Empty Volvelle

One Row and One Column

Volvelleteer starts by displaying the minimal volvelle in its window. This volvelle displays the information in a table with a single row and a single column.

The upper part of the window shows the volvelle layout. The circle is the wheel of the volvelle and it will be scaled, depending on your printing or export options.

There is only one column, so there is only one data slot visible. Data slots are shown in dark gray or in the selection color (light blue here) if they are selected. When you actually make the volvelle, these data slots will be cut out of the front wheel so that data from one row of the table will be visible at a time.

The lower part of the window shows the data table. Here it has one column and one row. The column is selected, as is the data slot, so you can tell which data will appear where in your volvelle.

You edit data in the table by clicking on a cell and typing.

Showing a selected data slot

Nine Rows and Five Columns

You add data to the volvelle by using the Row > Insert to add new rows and Column > Insert to add new columns to the table.

Inserting a Column

When you insert a new column, a new data slot appears on the volvelle disk and a new column appears in the table below. You can move the data slot around using your mouse. Click it towards the center and drag it. To resize it, click and drag one of the edges. This does not work very well, but it sort of works. You can also rotate a data slot by grabbing one of the corners. If you do this by mistake, use the Edit > Zero Angle command to reset it.

Each column also has a name, a font, a text size and a show picture option. The name is just for your convenience and will appear in the header of the table shown. The font and text size are pretty straightforward. The show picture option tells Volvelleteer that the data item is the name of a picture file, GIF or JPEG, that is to be shown in the volvelle. It will be rotated and scaled as necessary. The picture file must be in the same folder as the saved volvelle file.

Inserting a Row

When you insert a new row, a new set of pale gray data blocks appear, one for each data slot. The dark gray data slots and these pale gray blocks show where all the data in the table will be printed on the rear wheel of the volvelle.

The goal is to move and size the various data slots and data blocks so that none are overlapping.

Volvelle Preview

A Preview of the Rear Wheel

Inserting a Backdrop

To get a backdrop for your volvelle, create some circle themed artwork and save it in JPEG or GIF format. (Actually, you can use any format Quicktime can handle if you have Quicktime). Use the File > Import Backdrop command to import a backdrop image.

If you want fancy edges for your data slots, you can export the artwork using the File > Export Volvelle option. Then, edit the output and reimport it into Volvelleteer.

Previewing the Rear Wheel

The File > Preview menu item presents a preview of the rear wheel, so you can get a sense of just how cluttered it is getting.

Print Dialog

The Print Dialog


When you are ready to print out a volvelle, you will have the option to use higher or lower resolution. Depending on your printer, the fonts chosen and the quality of the artwork, you will need to experiment with this for the best results. Remember also to work with you printers Page Setup options, since most printers have speed and quality tradeoffs.

Importing a Table

Importing a Table

Importing a Table

If you already have a small table of data in a file, or you just find Volvelleteer's table editing options to be obnoxious, you can import your table directly into Volvelleteer.

The file should be an ordinary ASCII text file. There should be just one row of data on each line. Volvelleteer will try and guess your column break character, which may be a comma, a tab or a space.

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