Featuer Request: Better Printout Format

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Featuer Request: Better Printout Format

Postby bpylant » Thu May 10, 2007 10:14 pm

From a thread on the Norther Brewer forum:
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtop ... c&start=15

Image
Image


I posted these pics of the printouts from both BTP and Beer Alchemy, and IMO Beer Alchemy's printout is superior. Sure, it doesn't have any fancy colored charts and stuff, but the list of ingredients is organized by type (fermentables / hops / other) and much easier to read and follow on a hectic brewday.

All in all, as I mentioned on that thread and in several over on this forum, I prefer BTP to Beer Alchemy on the whole, but there are several things that BA just does much better (adding ingredients to the recipe, recipe and session organization, printout format).

Can't wait to see what v1.1 has to offer!
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Postby just-cj » Sat May 12, 2007 5:52 pm

While I don't like the "tabley" look of Alchemy, I do agree that separating the ingredients into grains, extract, hops, yeast, other (or something similar) is a lot better way to go. But I really hop BTP doesn't go to tables -- all those separating lines give me a headache. :?
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You sort of decide how your own printout will look

Postby billvelek » Sat May 12, 2007 10:03 pm

I'm going to defend Jeff and Lathe on this one. The BTP printout essentially reflects how you have your ingredients organized. You can drag and drop ingredients on the list to put them in whatever order you want. I naturally put all my mash ingredients at the top, and then put my boil ingredients in the order that I add them to the boil: bittering hops, then usually irish moss, then flavoring hops, then aroma hops, with my yeast listed last. Then the printout is exactly in the order that I have them on my screen. I don't need any lines to separate things; I printout my recipe, and then use a pencil/pen to check things as I add them. I don't see any reason for concern here. If your ingredients are printing out in some disorganized fashion, you just need to go into your recipe and reorder the stuff.

BTP is VERY workable for me; I just brewed a batch and am reviewing my inventory and working on a recipe to do double-header tonight. No sense in having to clean stuff before doing a second batch. :D Heck, if my wife doesn't get on my butt, I might even do a triple header. :mrgreen:

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room for improvement

Postby slothrob » Sun May 13, 2007 8:09 am

There's always room for improvement, but I generally find no problem with the BTP printout. The 2 things I would change in BTP, comparing the 2 printouts, are the layout of the Ingredients and the location of the Analysis.

I think the Analysis would be more logically located toward the top of the page, under the Author/Date/Catagory listing.

I think the Ingredients could be made clearer with a slight formating change. A space between the Fermentables and Hops and between the Hops and additional ingredients would make finding your spot vertically a bit easier. When it comes time to add the hops, I find I always have to do a double take to make sure I'm at the first hop addition.

Also concerning the Ingredient section of the printout, the time of addition is buried in a lot of unneccessary text, making it hard to find and hard to connect with the name of the hop which is all the way on the other side of the page. Frankly, "added during boil, boiled..." is pretty much the default and understood. I would just print out "Cascade, 60 min". Or "Cascade, Boiled, 60 min", if you must. Then, Just replace the time with "First Wort Hopped", or "Dry hopped, Secondary, 4 days", where appropriate. I suppose FWH should have some indication of the correction factor used for determining IBUs.

Oh yeah, and I would add my vote against the table format, at least with the lines. The lines just waste space and ink and don't add much more than visual congestion.
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Postby bpylant » Mon May 14, 2007 9:03 pm

I guess I have to disagree, sorry.

I don't mind the tables look at all, it keeps everything very organized and easy to read at a glance. (Oh, and the amount of ink that is "wasted" is negligible at best -- to me that's a non-argument.) As it is now they are all lumped together in a generic list that is no better than I could do by hand, and hard to read on the fly -- the fermentables should be separate from the hop schedule, and I shouldn't have to decide the order they appear, the software should take care of that regardless of what order I entered the ingredients. Separated by type, and ordered by either amount (for grains and other ingredients, largest to smallest) or time (hops, first to last).

I do like the image of the color, and the charts. I just don't think the ingredient list is anywhere near user-friendly enough. (Ditto the current method for adding ingredients to the recipe: http://www.beertools.com/forum/viewtopi ... 3126#13126)
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Postby Clegg » Tue May 15, 2007 7:58 pm

I'm also in the camp of avoiding lined tables, it looks too cluttered and difficult to read IMO. I like the current BTP format better, including the idea of being able to rearrange the order of ingredients.

Since different folks have different desires, perhaps there is a way to make different printout styles an option. Either include a couple different choices, or allow people to access the xml/html file format to create their own. I'd put this at a lower priority than most of the other feature requests, but it may be a future suggestion.
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Postby JimInNJ » Wed May 16, 2007 10:24 am

I just wish it would all fit on one page.

Recently I have been saving to a text file which I then edit to look more like a checklist for brew day.

A feature to print a single page report in checklist format would be handy.

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Postby jctull » Tue May 22, 2007 11:59 pm

I agree with the last post. Fitting on one page is the main thing I want for the print layout.

Ideally, one could customize a layout based on personal preferences. For instance, I don't need the mash chart on the printout. I would rather just have the relevant information in the mash schedule and leave it at that. Adjustable font sizes would also help get it on one page.

Finally, I cannot stand the table grids on Beer Alchemy. As a scientist, any vertical rules and more than three horizontal rules in a table just looks weird. But that's my training coming into play.
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Wed May 23, 2007 7:58 am

I don't have any problems with the current format, but I also would like everything to fit on one page. Perhaps prior to printing there could be a window where users could select which items will be printed.
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Postby Adeptus » Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:50 pm

bpylant wrote:As it is now they are all lumped together in a generic list that is no better than I could do by hand, and hard to read on the fly -- the fermentables should be separate from the hop schedule, and I shouldn't have to decide the order they appear, the software should take care of that regardless of what order I entered the ingredients. Separated by type, and ordered by either amount (for grains and other ingredients, largest to smallest) or time (hops, first to last).
I agree with you actually. The ingredients list is just that, a list, it's not what I would call a "brew sheet". It's attractive, and I like it, but if you have a complex recipe and you're in the heat of a brew it can be a pain squinting at a long list and trying to pull out the timings. Some simle formatting changes would help make it easier to read at a glance.

Just my 2 (euro) cent :)
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Printouts

Postby billvelek » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:00 pm

Some folks like it as is, some want it changed, some want a single-page printout. I think the best and only solution to make everyone happy would be to allow each user to make a few choices re the printout, and then save those choices as a default for each print job. But that is not a high priority with me. I'm still patiently waiting for the long-promised inventory feature, etc. HOPEFULLY, we will see it in the next month or so.

Cheers.

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Re: Release schedule

Postby jeff » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:48 pm

billvelek wrote:I'm still patiently waiting for the long-promised inventory feature, etc. HOPEFULLY, we will see it in the next month or so.


Thanks for your patience Bill. I have been working quite a bit lately (yes, I actually have a real job) and have not had as much time as I would like to put into the 1.1 upgrade to BTP. Sorry it is taking so long. :cry:
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