* EMF icons - specifically sub-UN State flags (Munster, Scotland, Flanders etc.)

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ADC65
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Re: EMF icons - specifically sub-UN State flags (Munster, Scotland, Flanders etc.)

Post by ADC65 »

Having mulled this over this evening, I think I will step back from any actions.

Having looked through the USA State flags, I'd be very surprised if anyone could identify more than one or two of them and so adding them as an icon to a diagram would be rather pointless I think. Some of the flags do not miniaturize very well (Alaska, for example, which just looks like a blue rectangle when reduced). And I'm not sure how these would be added to a diagram anyway - by FH Flag or an Expression - and how many of those would you need?! (Well, 50 I suppose, but that's a hell of a list!)

Whatever aspect ratio or format they are created in, 1:1, 2:3, 16:9, or whatever, someone will probably want them a different way.

For people that do need them, I would suggest downloading the SVG from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_ ... erritories) and converting the file to a bmp or emf. I do agree that more detail for these file types and handling/conversion would be good in the KB, but I'm not the one to write that I'm afraid - documentation has never been my strong point.

I'm certainly willing to help those that want a few icons (and don't feel technically confident enough to create them) by creating the icons for them and emailing them. Just get in touch via my email on my profile.
Adrian Cook
Researching Cook, Summers, Phipps and Bradford, mainly in Wales and the South West of England
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Re: EMF icons - specifically sub-UN State flags (Munster, Scotland, Flanders etc.)

Post by davidf »

satyricon wrote: 08 Dec 2022 23:53 Having mulled this over this evening, I think I will step back from any actions.
...
Whatever aspect ratio or format they are created in, 1:1, 2:3, 16:9, or whatever, someone will probably want them a different way.
I think you are right to highlight in the above post and previous ones that this exercise is not just a matter of find a group of public domain images - batch processing them to a common "size" and emf format and then making the results available as a zipped download.

Taking stock (Summary at end):
  1. Icon File Size: Users of the FH supplied emf icons need to realise that they are not perfect and as David2416 pointed out in Diagram/Chart Performance (21259) some were "oversize" and impacted performance of diagrams.
    • Knowledge how to fix these issues is not a core skill of genealogy - but Mark Draper has offered to ponder writing (in the new year) a "KB primer on icons and graphics files. It would introduce the basic concepts of formats (bit-mapped vs. vector), size, transparency, etc, perhaps with a worked example using IrfanView."
    • It would be helpful if we could agree some recommendations (size, resolution, maximum aspect ratio?) for people preparing icons. These could then go in an updated Knowledge Base article on using icons.
    • These two articles might be kept distinct because the latter should be accessible to "all levels", whilst the "Primer on Icons and Graphic Files" might be "advanced"?
    • Do we gather individually improved versions of the CP supplied National Flags (and other icons) somewhere and then volunteer them to CP to be incorporated in the next release?
  2. Loading of Icons Mark also noted in the same post "It feels very odd that CP don't provide an easy way to use custom icons, and force users to write directly to the ProgramData folder." Mike T in the next post agreed "that custom Icons should be better supported, perhaps with File > Import/Export or Diagram commands, so the ProgramData folder does not need direct access.".
    • There is possibly a Wish List Request for a (near stand-alone) enhancement to import either single emf icon image files (possibly with warnings if the file being imported is unsuitable - mainly an issue of size?) or a zipped library of icons (such as from the KB: Download Type: Diagram Icons).
  3. Placing and impact of Aspect ratio There is not a consensus at the moment about the aspect ratio of icons and how it impacts their placing.
    • It is fairly clear that on the "More Dimensions" tab, the "icon size" together with the gap "between icons" inputs defines a fixed grid of rectangles - and that icons are centred in these rectangles .- which can result in apparent unevenness and apparent variable spacing.
    • This might be improved if the grid was flexible, such that if you specified "an icon height", but not a width, icons could be displayed with consistent height, the aspect ratio of the individual icon images would determine the width, and the horizontal spacing would be just that (because any white space between icons would be solely due the gap between icons parameter).
    • If you had multiple rows of icons (how many get to this stage?), the icons would not then "line up" in vertical columns (each row would in effect be a separate grid) - would that be an issue?
    • Do we have a minor wish list item such that if one of the "icon (grid) dimensions" is left blank, it is determined by the aspect ration of each individual icon?
  4. Icons overlapping Box Shadow The Knowledge Base acknowledges this issue and suggests a kludge as a work around (provide every icon with addition transparent background above the image - such that it is this additional transparent background that overlaps the shadow.)
    • The kludge in theory requires a different set of icons with differing amounts of additional transparent background to cope with differing shadow depths. As a long term solution this requires graphics skills that many genealogists will not be interested in acquiring.
    • The issue has been reported to CP on a support ticket who have acknowledged it "for evaluation". I cannot see that this will be "urgent", but it may be a quick win that will just appear in a minor release?
  5. Availability of Icons
    • satyricon wrote: 08 Dec 2022 23:53 For people that do need them, I would suggest downloading the SVG from Wikipedia ([e.g.] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_ ... erritories) and converting the file to a bmp or emf.
    • Wikipedia would seem a good source as they are most likely to be public domain - thereby avoiding copyright issues (in most jurisdictions).
    • Other pages with useful flags (which I have found whilst considering how I might prepare a Icon Set of GB&I icons) are: Perhaps the above list and similar for other countries might usefully appear on the Icon download page - despite not being official FHUG downloads - with a link to the Knowledge Base article that might hold recommendations for icons?
Summary
  1. KB primer on icons and graphics files - with Mark Draper for possible action in New Year
  2. Can we agree some recommendations (size, resolution, maximum aspect ratio?) for people preparing icons - outstanding
  3. Update to Knowledge Base Article on Using Icons - to await resolution of other items?
  4. Collating improved versions of CP supplied National Flags and submitting them to CP - ideas required for how best to do this
  5. A Wish List Request for supported means to upload new icons / icon sets - give me a nudge of interest and I will raise a wish list request
  6. Impact of Aspect Ratio - Do we have a minor wish list item such that if one of the "icon (grid) dimensions" is left blank, it is determined by the aspect ratio of each individual icon?
  7. Icons overlapping Box Shadow - Ticket Raised with CP
  8. Other known lists of flag icons - to add to this topic and then decide where the list should go in the Knowledge Base - driven by other's interest!
Meanwhile if people have developed other sub-Nation State Flag icons they could post them to this thread and every so often someone might collate them into a downloadable icon set? Is this topic adequately named so that people will be able to find it or should we ask the mods to rename it? (Regional / County / etc. flag icons?)
David
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