Single PDF Page of a Diagram

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • FH versions: V4, V5, V6, and V7
  • In Topics: Diagram Tips 


Creating a single page PDF can be a great way to send large diagrams to a Print Company to obtain A2 or larger charts without reverting to sticky tape or glue. The maximum PDF page size supported by this method is typically 200″ x 200″ or 5080 mm x 5080mm.

There are several ways to get a PDF from ƒh.

Diagram > Save Diagram As > PDF File (.pdf)…

ƒh version 4 and above includes a PDF creator (Family Historian PDF).

Choose Adjust PDF File Page Size so that Diagram fits into One Page. The maximum PDF page size supported by this method is 128″ x 128″ or 3276 mm x 3276 mm. This is the easiest way to save a single-page PDF.

If your diagram is larger than the maximum PDF page sizes above, then the advice later explains how to adjust the settings to fit it onto one page. Alternatively, use the next option with a different PDF Creator.

File > Page Setup & File > Print

With this option you can use any of the PDF Utilities mentioned in the Services & Utilities section. These may have fewer limitations and more options, including saving as PNG or JPEG. You will likely have to set the page size manually via the Properties for the printer.

When using this method it is useful to do the setup through File > Page Setup rather than using File > Print directly. If you do this and also have the diagram set to Show Page Boundaries, then it will update the boundaries so you can check your settings.


Some Print Companies offer other ways of sending even bigger charts to their printing service. Contact them for details.

Check Diagram Size

It is advisable to initially create any Diagram with the usual default Fonts, and a Scaling of 100%.

To determine the print size of a Diagram use the Diagram > Diagram Statistics command. The Diagram Size (excluding margins) gives the Height and Width.

If either dimension is larger than the maximum PDF page size, then the Diagram will need adjusting as explained later.

Install a PDF Creator

If required, then install one of the PDF Utilities, such as CutePDF Writer,, PDF995, or PDF Creator, which are recommended by FHUG users or recommended by My History.

These install a Printer Driver, which you use to Print from any program to create a PDF document.

Set Print Properties

Open the Diagram or Chart you would like to print.

  • Select File > Print Setup
  • From the Printer Name drop-down list select a PDF creator (Family Historian PDF, Cute PDF, PDF 995, or PDFCreator).
  • Click the Properties button.

For Family Historian PDF:

  • On the Page tab select Custom and set Width and Height to maximum values (128″ or 3276 mm).
  • It may also be necessary to set the Resolution (dpi) greater than 300 to maintain crisp printouts, but if set too high that may exceed the maximum PDF page size.

For Cute PDF (Utility ~ CutePDF Writer) or PDF 995 (Utility ~ PDF995):

  • Click the Paper/Quality tab, Advanced button, and set Paper Size to PostScript Custom.
  • In the new window set Width and Height to maximum values (200″ or 5080mm).
  • Change Paper Feed Direction to Short Edge First.

For PDFCreator (Utility ~ PDF Creator):

  • Click the Paper/Quality tab, Advanced button, and set Paper Size to PostScript Custom Page Size.
  • You can also change the dpi here.
  • Click the Edit Custom Page Size Button.
  • Set the Width to the desired height of your output and the Height to the desired width. (Note they are reversed.)
  • It does not seem to matter if it is set to Long Edge First or Short Edge First.
  • It would be wise to close Print Setup and check this is what you want (using Show Page Boundaries). You may have to adjust the sizes and/or move the diagram to get it to be on one one page.
  • Note that with PDFCreator you can also choose to save as PNG, JPEG, or other options rather than PDF in the dialogues that appear during printing.

Click OK enough times to close all windows.

Adjust Diagram Size

If the Diagram is larger than the maximum Paper Size set above, then adjust the Diagram using one of the two methods below.

It is advisable that Avoid Page Boundaries is not set.

Adjust Diagram Scaling

Use the Diagram Options > General tab, or Diagram > Layout & Scaling > Diagram Scale, and set Scaling: to a lower value until the print size is smaller than the maximum PDF page size. In order to get more precise adjustment, the Scaling: percentage can be typed in manually, instead of selecting from the drop-down list.

Adjust Page Boundaries

  • Turn on Page Boundaries by clicking the Show Page Boundaries icon
  • Show the whole Diagram by clicking the Fit Window icon
  • First grab the top left corner of a page with the left mouse button and drag it to the top left corner of the Diagram.
  • Now grab the bottom right corner of the page with the right mouse button and adjust the page boundaries so that the whole Diagram shows on one page.
  • Repeat as necessary, and note the Scale shown in the status bar bottom right.

Print PDF Diagram

  • It is suggested to use  File > Print Setup first to set up the printer. The advantage is that if you have Show Page Boundaries set for the diagram, then it will show you if your settings are what you want or not.
  • Use Diagram > Save Diagram As > PDF File (.pdf)
  • Ensure Adjust PDF File Page Size so that Diagram fits into One Page is selected, and click OK.
  • In the Print dialogue ensure the printer Name matches that setup above.
  • Ensure the Paper Size matches that setup above (may need to use the Properties & Manage buttons).
  • Click OK and choose where to Save the printout.

If no PDF file is produced, there may be no error message, but probably the maximum PDF page size has been exceeded. Check the adjustments above, and try reducing the Resolution (dpi) to 300 or lower.

Family Historian PDF Defaults

When using the ƒh PDF printer, it is essential that its Windows Printing Preferences are set to Portrait orientation. In Windows 10 that is set via Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners > Family Historian PDF > Manage > Printing preferences > Orientation.







Last update: 22 Feb 2024