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Introduction

absolutePDF - Spool is a Windows application that enables your legacy applications to create PDF printouts. Simply redirecting character based output to a virtual printer doesn't let you add a background, while most spool conversion applications either require heavyweight bitmap backgrounds (which produce huge PDF or poor quality ones) or the expensive Adobe Acrobat Distiller.

absolutePDF - Spool is self sufficient: no need for other expensive tools !

Just create a PDF background (using your favourite tool, like MS Office or OpenOffice.org and Ghostscript), extract a copy of the spool files as a ASCII file and create your PDF invoices and documents in minutes ! See the spool and background file in the "Samples" folder under the installation directory.

The trial version downloaded from the website http://www.abspdf.com is fully functional without any time limitation, it just adds a text to every page of created PDF files. To remove the "Evaluation" text just register the object by providing a valid license code.
To obtain a license code please visit http://www.abspdf.com.



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Usage

Using absolutePDF - Spool to convert a character based spool file to a PDF file with background graphics and layout is really easy and takes only four easy steps. To test the features of the application use the background PDF and spool file in "Samples" directory.

Before starting, create a background PDF file with your favourite tools. One easy way to do that is the following: to create the page using OpenOffice.org Writer (or any other word processor), print it to file using a Postscript driver like "Apple LaserWriter 12/640 PS" and then convert it to PDF using Ghostscript. We recommend to reduce the number and size of bitmaps to the minium: excellent results can be achieved drawing shapes using the built in capabilities of the word processor keeping the file size lower than 40 KB.
It's also possible to export from OpenOffice directly to PDF, but we don't recommend it for production purposes since at the moment the size of the output files can be double the size of a file created using Ghostscript. OpenOffice export to PDF feature can be used for testing purposes during the initial tuning phase.

Step 1: select source files

Step 1

Press the "Browse" button to find and select the background PDF file.
Then press the second "Browse" button to select the spool file. Note that the file is split betweeen file path and name: this way, you can process several spool files into a single PDF output file by specifying a pattern (e.g. spool_*.txt) that matches all the files.

Step 2: select output folder and filename

Step 2

Set the output folder and filename. Please leave the default .pdf extension, otherwise the computer won't be able to open the PDF file by double clicking on it.

Step 3: set options

Step 3

This is the most delicate step.
First, set the page delimiter option: the spool file either includes form feed characters or the pages are all of a fized number of lines (default 66, but it can be changed).
Second, define text properties: size, line spacing (both in centimeters) and the style (bold and/or italic). The style and size will be applied to all the text in the output PDF file.
Last, set left and top margin (in centimeters). Right and bottom margins can't be set since they depend on the number of columns and rows in the source page and in the vlues for size and line spacing.
If you want to open automatically the output PDF file after processing leave the "Show PDF after creation" field checked.

Take some time playing with the parameters to obtain a perfect result.

Each time the program is restarted it shows the last set of parameters, but you can revert to the default set of values by pressing the "Reset to defaults" button.

Step 4: start processing

Step 4

Once all the parameters are set just start the creation process by pressing the "Create PDF" button. After creation the PDF file will be automatically opened, if the related option is selected.

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How to register

The trial version of absolutePDF - Spool is fully functional without any time limitation. It just adds an "Evaluation" text to every page of the output PDF files. To remove it you need to obtain an activation key from absolutePDF by visiting the website http://www.abspdf.com.

To obtain the activation key you'll need to quote your information (User, Company) and a serial number provided by the program. The serial number is unique to the computer: to activate a copy of absolutePDF - Spool you'll need to run it on that specific computer to obtain the correct serial number.
A valid license and related activation key is needed for each computer on which you'll run absolutePDF - Spool.

We recommend the following procedure:
  1. select "Help" -> "Register"
  2. fill in the User (with first and last name of the user) and Company fields
  3. press the "Copy to clipboard"
  4. where requested paste the contents of the Clipboard, you'll obtain something like the following, which contains all the information needed exactly as it was entered (since the information you submit to obtain the activation key must be exactly the same entered in the Register window):
    Username:       John Smith
    Company:        absolutePDF
    Version:        Base
    Serial:         3769193690
  5. when you obtain a valid activation key reopen the Register window and enter it in the "Activation key" field; if the key is correct the main window title won't show "(unregistered)" anymore and the about window will show your registration details.

Register window


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Copyright

absolutePDF - Spool is a Copyright 2004-2005 the absolutePDF Team

All rights reserved.

The software is given "as is". No responsibility shall be assumed by the authors for loss or damage, whether real or consequential, arising from its use. By using the software you explicitly agree to hold the authors blameless for any such losses or damages.

Please visit http://www.abspdf.com for more information.



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