Smeal Quint
Advanced Settings

Some Advanced Settings for the Firefighter Calendar:

Display alternate shift schedule on startup
Display alternate message file on startup
Display Kelly days in an alternate color
Select platoon colors in RGB hexadecimal
Create a custom ellipsis string
Set title text for printed calendars
Set title height for printed calendars
Adjust page margins for printed output
Adjust spacing between wallet calendars
Change vertical offset of wallet calendars
Export ShiftCal to Google Calendar
Google Calendar on Android phones


Display alternate shift schedule on startup

An alternate shift schedule can be loaded on startup by specifying the .ini file as a command-line parameter using the "/i" switch. Example using file "usps.ini" (should be all on one line):

"C:\Program Files\Erickson\ShiftCal6\shiftcal.exe"
"/ic:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Erickson\ShiftCal6\usps.ini"

The path to data files in Windows Vista, 7, and 8 has been changed:

"C:\Program Files\Erickson\ShiftCal6\shiftcal.exe"
"/iC:\Users\username\AppData\roaming\Erickson\ShiftCal6\usps.ini"

Note that if the path contains spaces, the string must be enclosed in quotation marks (this applies both to the program name and to the .ini file).

This technique can also be used to create a desktop shortcut. Create a shortcut on the desktop in the usual fashion, then right-click on the icon and select "Properties" from the local menu.

Edit the "Target" edit control to add a space, "/i", and the name of the desired .ini file. The resulting string would look similar to the example above.

Key point: although the filename alone will work if the .ini file is local, it is safer to use the full pathname.

Go Top

Display alternate message file on startup

An alternate message file can be loaded on startup by specifying the .cds file as a command-line parameter using the "/d" switch. Example using file "cvfd.cds":

"C:\Program Files\Erickson\ShiftCal6\shiftcal.exe" "/dC:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Erickson\ShiftCal6\cvfd.cds

This technique can also be used to create a desktop shortcut. Create a shortcut on the desktop in the usual fashion, then right-click on the icon and select "Properties" from the local menu.

Edit the "Target" edit control to add a space, "/d", and the name of the desired .ini file. Example using file "wsfd.cds" (should be all on one line):

"C:\Program Files\Erickson\ShiftCal6\shiftcal.exe"
"/dC:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Erickson\ShiftCal6\wsfd.cds"

The path to data files in Windows Vista, 7, and 8 has been changed:

"C:\Program Files\Erickson\ShiftCal6\shiftcal.exe"
"/dC:\Users\username\AppData\roaming\Erickson\ShiftCal6\wsfd.cds"

To assure that you are specifying the correct file, use the full pathname.

Go Top

Display Kelly days in an alternate color

To display a user's Kelly days in an alternate color, create a "phantom" platoon with the desired foreground and inverse colors, then replace the platoon entry in ShiftRotation with the "phantom" platoon identifier.

For the following example, we will assume that the user works a 24-on, 48-off rotation with a Kelly day every seventh shift, and that the user is assigned to the "C" platoon.

The ShiftRotation was "ABC", but since the user gets a Kelly day every seventh shift, we need to create a ShiftRotation 21 days long similar to the following:

[Shift Schedule]
ShiftRotation=ABCABCABCABCABCABD

Notice that the last "C" shift entry has been changed to a "D".

Create entries for the "D" platoon in the [Colors] section of the .ini file:

[Colors]
DPlt=Yellow
DInv=Black

Set StartDate to the day following a Kelly day:

[Shift Schedule]
StartDate=12/22/2000

Save the changes to the .ini file and reload it (e.g. with File | Ini File).

Note: we suggest using a naming convention to distinguish .ini files that display Kelly days from the generic shift schedule. For examples of naming systems used to describe RDO and debit day systems, see:

Camp Pendleton Fire Department

Houston Fire Department

Seattle Fire Department

Go Top

Select platoon colors in RGB hexadecimal

We have had several agencies that use "gold" as one of their platoon colors comment that "yellow" is a poor substitute, especially on printed output.

The list of named colors in Windows is fairly limited, so we have added the ability to use RGB color saturation to specify platoon colors.

To set a platoon color using RGB, use the following format:

[Colors]
APlt=$DAA520

The color string begins with a dollar sign (to denote hexadecimal), then includes the color saturation values for red, green, and blue in hexadecimal (e.g. $RRGGBB). Two popular RGB representations of gold are $DAA520 and $FFD700.

There are many excellent sites on the web that list RGB values for common colors; we suggest performing a search on the keywords RGB, hexadecimal, and color.

Go Top

Create a custom ellipsis string

When a message is too long to fit into the current date grid square, the message is truncated and an ellipsis (...) is displayed.

To replace the ellipsis with a custom string, create an entry in the [Config] section of the .ini file. Example:

[Config]
Ellipsis=-->

Go Top

Set title text for printed calendars

Every time I print a calendar, I have to change the title so it doesn't print "Erickson Enterprises". How can I permanently set my preferred title?

- Open the "Print Options" dialog (accessed via File | Print Options)
- Type your preferred title into the "Title" edit control and click on "Ok"
- Save your changes by selecting Settings | Save Settings

This will create an entry in the [Config] section of the .ini file, (which can also be edited manually). Example:

Title=Chihuahua Valley Fire Dept

Note that additional edit controls are provided when the "Wallet" tab is selected. These may be used to enter additional information to appear at the top of "portrait" mode wallet calendars, which result when printing to business card stock in "landscape" mode.

Go Top

Set title height for printed calendars

The default title height is one-tenth of the page height; it can be defined either as a fraction of the page height or as a fixed height in printer-specific pixels. To set a fixed height, create an entry in the [Config] section of the .ini file. Example:

TitleHeight=300

Go Top

Adjust page margins for printed output

Page margins (as well as paper size and orientation) can be set using the File | Page Setup option. If any of the user-specified margins are smaller than the printer's unprintable region, the margin(s) will be resized to the minimum size supported by the active printer.

Go Top

Adjust spacing between wallet calendars on business card stock

If calendars do not print at the same relative location on each business card on a page (e.g. the printed calendars "creep" up or down the page), the offset between cards can be modified by setting a value for BC Offset in the "Offsets" dialog accessed from the Wallet "Print Options" page.

The default setting is 0 pixels. If the wallet calendars are too close together (e.g. move up the page rather than printing at the same location on each successive card), increase the value of BCOffset; if the calendars are too far apart (e.g. appear to move down the page), decrease the value of BCOffset. Example:

BCOffset=3

Most modern printers are quite accurate in the placement of objects on the printed page. Nevertheless, the inkjet printer we most often use for wallet calendars requires a BCOffset of 3 for optimum results.

Go Top

Change vertical offset of wallet calendars on business card stock

If wallet calendars start printing too high or too low on your particular combination of printer and business card stock, the entire printout can be moved up or down on the printed page .

For calendars printed in the printer's "portrait" mode (which results in "landscape"-mode business cards), add the following keys to the [Config] section of the .ini file:

WalPortTop=
WalPortLeft=

For calendars printed in the printer's "landscape" mode (which results in "portrait"-mode business cards), add the following keys to the [Config] section of the .ini file:

WalLandTop=
WalLandLeft=

Positive numbers move the printout down the page or to the right, while negative numbers move the printout up the page or to the left.

The offset is measured in the printer's native resolution in pixels. For example, a value of 30 will move the printed output one-tenth inch on a printer with a native resolution of 300 dpi.

Here is an example for one of our printers that prints 0.05 inch too high in portrait mode (and therefore 0.05 too far to the left in landscape mode):

[Config]
WalPortTop=15
WalLandLeft=15

No entries were made for WalPortLeft or WalLandTop, since the printer places these edges accurately.

Go Top

Export ShiftCal to Google Calendar

Users with a GMail account can use the SC2iCal utility to generate iCalendar (.ics) or comma-separated value (.csv) files which can be imported into Google Calendar. Click here to see an example of shift information displayed in Google Calendar.

Export Shiftcal

Go Top

Google Calendar on Android phones

Users of Android phones enjoy the benefits of auto-synchronization with their Google Mail and Google Calendar accounts. Click to see a monthly, weekly, or an agenda display in the Android Calendar application.

Android Calendar

Go Top
Copyright © 2013 T. Wesley Erickson
Warner Springs, California
All rights reserved.

Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional