image provider

Birthday Card Maker


Disclaimer

This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This project lets people print birthday cards, Christmas cards and other greeting cards either on plain paper or on heavy card stock with a crease across the middle of an 21.59 × 27.94 cm (8½ × 11 in) page. Such paper is available from Hewlett Packard as Printable Expressions.

Aren’t there dozens of such programs out there already? The ones I found on the net wanted money, wanted to install software or your machine, or produced cards of such inferior quality you would be embarrassed to send them. You would set this project up as a free signed Applet on a web page with a Google ad, that would generate revenue. The user does not need to install any software and gets printed cards free.

You print the card on both sides of a page and fold it over in the middle. There are thus four panels. If you make a little model of a card, you will see two of the panels must be printed upside down. (If panels 2 and 3 contain no text, you can simply feed the paper for panel 1 rightside up and the reverse side panel 4 upside down.) Java’s AffineTransform will help you do that.

Portrait Landscape
outside inside outside inside
front blank back front blank greeting
outside of card inside of card outside of card inside of card
back greeting back front blank greeting
outside inside outside inside
The four panels are:
  1. The front. It is a JPG (Joint Photographic experts Group), GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) or PNG (Portable Network Graphics) scaled to fit, with or without a border. The user provides the image by uploading it. You maintain the aspect ratio. The user may optionally provide some text to overlay the photo.
  2. The inside top is blank. It is the reverse side of (1) the front of the card.
  3. The outside back. Is some text describing what the front cover image is. It is printed on the reverse of (4) the greeting.
  4. The inside bottom, has the greeting and room for a hand signature.
This requires low level coding at the Canvas level where you place the text with drawString and place the image with drawImage.

The user gets to choose the fonts, sizes and colours for the various bits of text. He also gets to choose the background colour for the inside bottom page. You might allow the user to select one of several sizes. A user may need to print a slightly smaller card if his printer can’t print close to the edges of the page. A user might want small cards for gift enclosures.

Every time the user changes a selection, your program immediately repaints the three-non-blank panels. Display the panels right side up, unlike one of the birthday card sites than shall remain nameless.

You can borrow code from FontShower and Screws. You could have a selection of images and suggested greetings for the tongue-tied to select from.

When the image is satisfactory, you print it on the user’s colour inkjet printer on high quality setting, or save it as a large jpg they can then safely embed in a email to form an e-card. Use fit-to-page to maximise use of the printable area without cropping. You might cannibalise some code from Masker to do this.

A photographer could use this tool to create greeting cards with photos of local sites of interest and sell them to tourist shops. To print or to save a jpg on the user’s hard disk, you must sign your Applet.

Allow the user to print the outside and inside of the card as many times as needed, with explanation of how to insert the paper in the printer for the two printing passes. The crease gives the paper a natural outside and inside. If the user is preparing a stack of Christmas cards for example, he may elect to print all the outsides first then the insides on the backs so he does not need to hand feed each sheet.

You can use a guillotine to trim the white borders off if you like. This helps forgive any alignment imperfections and borders not exactly the same size.

If you want such a custom birthday card and have not the patience, you can create it manually with PaintShop Pro.

I have a half-completed project, a more user-friendly replacement for Java’s JColorChooser. If you tackle this project I might be spurred to complete it and give you the code.

Using Google’s free Web fonts you can greatly extend the selection of fonts available to the user.

electronic product image recommend electronic⇒Avery Textured Half-Fold Greeting Cards for Inkjet Printers, Uncoated, 03378to electronic home
asin B0000AQNVK
Uncoated, textured. 8.5 x 11” white, contains 30 sheets and 30 envelopes. Considerably cheaper then the matte coated version. Weight 8.5 mil.
American flag amazon.com bestbuy.ca Canadian flag
Canadian flag amazon.ca canadacomputers.com Canadian flag
German flag amazon.de ncix.ca Canadian flag
Spanish flag amazon.es newegg.ca Canadian flag
French flag amazon.fr staples.ca Canadian flag
Italian flag amazon.it tigerdirect.ca Canadian flag
UK flag amazon.co.uk bestbuy.com American flag
India flag junglee.com ncixus.com American flag
UN flag other stores newegg.com American flag
staples.com American flag
tigerdirect.com American flag
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock
electronic product image recommend electronic⇒Avery Half-Fold Matte Greeting Cards for Inkjet Printers 03265to electronic home
asin B00000JFNV
dim 21.59 × 27.94 cm
8½ × 11 in
with fold, white, matte, contains 20 sheets and 20 envelopes. Weight 8.5 mil. There are many variations, size, texture, 20 to 200 packs. Tiger stock the 30 pack. Check your local stationery store.
American flag amazon.com bestbuy.ca Canadian flag
Canadian flag amazon.ca canadacomputers.com Canadian flag
German flag amazon.de ncix.ca Canadian flag
Spanish flag amazon.es newegg.ca Canadian flag
French flag amazon.fr staples.ca Canadian flag
Italian flag amazon.it tigerdirect.ca Canadian flag
UK flag amazon.co.uk bestbuy.com American flag
India flag junglee.com ncixus.com American flag
UN flag other stores newegg.com American flag
staples.com American flag
tigerdirect.com American flag
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock
electronic product image recommend electronic⇒Canon All Occasion Greeting Card, 0775B056to electronic home
asin B0014WJYNC
8.5 x 11” 20 sheets, 20 envelopes. Glossy photo paper. weight?
American flag amazon.com bestbuy.ca Canadian flag
Canadian flag amazon.ca canadacomputers.com Canadian flag
German flag amazon.de ncix.ca Canadian flag
Spanish flag amazon.es newegg.ca Canadian flag
French flag amazon.fr staples.ca Canadian flag
Italian flag amazon.it tigerdirect.ca Canadian flag
UK flag amazon.co.uk bestbuy.com American flag
India flag junglee.com ncixus.com American flag
UN flag other stores newegg.com American flag
staples.com American flag
tigerdirect.com American flag
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock

Keep an eye out for house brands. They might cost 1/5 as much, but then they might smear inkjet printing.

Avery Matte card stock 8.5 mil
Avery Textured card stock
birthdays
Fontshower student project
Greeting card making Applet
Hallmark blank greeting card stock
Masker: creates image in RAM
PNG
Red River blank greeting card stock
Snapfish custom cards
Staples

This page is posted
on the web at:

http://mindprod.com/project/birthdaycard.html

Optional Replicator mirror
of mindprod.com
on local hard disk J:

J:\mindprod\project\birthdaycard.html
logo
Please the feedback from other visitors, or your own feedback about the site.
Contact Roedy. Please feel free to link to this page without explicit permission.

IP:[65.110.21.43]
Your face IP:[54.197.68.140]
You are visitor number