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Creating the Graphic for the Map - Step 1

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Theatre map graphics or pictures are not required if the venue is used for festival (General Admission) or Traveling Troupe ticket sales. If the intention is to sell reserved seats visually, a graphic representation of the theatre will need to be drawn in a graphic application and then placed into Theatre Manager. At this time, Arts Management recommends using a PowerPoint slide to draw the graphic image as it allows for small file size, and images can be saved in the correct format for both PC and Mac use.

If you intend to use the Select Your own Seats Online feature, your map will also need to be converted into an SVG file. You will need to have a PowerPoint or .emf file to start with, then convert it to SVG using OpenOffice

If all your machines are Windows based (including the Classic Web Listener), you will only need the Windows based graphic. Likewise, if all your machines are Macs, you will only need the Mac version of the graphic. However, if your office machines are PC's and your Classic Web Listener is a Mac (or vice-versa), then you will need BOTH versions of the graphic in order for all users and web sales to view the map properly.

Optimizing Graphic Map Size

Use vector based graphics (lines, squares, circles, letters, colour, etc) on your maps and do not use picture/image files (jpegs, tiffs, bitmaps, etc) or high bit depth (shadings and transparency) in order to minimize the size of the final graphic. Think simple - the graphic map that sits behind the seat squares does not need to be an elaborate representation of the venue. The purpose is to allow Box Office staff and online patrons to easily visualize the sections/zones within the venue.

You can do a fantastic map with lines circles and colour using vector graphics and the file size will be 50K +/-. Adding a picture can jump the size to a megabyte without trying. Smaller file sizes result in faster performance transferring the maps from the database and building the suggested seat graphics for the web. Theatre Manager limits the graphic map file size to less than 500kb for PC's, less than 200kb for Mac's. Less is more.

For Windows The picture must be saved as a Windows Meta File (WMF) in a Windows environment (PowerPoint will do this). Drawing applications like Corel Draw can create WMF files - but be mindful of the file size. It's much easier for things to get "out of hand" in a drawing application than in PowerPoint. The Metafile must be placed in Theatre Manager on a Windows machine and must be smaller than 500kb in order to be read properly.

Powerpoint includes a preview PDF in the WMF file (a not-so-good Microsoft notion). If your WMF file is a little too large or you want to slim it down drastically, then use the EXPORT feature in Open Office to make a smaller, more compact version of the WMF.

For Mac For Macintosh the file must be saved as a PICT file. The PICT file must be placed in Theatre Manager on a Macintosh machine and must be smaller than 200kb in order to be read properly. You can use Microsoft Office X - PowerPoint for Mac or the EXPORT feature in Open Office (free) to convert PPT files to PICT format.

If you are using PowerPoint for Mac to create your pict files, use Version 8 or prior. PowerPoint Version 10 PICTs have changed and will not display. If you need assistance converting your Mac PowerPoint map to a usable PICT version, either use EXPORT feature in Open Office or contact Arts Management Systems Support to convert the map.

Once you have created the graphic in PowerPoint, you can save it - as well as the SVG map - directly within the pricing map setup in Theatre Manager.