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).
In order to make use of AlbumEasy you would also require:
- A PDF viewer such as the freely available Adobe Reader
- A good text editor.
Although it is possible to use a basic editor such as Notepad included with Windows,
or even your favourite word processor (in the later case, please remember to save your files as plain text *.txt),
but it is highly recommended that using a full featured text editor will allow one to become a great deal more productive.
There are a number of very good editors available, both free and commercial, that would be more than suitable. Here are some links to a few excellent free text editors.
V3.9 (Oct 2018 - Current version)
- 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)