Hello Folks! I've been working on some improvements to the "Save as File..." dialog.

This is the best way to get your shield out into the real world so you can use it in other projects. Let's take a look at the new dialog box:

I've added a couple of new output formats, PDF (A4) and PDF (Ltr). These produce PDF files that can be printed out, either on A4 or letter sized paper. You can use the other inputs in conjunction with this to set the width, in pixels, inches or centimetres. So in the example shown we are going to create an A4 PDF file with a shield on it 5 inches across, placed near the top centre. (The height will vary depending on the shape of the shield).

You can also use the width and units fields with the PNG and JPEG formats, although to be honest, pixels are the most useful units here. (Conversion between actual dimensions and pixels assumes that there are 90 pixels to the inch.)

What's the best format for?

Printing - Use the PDF format, to match your native paper size and choose a size that suits. Anything bigger than about 7.3 inches wide gets scaled down to that size.

Photo Editing - to add your shield to an existing photo use PNG format, with a width of at least 1000 px. The PNG file has a transparent background which is useful for image manipulation. I also suggest selecting the "flat" Visual Appearance from the preferences menu as this will give you the true colours from whatever palette you have chosen.

Graphics Work - Save as SVG for this as it is resolution independent so can be infinitely scaled. (The width input is ignored anyway, as it doesn't really have any meaning, the shield image will have a notional width of 1000 units).

Email - Either JPEG or PNG, with a resolution of 500 to 1000 pixels is a good compromise between size and quality.

Future Developments

I'm thinking about adding optional decorative borders to the PDF versions, and perhaps including the blazon as text underneath, so it looks a bit like a certificate? What do you think?

Please get in touch, comments and ideas are always welcome!