Printing Color Charts
Quite honestly, printing these charts used to be a nightmare. The way I had them building was fancy and worked well but used background colors which many browsers won't print without a fair amount of fiddling.
So I changed it. I set the system to print out the color chart as a JPEG image. This solved two problems: 1. how do you put the final chart in your pattern PDF, and 2. how do you print the thing.
Printing a JPEG from a web page is as simple a problem as there is. Just print the page and voila.I've added a set of Share buttons that lets you post your deisgn to Facebook, Twitter, etc and also lets you print. Click the icon of the printer and out it comes. To get from the chart drawing page to the JPEG page, just follow the link at the top that says "click here to print your color chart". Remember to save first though!
The old way to print (still works but don't bother)
This should be so simple as not to require a help page, but I'm afraid it does. Most browsers do not print background colors. Since the color chartmaker works by drawing a grid then coloring it in by setting the background color for each cell, this means that (in most browsers) when you go to print all you get is a blank chart. Pretty pointless.
There are very simple solutions in Firefox and Internet Explorer. If you're using Safari (most Mac users do) or Google's Chrome you will need to switch browsers. Neither one will print background colors or images. I'd like to say there's a way around this, or at least that I understood why Apple and Google decided to make their browsers this way but I can't. Here's the link to download Firefox, my personla favorite browser. It's easy to install and by far the best browser out there (that's my opinion, anyways).
By default, Internet Explorer does not print background colors. To change that, select Page Setup from the menu toolbar in your browser.
Now, in the window that pops up you will see a checkbox with the words "Print Background Colors and Images" beside it. Check this box and click the OK button to save your change. From now on, when you print a color chart, the colors will be printed.
Firefox should print the color chart properly right off the bat. If it doesn't the process is pretty much the same as for Internet Explorer above. Select Page Setup from the File menu, then check the box labelled "Print Background (colors & images)".
At the moment (version 5 of Safari) there is no way to print background colors in Safari for Windows.
On a Mac,Safari prints background colors just fine. As with Firefox and Explorer for Windows, you may need to change a setting to get it going but it's quick and easy. When you try to print you will see a popup window that lets you set up the page for printing. In the bottom right corner of that window you will see a checkbox beside the text "Print backgrounds". Make sure it's checked and your color chart will print properly.
If you want to print a color chart, or any other web page that contains background colors, you will need to use a different browser or an older version of Safari. Yes, believe it or not, this used to work, but Apple shut it off. I have no idea why.
The odd thing is that Safari has a way to turn the background colors on. It's in the proxy settings which are actually for Internet Explorer and it's hidden away and hard to find so maybe they forgot it was there, but if you're willing to dig here it is. For me it still does not print the background colors.
Click Edit from the menu bar, then select Preferences. Pressing Ctrl+, (hold down the Ctrl button and press the comma button on your keyboard) should do the same thing. You will see a window popup like the one below. Click the Advanced tab then the Change Settings... button.
In the next window that pops up again select the Advanced tab then scroll down to nearly the bottom of the list of options and check the box besdie the words "Print background colors and images".
Now, restart Safari (sorry) and prepare to be utterly underwhelmed as it still doesn't print colors.
If anyone can get this to work please let me know. The notes here are just from my PC so it is possible that this actually does work on a Mac. Most Safari users are on Mac, so if it works there it will be less of a problem. I'll test that shortly and update this page.
At the moment (version 7 of Chrome) there is no way to print background colors in Chrome. A lot of people have pointed this out to Google so I have to assume they'll fix this in future releases, but for now it just doesn't work. You can try the possible fix above using proxy settings but it doesn't work for Chrome either.