PDF Creator and Emailer
by Hardy Data Systems
Download the PDF Creator and Emailer for the Traffic Light here Version 1.2 (FileName TFP.EXE) July 2, 2015 (1.2 MB). Without the proper UserID file, the program runs in the Demo mode. This is a self-extracting EXE file that can be downloaded into a temp folder and run or you can run from the web page by using the Microsoft Internet Explorer and choosing the 'Run' option instead of the 'Save' option. It is installed in the Traffic Light folder. The default install path is C:\TFC. It is recommended that this path be used. Once installed, click on the 'Help 'N About' button for further instructions and help. See the ReadMeFirst and Overview help file. This is the full Setup Program. This program is started from the Traffic Light Master Menu. NOTE: Traffic LIght Version 1.7b or later must be installed to use this program.
Download the PDF Creator and Emailer for the Traffic Light update here Version 1.2 (FileName TFP_UP.EXE) July 2, 2015 (410 KB). This is the program file with only the updated help files.
The PDF Creator and Emailer is a stand-alone optional program for use with the Traffic Light. It is written in Microsoft Visual Basic V6.0 and has an add-on programming package, which is used to do the automatic emailing. This program is installed into the Traffic Light folder and is run by clicking a button on the Traffic Lights Master Menu. The text file to PDF routine uses NotePad and a freeware PDF Print Driver to create the PDF files. A new field in the Traffic Light's Customer file indicates if the Customer is to receive PDF invoices and statements via email.
The PDF Creator and Emailer program accesses the Traffic Lights data files and writes the invoices and statements as text files. Later, the PDF creation routine uses NotePad in the creation of the PDF files. Before this creation, NotePad must be configured by setting the margins, font and font size. See the help file named "NotePad Setup" for details. The PDF versions of the invoices and statements are saved into new folders:
Since there will probably not be an 100 percent Email participation among your customers, some invoices and statements will still need to be sent by mailing an actual printed copy. The PDF Creator has provisions to print the balance of the invoices and statements not emailed. No need to return to the Traffic Light for printing.
There is an invoice and statement setup screen with many options. One that was requested was the ability to create your own custom Affidavit text. In some cases or locations, the Notary Public signature is not required or different officials are needed to certify. Below is a custom Affidavit by a station in Florida that did not need the Notary Public info. The bottom portion of the invoice showing the Affidavit is shown below. (The callsigns have been changed).
Below is a screen capture of the Custom Affidavit creation form with text boxes for ten lines. The default Affidavit text is shown at the top of the screen. Please pardon the comical nature of the text. Not all ten lines need to be used.
The screen capture below is the setup options for the creations of the invoices and statements. After configuring the options, you can make a sample print-out to see the results of your settings.
There are many print options. Below is a screen capture of the Print Menu. The mouse (not shown on screen capture) was hovering over the 'Print All Text Statements Not Emailed or Already Printed' option.
The '5' in the above box can be changed to a larger number and this number of invoices/statements will print at one time. For adventurous users, this box on the left can be unchecked and all will be printed at one time. Below is a sample email showing the body text. This can be up to 15 lines of text and is saved in a text file for future use and is entered in the Email Setup screen.
The above screen capture is from my Mozilla Thunderbird Email client. Both the 'From' and 'Subject' are setup in the Email Setup screen. There is one option for the Subject line to include the invoice number and the business name of the TFC user. Below is a screen capture of the Email Steup screen.
Here is sample Invoice PDF file which can be opened with a PDF file viewer such as the Adobe Reader. http://hds.net/2701066_0512I.pdf If a darker text is desired, then the font in NotePad can be changed to Bold. The invoice name consists of the start order number 2701066 and the month and year MMYY of the invoice. The 'I' before the period signifies 'Invoice' whereas a 'S' is used in the Statement file name.
Below is a screen capture of the Display Options. There is an option to move last month's text invoices to the 'OldInvoices' folder. This folder can be displayed using the Display Options. An invoice can be displayed for viewing or reprinting.
This optional add-on program is priced at $50. It can pay for itself many times-over in postage and time savings. The program as downloaded runs in the demo mode. Below is the 'ReadMe First and Overview' file included in the PDF Creator program which gives more details on the operation and limitations in the demo mode.
Read Me First and Overview
The PDF Creator and Emailer is a stand-alone optional program for use with the Traffic Light. It is written in Microsoft Visual Basic V6.0 and has an add-on programming package, which is used to do the automatic Emailing. This program is installed into the Traffic Light folder and is run by clicking a button on the Traffic Lights Master Menu. The first version of the PDF Creator also used an add-on package to create the PDF files, but was very expensive and a work-around method was developed that uses NotePad and a freeware PDF Print Driver to create the PDF files. At the present time, there are almost 5000 lines of programming code.
The PDF Creator and Emailer program accesses the Traffic Lights data files and writes the invoices and statements as text files. Later, the PDF creation routine uses NotePad in the creation of the PDF files. Before this creation, NotePad must be configured by setting the margins, font and font size. See the help file named "NotePad Setup". The PDF versions of the invoices and statements are saved into a new folder: For Station #1, the folder is C:\TFC\Stn1_InvText and C:\TFC\Stn1_StateText. Likewise for the other stations. When the PDF files are created, they are saved in the C:\TFC\Stn1\InvoicesPDF and C:\TFC\Stn1\StatementsPDF folders.
Since there will probably not be an 100 percent Email participation among your customers, some invoices and statements will still need to be sent by mailing an actual printed copy. The PDF Creator has provisions to print the balance of the invoices and statements not emailed. This option will use NotePad to display each text invoice/statement and make a printout. There is an option to use the /P option with NotePad which will load the text invoice/statement and make the printout without user intervention. You may want to offer the reluctant customer some free spots to join the paperless Email group.
The old text invoices can be moved to a storage folder for the old text invoices, in case they might be needed later. There is a display option to display all the old invoices for a Customer. No provisions are made for storage of old statements. If possibly needed later, the user can manually move them into a new location before the next month.
The Traffic Light Customer data file has been modified to include a "Send Email" box next to the Email address. This box must be checked to send the Email. This box is needed because it might be possible to have a customers Email address on file, but he does not want the invoices/statements emailed.
There is a setup screen for customizing the invoices and statements formats. Also provisions for creating a custom affidavit for the invoice and custom body text for the Email. Each screen will have its own help file as well as mouse hover over the buttons info displayed.
As downloaded, this PDF Creator program operates in the Demo mode. It can be used after the Traffic Lights end-of-the-month billing is done (or anytime to test the statements.) The PDF Creator and Emailer program will use the TMPBLT.Dat file to create the first 25 text invoices and the AR95.Dat file to create the first 25 text statements. The Text2PDF routine (Create PDF Files) will convert the first 5 text invoices and the first 5 text statements into PDF files. The Demo period expires after 60 days. Read the extra notes on the Demo from the button on the Help screen.
To test the Email sender, look at the first five records and add an email address (and check the Send Email box) to test, into one or more of the customer records. You can use one of your own addresses for testing. Then click the "EMail" button to bring up the Emailer Screen which will have the five Email addresses listed. These must be listed to complete the Email process.
If you desire to purchase the PDF Creator and Emailer program, after payment is received, you will be emailed an Activation Code to enter on the Help and About Screen.
If you dont already have a PDF Print driver installed, there are several freeware ones available. I like the CutePDF Writer/Converter available at www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp
The CutePDF PDF Converter is also mentioned on the StationPlayList Links web page. It has an easy print dialog screen to follow. Others are PDFLite and DoPDF. I have also tested the PDF driver that comes with Quicken and it works well.
Return to the Traffic Light web page click here.
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Hardy Data Systems -- 7218 Northgate Drive East -- Tifton, GA 31794 -- (229) 387-7373