Charsheet 2013 first page

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This is a minor re-working of the ideas from Temp_Charsheet_Notes.

The format will still be the combined "safe" area of the international A4 and the USA-centric "Letter" format, 257mm in width and 190mm in height. It will still be 140%-zoomable so as to be printable on 2 pages, for the slightly vision-impaired. That can probably be done with all the pages, not just the first page, the "front page".

The font will be Times New Roman, due to its being so widespread. Font size will be 9.5, chosen because it's not prose text, so 9.5 ought to be almost as readable as 10.0 or 10.5, and it's only at 8 that true "eyestrain" is said to begin. Using the "zoom print" solution, effective font size is 9.5x1.41 = 13.4, which is presumably readable by almost everyone. There really isn't anything that can be done, I think, for the severely vision-impaired, in terms of making an information-dense system, with detailedly-defined characters, such as Sagatafl, usable.

The new thing is that I'd like to use height-merged cells too, so that most cells containing text aren't just merged horizontally (from a base cell width of perhaps 2.8 or 2.9mm) but also height-wise merged so that 2 cells' worth of height combined to becomeone cell large enough to contain text. I imagine the height of each such cell will be 3 or 3.5mm, making for a height of 6 or 7mm for a merged cell. Or whatever is required to comfortably fit 9.5 TNR text.

The effect of this is that the grey spacing between the white boxes will be of more uniform width, whereas with the current layout method, while admittedly much simpler, you tend to get big vertical spacing and narrow horzontal spacing, differing by a factor of about 2 or even slightly omre, which is less visually appealing.


The numbers

There's be an empty stripe down the middle (of the landscape-format - wider-than-tall - layouted sheet) preferably of more than one cell's width.

with 257mm total width to work with, a cell width of 2,8mm gives 91,79 cells' width. Subtracting 2 for the left- and right-side border leaves 89 cells and small change. If the central column of cells, all empty grey, are allowed to be 1,79 times as wide as a normal cell, that makes for 5mm width, which is probably fine.

I'll save this, and fire up Libre Office and do some tests...

Preliminary testing results

Libre Office seems to lack a function to "print centered" so I'll have to set the margins for A4, and rely on USAns to re-adjust margins to fit their preferred paper format.

4.4mm height seems to work very well with TNR 9.5, so I've opted for square 2.2mm cells, doubled to 4.4mm height for text. I had hoped to get "almost square", so being able to go perfectly square is nice.

This empirically gives me 82 cells height (41 lines ignoring internal spacing), while the "math" says 197 mm / 2,2mm = 89.5 and some decimals. The old MS Excel version had 43 lines, but of course had its own space efficiency problems.

Width-wise, right now with even-width cells I've got 116 cells emperically, while the "math" says 257mm / 2.2mm = 116.8 cells. So that's less discrepancy than height-wise. I'll sacrifice one central column to be extra-wide (4mm), and of course one at each side, which will almost certainly limit me to 115 cells, of which 112 are usable, 66 on each side, or 14.5 cm of width on each side.


As stated above, I'll probably have to set margins to non-zero. A4 format requires 10mm at top and bottom, and 20mm at each side, while Letter increases top/bottom margins from 10mm to 20mm. And maybe adds 2 mm to right/left, not sure about that.

Later Monday

I think I'll start over again, using 2mm squares instead of 2.2mm ones, mainly to see if the TNR 9.5 font is still readable. It seems very readable at 4.4mm, almost as if it is over-spaced.

new 2mm cells

Okay, this gives a 2x4,5mm double-column down the center, and 61 2mm cells on each side, 122mm. Height-wise we get 93 usable cells (95 but 1 for top, 1 for bottom), which is 46 usable text lines. The new logo has been made, a bit smaller than previous ones, but still looking nice, still the same style.

61 cells on each side...

On the left side, I might like to have 4 rough columns, each about 14 or 15 cells wide. With one "spacer" cell in each such column, the effective space is 6+7 or 6+8 or 7+7 cells, or sometimes 8+5, 8+6 or 9+4, depending on what's needed. Some columns will be double-width, such as Flaws, and Specific Resistances (a merged place for Constitution subsubs and Will subsubs). (Then again, width 4 might no longer be feasible, since that's only 8mm, down from 8.8mm previously which was feasible. I may have to use a minimum width of 5 now. The way to find out is experimenting.)

On the right side, I think 3 columns, the first a bit wider than the last two. 61 cells split up, minus 2 for spacers gives 59... The two narrower columns could be 9+1+6 or 16 cells, 32 total, leaving 27 for the wide column, probably tending towards 11+1+16 or 9+1+18.

Of course, with the new layout, based on massive use of horizontally merged cells, the super-columns don't have to line up neatly, but I think they'll often tend to. The greatest benefit of flexibility is that I can re-distribute cells within each column, so that for some boxes I have a wide left side and a narrow right side, as in 10+1+5, while in others I can go for more balanced (8+1+7) or wide-right (6+1+9).

What is and isn't doable will be found out by experiment. And of course, I'm not even sure if readability is good with text lines 4mm apart instead of 4.4mm. But the layout looked very airy at 4.4mm, and it's not prose text built around sentences, so the readability rules are sligthly different.

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