PDF Blueprint

I'd been wanting to have a blueprint template for a while. The charts in my DnD probability were as close as I have gotten to date on a steampunk blueprint template - but having one for more general use is also good.

I had a good xelatex template to crib from. I made tweaks to:~~~~

  1. Move the size to A3
  2. Adjust the borders
  3. Add in a blueprint background for every page
  4. Pull in icons for the footer
  5. Get the footer text too
  6. Remove the title page and put the title in the header instead

A work friend pointed me at Excalidraw, which was great for making blue-print-style diagrams with a pencil feel and you can switch to night mode for white on black. A short tour through an image editor to remove the black background and you've got a blue-print ready diagram.

It works quite nicely. There's a makefile in the zip to run the test and show you how it works. Download it Here


Thought it'd be worthwhile breaking down some of my LaTeX findings for the Markdown->Pandoc->PDF train. Here's the skinny on the template

Background all the pages


I struggled for hours to figure out how to get my background on all the pages. This was because the base template included a single background for the title page, and then all the other pages had no background. This way, I thought I had to do something different for the background setup. Nope, it was just set to \usepackage[pages=some]{background} and then a \BgPage call before the $body$. All I needed to do was change some to all above, remove the specific \BgPage call, and let the inbuilt background do all the work.

Centering images


For some reason, \centering and similar commands weren't working when I tried to center my image. Not sure why, at the moment I'm just assuming it's something in the \usepackage calls that's including something that makes the centering not work. Nermind, just using the above command fills horizontal space on either size of the image. Centering, done. It does mean I need to use \includegraphicscenter in my Markdown instead of an image call.

% Make links footnotes instead of hotlinks:
\renewcommand\href[2]{\oldhref{#1}{#2} (#1)}

This one's nice. Instead of using footnotes to store urls, since I'm using lists of urls in my posters, this highjacks the \href command and adds a parenthesed url after the link. Nice and visual.

Not yet working

  1. I'd like to figure out how to have fallback fonts without the bizarre chain of "try a font; if it doesn't work try another font" writing malarky. Surely there's a better way.
  2. Instead of using \includegraphicscenter it'd be nice to have a filter that would grab {.center} images and make them use this function.