Sprue Thy Sheets

A sprue is a Squib feature that customizes how cards get arranged on a sheet as part of save_pdf or save_sheet (PNG). This is particularly useful for:

  • Working with specific dies
  • Cutting out hex chits with fewer cuts
  • Working with quirky duplex printing
  • Printing front-to-back and having a fold in the middle
  • Printing to specific sticker sheets
  • Making an A4 version and a US Letter version for i18n

Without using a sprue, the save_sheet and save_sheet will simply lay out your cards one after another with the gap and margins you specify.

Using a Sprue

The easiest way to get started is to use our library of built-in sprues for various default paper sizes and card sizes. See List of Built-in Sprues below.

Sprues are specified in Yaml, just like layouts. To use a built-in sprue, just specify the name and Squib will use that:

save_sheet sprue: 'letter_poker_card_9up.yml'

Here’s a full example from here:

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require 'squib'

Squib::Deck.new(cards: 9) do
  background color: :white
  rect stroke_width: 5, stroke_color: :red
  text str: (0..9).map{ |i| "Card #{i}\n2.5x3.5in" },
       font: 'Sans 32', align: :center, valign: :middle,
       height: :deck, width: :deck
  save_sheet sprue: 'letter_poker_card_9up.yml',
             prefix: "sprue_example_"
end

Make Your Own Sprue

Need a special one? You can make a sprue file yourself following the Sprue Format below, or you can generate one from the command line.

Note

Would someone else find your sprue useful? Contribute one!! This is an easy way to help out the Squib community.

Squib comes with a handy little command-line interface that will generate a sprue file based on your own parameters. Of course, you can edit the sprue file once you’re done to fix any quirks you like.

Here’s an example run:

$ squib make_sprue
1. in
2. cm
3. mm
What measure unit should we use? 1
1. A4, portrait
2. A4, landscape
3. US letter, portrait
4. US letter, landscape
5. Custom size
What paper size you are using? 3
Sheet margins? (in) 0.125
1. left
2. right
3. center
How to align cards on sheet? [left] 3
Card width? (in) 2.5
Card height? (in) 3.5
Gap between cards? (in) 0
1. rows
2. columns
How to layout your cards? [rows]
1
1. true
2. false
Generate crop lines? [true]
1
Output to? |sprue.yml| my_sprue.yml

Of course, a Squib sprue is just a YAML file with a specific structure. Here’s an example (generated from the run above):

---
sheet_width: 8.5in
sheet_height: 11in
card_width: 2.5in
card_height: 3.5in
cards:
- x: 0.5in
  y: 0.125in
- x: 3.0in
  y: 0.125in
- x: 5.5in
  y: 0.125in
- x: 0.5in
  y: 3.625in
- x: 3.0in
  y: 3.625in
- x: 5.5in
  y: 3.625in
- x: 0.5in
  y: 7.125in
- x: 3.0in
  y: 7.125in
- x: 5.5in
  y: 7.125in
crop_line:
  lines:
  - type: :vertical
    position: 0.5in
  - type: :vertical
    position: 3.0in
  - type: :vertical
    position: 5.5in
  - type: :vertical
    position: 8.0in
  - type: :horizontal
    position: 0.125in
  - type: :horizontal
    position: 3.625in
  - type: :horizontal
    position: 7.125in
  - type: :horizontal
    position: 10.625in

Sprue Format

Here are the options for the sprue file. The entire structure of the Yaml file is a Hash

Top-Level parameters

sheet_width
Width of the sheet, supports Unit Conversion.
sheet_height
Width of the sheet, supports Unit Conversion.
card_width
Intended width of the card. Sprues will allow any size of card. Squib will check for potential overlaps, and will warn you if the deck card width is greater than the Sprue’s expected card width (this option). If there is overlap detected Squib will send out a warning to stdout. Supports Unit Conversion.
card_height
Intended height of the card. Sprues will allow any size of card. Squib will check for potential overlaps, and will warn you if the deck card height is greater than the Sprue’s expected card height (this option). If there is overlap detected Squib will send out a warning to stdout. Supports Unit Conversion.
position_reference

Default: :topleft

Can be :topleft or :center. Are the card coordinates refer to the top-left of the card, or the middle of the card? (Don’t forget that colon!)

cards

At the top-level should be a cards key. Within that is an array of hashes that contain the x-y coordinates to indicate the locations of the cards. The order of the coordinates indicates the order of the cards that will be laid out. When there are more cards in the deck than the number of x-y coordinates in the list, a new “page” will be made (i.e. a new page in the PDF or a new sheet for PNG sheets).

x
Horizontal distance card from the left side of the page. Supports Unit Conversion.
y
Vertical distance card from the top side of the page. Supports Unit Conversion.
rotate

Default: 0 (none)

Rotate the card around its position_reference. Allows clockwise, counterclockwise, or turnaround, or numerical angle.

crop_line

Optionally, at the top-level you can specify lines to be drawn.

style
Values: solid,``dotted``,``dashed``
width
The stroke width of the crop line. Supports Unit Conversion.
color
The stroke color of the crop line, using Specifying Colors & Gradients
overlay

Values: on_margin, overlay_on_cards, beneath_cards.

Specifies how the crop line is drawn: before drawing cards, after drawing cards, or only in the margins.

lines
A hash that has the following options below
type
Values: horizontal or vertical
position
The x-position or y-position of the crop line (depending on type)

List of Built-in Sprues

Here’s a list of built-in sprues that come with Squib. You can get the original YAML files on GitHub here.

a4_euro_card.yml

a4_poker_card_8up.yml

a4_usa_card.yml

letter_poker_card_9up.yml

letter_poker_foldable_8up.yml

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require 'squib'

# Note that this sample has no bleed - you might want to have bleed
# but tighter than usual: 0.1 instead of 0.125in since this sprue is
# crowded horizontally on US letter
Squib::Deck.new(width: '2.5in', height: '3.5in', cards: 8) do
  background color: :white
  rect stroke_width: 5, stroke_color: :red
  # Note that we are interleaving strings
  # This could be used as a secondary Squib script that loads
  # Squib-generated individual images
  strings = [
    "Front 1",
    "Back 1",
    "Front 2",
    "Back 2",
    "Front 3",
    "Back 3",
    "Front 4",
    "Back 4",
  ]

  text str: strings,font: 'Sans 32', align: :center, valign: :middle,
       height: :deck, width: :deck
  save_sheet prefix: 'foldable_',
             sprue: 'letter_poker_foldable_8up.yml'
end