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Using MS Office for cards

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infocorn
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Hi all.

I consider myself pretty MS Office (Word, especially) savvy, but I've come across an issue with making my cards on Word. I recently got Office 07 (yeah, I know, right? only like 2 years after the fact :-D) and got to know the shape-drawing capabilities of it. I LOVE that. I really am trying to incorporate it into my card designing.

Here's how I usually do this. It's a great way to fast-prototype once you have all your stuff written.

1) Using the label wizard, I find/make my label layout (FYI, most CCG-style cards use 2.38" wide x 3.38" long dimensions, or it's at least workable at that size).

2) In the first "cell" of the label (Word treats it like a big, specialized table), I start dividing into columns/rows and merging to get the skeleton of the card how I want it, with places for title, ability, Clip Art, flavor text and stat lines.

It's there-- step 2-- where I start losing control. Word, trying very much to be helpful, starts altering my dimensions. If it's just a single-cell table that I'm goofing off with, it's easy enough to put things right, but when you're using more, or using a template like for the perforated business cards for example, it's a real pain in the butt.

So here's the million-dollar question: can you change a setting Office/Word to LOCK the dimensions of tables/cells.

Thanks!

ilta
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Nested tables!

Use nested tables. Here's how:

First, before you start making cards, select the entire table. Right click on the little four-arrow box and click "table properties." Go to "Row" and put in the height of an individual card, then click "exactly." Do the same for "Column" and width.

Now you should have a blank table with card-sized cells.

Inside these cells, create ANOTHER table, and format that as you wish.

End of Time Games
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This is vary interesting and

This is vary interesting and helpful. I'm not completely understanding how to get started once I'm in office word. There are oober selections of label templates. How do I lay it out like your talking about. A little tutorial? Thanks in advance!:-}

End of Time Games
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K I got step 1 down. How

K I got step 1 down. How about creating individual tables in each cell? Pasting the clip art?

End of Time Games
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Ok I'm good. But is there a

Ok I'm good. But is there a simple way to create your own template So you don't have to do each individual cell format or save time?

JB
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Joined: 02/06/2009
Isn't this a bit like asking

Isn't this a bit like asking "How do you hammer a nail with a circular saw?"

End of Time Games
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JB wrote:Isn't this a bit

JB wrote:
Isn't this a bit like asking "How do you hammer a nail with a circular saw?"

Perhaps, that's funny! I'l have to remember that expression. This is why I even took interest in looking at this thread: The CCG creators or templates that I have found online do not seem to accomidate the layout that I want my cards. Or the information that I want my cards to contain, I can't put them on the card useing those templates the way I want. They seem to be only applicable to cards that copy the games they came from.

Katherine
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Joined: 07/24/2008
MS publisher is fairly easy

MS publisher is fairly easy to use.

SiddGames
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nanDeck

It will do everything you want, you just have to put a little effort into learning how to use it. There are a lot of examples on the site.

http://www.nand.it/nandeck/

End of Time Games
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SiddGames wrote:It will do

SiddGames wrote:
It will do everything you want, you just have to put a little effort into learning how to use it. There are a lot of examples on the site.

http://www.nand.it/nandeck/

Now, nadeck.....I downloaded it. It's interesting you bring that up because I was going to mention I looked at the tutorials and it showes that you have to copy and past long code. I know that is easy for some and even the fact that they show you what code to put in, but those that they show are just some basic examples. Because I don't already know code, I won't know how to create the card whatever way I want. Is there a point about it I'm not seeing? Is there mercy for right-brainers? I know many of you, math and code is a breez.

Some of the other CCG templates I saw on various sites were vary specific to designing your own Magic character.

The one here at Big Huge Labes: http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/deck.php

I love the way the cards are. It has a nuance I just love. I think it's the way the image take up a lot of space on the card so it's clear and visable which I want. But it still has a limited selection of icons. If I could get a program that was as user friendly and I could sweak things more and add my own custum symbols that I design for the card, it would be damn near perfect.

So is there something I am missing about some of these programs or is the fact that I don't do code my roadblock?

End of Time Games
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SiddGames wrote:It will do

SiddGames wrote:
It will do everything you want, you just have to put a little effort into learning how to use it. There are a lot of examples on the site.

http://www.nand.it/nandeck/


Well, I see it's awful hard for me to argue for my limitations in this case expecially. They have a frigin yahoo groop and help files. Yes, perhaps if I am to design games I should reach more.

JB
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Joined: 02/06/2009
Ya, I was more thinking

Ya, I was more thinking publisher. Or if you're doing a lot of shapes using a program like illustrator, or if your cheap like me, Inkscape. Maybe I'm the crazy one- I'm using a combo of Inkscape, Gimp, and Publisher to desgin my cards. But if something is more complex than a two column newsletter I switch from Word to Publisher- and a deck of cards is certianly complex.

seo
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Inkscape extensions

You may try this Inkscape extensions by BGDF member pelle.

I haven't used them myself, but they seem to be just what you're asking for.

Bitzaloid
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Joined: 03/06/2009
I use Microsoft Visio, but I

I use Microsoft Visio, but I realize that not many individuals have access to that. I just create one rectangle according to dimensions using the Shape tool, add text boxes, artwork, etc. Then I group it all together and am able to fit 9 cards per Letter-sized page.

If I need to make any changes, I just tweak that one card or whatever and print again.

It has been very handy for my first card game that I am designing. :)

Michael C
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Joined: 02/20/2009
Don't start with a table

I use MS Office Word to make my cards too, which I then laminate.

I have found that the best way to do this is use the 'Draw' facility to create a rectangle of the right dimensions. Copy & paste to replicate this across the page. Then use the selection tool to highlight the whole line and 'Group it. You can then Copy & Paste this line down the page multiple times. This give you a template of 4x3 cards (small) or 3x3 cards (large).

Now, to add info etc to these blanks, I import the picture I want to use and 'Format Picture/Layout/Square'. This allows me to align the picture exactly how I want it on the card.

To add text, 'Insert Text Box' and 'Format Text Box/layout/Square'. Now you can align the text how you like, and use the usual Word tools to change font, kerning, text size etc.

If you want to replicate this card, simply use the selection tool to highlight the whole thing and 'Group' it. Now you can Copy & Paste and move it wherever you like, without altering the layout.

It has its frustrations, caused by the usual MS tendency to believe it knows better than you, but I find it very versatile.

Best,
M<

pelle
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seo wrote:You may try [this

seo wrote:
You may try [this Inkscape extensions](http://www.lysator.liu.se/~perni/iboardgameexts/) by BGDF member pelle.

I haven't used them myself, but they seem to be just what you're asking for.

Funnily, that was my first thought as well. :)

I started adding some new features the last few weeks, including one that was specifically requested to help with card design:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3535332#3535332

If you read older and newer posts on that thread you will get some better ideas about what the tool does and how to use it.

Basically you draw the design of your card in Inkscape (more than one of course if you need different basic types of cards in the same deck), then enter all the text you want for each card, and possibly other layout instructions (what images to put on the card for instance) in a spreadsheet document, then export the spreadsheet to CSV and run the countersheet generator in Inkscape... Separation of design and content.. Very much inspired by NaNDeck btw.

ZHeMeSoR
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about that pesky card creation...

I don't know if this will help you at all, or if you've decided that you won't use MS word. If you do like MS word better, then maybe you could get a PDF converter (they are free, just google 'em) The PDF file is then like a locked version and really easy to use; at least that is what I did when I used word as a card creator. It might be a little more labor, but it's really only one more step from what you were doing with Word already.

Martin_cy
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Joined: 04/24/2009
if you had a look at nanaDeck

if you had a look at nanDeck and you were like "wow this is toooo simple i need something more complicated"

then try "Magic Set Editor 2" http://magicseteditor.sourceforge.net/

though this tool is geared towards the CCG cark making process as it has so many fancy features for this type of things, e.g. card mechancis, keyword substitutions, symbol inserts and alot of stuff..

though MSE has a very steep learning curve, and it is just not newbie friendly but if you can get over that hurdle and learn it, it is a really neat tool, letting you do anything for creating cards..

I've made all my cards using it (some 220 cards) and the look pretty amazing.. there are a lot of templates available so you could always find a template you like then modify the underlaying images for the card borders etc.. and change fonts etc..

though be warned, it is difficult to learn, but result is amazing looking cards.

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