CardPen generates simple HTML pages of cards for printing up yourself, or it can convert your HTML cards to PNG images at any DPI for uploading to card printing services that accept image files.
CardPen includes presets for most common (and many uncommon) card sizes, as well as custom sizes, circular cards, bleed support, zipping of your generated images, overlays, and turning your BoardGameGeek game collection into cards.
CardPen is available online at cardpen.mcdemarco.net; you can also download the project from BitBucket and run it locally.
CardPen assumes that you know your way around HTML but not around inDesign or nanDECK. Maybe you can't afford Adobe products and don't have a Windows machine handy to run nanDECK on, or your layout is simple and your project too casual to invest the time in learning a more powerful tool. But you know HTML already, and maybe even Mustache.
If you've used hccd, you might find it worth switching to CardPen for extra options like bleed and overlays.
Some printers require inDesign or other professional file formats, and CardPen won't help you there.
Mustache (the templating engine used by CardPen) is not a scripting language and cannot do some of the very cool things that other tools do.
If you don't know HTML and CSS already, or don't feel like hacking your way around Mustache, you may want to spend your time learning more appropriate tools for the job. Also, if you're not willing to run it in a modern browser, CardPen may not work well for you.
See the end of this file for some alternatives to CardPen.
Your cards are assembled from a card list, a Mustache/Handlebars template, and optional CSS styles. You edit these and other settings in the upper half of the CardPen window, while the cards themselves appear in the bottom half of the CardPen window (as does this documentation). See the How To page for more details.
Not all card printing services accept PNG files, but many do.
Although they print the rare Skinny Mini, DriveThruCards doesn't actually seem to accept image files, only PDFs. For the record, their card sizes and costs are listed here.
Although they accept image files, Print & Play requires that you format them in large sheets of 18 or so cards for printing. CardPen will not do that part automatically for you, though you may be able to do it yourself. For the record, their sizes are listed here, including unusual square and index card sizes.
Sleeves are a cheap way to mock up a card game. Sleeve your printouts in front of actual cards, or use thicker paper or opaque sleeves for the best results. The bigger sleeve manufacturers support all sorts of weird sizes.
You can't swing a cat without hitting a card-making program. Here are some alternatives you might want to try instead of CardPen.
CardPen is by M. C. DeMarco (fiddly_bits at BGG); it was inspired by hccd and CodePen. The code and more gory details are available at BitBucket.
CardPen is licensed under the GNU General Public License v3.0.
This is CardPen version 1.0.1, © 2017.