_n> less than that will result in horrible looking printed copies
  • [12:19] <chris_n> but graphics art is a whole nother ball of wax
  • [12:20] <nengard> yup
  • [12:20] <nengard> which brings us back to patron images - did you up the file size limit on them? cause if they're 300dpi then they will be larger files
  • [12:21] <chris_n> I believe so
  • [12:21]* chris_n looks
  • [12:21] <nengard> k
  • [12:22] <chris_n> actually it appears that I did not but the limit is currently 200x300 px
  • [12:23] <chris_n> which can be done fine even at 300ppi(dpi)
  • [12:23] <chris_n> it just means the pic is not quite one inch wide
  • [12:23] <nengard> i meant the file size itself - not the image size
  • [12:23] <nengard> there was a limit on that
  • [12:23] <nengard> i think
  • [12:23] <nengard> off to check the manual
  • [12:24] <chris_n> I think it is 200k
  • [12:24] <chris_n> but should be 500k probably
  • [12:24] <nengard> this is what i had: There is a limit of 100K on the size of the picture uploaded and it is recommended that the image be 120x200 pixels, but smaller images will work as well.
  • [12:25] <nengard> so we need to up it to 500k and then the size to 200x300
  • [12:25] <chris_n> it is currently 200k...
  • [12:25]* chris_n looks back
  • [12:25] <nengard> no prob - i can be wrong :)
  • [12:26] <chris_n> ok, the code sets it at 200k presently, but I'm going to submit a patch to change that to 500k to match the other image limit
  • [12:27] <nengard> okay
  • [12:27] <chris_n> size will stay the same for now, unless we get some complaints and then we can up it if need be
  • [12:27] <nengard> should be fine
  • [12:27] <chris_n> so that is it in a nut shell
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