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Xfg Files

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Tubbycoates | 19:36 Tue 03rd Sep 2019 | Technology
9 Answers
Hi all,

On dear old windows XP (remember it?), I had a piece of software called XFIGURE. It generated number crosswords, and I enjoyed solving them. I've been unable to find a similar program anywhere, but I still have the original, which creates .XFG files. I can run the software on an old notebook, but I can't print the files (it isn't practical to try solving the puzzle on the screen, it would take too long, and I like doing them in the pub !).
Can anyone recommended any software that can print/convert the .XFG files on my laptop ?

Thanks in advance.

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Can you capture a screen grab and print that out?

If your old notebook is still running XP you won't have the Windows Snipping Tool available to you but you can still capture a screen image by pressing the 'Print Screen' key. (It sometimes labelled as 'PrtScr'. You might possibly need to use a combination of two keys on a notebook, including the 'Fn' key, to access 'Print Screen').

When you press 'Print Screen' absolutely nothing will seem to happen. However an image of your screen will have been captured to the notebook's clipboard. If you then go to a program such as Paint or Word you can paste the image into that (and then resize it to meet your needs).

If your notebook is running Windows 7 or later, you can use the Windows Snipping Tool ( via Start > All Programs > Accessories). That offers more flexibility and allows you to create a jpeg image of a selected area of your screen, which you can then print out or import into another program.

Question Author
Unfortunately the puzzles I'm interested in don't display all the clues on one screen, I have to keep scrolling up and down. Of course, I could do a prntscr for everything, but I would end up with about 5 sheets of paper !
I was hoping someone might know a simple download that can either display the file on W10 (so I can then print it), or convert it and then print.
There must be a similar program / app out there that will work with up to date versions of Windows.
PS: I've just discovered on online emulator which runs Xfigure in a browser window. (I'm using Firefox on a Windows 7 machine but I'd expect it to work with any setup). You could use that to generate puzzles on a modern PC and then use the Windows Snipping Tool to capture what you see. (Hint: If you're going to be using the Snipping Tool a lot, it makes sense to add it to your computer's taskbar; then you'll only need one click to launch it. To add it to your taskbar, locate it as above, right-click on it and select 'Pin to taskbar').

The only problem you'll encounter doing it that way is that you'll need several screenshots in order to be able to capture all of the clues. (i.e. you need to keep scrolling down between screenshots to ensure that you've got all the clues).

e.g. you need these four captures to get all of the clues for this puzzle:
http://www.upl.co/uploads/Xfigure21567538275.jpg
http://www.upl.co/uploads/Xfigure31567538300.jpg
http://www.upl.co/uploads/Xfigure41567538337.jpg
http://www.upl.co/uploads/Xfigure51567538370.jpg

Once you've got your screen captures, you can paste them into a DTP or word-processing program, as here:
http://www.upl.co/uploads/CompletePuzzle1567538881.jpg

The online emulator is here:
https://archive.org/details/XFigure_1020
(Click in the middle of the grid to load up th files for it, which takes a few moments. Eventually you'll see a new grid appear. Click within it to lock your cursor to the gameplay. Click 'Esc' to unlock your cursor, so that you can then use the Snipping Tool. Click back in the grid again to scroll down the clues, then click 'Esc' and take another screenshot, etc)
Does your print menu offer the option to save as a .pdf ?

Those can be printed.
^^^ The pdf format wasn't introduced until 1993, Gromit, and it took another couple of decades before it became fairly standard to offer it as an option within software. Xfigure was also brought out in 1993, so there's not going to be a pdf option built into it.
^^^ Just a thought though:
CutePDF Writer will run under Windows XP (which I'm assuming is what TC has got on his notebook). Once that's installed, any program with a 'Print' function will think that there's a printer called 'Cute PDF' available to it. 'Printing' to that (virtual) printer then produces a PDF file.

Perhaps it's worth a try?

https://www.cutepdf.com/products/cutepdf/writer.asp
(Note that Ghostscript needs to be installed onto the notebook as well. There's a link on that page)
Question Author
Thanks for all your help.
I then remembered that something called XPS Document writer solves the problem. When printing, change the printer to XPS Document writer, and print to that. It creates a file that is portable vis USB stick to other machines.

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