Instructions to Deploy Paper Products

UPDATE: 8/9/11 @ 11:14 AM EST If you are running Windows and are trying to deploy any of my Custom Paper Products, these instructions are now obsolete. I have created a tool for the Deployment of all of my Custom Paper Products (windows only) which is available here. The current version of the tool does allow users to supply the Custom Paper Product to deploy. If you are using a Mac or have access to the SDK still, the following directions can still be used.

Original Article:

The following are a brief set of instructions that are needed to successfully deploy the Paper Products that I have created for the Livescribe Pulse & Echo Smartpens. They are relatively generic. Simply replace with the files from the actual download you use.

  1. Register as a Developer (if you haven’t already).
  2. Download the SDK (if you haven’t already).
  3. Extract the zip file containing the full version of Eclipse from the SDK to C:\Eclipse. There must not be any spaces in this path or deployment may not work.
  4. Follow the instructions in the Getting Started PDF file included in the SDK to finish setup.
  5. Run eclipse.exe (from C:\Eclipse. It will ask for a workspace location, set it to C:\workspace.
  6. Create a new paper project (file –>  new) call it TemporaryAfdHolding and fill in the details requested. Uncheck the background image box and press finish. It will pop up box wanting to go to paper view press ok.
  7. In the bottom left you should see a folder tree, under the top level folder, find the src folder. Right click and select import. Import from Filesystem. Have it import the .afd file you download from the appropriate Paper Product Download Page. You should then open the src folder in the tree and right click on this file. Select deploy to the pulse smartpen (make sure your pen is connected first).
  8. Then download and print either the .ps file (through ghostscript/gsview or acrobat distiller) or the .pdf file (through acrobat or reader) with page scaling turned off.
  9. Write on your newly deployed paper.
  10. Connect your smartpen to your computer and start Livescribe Desktop. The pages you just wrote on this custom paper should show up within a couple of minutes (after the transferring data image disappear.)
  11. Congratulations, you’ve successfully downloaded a custom paper product and deployed it!

If you need any clarification or help, please feel free to post a comment. I’ll do my best to help you!

105 thoughts on “Instructions to Deploy Paper Products

  1. dessy

    Good job!
    But now how do I build my own paper product without this error while deploying -LS_FILE_OPEN_ERROR?

  2. Lawvol

    Once I have deployed a custom paper to my pen, do I need to save the TemporaryAfdHolding.afd File or can I simply replace the src file in the TemporaryAfdHolding.afd file I created to create and deploy more, different, types of paper options. Does this make sense?

  3. Michael

    DIDNT WORK!!! blah i wish it did tho D= my pen says that it needs to be updated so i updated it and it still didnt work

  4. bemental

    Unfortunately I don't believe my printer is capable enough to print the paper, but I do have a .pdf of the style paper I would like to try. I believe the paper has been successfully uploaded to the pen, I just haven't the means to print the paper to test it out.

    I'll be back at uni next week and will try printing the .pdf on a printer there. I'll keep you posted.

  5. bemental

    Honestly, now I'm having issues opening the .pdf because it's 50 pages of those LiveScribe dots. Even on my iMac with 4GB RAM and a 3.06 Core 2 Duo it's slowing to a halt.

    I'll have to find an alternative. But regardless I'll let you know how it goes.

  6. bemental

    Absolutely. I'm sure I will have more to post as the semester progresses.

    Seems like the pen has a pretty solid base going for it, it just lacks the creative oomph (and funding) of the products from that fruit company.

    Any word (holds breath…) on the Linux front?

  7. @ms_perrin

    Thanks for this! I printed a pad for my son to use at school. Based on the stuff you've done, I'm going to try staff paper. Might be a while for me so if you get done first, I'll use yours.

  8. DP9

    I tried extracting the Livescribe Platform SDK file but I am getting this error message
    "! Unexpected end of archive"
    Any help???

  9. Gia

    Oh wow! It worked!! I am so happy!
    I use the Pulse with in my user research activities and I've been wanting to create custom paper products. I think this is enough of an introduction to the SDK to get me going.

  10. Christiaan

    Is this the only way to get Livescribe to recognize paper products that users make themselves? I am NOT computer literate enough to do this… which sucks because I really want to install some of these. Is there any other way to do this? I thought i could just copy the data files into the right dirrectory, print the pdf that comes with the zip, and start livescribe… will that work?

  11. Capt. Rivas

    Hi, I just followed all instructions as posted and printed the paper as directed. The paper showed up in LD successfully after deploying. However, when written on and connected, its just a blank page. Any comments? Running Smartpen 2.5 firmware and latest LD Software.

  12. @chrismcooper

    This is exactly what I have been trying to do on my own for a month. Thank you, Rohan. I was able to load the paper into the pen, print the first set of graph paper, and even create my first pencast using graph paper (I am helping develop virtual middle school math courses). The replay of the pencast on my computer was perfect. But…, when I uploaded the file to to share it with others, the paper (background) was blank. No graph lines at all. I have not found this mentioned in any other posts about your application, so I can only assume I have made an error. Can you help with this? Have you heard of this happening before? I thank you in advance for any assistance.

  13. Baranoush Zamani


    I need a little paper card (as a business card in max 5 cm B x ca 9 cm L) with all Livescribes commands for Echo pen 8G.
    Can you help me by clip those command-pictures and paste them in such as view and make a pdf file of that so people can download it and print it out. Having such as little business card in your pocket makes that you can use the echo pen even without any notepads, just as a regular pen but with a sound recorder function.

    Because the calculator has a bigger size compared with other commands and take the most place on such as little paper / card, it will be yet better to have this pdf file designed in that way so when you print it double, the calculator will be placed in the back side. So you have all commands in same little "business card".

    Thanks in for hand

  14. Unifey

    I followed your instruction on a Mac. After I importing the adf file, I only see 1 page under it. Is this normal? Shouldn't it have 25 pages? (I imported the QuarterInchPrintableGraphpad.) Other than that, everything is fine; it can be deployed to my Smartpen and it would record what I write on the printed paper.

  15. KarenChristian

    Hi Rohan – thanks for all the work you've done with this product! I printed the unlined notebook and used it with my pen. When I sync with Livescribe Desktop, I see everything just fine except that my writing is very garbled and unreadable. Any idea what I might have done wrong? My pen works perfectly with the starter notebook.

  16. cunimc

    If ollowed all the instructions and deployed to the smartpen with eclipse. I wrote on the paper, which seems to have been recognized by the echo sm. p., but when i linked the pen to the Mac to import the file, nothing is happened and I can't see the written page in Livescribe desktop.
    can You help me?

  17. Jake

    You should probably change the background of this page so that people may easily read the comments. They are incredibly difficult to read.

  18. Samuel

    I don't know what I have done, but when I try to deploy to the pen it says, "LS-File-OPEN" and I try to print it to file and it says "error -5" Help please, I'm a college student just needing some graph paper

  19. Peter

    This sounds like a wonderful idea but I am really quite a novice with computer stuff. I have not tried it (with your instructions) because I first want to know whether it is risky: ie can it interfere with the other notebooks I purchased? If there is no chance of this happening – can a novice be trying anything as fancy as what you have come up with here? (I'm worried I need extra software, or need to be able to understand the software – which I don't!)

    Please help – this would be massive if I could get this to work!



  20. Yese

    Hi Rohan,

    Where can I find these instructions for a Mac? I am a new Mac user and would like to be able to use your paper products on my new Mac.

    Thank you,


  21. Norma Godoy

    Hello. In Step 4 it states to "Follow the instructions in the Getting Started PDF file included in the SDK to finish setup"

    Is that the referring to the "Getting_Started_Platform_SDK" PDF file?

    I looked through it and am not clear on which part of the instructions to follow.

    I am using a Mac Book Pro and a Livescribe Pulse 2GB.

    Thank you,


  22. John

    Is there no way to modify the number of pages in a custom paper notebook? 25/50 pages per notebook isn't exactly much.

  23. Isidore

    Looking at the Livescribe site forums, it soon becomes apparent that you are the paper guru. As a new user and a Mac user, I am a little disappointed with their offerings on self print paper. The livescribe software only prints A4 and whatever I do with the printer driver settings it won't print double sided so you end up with large crude single sided note books. Having worked a lot in Japan, I have a particular fetish for using B5 JIS notebooks which are great for meetings and between A4 and A5 in size. do you know of any templates for this size? Having read quite a few of your posts I appreciate that your paper cannot be printed on a Mac but I can always run the windows software in an emulator such as Parallels to run Windows XP- I assume this paper will then be recognised in the Mac version of livescribe?Sorry for the rambling question, your comments would be much appreciated.

  24. riccardo

    I Thanks You so much, very helpful and as I am not a developer I still could deploy the penlet and use the paper produced by nice people like you. thanks! Riccardo

  25. cmc


    This has been of great help to me. But I have a problem. I was able to deploy the paper on the Smartpen but as I click on the print/print to postcript, iget an error:
    Input switch error(-2)
    The input switches specified are invalid. Make sure quotes are closed and that parameters that requires arguments have them

    I am trying to print using a brother 165c printer 1200 dpi capable..

    Thanks.. Your comments would be much appreciated./

  26. Guest

    It seems the developer site for livescribe has been discontinued. Any chance I can still get this to work on my mac w/out access to the SDK?

  27. Renji

    Hi Rohan,
    I'm trying to get the custom calculator and settings to work. I already have the Custom Paper Deployment tool install but have no idea how I can get the cal and settings to install or work. Could you kindly advise me what I can do?

  28. Dan Fleming


    On June 2, 2010 you posted: "If I'm understanding your request correctly, you simply want blank paper with the dot-pattern applied to it? Would you be ok with a small page number in the bottom right corner or would that interfere with your purpose? I would be willing to design and license a couple of these blank ones for you with the SDK." Did you complete a "blank page" without controls on the bottom?

    Thank you for all you're doing to advance this product.


  29. Melissa

    Apparently I've come late to the custom paper world, but I am still hopeful to turn some forms I use in my business into custom papers. Is it possible that you do this on a consultancy basis? Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *