News, Views, and things we like Cross Stitch for your computer…

PDF problems

Sunday 19th November 2017

In the 2018 edition we were proud to launch new TTF symbols to get sharper images and smaller files. However, it seems some PDF viewers are not able to print these symbols. 

We are working on an urgent solution for this, but in the meantime if you need to print these PDFs, open the file in Adobe Acrobat, and when printing, click Advanced , then choose ‘Print as Image’

Or untick the ‘Use TTF’ option in the preferences screen of our app.

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Mac OSX High Sierra and 32bit

Thursday 28th September 2017

Don’t Panic!

There are quite a few sites suggesting that High Sierra won’t run 32bit apps.

Don’t worry: this is just click bait, and it’s wrong.

In fact, it is the last version to run 32bit apps ‘without compromise’.. so your existing MacStitch app will be good for another 3 years at least.

But MacStitch 2018 is due out by December, and will be available in 64bit as standard, with a 32bit version ‘on demand’ if it is needed.


Apple’s statement on this: (our bold)


https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=06282017a

64-bit Requirement for Mac Apps

June 28, 2017

At WWDC 2017, we announced new apps submitted to the Mac App Store must support 64-bit starting January 2018, and Mac app updates and existing apps must support 64-bit starting June 2018. If you distribute your apps outside the Mac App Store, we highly recommend distributing 64-bit binaries to make sure your users can continue to run your apps on future versions of macOS. macOS High Sierra will be the last macOS release to support 32-bit apps without compromise.

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New DMC Threads

Monday 18th September 2017

DMC have released 35 new thread colors.. 1 to 35

A new thread set is available to download from our freebies page, but be aware: these colors are not available everywhere and it may not make sense to create image conversions using these new colors until they have made their way into the shops!

Link Here

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Clipboards problem (MacStitch)

Sunday 10th September 2017

We are hearing from a few people that the Clipboards option is causing trouble.. (freezing or crashing).

If this affects you, please follow these steps:

Go to the View menu. Select ‘Support Folder’. Then delete the ‘RecentClips’ folder. (It will be recreated when you start the app)

That should clear the issue for you.

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New XStitch Magazine

Friday 1st September 2017

Looking for a cross stitch magazine with a modern attitude? 

XStitch is just what you need! Buy your copy now from :

http://xstitchmag.com/shop/issue-1

and you can find them on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/xstitchmag

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Theres a right way, and theres a wrong way...

Wednesday 9th August 2017

Just thought we would share this ‘stock video’ which is quite amusing - why would you even try to sew like this?

https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-3040411-stock-footage-brunette-woman-sewing-a-blue-cloth-with-a-sewing-machine.html

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GOGO Cross Stitch App & colors

Saturday 5th August 2017

We’ve found a great little app available for iPad and Kindle, where you can get all the relaxation and therapeutic values of cross stitch but without having to buy all that thread and cloth. GoGo Cross Stitch App lets you ‘cross stitch’ on screen, either using their built-in charts, or following bought patterns.  We have put links to the app below.

The reason we are giving them a mention is firstly, they are nice people! , and secondly, some of our own customers wanted to design charts for use in GoGo app, so needed a set of threads which match the GoGo color palette.

We are pleased to provide these as a download, and they will be part of future installs too.

Here is a link to get the threads file.. download and save into documents/macstitch/threads to use it.

http://www.ursasoftware.com/freestuff/GOGO_Cross_Stitch_App.threads.zip

And here is a link to the GoGo Cross Stitch App on the App Store:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/gogo-cross-stitch/id887303244?mt=8

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Purple Haze Crochet

Wednesday 12th July 2017

We very much like this Fairy Tale pattern from Purple Haze. Check them out on Etsy!

https://www.etsystudio.com/listing/523600776/fairy-tale-castle-c2c-graphghan-pattern?ref=sr_gallery_38

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Corner to Corner Crochet

Wednesday 12th July 2017

Heres a great pictorial page showing how to do the C2C crochet method!


http://www.1dogwoof.com/9-corner-to-corner-crochet-pictorials-for-beginners-c2c/

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Coming Soon?

Saturday 27th May 2017

Its that time of year again.. The 2017 editions have been out for 6 months, and we issued 18 updates so far, with some new features.  But we like to get a bundle of brand new things ready for the 2018 edition, and this is the time of year when the new features list is finalised and work begins.  So if you have a great idea that you want to see in our software, now is the time to tell us. We cant promise every new idea will make it (for example we still havent found a way to get the cloth to go through your printer!;>  )  but if we like it, we’ll do our best to do it for you.  Email now! 

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We like this:

Saturday 27th May 2017

Heres a link to a chart by our favorite polymath Viv Powers. Check out her work on http://www.vivsters.com!

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Monday 10th April 2017

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redbeardesign:

Happy weekend … Easter is not far, if you interest to make some Easter craft!! this 2 little bunnies are good to try ~ 💖🐰🐰💖 #crossstitchersofinstagram #crossstitcher #crossstitch #xstitch #xstitchersofinstagram #needlework #happyeaster #needlepoint #stitch #happyweekend #redbeardesign

Cute!

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Monday 10th April 2017
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Monday 10th April 2017
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Monday 10th April 2017
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Windows version running slow?

Thursday 16th March 2017

Many apps, ours included , can be brought to a crawl by external applications. If your program is running slowly, check out what your virus checker is doing: it may be interrogating every file opened or saved.

DropBox, a popular storage system , is a real performance killer if it is trying to duplicate files while you work. Ditto OneDrive, so check your settings for those to make sure that they arent constantly churning away in the background handling everything you do. Let them update only periodically and you will see things improve in lots of your apps!

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Thursday 9th March 2017

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scarletpyjamas:

Day 8 - Where #marchmeetthemaker⠀

The North East of England is where I hail from - I love it!⠀
Here’s my (just for fun!) little homage to Newcastle and Gateshead in the style of Pretty Little Cities. http://ift.tt/2n6YGfw

Our home town too. Lovely work. I’m sure the Tyne never looked quite so inviting when I was a lad.. :)

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Thursday 9th March 2017

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parvumautomaton:

General Leia Organa

Shout out to Silvousplaits’ Leia Hair tutorial for giving me the information I needed to create the stitch for Leia’s hair

How cool is this?

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Backstitch letter issue

Tuesday 31st January 2017

Since January, we are sorry to find that some of the new lowercase letters in the backstitch fonts have been shown to be corrupted in the build. 

We are working to fix those as fast as we can.

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New DMC Stitchable Mesh

Tuesday 3rd January 2017

DMC have a new ‘fabric’.. stitchable mesh. Its a bit like tapestry cloth, but in smaller hpi. Silver one side, gold the other, it looks like it could help create some great works.

We really liked this from the ‘Scrap Shoppe’ blog: 

http://www.thescrapshoppeblog.com/2016/10/framed-floral-map.html

http://www.dmc-usa.com/Products/Fabrics/DMC-Fabric/Stitchable-Mesh.aspx

(Ursa Software was not sponsored for this post)

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Web sites!

Wednesday 14th December 2016

We had some downtime last week. No-one likes that, but the company we had been using for our site had become unreliable, and support was almost non-existant. When the site went down, it was the last straw.  We changed hosts, and we have been amazed at the Service , and the speed of the new site. Finding our site speedy?  We genuinely recommend SiteGround

If you want a faster site, please click on the link below  and talk to them.

 (yes, we get a small referral fee if you use this, but we would recommend them even if there wasnt!)  

https://www.siteground.com/index.htm?afcode=be85128904a85a82acaad87fb134e05a

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Auto-Tabbing in Sierra

Monday 7th November 2016

In MacOS Sierra, a new feature was introduced that changes the way new windows are opened. It groups your document windows together and presents them as tabs, much as you will have seen in browsers such as Safari and Chrome.

This is a setting in preferences, and can be set to ‘never’, ‘only when full screen’, and ‘Always’

MacStitch will be affected by this setting if you have it set to ‘Always’.

However, when tabs are turned on, MacOS doesn’t tell MacStitch that the window size has changed. Buttons at the bottom of the window will be invisible. To correct that, please slightly resize the window by dragging the corner by a pixel or so. Versions of MacStitch from December 2016 onwards wont be affected by this.

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Friday 21st October 2016

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Cross Stitching on Crochet.. we love it!

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Thursday 13th October 2016

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This is amazing. Oversized canvas and large crosses of wool / cotton.

Source: charlotte lancelot : the Canevas collection for GAN

What could YOU make?

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Wednesday 12th October 2016
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A video

Sunday 9th October 2016

Well, this was interesting.. DMC threads being made. (French with English subtitles)

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Friday 30th September 2016

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theworldinstitches:

Getting there!

:)  Not long now…

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Two Machines?

Friday 2nd September 2016

One question we get asked a lot is ‘If I have a desktop and a laptop, do I need to buy two copies’.

No.. we are happy for you to install MacStitch or WinStitch on both the computers you own.. we know people often go out taking laptops with them for example.

If you want a copy of MacStitch AND WinStitch, we can do that for you at a huge discount.. just send an email and we can tell you about it. :)

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Wednesday 31st August 2016
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Upgrading to 2016

Saturday 27th August 2016

We do a variety of program levels, including Std and Premium. Until now, if you had an old program and wanted to upgrade to a new one, you had to upgrade to the Premium edition at the same time.

Well, we’re happy to report that due to popular demand (well, a couple of nice emails..) , we’ve added a link to allow you to move from MacStitch Std or WinStitch Std to the 2016 equivalent for a small charge.

So if you dont need to invest in Premium, now you don’t have to!

The upgrade page is at: http://ursasoftware.com/buynow/upgradesfs/index.html

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Saturday 6th August 2016

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nightelf-aphra:

Block 12 was a quick stitch. Half of the sampler is done at this point 😊

Really nice work here. The odd spot of color adds interest to the piece, too. :)

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OSX 10.12 beta

Friday 8th July 2016

The next version of OSX is in beta and due out soon. Apple have introduced new more stringent security measures to check downloaded apps (following a case last year where someone managed to create malware versions of some Apple code)

We know that under OSX 10.12, downloaded programs can sometimes be ‘super examined’ , causing them to take much longer to start. 

This is likely to affect MacStitch, so if you decide to use OSX 10.12 beta, please expect beta issues like this. We are working on it.

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Getting ‘Copy and Paste’ just right.

Sunday 3rd July 2016

When you copy an area and go to paste it, the pasted motif is ‘held’ at the centre of the area.  You can move it around under control of the mouse, and then click to place it where you want.

If the mouse gets close to the edge of the grid area, it will scroll to allow you access to previously hidden parts of the design.

But when you are zoomed in , the number of squares on screen could be small, so any scrolling will look like large ‘jumps’

Placing a pasted area no longer needs to be ‘right first time’.

If you paste as a LAYER then what is pasted is not ‘fixed in place’

Just click on it, and it will appear with a green selection border. Use the mouse to drag it where you want, square by square if you need to.

(To paste as a Layer, use CMD-L or CTRL-L instead of CMD-V or CTRL-V)

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Sunday 3rd July 2016

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damerathepaladin:

Poro keyrings. :)

Cute and quick.. if you are looking for gift ideas, keyrings like these little gems could be just the thing! 

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Fuzzy Symbols in the PDF?

Sunday 26th June 2016

If the symbols in the Advanced PDF export are ‘fussy’ or indistinct, check the ‘Quality’ settings on the PDF export screen. This optrion sets how much compression is applied to images in the PDF.

Low quality gets a smaller file, but fuzzy symbols.

High quality gets better looking output.

The option is on the ‘Metadata’ tab:

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Peacock & Fig A link

Monday 6th June 2016
Peacock & Fig

http://peacockandfig.com/2015/02/from-a-painting-to-a-cross-stitch/

Dana Bathos’ new blog site: worth a look around.. :)

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Jenny Eclair: I'm a picture of contentment doing tapestry A link

Friday 20th May 2016
Jenny Eclair: I'm a picture of contentment doing tapestry

http://www.bigissue.com/features/interviews/6592/jenny-eclair-im-a-picture-of-contentment-doing-tapestry

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Comedian Jenny Eclair on why tapestry is a great antidote to being a grumpy old woman!

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A video

Saturday 14th May 2016

theworldinstitches:

A work in progress showcase of Fox Foxes cross stitch pattern

Very cool

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Trouble getting updates?

Friday 6th May 2016

In 2016 we added automatic checking for updates to our apps. When an update is detected, you are offered a download button on the launch page. This should download the new installer, launch it, and quit the app.

Sadly, we are hearing from some people that the download finishes but the installer doesn’t automatically begin. :(

While we look into why, if this happens to you, the installer has been downloaded to your desktop.. a new icon will have appeared there.

Double click that to install the update, (or drop us an email if you are having trouble so that we can build up a picture of where it works and where it doesn’t!)


(n.b. - on the Mac we download and open a disc image file which will appear in Finder like this:

It contains the app, which should be dragged into Applications to replace your existing version.

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Friday 6th May 2016

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restitching:

Another present for a special person. A mashup of the #cloudsfactory pattern with my own micro-snitch. #cross #crossstitching #crossstitch #crossstitcher #crossstitched #stitching #stitcher #stitch #stitches #sewn #sew #sewer #sewing #x #xstitch #xstitching #xstitched #embroidery #embroidered #embroidered #embroiderer #harrypotter #hedwig #gryffindor #hogwarts

We really like this Harry Potter themed piece!

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My Key is messed up in the PDF!

Thursday 28th April 2016

Over the years, it has become clear that whatever output we generate in the PDF files generated by Premium edition, someone somewhere will always want something ever so slightly different. :)  So, each year we add new options to allow people to get things the way they like them. (Obviously, the more options we add, the more complex things get, and that can be a problem too.)  But last year we introduced a great new feature for the KEY in a PDF file.. you can choose the columns you want, change the widths, change the actual words and more.

And so, given all the ways that can be set up, sometimes what you get is a surprise. Typically when a column is too narrow to hold the words, causing the table to expand to fit, vertically.

Here is an example of that kind of surprise:

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The estimated length column is far too narrow for the words ‘Estimated length’, so the grid expands to include it.

The way to correct this is on the PDF export page, where you can amend the column widths, and even change the text if you wish. You do that by dragging the column headers left or right to rebalance the column widths.

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(see the blue text in the picture above)

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Customising a PDF

Friday 22nd April 2016

Everyone is different. We often get asked if we can amend the PDF output to meet a particular need, how to add notes / comments, annotations and so on.

Well, we just discovered that Preview on the Mac has a terrific set of simple tools that allow you to do just that, where previously you might have had to buy Adobe or some other PDF editor.

Just open the PDF in preview, and choose ‘Tools’ from the menu.

Then you will get a new toolbar with options to add lines, boxes, shapes, text in a variety of colors, and even a funky magnifying glass option that zooms in on an area of the PDF.

Here’s a PDF with some scribblings added.

You can see red text added in text boxes (one is rotated). We hand-drew the word ‘Hello’, the arrow line is also a bezier curve, and the black circle on the left is a magnifying glass tool.

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Red Heart Threads

Wednesday 20th April 2016

Red Heart yarns are popular in the USA, mainly due to their wide availability and keen pricing. They have a much smaller range of colors than DMC etc, but we do often get asked whether we have the colors included in the product. 

With thanks to Teresa Pendino, a set of threads has now been created, holding 57 ‘solid’ colors.

To add these to your installation, download the linked zip file , and unzip it to create red_heart.threads

Then pop the red_heart.threads file into  documents/macstitch/threads folder (on the mac) or My Documents/winstitch/threads   (on windows)

Link: http://alturl.com/nxicf

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Tuesday 19th April 2016
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Templates: how to create new ones

Monday 18th April 2016

We supply some sample templates with the program: cutout shapes to match frames and more. If you want to add new ones, there are two ways to do that.

The simplest way is to start a chart: pick a size, cloth color, etc, set the palette of colors the way you want it, and then simply use the File menu and ‘Save as Template’. That will make your saved file show up in the list of templates when the program starts.

But we have a second type: an example being the BELL framework example. These use an onionskin image of the correct shape for a specific frame. If you choose that kind of template, the final size is fixed, and so the number of stitches needs to change if you use a different hpi cloth.

If you want to create that kind of template, create an image like our Bell, with a plain background and a simple line outline. Save that image in the documents/macstitch/templates folder as a PNG file. (eg bookmark.png)

Then you would need to add a new entry to the text file called templates.xml in the same folder.

One of the existing templates looks like this:

<TEMPLATE><DESCRIPTION>FRMWK Xmas Tree Frame (TREE)</DESCRIPTION><WIDTH>30</WIDTH><HEIGHT>40</HEIGHT><BACKGROUND>tree.png</BACKGROUND></TEMPLATE>

(The sizes are the right number of stitches for a 14hpi cloth.)

Just copy that, paste a new entry, and amend the name, size , and background values to match your needs. Any trouble? Just ask..

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Guide Lines..or (whats that pink line about?)

Sunday 10th April 2016

At the top and right of the visible grid are rulers showing the size in inches/cm, or the row count. If you click on the ruler, a pink bar will appear across the grid. This is a useful way to line up objects on opposite sides of the chart. Click again to turn it off.

We do get emails from people who turn that on by accident and keep trying to ‘erase the pink stitches’.

But recently we heard from a customer (Hi Pat!) who wanted to have more than one vertical or horizontal line. We’re considering that for a future release, but it may we worth mentioning that we already have a multi-line guide.

In the View menu, under Guide, you can select 9, 16, and 25 guidelines. This overlays the design with several ‘pink lines’ to help you line your stitches up. 

(see screenshot)

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Flood fill many areas at once

Tuesday 5th April 2016

By default, the program pastes motifs and flood fills one time only. If you need to flood fill a number of areas, you have to click the icon again.

In the example shown below, there are several spots of yellow (shown with a star) that you might want to change to another color, such as white.

When you click to fill, it only fills the stitches of the color you clicked on, and stitches of the same color which touch those. If you have little pockets of color, it fills one pocket at a time.


There are two things that will help here.
First: in the Preferences screen there is an option ‘Stop on first click after paste/flood fill /outline’  That option is ticked by default, so untick it.  Note that this means that when you paste or flood fill, it will keep doing it until you click on something like the full cross icon to choose to stop.


Second: in the case of our hen above. you may be better using ’search and replace’

If you select an area (rectangular or lasso), then go to the Palette/search and replace  menu  ,  you can tell the program to replace all of the yellow stitches by a white chosen from the palette.  This will replace all the yellow by white within the selected area only.. so no need to flood fill many little areas, it will do them all at once.

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Diagonal Stitched Crochet

Monday 4th April 2016

We had a number of enquiries about Diagonal layout Tunisian Crochet. Its an odd style of working (see the diagram example below), but we are happy to report this as a new feature introduced today!  Hope you like it!

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Overdyed Threads

Sunday 3rd April 2016

We recently had a query asking if we would support over-dyed threads, such as Weeks Work, Gentle Arts, and Crescent, because they are popular in the USA.

These threads are already included with the full program.. (we just didn’t list all of them on the website)..  :)

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Saturday 2nd April 2016
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