AlbumEasy - Free software for creating custom stamp album pages
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AlbumEasy came about because I was looking for an easy to use page layout program for creating custom stamp albums.
collectors make do with general purpose desktop publishing or CAD programs,
I found that laying out album pages by drawing and positioning boxes with a mouse to be too time consuming.
So, while looking for an alternative, I came up with the idea for AlbumEasy, a dedicated program for creating stamp album pages.
AlbumEasy processes a text file containing a description of the album pages which it then uses to generates a ready to print PDF file as output.
Admittedly this style of working does not suit everyone, but many users who may have initially considered this to be awkward soon
discovered that once they took the time to understand the way that AlbumEasy works, it is a fast and efficient way of creating albums to house their
collection and could also be used for creating display pages suitable for philatelic exhibitions.
The AlbumEasy software is completely free of charge. I developed it for my own use, but as I felt that other stamp collectors might find it useful,
I subsequently made it publicly available.
The current version of AlbumEasy is available for both the Linux and Windows (7, 8 & 10) operating systems.
It is also possible to run AlbumEasy on the Apple Mac but requires more effort on behalf of the user (details on the download page).
V4.1.0 (Oct 2019 - Current version)
- New: Apple MacOS is now a fully supported platform along with Windows and Linux
- New: ALBUM_PAGES_FOOTER_PAD used to adjust the spacing between the page border and text in the page footer.
- New: STAMP_BOXES_ADJUST_SAVE and STAMP_BOXES_ADJUST_RESTORE commands to temporary disable the STAMP_BOXES_SIZE_ADJUST
- Enhancement: The STAMP_BORDER_STYLE command now accepts a BLANK parameter to create a frameless stamp box.
- Enhancement: As of this release AlbumEasy will automatically detect and convert a range of
Unicode formatted text files. This includes the formats supported by Windows Notepad and other text editors.
- Bug fix: Justified text generated by the PAGE_TEXT_PARAGRAPH_START command, that contained some international characters, could lose characters at line beginnings - fixed.
- Bug fix: Truetype font file extensions are no longer case-sensitive. Previously
only files ending with .ttf or .ttc extensions were usable. While files with .TTF and .TTC extensions were ignored.
- Bug fix: The ALBUM_AUTHOR and ALBUM_TITLE commands now support internationalised text.
V4.0.1 (June 2019)
- Bug fix: Text paragraphs - Under certain circumstances, the last word on a line was being duplicated and repeated as the first word on the next line.
V4.0 (June 2019)
- New: AlbumEasy now includes a built-in text editor with syntax highlighting. The editor can be disabled for users who prefer to use an external editor.
- Enhancement: Improved language support - Unicode (UTF-8) support has been expanded to now include support for the majority of
world languages including Asian languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc.
- Enhancement: Improved font support - a much wider range of TrueType fonts are now supported by AlbumEasy
- New: PAGE_TEXT_PARAGRAPH_START and PAGE_TEXT_PARAGRAPH_END commands for adding large paragraphs of text. The text can be left or right aligned, centred, or fully justified.
- New: The STAMP_ADD_TRIANGLE and STAMP_ADD_TRIANGLE_INV commands now accept an optional apex parameter to allow for the creation of trapezium (flat top or bottom) shaped stamp boxes.
- New: CORNER style has been added to the STAMP_BORDER_STYLE command. This can place one or more small corner markers in place of a frame.
- New: COLOUR_STAMP_BACKGROUND command to set the background colour inside stamp boxes (rectangular stamp boxes only).
- New: STAMP_INNER_BORDER command add support for double frame-line stamp box borders (rectangular stamp boxes only), along with associated COLOUR_STAMP_INNER_BORDER and STAMP_INNER_BORDER_STYLE commands.
- New: ALBUM_PAGES_FOOTER command has been added for inserting text into the page footers.
- Enhancement: PAGE_COLUMN_START now accepts an optional value which can be used to set the padding between columns.
- Enhancement: Much improved help organisation and text.
- Bug fix: Fixed the incorrect column vertical spacing for a second group of columns if it appeared immediately after the previous group of columns in column mode.
- Bug fix: Previously pressing File Open, and then cancelling would disable the Generate and View-PDF buttons.
V3.9.1 (Nov 2018)
- Enhancement: The PAGE_TEXT, PAGE_TEXT_CENTRE and PAGE_TEXT_RIGHT commands now accept an optional vertical space parameter.
Obsoleting the PAGE_TEXT_VSPACE, PAGE_TEXT_CENTRE_VSPACE and PAGE_TEXT_RIGHT_VSPACE commands which should no longer
be used for new albums, and have only been retained for backwards compatibility.
- Enhancement: The ALBUM_PAGES_BORDER command is now an identical replacement for the ALBUM_PAGES_BORDER3
command which has been obsoleted and only retained for backwards compatibility.
V3.9 (Oct 2018)
- New: PAGE_COLUMN_START, PAGE_COLUMN_NEXT and PAGE_COLUMN_STOP commands to split a page into vertical columns for added flexibility when laying out pages.
- New: STAMP_ADD_OVAL command for creating oval and circular stamp frames.
- New: ALBUM_TITLE and ALBUM_AUTHOR commands to set the title and author attributes of the PDF document. These attributes, visible only in the PDF file properties, have no effect on the printed output.
V3.8 (Sept 2018)
- New: ALBUM_PAGES_DECORATIVE_BORDER command for adding predefined or custom decorative borders around the page.
- New: TEXT_CHAR_SPACING command to adjust the inter-character spacing of text.
- New: STAMP_BORDER_STYLE command to set dotted or dashed border for stamp boxes.
- Enhancement: The STAMP_ADD command syntax has been simplified and can now included multiple lines of text inside and below the stamp. As a result the STAMP_ADDX and STAMP_ADDX_IMG commands are no longer required.
The STAMP_ADDX and STAMP_ADDX_IMG commands as well as the old STAMP_ADD syntax have been retained for backwards compatibility. It is recommended however for new albums that the new STAMP_ADD syntax is used instead.
- Fixed: Incorrect command examples in the help file colours page.
- Fixed: Problem that prevented the help text from being printed for some Windows users.
V3.7 (Feb 2018)
- New: Wizard for creating an initial album.
- New: Print button added to the help browser for printing help topics.
- New: STAMP_BOXES_SIZE_ADJUST command to adjust the size of all stamp boxes
- New: STAMP_HEADING_PADDING command to adjust the space between stamp headings and stamp boxes
- New: COLOUR_.. / COLOR_.. commands for setting the colours of various elements on a page. Examples can be found in the Colours.txt sample album file.
V3.6 (Jun 2017)
- Enhancement: STAMP_ADD_IMG & STAMP_ADDX_IMG commands now take an optional NO_FRAME parameter allowing for images to be drawn without a frame.
- Enhancement: ALBUM_PAGES_DATE command take optional text strings to be output before or after the date.
- Enhancement: ALBUM_PAGES_NUMBER command now takes optional text strings to be output before or after the page number, and can also include the total page count.
- Enhancement: Warnings are now issued when a numeric value is expected but a non-numeric character is found.
V3.5 (Jan 2017)
- New: "Recently used files" toolbar button.
- New: PAGE_RULE_H command for drawing horizontal lines.
- New: ALBUM_PAGES_NUMBER command for inserting the page number in the footer.
- New: ALBUM_PAGES_DATE command for placing a date in the footer.
- New: PAGE_TEXT_RIGHT & PAGE_TEXT_RIGHT_VSPACE commands provide support for right justified text.
- Enhancement: PAGE_TEXT_CENTRE & PAGE_TEXT_CENTRE_VSPACE commands now provide support for multiple lines of text
- Bug fix: The PAGE_TEXT_VSPACE & PAGE_TEXT_CENTRE_VSPACE commands spacing was incorrectly calculated. This has now been fixed.
- Note: a sample file called NewExamples.txt which illustrates the usage of the new commands can now be found in the examples directory. This file is updated with additional examples for each new release.
V3.4 (November 2016)
- New commands:STAMP_HEADING and STAMP_HEADING_VA to display headings above stamps.
- A SteinerExample.txt album file included in the examples folder. This illustrates the use of the
new STAMP_HEADING command for producing pages similar to the Steiner pages for those who would like to supplement their Steiner albums with custom pages.
- Improved readability of application main and help screens on newer high-DPI (high resolution) displays.
V3.3 (May 2016)
- Added new commands:PAGE_TEXT_VSPACE and PAGE_TEXT_CENTRE_VSPACE.
- Added a "View" toolbar button to open the generated file directly in the PDF viewer.
V3.2 (January 2016)
- Added support for running AlbumEasy as a command line application from the console.
V3.1 (January 2016)
- Images may be included within stamps via the STAMP_ADD_IMG, STAMP_ADDX_IMG and ALBUM_STAMP_IMG_SETTING commands
- A new border command has been provided; ALBUM_PAGES_BORDER3 which allows for the placement of a single, double or triple line border around the page.
The new command should be used in preference to the existing ALBUM_PAGES_BORDER as it corrects a spacing bug which existed in the older command which has been retained for compatibility with existing album data files.
V3.0 (November 2013)
- Support for international character sets and a less restrictive choice of fonts - to add these features required a complete rewrite of AlbumEasy.
- New commands:ROW_ALIGN_MIDDLE, STAMP_ADD_BLANK, STAMP_ADD_DIAMOND and STAMP_ADD_TRIANGLE_INV
- Internal architecture has been improved to simplify adding new commands in the future.
- Open source - the source code is now freely available.
V2.3 (July 2006)
- Added PAGE_START_VAR and STAMP_ADD_TRIANGLE commands.
V2.2 (April 2006)
- Added ROW_ALIGN_TOP and ROW_ALIGN_BOTTOM commands. These specify whether a row of stamps with unequal heights, should be aligned on the top or bottom edge.
V2.1 (October 2005)
- Fixed the font encoding, now supports European characters with accents and diacritical marks.
V2.0 (September 2005)
- Added GUI versions for both Windows and Linux. The Windows version has a standard installation program.
- Added an additional command; STAMP_ADDX which allows for two lines of text under each stamp.
V1.0 (May 2005)