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Printing ladder so you can read it without a microscope

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  • MVP 2023

Hi all, in a quick enquiry to support, it seems that being able to physically print the ladder so that you can actually read it easily is perhaps happening soon.  But only in new versions it seems.  This post is a bit long but stick with it.  It's simple but worth a learn.

A little while ago I had to work with hard copy in Visilogic for the first time in ages, as I couldn't do multi-monitor work with a pdf print on one monitor to refer to.   As we all know, on an A4 page the print is so tiny it's incomprehensible.  If you do screenshots etc with overlaps on the printer it makes it awkward to use as you have to pick and choose which pages to print anyway, and for some reason on my systems the numbering goes astray.  I still am sitting on 9.8.65.

Tonight I played with variations to my "enlarging" methods, and found one that works to make it fairly easy.  Please note that many of you use the full width of ladder and this method may not help you at all.  However, you'll likely be able to find a sweet spot of your own for some settings that are different to mine.  It is worth playing around as hard copy is sometimes useful.

You need to have a print to pdf method installed on your PC.  On my systems Micro$oft Print to PDF invokes a run time error when I try to use it in Visilogic.  Regardless, for ages I've used dopdf as my pdf printer of choice, and the best version is #7, as later ones have all sorts of crap thrown in.  I've attached the program for those that want it.  For my example I've used my mobile-at-lights giggle I did a while back.

Using the standard print dialogue, I set my page to Portrait, which I have to check each time as even though it is set to default into this, Visi keeps on changing it to Landscape.  I initially have to print the page at 100% as no matter what I put in it always seems to print at this size.  I end up with this which is just part of the top of 2 pages:


Now open the pdf in a reader or your choice that can do print scaling with overlaps.  I often use PDF-Xchange Viewer.  Again printing to dopdf, I set scaling to Tile all pages, zoom at 220%, overlap of 0cm and print all pages.  I now get this, but there are overlaps and blank pages all over the place:


So....to finalise it all, I go through this print in PDF X-change, manually noting the page numbers that actually show the ladderwork I want.  In my mobile at lights example, I actually put it over the top of another program I was working on when my "mobiles frustrations" surfaced into fun, so the entire sub takes up 17 pages of this print.  But the bits of ladder are at 1, 4, 10 & 14.  Mobile at lights is only 1 page, though.  So we'll pretend that I'm now doing the final stage of print, and that is select the pages.  I again go to print via dopdf, change back the zoom setting to 100% (don't forget to do this if you haven't closed the pdf viewing program!), use Page Range of your selected pages, No scaling, etc and again print to pdf. 

You now have something you can read easily and is a good size on paper. 


cheers, Aus


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  • MVP 2023

OK, I'll bite.  TE 5?  Sounds like my Hilti drill!

DOS?  Something I still work with occasionally.  I particularly like the Yoda politeness during close.





Ahh yes, those were the days.  Who can forget all that mucking around with jumpers on mboards, setting innumerable interrupts and gawd knows what else.  And costly, too, especially if you  got one with a selectable "turbo"!   I remember a CD writer I needed and it cost over $800, back then!  And it worked if you were lucky.  "Damn, another (expensive) coaster after waiting for ages."

No doubt this might need to turn into it's own topic in the lounge....we'll see how the "I can beat that" response goes!  So I'll start it off with my first computer used cassette tapes.

cheers, Aus   🙃

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  • MVP 2023

Go back and look at your sample code - 


My first PLC programming experience back in 1989-

A Modicon P190


Available for the low, low price of $6,000.00

Then you had to buy the family specific tapes to load into it for another $1,000 - 



The P190 weighed about 50 pounds, and I have memories of lugging it outside to a chemical tote-filling structure at Monsanto with a very long serial cable connecting it to the $25,000.00  Modicon 584 PLC for troubleshooting.

After walking uphill in the snow of course.



Joe T.

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  • MVP 2023

TE 5.....Silly me.  I thought it was some reference to a name in Startrek, or any of the other left field movies you love.  Proof that sometimes the bleedin' obvious is easily missed.

1989....How times have changed, ehh?  I do love that it appears that the tapes are still available, as it looks like there is a clipped off "In stock".  I bet Kratmel can top that one, or might even have one in his cave.

You forgot to add in the howling wind, with the icycles dangling from your eyebrows and your cigar frozen to your lips. 

cheers, Aus

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Back in the early 90's, I had some DOS programs made by ICOM for SLC500 and PLC5 (I think they were also licensed to provide programming software for several other manufactures).

And I would print the ladders out for each of the 60+ panels for reference, and stash in the panel document slot of each (yes, dot matrix on fan-fold paper, made it easy to read in a contiguous fashion, rather than flipping individual pages).

Of course I also had printed ladders for some old TI-101's, and TI-505's (as well as some Mitsubishi stuff), where you had to use the old keypad programmers to step through the logic.

A far cry from our ability to connect a laptop these days and simply scroll through the logic real-time. :rolleyes:

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