PerfectTablePlan V6 Improvements

This page summarises some of the many improvements we have made to PerfectTablePlan in version 6.

System requirements

v6 adds support for macOS 10.14 to 13.x and Windows 11.

The Windows version is a:

  • 32 bit application before PerfectTablePlan v6.2.1
  • 64 bit application from PerfectTablePlan v6.2.1

The Mac version is a:

  • Intel binary (running on ARM chips using emulation) before PerfectTablePlan v6.2.1
  • Universal binary (for Intel and ARM M1/M2 chips) from PerfectTablePlan v6.2.1

All editions

Windows and Mac

PerfectTablePlan now supports multiple levels of Undo/Redo.

The automatic seat assignment now has an option to spread groups out, to help with social distancing.

social distancing layout

You can now show seat spacing and check social distancing.

check social distancing

Curved rows of seats are now supported.

curved rows of seats

You can use HTML tags for line break, bold, italic, big and small to control how the guest Display name field appears in the Floor plan, Table Plan, Table Chart and Guest Chart panes. Only the line break is used in the Stationery pane.

display name rich text

The ** delimiter supported in v5 is still supported for the guest Display name field. But it is deprecated in v6 and you should use the new HTML tags instead (x**y can be replaced by x<br><i>y</i>). The use of the ** delimiter in table names is no longer supported.

Sort guests by multiple columns in the Guests and Groups pane. E.g. you can sort by assigned, then last name, then first name. The sort order is saved with the plan.

multi column sort

Filter the Guests pane to hide guests depending on their assigned and RSVP status.

filter by assigned/rsvp

Import multiple guests per row from multiple columns. This is particularly useful when main guest and partner details are in separate columns. All the following examples are supported:

multi-column import

multi column import

multi-col import

Importing is a now a 2 step process. Click Next> to see a preview of the changes and OK to accept the changes. Click <Back to modify your settings and Cancel to exit the window. Existing guests and groups are shown in blue in the preview.

import step 1

import step 2

During import you can now choose to not import some rows. If you set an Import this row column, then rows with an empty cell or a cell starting with 'n' or 'f' (case-insensitive) for this column are not imported. All rows are imported if there is no Import this row column.

import some rows

Resize your Floor Plan with drag and drop. Just hover over the bottom-right corner and drag the room to the correct size. If grid snap is enabled in the Dimensions window, the resizing will conform to it. You can't resize the room if Freeze floor plan is checked.

re-size floor plan

Edit the shape, colour, number of seats and size for multiple tables in a single operation. Select the tables in the Floor Plan or Schematic pane and then select the appropriate Edit>Table Property sub-menu. Note that all the selected tables must be the same shape to edit the seats or size in this way.

Edit multiple tables in one operation

Add an extra seat at any position in the Floor Plan, Table Plan and Schematic panes. Select the existing seats you wish to add extra seats at, right click and select Add Seat. A new seat will be added at the position of each selected seat and the existing seat will be moved clockwise.

add seat

Delete individual seats in the Floor Plan, Table Plan and Schematic panes. Select the seat(s) you wish to delete and then select Edit>Delete from the main menu (or use the Delete key).

delete seat

Delete all empty seats in a single operation by selecting Edit>Remove Empty Seats. This will remove any seats that don't have an assigned guest, and any tables with no assigned guests.

A custom table can now have one or two rounded ends. You can specify the degree of curvature.

round ended table

When adding new tables the Create field in the Insert table window now has a hint on how many tables/rows you will need to seat all guests.

estimate number of tables

There is a new wall/line drawing tool in the Floor Plan pane. To access it click the Insert line button then left click at the start and at each change of direction. Double click at the end. You can specify the colour and thickness of the walls. You can also choose to restrict the walls to 90 degree angles. If the grid snap is on, the wall will snap to the grid. The length of each segment is shown as you draw it, so you can also use it to measure the distance between two points.

draw wall

Optionally hide empty seats (and any corresponding place settings) in the Floor Plan and Table Plan panes. This can be useful if you want to have gaps in your seating.

hide empty seats

Circular, semi-circular, oval and serpentine tables with chairs or rectangular seats make better use of the space available for displaying guest names. This will allow you to use larger fonts or longer names. The green boxes below show the bounding area for the text (they are for illustration and are not shown in the production version of PerfectTablePlan).

seat bounding

Name only (radial) and Name only (banquet) allocate more space to exterior seats if there is only 1 table (e.g. an E-shaped table). This allows you to use larger fonts or longer names. The green boxes below show the bounding area for the text (they are for illustration and are not shown in the production version of PerfectTablePlan).

radial seating

Name only (radial) and Name only (banquet) support word wrap if a name is too long to fit on one line. This allows you to use larger fonts or longer names.This is particularly useful for names between the sprigs of E-shaped tables, where space is at a premium.

name word wrap

You can Auto size seat text in the Floor Plan and Table Plan panes. This will set the seat text to the largest size where no text will have to be scaled smaller to fit into the space available.

auto size seat text

auto size seat text

Optionally store your Preferences in a .ini file instead of the Windows system registry or Mac OS X Library/Preferences. This allows you to store the PerfectTablePlan application, its preferences and plans on a portable device, such as a USB drive (memory stick), and move it easily from one computer to another. Just pull the USB drive out of one computer and plug it into another. No need to copy across your licence key, preferences, plans or anything else as it can all be stored on the USB key. You can even move it between Windows and Mac if you install both Windows and Mac versions of PerfectTablePlan on the device.

store on a USB drive

PerfectTablePlan better handles 'particules' (last name prefixes used in French, Dutch, German, Italian and other languages). For example 'Johannes van der Waals' has last name 'van der Waals' but can now optionally be listed under 'W' (rather than 'v') in the Guest Chart pane. PerfectTablePlan will also know to split 'Johannes van der Waals' into first name='Johannes' and last name='van der Waals' when importing. You can specify particule behaviour using the Particules and ignore particules when sorting fields in the Names tab of the Preferences window.

name particules

PerfectTablePlan now respects your system locale's decimal separator. For example, if your computer's locale is set to France or Germany a comma is now used as the decimal separator.

number locale

File>Auto Assign Seats now shows an animation in the Floor Plan pane. This shows how the auto seat assignment algorithm is changing the layout in real-time. This can be useful for deciding when to keep running it and when to stop it. You can turn off the animation by unchecking the animate in Floor Plan check box in the Auto assign tab of the Preferences window. The animation below shows the automatic seat assignment improving a random seating. The green arrows show guests being reassigned. The colour of a seat shows how happy the guest is with where they are sat (red=unhappy, green=happy).

automatic seat assignment

Improvements have been made to the automatic seat assignment. This should reduce the likelihood of groups being split up.

PerfectTablePlan is now faster at visualizing large numbers of proximities.

visualize proximity

Set a decided by PerfectTablePlan option in the Auto assign tab of the Preferences window to let PerfectTablePlan decide when the automatic seat assignment stops. It will try to balance the likelihood of finding a better solution against the time taken.

stopping criteria

You can specify in the Preferences window if you want the automatic seat assignment to sit mixed-gender couples with 'next to' proximity so that the female is on the left or right of the male. This setting also affects the order in which groups of guests are placed by drag and drop.

assign spouse left or right

Ask PerfectTablePlan to suggest the best guest to sit at a seat, based on guest proximities. Right-click on the seat and select Guest suggestions. Each suggestion is shown with the difference it would make to the overall score if this guest was assigned. It also shows you if the guest is already assigned and/or locked. If you select one of the suggestions, they will be assigned to the seat. If the search is taking a long time (e,g, because there are 1000+ guests) the best option found after a couple of seconds will be shown.

suggest guest for seat

Automatically seat guests by the order in which they are sorted in the Guests pane, as an alternative to sorting by proximity or randomly. This can be useful for seating by rank, diplomatic order of precedence, country or organization.

automatically seat by order of precedence

seat by order of precedence example

Re-order columns in the Guests and Groups panes using drag and drop. The new order will be remembered when you re-open the plan.

Drag and drop column ordering

Create a list of standard suffixes to use across plans, in the same way you already can with titles. They are added into the Suffixes drop-down list and are also used to work out which part of imported names are suffixes. If you have a text list of suffixes you can easily add them in by clicking Add text list....

standard suffixes

Easily add a list of titles by clicking Add text list... to the Titles tab of the Preferences window.

The following lists of standard titles are now included: Masonic, US Air Force, US Air Force (abbreviated), US Army and US Army (abbreviated). Select from Add pre-defined... to add one of these lists.

predefined titles

Optionally sort titles and suffixes in the order they are shown in the Titles and Suffixes tabs of the Preferences window, instead of alphabetically. This could be useful if you are seating guests by rank or precedence (e.g. military, diplomatic or other formal events).

sort by title

The group item in the Groups pane is shown:

  • bold if any of the group members are not assigned a seat
  • underlined if any of the group members are locked
  • strikethrough if any of the groups members have RSVP status declined or cancelled

This makes it easier to see the status of a group at a glance.

group members

Hide empty or non-empty columns using the Columns drop-down in the Proximity pane. Hide non-empty allows you to concentrate on missing proximity settings. Hide empty allows you to concentrate on existing proximity settings.

hide empty proximity columns

You can now vertically mirror elements in the Design tab of the Stationery pane. This should make it easier to create the back of place cards.

mirror place card

You can now snap elements to the nearest guide line in the Design tab of the Stationery pane. This should make it easier to align elements in stationery.

snap place card

You can now undo the following operations in the Stationery pane: horizontally centre item, vertically centre item and move stationery item.

The following substitution texts have been added:

  • {table_guest_meals_multi_line}: list of guests and meals for a table on multiple lines
  • {table_meals}: lists the meals selected for a table on 1 line
  • {table_meals_multi_line}: lists the meals selected for a table on multiple lines
  • {guest_first_name_initials}: the initials of the guest first name(s)
  • {guest_last_name_initials}: the initials of the guest last name(s)

The following Avery place cards have been added to the stationery database: 5011, 16109, 80504, 80017, 5012, 5913, 5914, 5915.

Avery place card templates

Guests without a first name and guests without a last name are shown in the Troubleshooting report in the Report pane.

Groups with guests seated on more than one table are shown in the Troubleshooting report in the Report pane.

The Export data window has an additional number of members check box. Check this if you want to export the number of members in a group.

If you zoom in/out using the mouse wheel in the Floor Plan or Table Plan pane, PerfectTablePlan tries to keep the item under the mouse cursor stationary relative to the cursor as you zoom.

The VDU chart pane can now display guest seating by Display name or Group, as well as Last First and First Last.

electronic seating chart

Better support for high resolution displays, especially Mac retina displays.

Undo and redo of changes to proximity in the Proximity pane are now fully handled.

Windows only

PerfectTablePlan allows you to choose between Windows, Windows XP and Fusion user interface styles in the General tab of the Preferences window. Fusion is now the default style.

Mac only

PerfectTablePlan now saves its plan file using an 'atomic' save (via a temporary file) on Mac. This means it shouldn't be possible for another process (including another PerfectTablePlan process) to be able to read the plan file when it is only partially written.

PerfectTablePlan releases are now automatically scanned by Apple for malware ('notarized').


Advanced and Professional editions

Windows and Mac

Serpentine tables have been added. You can specify the number of seats around the outside, around the inside and on either end. Serpentine tables can be used with custom or banquet tables to create horseshoe shaped tables. A sample horseshoe shaped table plan is installed with PerfectTablePlan.

serpentine tables

You can now define your own custom naming format in the Floor Plan and Table Plan panes. It can include custom fields and HTML tags. Duplicate spaces, commas and line breaks and empty parentheses are tidied up to handle empty field values. E.g. Smith, John, () is tidied to Smith, John.

custom name

You can click on a browse button to fill out allowed values for a selection custom field in the Custom Fields window. This is easier than doing it in the small text field in the table.

custom selection list

Undo and redo of changes to custom fields are now fully handled.


Professional edition only

Windows and Mac

There is a new Table Layout feature. To use it, highlight 2 or more tables in the Floor Plan pane, ensure Freeze floor plan is not checked and click the Table Layout button.

auto table layout

You can choose your layout grid, spacing and ordering. You can also choose aligned or offset (staggered) layouts:

aligned table layout staggered table layout

In a range of ordering sequences:

table layout alternate table layout

It is super flexible. For just 4 tables and a given spacing there are 128 possible combinations of layout and ordering!

The VDU chart pane can now display guests by custom field of type selection.

custom electronic seating chart

When you are adding multiple tables/rows with Seat numbers set to Sequential, you can check start each with new seat number to start each table/row with a new seat number, consecutive from the previous one.

sequential seat numbering

Undo and redo of changes to custom proximity are now fully handled.


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Upgrade FAQ