Welcome to Matte Cutter, version 2

(This webpage is designed for viewing on an iPod/iPhone.)


I've changed the entire program, except for what it does: calculate matte cutout sizes.
(It also can calculate frame and image sizes as well.)

NOTE: I've done everything I can to ensure an accurate and error-free program. However, this is the first version of a complete rewrite, and it's possible something slipped thru. If you get a result that you think is incorrect, please email me with the values you entered, and the result you got along with the result you expected. I'll fix any errors and upload the replacement version. (Yelling about errors in a review doesn't help get the software fixed! :-)

Since it's nearly impossible to enter fractions such as 5/16 with the built-in keypad, version 2 now uses data entry wheels.

This version also neatly separates out each type of entry needed into individual screens.

Here's an overview of the workflow:

1) choose whether you will be using metric (CM for "centimetres") or English (IN for "inches") by just tapping the appropriate button.
2) choose what you are trying to find: matte cutout; frame size or image size.
3) choose if you want to have the matte slightly overlap the image ("undercut"), or have a border where the paper the image is printed on shows thru ("overcut").
4) enter the needed values to calculate your choice from step 2. (Tap the current entry description to move to the next one.)
5) review the data that will be used to do the calculations
6) view the results.

A note on accuracy: accurate to one millimeter, or 1/16th of an inch. Because some features/entries may not be even mm/in multiples, the results will be rounded and therefore accurate to .5 mm or 1/32 in. (For example, if you choose a border of 5/16 of an inch, and bottom-weighting of 150%, 5/16 * 1.5 is 15/32, which is not a multiple of 1/16.) Assuming you are not using a laser cutter, and realistically speaking, cutting a matte to an accuracy of 1/32" (or 0.5mm) is problematic anyway. If you need a rounding accuracy greater than 1/32" or 0.5mm, then this software will not be suitable for you.
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1) choose whether you will be using metric (CM for "centimetres") or English (IN for "inches") by just tapping the appropriate button.

NOTE: TAP the text-buttons; do not press and hold.

This screen not only specifies the units you'll use, but introduces the text-button style that is used throughout the rest of the program. When you see text in the style of "This typeface is a button. Tap it." you can (and in fact must) tap on this type of button to move through the program. By using larger text, instead of smaller buttons, we hope to make it clear what is going on. On this particular page, tapping switches between inches and centimetres, to show you the button action. It also exposes the link to this web page, but somehow I think you already knew that… To actually choose either inches or centimetres, just tap on the appropriate large square, and you will move the next screen.
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2) choose what you are trying to find: matte cutout; frame size or image size.

You may choose what you want to find on this screen.
In order to find the matte borders, you must supply the frame size and the image size.
To find the frame size, you must know the image and the border sizes, and to find the image size, you must provide the frame and border sizes. (Digital photographers might find this useful to determine the size of a final print, to meet existing matte sizes. )

To select which the program will calculate for you, simply tap on the appropriate text, as you did in the previous screen.
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3) choose if you want to have the matte slightly overlap the image ("undercut"), or have a border where the paper the image is printed on shows thru ("overcut").

Mattes, particularly for photography are cut one of two ways: slightly smaller than the image, so that the matte itself covers the edges of the photo. This is called "an undercut." The other way is to allow some of the unprinted paper around the edges of the image show through. Here the cutout is larger than the image itself, and this is called "overcutting."

In overcutting, it is sometimes the practice to make the bottom margin larger than the sides, usually to allow for the display of the artist's title and signature. This is amount is given as a percentage of the side/top margin.

100% means the bottom margin will match the top and sides - so if your margin is 1", the bottom will also be 1". Choose 150% to make it 1 ½" and 200% to make it 2" and so on. (It is not possible to choose this option if undercutting is selected.)

The choice between the two is an artistic decision. Undercutting is often chosen to prevent a conflict between the white of the paper and the white of the matte, for example.

Choose between undercut and overcut by tapping on the title/description text/button. As you switch between the choices, a reminder of cutout will show on the right-hand side. (The reminder is generic, and is not proportional to the values you enter.)

To enter the values, simply choose the value you want from the wheels.

Because this value is often the same for many different mattes (ie, you use 1/8" undercutting all the time) you can make the software remember your setting by tapping on the little gold arrow.

That moves the current setting into the little image of the girls. Now, to restore those settings, just tap that image. This allows you to speed thru the screen if you use the same values over and over.

Once set, tap the continue button to move to the next screen.

(Note that from this screen, if you want to move back a screen, you'll need to be in "undercut" mode, since the bottom margin wheel hides the "back" button.)
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4) enter the needed values to calculate your choice from step 2. (Tap the current entry description to move to the next one.)

Let me repeat that, since for some reason, this screen seems to confuse people: just like all the previous screens, the Gold Text Button is a button. In the image above, it says "Enter Image Width:"

Once you have dialed in that entry, tap that Text Button. It will change to "Enter Image Height:".

You can continue to tap that Gold Text Button to cycle through the data fields.

For example, suppose you have entered everything, and proceeded to the next screen, and noticed an error in your data entry. You'd hit the "Back" button to return to this screen, and all your values will still be in place.

To change one field, just tap the Gold Text Button until you get to the field you want, and make the change.

The data entry screen describes what value you are entering when you set the data-entry wheels. In addition, a small pointer indicates what you are entering (width, height etc.) Tap the text button to move to the next entry field.

Due to the way the data wheels work, as you move from field to field, the value from the field you just left will be entered in the new field. This seems odd at first, but in fact leads to faster data entry. (Resetting everything to zero actually slows down data entry.)
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Equally, it may take a second to get used to the fact that on the automatic filling of the final entry, you do NOT need to tap the text-button again. Instead "Continue" will pop up in the lower corner right away.
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You will may see the universal "STOP" or "NO" sign appear over an automatic entry. This is the software complaining that the value entered in the current field does not make any sense, usually because it is too large. For example, if you enter a frame size of 20 x20, and then move to the image size width entry, the software will enter "20" (since that was your previous entry.) Of course, a frame of 20 wide and an image of 20 wide equals a matte of Zero width borders, so the software is just trying to help out by providing a warning here.

Another example: you are calculating image size in centimetres, and enter matte border size of 10cm, with an overcut of 3 cm. With those settings, the "STOP" will appear until you enter a width for the frame of more than 26 cm.

Note, these warnings are NOT all-inclusive, and it is likely possible that we missed some combination of sizes, borders, margins and so on that would yield an odd result. I've tried to catch most of them, but some may slip past. Therefore, the next screen allow you to review everything you've entered.
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This screen tells you what you're looking for; what units of measurement you're using, and displays every data entry that will be used to do the final calculations. Please review this screen carefully and make sure that the values are what you want used. If not, there is a convenient "Go Back" text button to allow you to make the necessary changes.

If all looks correct, hit the "Continue" text button.
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6) view the results.

The results of the calculations are presented.

In the case of matte calculations, two results are calculated:

a) Centered: values for the cutout centered in the matte area, with the sides of equal value, and the top and bottom borders of equal value. This may result in the top/bottom being different from the sides.

b) Weighted: the top border is forced to be the same size as the sides, and the bottom becomes whatever is left over. This produces a matte cut with more "weight" at the bottom... but ONLY assuming that there is, in fact, enough room for that. If the bottom is less than the top, a warning is displayed.

Toggle between the two values and representational image by tapping the "Toggle" text-button.

(You will not see the "Toggle" button if you are looking for the frame or image size because both of those require you to enter the matte border sizes, so there is nothing to toggle between.)

These are the measurements you'll use when you set your matte cutter.

The image: This is basically a "sanity check." While it is calculated from your entries (of course) the resolution is based on the pixels in your device, and is thus subject to different rounding errors. Therefore, look at this image as an approximation of what your results will be, and not as a perfectly proportioned miniature. If the proportions are -wildly- off from what you expect, you should probably go back and look at your data entries again, because, while not perfect, this image "is close enough for government work."

The screen comes up in "centered" mode.


That's it! I hope you enjoy the software, and find it as useful as I have.

Thank you.