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Double Sided Counters Using Duplex Printer + OpenOffice

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homebrew
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Joined: 07/21/2010

Does anybody have any tricks for lining up the art for printing double sided counters on a duplex printer under OpenOffice? The art for the backs has to be reflected across the vertical axis of the paper but not its own axis. I can devise a number of workarounds, but lining up objects on the front and back of a page seems like a common enough task that perhaps the problem is already solved. Any suggestions, or pointers to alternate (open source) software better suited to the task?

Danke,
Jay

EdWedig
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Joined: 09/15/2009
Most consumer-level and

Most consumer-level and business-level printers cannot register well when printing on both sides of a sheet of paper or cardstock. In most normal situations, there is no need to register between the sides. Plus, the printers will change and shift as time goes on, so what works today may not work a few weeks or months from now.

Commercial grade printers use registration marks to make sure that each plat of color is aligned properly, but the marks can also be used to align different sides of a sheet.

One solution you can try is to print the opposite sides on separate sheets, align them by hand, and then glue the sheets together. That may not work for cardstock.

Another possibility would to just make one side of the counter a solid color or pattern. That way, if it shifts a bit when you print, it wont affect the look of the token.

-Ed Wedig
www.edwedig.com
Offering graphic and web designer services to small publishers, since 2004.

truekid games
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Joined: 10/29/2008
I use a pdf program (like

I use a pdf program (like adobe, pdfcreator, cutepdf, pdfRedirect, etc).

these do a much better job at centering pictures/spreadsheets/documents/whatever on the front and back than native print utilities (and without any real effort). dependable centering solves the majority of my problems with lining up the front and back-

for example, for cards, i just do them 9 at a time (bmp or gif or whatevers), go into the printer options and change the "printer" to the pdf program and the layout to "9 up" or "9 to a page" depending on the program, and i've got a variance of less than 0.5mm for the front and back. once you've got the pdf, open it and print it double-sided. hold it up to the light to check that they're lined up.

genericm
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Joined: 08/11/2009
homebrew wrote:Does anybody

homebrew wrote:
Does anybody have any tricks for lining up the art for printing double sided counters on a duplex printer under OpenOffice? The art for the backs has to be reflected across the vertical axis of the paper but not its own axis. I can devise a number of workarounds, but lining up objects on the front and back of a page seems like a common enough task that perhaps the problem is already solved. Any suggestions, or pointers to alternate (open source) software better suited to the task?

Danke,
Jay

Check out this tutorial...

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/56284/how-to-make-your-own-double-...

homebrew
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Joined: 07/21/2010
Thanks. Nice advice there,

Thanks. Nice advice there, but it's the glossed over "make sure your layout is mirrored" step that I'm asking about; I was hoping that OpenOffice or some other piece of software had built in facilities to do that. Oh well, I guess I'll just skip the gui and set it up programmatically using pdfgen and python.

Jay

pelle
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Joined: 08/11/2008
No idea about OpenOffice. The

No idea about OpenOffice. The lining up of counters for the back of a sheet is one of the main reasons I wrote my countersheet generator for Inkscape (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/299033) (also for cards). That generator is written in Python btw, in case someone wanted to reuse some code (thought of integrating it with OpenOffice at one point, but never bothered to). What I do there is just make sure that the distance in the generated SVG to the left of the sheet on the front is the same as to the right on the back. Surely there is some way to do that manually in OpenOffice with page margin settings, but I don't know the application well enough to help out.

But as others already said, I think the only thing that would work to get really good results is to glue two sheets together anyway. I never envisioned using duplex printing with any of the counter/card-sheets I have created, even if they would in theory line up.

Since registration will never be perfect (not even in professionally printed games) one thing you should definitely do is to have no visible borders at all on the back side of the counters. That makes slight errors with registration less fatal. Also remember to have wide solid color margins around the counter (solid same color as the rest of the counter of course), and also make sure to try to avoid things that are very easy to spot asymmetries in (like a big centered rectangle). I think we had a thread on bgg a few years ago listing all sorts of tricks like that.

Relexx
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Joined: 05/31/2010
With Open Office, I always

With Open Office, I always print my fronts first then flip and rotate the pages to print the backs, for the exact same reason as you are getting, miss alignment.

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