Custom Paper Deployment Tool

With the end of Livescribe’s Development Program, it is no longer possible for end users (or even developers) to download the SDK and deploy any of the numerous Custom Paper Products made by developers such as myself (among others). For a while now, I have been discussing the possibility of Livescribe creating and releasing a tool that installs third party Custom Paper Products to their smartpens. For various reasons, none of which will be discussed here, Livescribe did not release such a tool. I have been toying with the idea of building one myself for the last year, however I have not done so assuming that Livescribe will at some point do so. At this point, with Livescribe closing their Developer Program, it is obvious that they will not be releasing such a tool now.

The other reason I was hesitating with building this tool was that it would be coded in C# which I have had zero experience coding in before. I’m primarily a Java programmer with experience with both C++ and PHP (all of which use very similar syntax). Seeing no tool forthcoming from Livescribe and not wanting Custom Paper Products to be a product of the past (no pun intended), I finally dove right into it! I During this process, I learned that C# is nowhere near as complicated as I feared and most of the Syntax still applies from C++. With minimal googling, I was able to build a fully functional Custom Paper Deployment Tool using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 as my Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

Please note that the Custom Paper Deployment Tool is not supported by Livescribe in any way, shape or form. As the Developer Program has ended, this tool is not associated with it at all. There is no warranty (either explicit or implicit) on the tool. I do not take any responsibility if anything adverse were to happen to your smartpen because of my tool. By going to the bottom of the page and clicking-through to the installer page, you agree to the terms and conditions listed above.  This tool is available freely to all users by following the download link at the bottom of the page.

This is version of the Custom Paper Deployment Tool. This version allows you to deploy only Custom Paper Products that are bundled with the tool. Future versions of the tool will allow the user to specify the Custom Paper Product via an .afd file to install. The Custom Paper Deployment Tool must be started before the Smartpen is connected or it fails to detect it. In case you have already connected your Smartpen after starting the Custom Paper Deployment Tool, reconnect it after the Custom Paper Deployment main window has loaded. Once connected, just check the boxes of the Custom Paper Products you would like to deploy and once you completed your selection press the Deploy button to deploy them to the Smartpen connected. Please make sure to only have one Smartpen connected at a time or you will confuse the Custom Paper Deployment Tool and possibly corrupt the firmware on all Smartpens connected. Deploying Custom Paper Products will take some time (usually around 5 seconds for each Custom Paper Product selected) as each one will have to be deployed individually. Please make sure not to disconnect the Smartpen until the Deployment process is complete at which point your Smartpen will show the time again.

You will then need to print the PDF files that correspond to the Custom Paper Products you deployed. Those can be accessed via the Tools” –> “Print PDF Notepads” option. “Tools” –> “Smartpen” has two options: “View Smartpen Data” and “List Installed Paper.” “View Smartpen Data” will provide basic information about your Smartpen such as free space as well as battery levels. “List Installed Paper” will display a list of all installed Paper Products (Official and Custom) on your Smartpen. All of these functions support writing the data to a log file by pressing the “Save to log file” button.

Currently the Custom Paper Deployment Tool supports the deployment of 4 different types of notepads with 8 notepads of each type. If you are ready to begin, you can go to the Custom Paper Deployment Tool Install Page.

Any questions or comments can be posted below and I will respond shortly. Please be aware that I have not digitally signed these install files so they will give a “Security Warning” because of an “Unknown Publisher.” There is however no security concern with the download and the install.

Update: 8/4/11 @ 3:09 PM EDT

I just pushed out several updates to Custom Paper Development Tool to deal with deployment errors. The current version is If you did manage to get it installed despite the errors, your downloaded copy should automatically update to version next time you start it.

Update: 8/22/11 @ 1:51 PM EDT

I know there have been severe problems with DNS (provided for free by as well as web server overloads so I have finally setup deployment using Amazon’s S3 service for reliability and stability. The link above has been updated to reflect that change. If you have a working copy of the download, it is not required that you uninstall and reinstall using that link, but it is recommended for future updates. Thanks for your patience!

Update: 10/08/11 @ 12:13 AM EST

Version is now released which allows deployment of user supplied .afd files through the “File” –> “Open” menu. The full changelog can be found here. Your installed version should prompt you to update it when you start it next, but if it doesn’t, you can always click the big download button below.

Update 02/22/20102 @ 11:39 PM EST

Added a new video at the top of the page with detailed use instructions. It provides a demonstration of all of the functionality built into Custom Paper Deployment Tool.

Main Screen

Picture 1 of 8

This window is shown when the Custom Paper Deployment Tool is started. The Smartpen is disconnected.

256 thoughts on “Custom Paper Deployment Tool

  1. Michael

    You sir, are absolutely amazing.
    This is what I've been looking for.
    You made a student's life so much easier.
    If only Livecribe wouldn't get so greedy and try to make huge profits off the paper they sell, the world would be a better place.

    Thank you again. Works flawlessly.

  2. blue

    hi rohan,

    would your pages be recognized as a page of a currently-being-used notebook or would the pen see the graph pages as a totally new notebook? i didn't see numbers on your pages the way livescribe's notebooks do, so i'm hoping your pages may be a way around being limited to one notebook at a time.

    also, i saw you answered someone's question about being able to export into microsoft excel. would it be possible, with your graph paper, to make charts that would be recognized by by microsoft word as a table?

    and thanks so much for sharing this amazing paper and project!

  3. Jason

    Hi, Im sure this has already been solved but I'm new to livescribe. I just bought an 8gb echo smart pen for my wedding. My plan was to use the smartpen on my guest sign in book to creat a digital guestbook that can be manipulated when creating photobooks, thank you's, ect. Is there a guest book template for dot paper or a vender that I can buy one from. It needs to be "presentable", my fiance's words. Thank you for any help.

  4. Jess


    I am new to the livescribe pen technology and only began using it because my professor is requiring it to teach our college algebra class. it seems like a great thing but the paper issue concerns me…and apparently many others. i'm not super techno savvy and was curious about your product. does it give me the capability to print blank sheets of paper that i can then use with my echo pen? i know that the livescribe desktop has an option for printing blank sheets but i don't have a printer at home. however, i do have a $25 printing balance at the university every semester. unfortunately, i can't print from my laptop to the university printers, none of the school computers have livescribe desktop installed and it's not an option to print the sheets from the livescribe website.

    is this a problem your program could help me with?

  5. Worked Hard

    I chanced upon this, and what a piece of programming! I purchased a pen and installed this software, and printed off a notebook after deploying it, and it worked perfectly well, using a basic home printer! Once I get to work I'll print more off using the "posh" one!

    I take my hat off to you for your perseverance, something Livescribe should promote!

    Thank you again

    OS Windows 7 Home and Ultimate 32 bit and 64 bit

  6. Rav

    Hi Rohan
    I downloaded and installed the CPD tool, deplyed a LinedPad #1, printed off a couple of pages from the pdf, but the pen fails to recognise the paper. I am using the 8gb echo, with the latest firmware released by livescribe about a week ago. Any help on this would be appreciated greatly.

  7. cg1maverick

    Hi Rohan
    Thanks for the great service that you are providing. Unfortunately for some reason I cannot download the application. It begins the download process on two different systems and stops at exactly 208Mb. It comes up with am "Application download did not succeed. Check your network connection, or contact your system administrator or network service provider. Under details in the error log it seems to indicate that "The server committed a protocol violation. Section=ResponseStatusLine". Any ideas on how I can download your impressive app? Thanks again!

  8. Neytiri

    I have need of a custom reusable blank calendar and scheduling paper for my business to use with my livescribe pen. I have been asking for some time now for some one to create these pages, alas no one has steped up to do it and I do not know how to do it on my own. Will this program help me to do that with my livescribe pen? Or can you help me to do this? PLEASE… Thank you for your time and consideration.

  9. popa

    I will soon have my first livescribe echo.
    I installed Custom Paper Deployment Tool but after opening, (without conecing livescribe) it stopped working. I have vista x32. What should I do?

  10. Bunus

    Great work Rohan!! Thank's a lot for sharing your tool!
    I have a question though. I would like to have all the notebooks the (150, 50, 25 page versions) as unlined blank versions with only the pattern on them. The pattern does not have to be unique, I'd be perfectly happy if it used the same anoto dot pattern as the existing notebooks. This would be very useful to me since the developer programme has ended, because then I could print any pattern I want on those blank pages.

  11. nick

    hi Rohan
    I downloaded the unlined notebooks at the weekend and printed the paper out on the printer i've been using to print livescribe paper. and it was very dark (which is ok as i've seen your comments elsewhere about that). However, it didn't pick up the pen writing very accurately and I was missing about half the letters when I wrote on it with my 1Gb pen that I bought new at christmas. The pen has been working really well on the livescribe notebooks and i checked it on the "official" paper afterwards and it worked again fine.

    I really wanted your plain paper and your lab notebook paper so is there anything you can suggest to improve my situation as everyone else on this blog says the paper you have provided works brilliantly.

    hope to hear from you soon

  12. Jayharr

    I have installed it and everything went fine. My only concern is: How do I get the "Dotted Gray shade" lighter? Because when I print your files the gray shade is too dark and my pen does not recognize it. I have Windows 7 and I open the file with Adobe Acrobat Reader X and I can see the dotted gray shade but it is impossible for me to lighten that shade. I'm sorry to take your time with my problem. Keep up the good work, we need guys like you. I'll be one of your donor, because you deserve it. Thanks again.

  13. PeterC

    Hi Rohan
    Great work with this tool. Just wondering if you would mind supply pdfs for the Unlined notepad without the two boxes at the top and without the "Printable Unlined Notepad n" at the bottom? I have been able to remove them from the .afd files and insert my own custom form fields and blank pdfs would allow me to add form fields to pdfs to match.

  14. Jake

    Sorry for the dumb question, but what does it mean to "deploy" a notebook? Can the pen not work with a notebook that is not deployed? Why is that, exactly? Also, not that I'm in any danger of using it all up at this time, but am I limited to the couple thousand sheets of paper in your tool, or will more pages eventually become available? Thanks in advance for my naivete…

  15. Yingying

    Hi, Rohan

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful resource.The notebooks are much better than the original ones. I tried to print 1/4 inch notebook, but it turn out A4 sizes. I don't know what I did wrong.

  16. Tanya

    Hi firstly please forgive me for being a basic computer user. I have the Echo smartpen 8gb and I want to make my own templtes on the livescribe paper and in Livescribe. How dod I do this?
    My aim is:
    To have a template on livescribe that when I have undertaken an assessment and written on livescribe in the A4 book then I want to download the info I have written from the pen to the template in livescribe.

    I have windows 7 on a Toshiba laptop. Can you help me please. thanks Tanya

  17. marlene

    Rohan, are you still doing this development? I have the need to create more than just 25 pages at a time as my project demands many more (like 72000) :(. I know that Anoto sells shelves of licences of 6144 pages, is there any such thing I can do for my livescribe project – is there a place I could buy a Livescribe OAL file?? I would love to hear from you if you are able to assist. And how do i get the letter sized pages to be generated as A4? I have tried by means of some very hot PDF software, but all it does is issue a letter sized pattern with a blank bit at the bottom. I just dont know if it squashes the dot from side to side.
    Thanks in advance!

  18. Dave Lehmer

    First of all, I wanna say thanks for all of the utilities that you've created. You're obviously much better at programming than me. I wanted to ask, is there a way to "Un-deploy" packages from my smartpen to save space?

  19. dante411

    Trying to get this to work with the new Sky wifi pen but program keeps crashing when it tries to connect to the pen. Here is the error log:
    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name:CLR20r3
    Problem Signature 01:custom paper deployment tool.exe
    Problem Signature 02:
    Problem Signature 03:4e920e95
    Problem Signature 04:Livescribe.DesktopSDK.PenComm
    Problem Signature 05:
    Problem Signature 06:4c22f9f5
    Problem Signature 07:16c
    Problem Signature 08:1a9
    Problem Signature 09:SJAGUZ1LYSU31DII0BS301QOV2HJJ24Q
    OS Version:6.1.7601.
    Locale ID:1033
    Additional Information 1:0a9e
    Additional Information 2:0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789
    Additional Information 3:0a9e
    Additional Information 4:0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789

    Any ideas???

  20. @camila_braga

    Ty for the tool! Im a new user and started with Sky pen. As i can see for the comment before, the tool dont work with the pen I have, but i need to came here and post a Thank You to you 😉

    — And, Btw, Cant wait for the Sky version!

  21. @camila_braga

    Hi! Im having some issue with the printing paper you put inside the Custom tool. Shows the message in my OLED that i have to update the firmware of my pen..

    But its already updated!

  22. BobA

    Thanks Rohan for your work on this.
    I am a Mac user and would have to install your program using parallels and could do that but my needs are simple. I understand that your program allows printing paper by deploying papers in the print your own function. But Couldn't each of your papers be made available as a pdf that we could download and then just print the dot pattern over our own forms or on paper with our printer?
    Would that be something you could and would do? I realize it might create a bandwidth issue on your server so maybe a signin or some type of control would be needed so that each person would be encouraged to download the files only once and maybe at a rate of no more than one every hour or two.

  23. Michael

    Does anyone knows, if I can download the "setting page" as PDF to prit myself? The version in my notebook printed in 2009 seems to be outdated. I can't find the "button" to change the dateformat for exampe.

  24. chris333j

    Hi, I'm a french teacher for deficient intellectual children. I use the leap frog tag in my classroom to help them. I would like to make my own book with this anoto technologie. Is it possible with your program ? Thanks a lot for any answer…

  25. vac

    Hello Rohan,
    I am an old user of the smartpen, but a new user in terms of trying create a notebook that allows me to write notes on a template with the pen. Is there a way to view the documents that you've created before putting them on the pen or printing them? Will I need a special printer to print the pages?

  26. Noah

    sadly your program crashes when i plug in my sky wifi smartpen. i suppose it's because my windows 8 x64 OS..?
    But SUPER GREAT THANKS! i'll fight so we get back the SDK. I'm very disappointed that i have less functionality with the 100$ more expensive sky wifi pen, rather with the echo.

  27. noahhuetter

    sadly your program crashes when i plug in my sky wifi smartpen. i suppose it's because my windows 8 x64 OS..?

  28. Annamalai

    Hi Rohan,
    Thanks for putting together this tool. I downloaded and installed the custom deployment tool. Deployed Graphpad #1 on to my echo 2GB smartpen. I printed the first page of graph pad #1 and tested the record function at the bottom of the page. My pen did not start audio recording. I assume then this process is not working.
    I printed the pdf page as any normal pdf with no scaling. Is there a dpi requirement when I print the pdf file? Note that my printer is using Xerox Global print driver PCL to print. Does that matter? Thanks.

  29. Jay

    Hey Rohan. I have been using both your Template Overlay tool and Custom Paper Deployment tool for the last month, and I have to say they work AMAZINGLY! Honestly I don't think the livescribe pen would have been worth the investment if it were not for your tools. I use the programs to overlay unlined paper over PowerPoint slides so I can take notes on the side and not be forced to write EVERYTHING out on lined paper.

    I just wanted to say thank you!!

    P.S. With four courses this semester and only 8 unlined sets of paper, I have to constantly archive the chapters as we go over more material. Is there anyway I can get or even buy more sets of custom paper? Just wondering.

  30. johnb

    What is to stop you licencing a fresh portion of the dot space direct from Anoto, and directing the Livescribe pens to recognize it? I'm sure you would receive plenty of backers if you were to crowdsource for funding. Hundreds of thousands of people with Livescribe pens want to be able to print standard and bespoke paper sizes, but can't because of the indifference of the company.

  31. Ruth

    Pages print in grey…
    This tool is fab and means, when I get to grips with it, I will be able to make much better user of my Echo pen, but I've just printed a couple of pages and they're grey and fairly dark – not the 'white page' with controls at the bottom I had envisaged (and hoped for!). Is there anything I can do about this please?

  32. thomkhall

    I have the new Livescribe 3, which does not 'deploy' paper so far as I know. Will this work out of the box as is, or do I need to deploy the paper somehow to get it to work, or is it not compatible with the new pen?


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