Robins's Visual Chart Form Tips

Limitations of Text

This page created 1 Sep 2014

Hosted by Terry's TMG Tips

This article discusses the use of text on charts.

Topics Included in this Article
Text settings in TMG Limits on the Chart Options settings
Editing text properties in VCF Limits when editing text
Editing text content in VCF Traps in editing on the screen
Text layout issues Limits as text is placed on chart

Text settings in TMG

In TMG, on the Chart Options; Text tab you can select a font face, font height, emphasis and colour by clicking the [...] button adjacent to text setting and the window below will open.

Text_Properties_TMG .jpg


  1. Note the maximum font height is 72 points, but by editing the size directly you can enter higher values (max. 127 points). The minimum is 4 points.
  2. These larger values are sometime useful for headings on large poster charts at reunions. Compare this Font screen with the one below from VCF.

Editing text properties in VCF

  1. Select an object on a VCF chart that has text within it, and then right-click > Detail Properties will open a screen like:

Component_Properties_VCF .jpg

  1. Select a line with text you want to edit, click Properties and a multi-tabbed widow like the one below will open.

Properties_General_VCF .jpg

  1. Once opened you have control over:
    1. General tab –identifies which object you have selected.
    2. Fill tab– the color of the background of the text. See Drawing Lines and Shapes
    3. Font tab – the font face, font height, emphasis, and text colour. Similar to the TMG one, but has limited font height range (4-48 points) and now allows Underline and Strike-Out which were not available in TMG Chart Options.
    4. Line tab – the line style for the bounding rectangle of that text. For more details see Limitations of Lines
    5. Edit tab – various settings to constrain actions this object – seldom used
    6. Text tab – multi-line or single line, horizontal justification and vertical justification and editing of the text content of this text object. Not easy to do for longer texts. CTRL + J will insert a new line.

Editing text content in VCF

Another way of editing text is to select and double-click it. Now the Windows highlight and retype editing will work. Warning: do not try this while not at normal zoom. Also don’t try it when font height text above about 12 pts. If the text object is set to be multi-line, then an ENTER key will insert a new line character.

Text layout issues

When VCF inserts text into a bounding box (say a line in a person box) and that text object is set to be multi-line, it can fail to output all the expected characters.

  1. VCF does not hyphenate words.
  2. VCF does not recognise a hyphen as a hyphenation point, but recognises a blank as a wrapping point. Hence it is advisable to enter long hyphenated surnames with a blank after the hyphen.
  3. If a word is too long to fit in the available width, then the remainder of the word on the starting line is likely to be truncated and the first character on the subsequent line is omitted. This is a known bug of the under-lying tool in which VCF is written.
  4. VCF does not give error message when this occurs
Long_given wide_box_VCF .jpg Long_given narrow_box_VCF .jpg
  1. Therefore check your entire chart for this corruption. If found adjust increase the width of that person box.
  2. The required space before the text is some factor of the font height (about 2 normal characters and the space remaining a line at the right must be about 4 characters. The user has no control over this space requirement. See Person Box for other interactions.

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