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Blank pages in exported PDF files

Blank pages in exported PDF files

Posted: 4 Feb 2013 10:54PM GMT
Classification: Query
In exported PDF files at least one blank page follows every page with content. This occurs with the software environments below. The problem occurs in charts that have at least two pages, but not in a relationship chart or in reports, ie. only in the cases where FTM uses an installed Windows printer driver to assist in creating PDF files. The problem does not occur for the types of publication where FTM uses its internal PDF driver to export PDF files.

My simple test case is a tree with only one home name and enough children defined to force a chart to have at least two pages.

The problem occurs with any of the printer drivers installed on my systems and defined as the default printer. (HP printer driver / MS Send to OneNote / MS XPS). With these drivers it is of course necessary to set the FTM PDF Driver to ‘none’ in order to export a PDF file. But if any of these printer drivers is nominated as the FTM PDF Driver the output is correct, ie. no blank pages are printed on the printer, sent to OneNote or inserted in an XPS file.

I’ve had a lengthy dialogue with Ancestry.com support, but they have not replicated or confirmed the problem. They finally recommended installing a 3rd party PDF Printer Driver and nominating this as the Printer Driver in FTM. I have tested several such drivers and they all work successfully: no incorrect blank pages are produced.

Ancestry.com support recommended PrimoPDF. But ironically I found this currently has a long-standing basic fault! This is confirmed by other users, eg. see: http://download.cnet.com/PrimoPDF/9241-18497_4-11457701-137....

Software environments
---------------------------
FTM 2012 installed from CD. Product Code: 049040F00
Version 21.0.0.388, or updated online to Version 21.0.0.723
Windows 7 Home Premium. Version 6.1.7601. SP1. Build 7601, or XP Home Version 5.1.2600 SP3 Build 2600. Clean installation, no MS updates applied.

Re: Blank pages in exported PDF files

Posted: 6 Feb 2013 4:47AM GMT
Classification: Query
What page size have you defined in FTM for each report

Ditto margins??

John D

Re: Blank pages in exported PDF files

Posted: 6 Feb 2013 10:36AM GMT
Classification: Query
John - thank you for your interest!

In my tests production of incorrect blank pages is not dependent on margin sizes, eg. margins may be all set to 0mm or (say) 50mm. Also specifying a box around the chart and headers/footers has no effect. Specifying a background still produces totally blank pages.

Settings of paper size to A3, A4 or A5 produces blank pages. However, setting paper size to Legal or Letter does not produce blank pages!

I think you will agree that, whatever paper size is set, an exported PDF file should contain the same number of pages that are created and displayed in the publication preview.

I believe the problem is associated with FTM’s use of the Windows Page Setup window which is displayed from the FTM Page Setup option. The paper Sizes and Sources in the Page Setup window appear to be populated from the current default Windows Printer Driver. As explained, my tests show the problem to be independent of the available installed printer drivers. For example, if the HP Printer Driver is nominated in FTM as the PDF Driver and the paper size in Page Setup is A4 then no blank pages are printed.

Re: Blank pages in exported PDF files

Posted: 6 Feb 2013 2:30PM GMT
Classification: Query
The problem with PDF chart paper size goes back to a change that Microsoft made in Vista and Win7 - and I assume still in Win8. Google for 'Win7 Printer Button Page Setup' to see the problems caused in many many programs. A Microsoft developer described the code change like this:

"Unfortunately, our developers did remove the “Printer…” button on PageSetupDlg for Windows Vista. This was done for specific reason. It is because they do not recommend switching printers from the page setup dialog, where there is some information in the page setup dialog which is printer specific."

The workaround is to make your PDF printer the default printer and also set the paper size in the printer properties _before opening FTM_ and making your chart. You can make the chart first so you know the size and then save the chart to come back to. I've used this technique in FTM, RM6 and VCF/TMG. There is a big discussion on the Visual Chartform forum; see the pinned message at the top 'Print Large Charts to PDF'.

Virginia Blakelock

Re: Blank pages in exported PDF files

Posted: 6 Feb 2013 2:41PM GMT
Classification: Query
Forgot the link, sorry:

The VisualChartForm forum with info on the paper size problem is here:

http://www.whollygenes.com/forums201/index.php?showforum=18

Virginia Blakelock

Re: Blank pages in exported PDF files

Posted: 6 Feb 2013 10:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you Virginia. The paper size issue you refer to seems to be a minefield, and not just for FTM users!

However, as described in my report, my problem does not occur with any 3rd party PDF printer driver I have tested. Also, rather than dealing with large FTM charts, my test case is the simplest and smallest! ie. just one home name and several children - enough to force a chart to have at least two pages.

Having A4 printers on my systems it is normal for the paper size to be always pre-defined to A4 in the default printer driver. I would not normally see a need to use the Page Setup window from within FTM to either change the paper size or to select a different printer. (Although using my XP systems this button is available. Note that I've done the same tests under W7).

So the only thing I’m doing which removes the problem is to use the FTM Page Setup option to change the paper size in the Page Setup window from A4 to Legal or Letter.

So do you think the PDF printing issues you refer to could have any relation to my problem?

Re: Blank pages in exported PDF files

Posted: 7 Feb 2013 12:59AM GMT
Classification: Query
The Microsoft printer code change first appeared in Vista, so if it works for you(with no blank pages inserted) in XP (pre-code change) but not in Win7, I would suspect the printer code problem. I don't know why changing the paper size to legal or letter works - but I will be following this thread in case you get an answer to that.

If you need a PDF printer, I have had good luck with PDF995 and Cute PDF.

Virginia
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