By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

SignUp Now!

Printed Manual

Many companies offer their manuals in .PDF format, instead of in physical printed form.

Companies such as PowerBASIC offer their printed manuals for purchase via a print on demand model through a third-party vendor, Lulu.

StahlWorks offers their printed manual via the Amazon print on demand service.

These services allow the company to offer for sale a printed manual, without having to keep any inventory.

I'm suggesting JPSoft look into this, for people who want a nearly 1500 page printed copy of the manual.

JP Software used to offer an excellent printed manual. I think the expense of maintaining it got to be too much.
The Take Command help is already available as a PDF for anyone who wants to print it.

The cost of printing skyrocketed a few years ago (to more than $30 per manual in bulk runs; given the price of paper in the last 3-4 years it would be substantially more now). Interest in a printed manual plummeted at the same time. The help is > 1,400 pages, which makes printing it somewhat impractical. (The Take Command help is twice the size of the PowerBASIC help, which is $40.)

Because of the size of the Take Command help, it also has to be spiral bound, which raises the price substantially.
According to Staples,
the copyright means they will not print the .PDF,
for fear of being sued.

I know this, as I took the .PDF to them, and they refused to print it, due to that copyright.

That is why some companies have switched to print-on-demand.

The company doesn't have to print any copies, or hold any inventory.

Also, no legal problems getting the manual printed.

If the copyright page included a copyright on the text, but also included a line specifically allowing the file to be freely reprinted without changes, would that be sufficient for the print-on-demand people?
Staples.ca makes money by printing the .PDF

If the .PDF is copyrighted,
Staples.ca could be sued for making money by printing the .PDF

It is my understanding that print-on-demand shops,
such as Lulu,
get the okay from the company with the .PDF,
to legally print the .PDF,
bind it,
and ship it to the customer.

For PowerBASIC, they say;
Printed copies of the manuals for each of the products listed below are available for purchase via a print on demand model through a third party vendor, Lulu. Please be sure to review their terms and conditions and privacy policies prior to making any purchases through their site, including their return/refund policies.

PowerBASIC enters into a contract with Lulu,
where Lulu pays PowerBASIC when Lulu has fulfilled the customer order,
with no involvement from PowerBASIC in the order taking, the customer payment, the printing, the shipping, etc.

I imagine that it's the same with the Amazon print-on-demand service that is used by Stahlworks, for their printed Swiss File Knife manual, which also has a copyright notice, similar to the JPSoft copyright notice in the Take Command manual.

I have not seen,
in any .PDF,
a line specifically allowing the file to be freely reprinted without changes.

I don't think the lawyers would approve of that.

I would say - with such a line - that would be no problems for lawyers ... and also no problems for print services.

WHY should these be a problem for lawyers to approve? That would be IMHO really clear ...
I asked Bing Chat the question;


The last time that I printed off the complete manual was 4NT/Take Command 6.01.
I did not get it printed at Staples, as they would not do it (might be sued), but they had no problem spiral binding the manual (can't be sued for that).

Since then, I have printed off the "What's New" with each new version, which I place in a binder by my spiral bound manual.

I will probably end up purchasing paper and toner for someone with a laser printer, have them print it off for me, and then take it to Staples to get it spiral bound.

It's much easier for my old eyes to read a printed manual, than a .PDF on a screen.

Thanks @Joe Caverly

But still: I think, if the copyright holder give explicit permission to print it, it would be no problem. The text above is IMHO not against that case.

However: I'm not an expert in law ... personally I would have absolute no concern to give it to a company to print and I'm almost sure, they would print it without any questions ...