Questions?
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This page contains answers to common questions you may have about the album pages. If you don't find the answer to your question here, just email me at wsteiner@stampalbums.com .

  1. When will pages for the country I need be available?
  2. How complete are the pages?
  3. How can I get blank pages?
  4. How do I download without AOL, Netscape or Internet Explorer?
  5. What type of paper should I use to print the pages?
  6. How do I print on Scott International or Specialty sized paper?
  7. How about printing on actual Scott Specialty pages?
  8. The border prints too high (or is cut off at the top). Help!
  9. Text won't print right with my HP 693c printer.
  10. Can I edit or modify the pages?
  11. Who are you, anyway?

When will pages for the country I need be available ?

This is a tough one. I can't provide specific dates for individual countries - every time I've tried something delayed things. My goal is to have pages available for most of the countries within a couple of years. It won't help to email me with questions about a specific country - you'll just get an evasive answer.

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How complete are the pages?

The short answer is: VERY COMPLETE!  At a minimum, they will have spaces for all major stamp varieties as listed in the Scott Catalogue. Often they will also have spaces for many of the more frequently encountered minor varieties, as well as varieties not listed in Scott. For example, the French Colonies pages will have spaces for all the Vichy issues.

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How can I get blank pages?

There are several different types of blank pages available in the "Blank Pages" section, and even a title page.  Just download these pages, then run them in Adobe Acrobat like any of the "regular" pages at my website.

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How do I download without AOL, Netscape or Internet Explorer?

To be totally honest, I'm not positive (I'm no internet guru). I don't use Compuserve, but I suspect just clicking on the word "Download" should work. Try right-clicking if left-clicking doesn't work.

A Mac user has reported that after you install Adobe Acrobat, if you just click on "Download", everything is automatic from there on.

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What type of paper should I use to print the pages?

There isn't any "right" answer to this, but I'll give you my opinion. Paper comes in various "weights" - standard letter paper is either 20 lb. or 24 lb. weight. I think you should probably use at least a 70 lb. weight paper for the album pages. If possible, you should also try and find a paper that is "acid free". Most papers contain acids used in their manufacture that can, over 10 or 20 years, damage stamps. This probably isn't worth worrying about if you always use mounts, but could become a problem if you hinge the stamps.

So where do you find an appropriate paper? Paper distributors probably won't be interested unless you plan to buy huge quantities. One alternative is a printing company, something like PIP. They can get a wide variety of papers from the distributors and, for a mark-up naturally, will probably be willing to get you a reasonable quantity of paper. They should also be able to have the paper cut to Scott International or Specialty size for you, if that's what you need. Another source would be an office supply store like Office Depot or Office Warehouse. Either a printer or office supply store should also be able to help you pick between the zillions of brands and weights available. All of the Hammermill line is acid-free, so that's a good choice if you hinge your stamps. For a relatively heavy, stiff paper you might consider a brand Kinko's carries: CASCADE MP Cover (Make: Boise Cascade), which is 65 lb. cardstock (cardstock has a different weight system than paper, just to confuse things) at about $15.00 per pack of 250. It's a beautiful paper and it's acid-free. I've also gotten a good report on Wausau 'Exact Index' 100 lb. weight in white which is acid-free (but the colored versions of this paper are not acid free). You also might want to try a paper available at Business Depot - made by Weyerhaeuser PA, this is 57 lb. card stock, acid-free, and the user who emailed me said it should work well with most inkjet and Laser Printers. Try and get a few sheets of whatever paper you pick as a sample first, however, to make sure it works OK in your printer - the heavier papers can sometimes cause paper jams.

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How to I print on Scott International or Specialty sized paper?

It is possible to print the pages on Scott International or Scott Specialty sized paper using a Cannon Color Bubble Jet printer, model BJC-4550. This may be possible using other printers, but the Cannon BJC-4550 is the only one I can guarantee will work, or provide instructions for. Note: the Cannon BJC-4550 has now been replaced by a newer model, but the general technique for printing on paper larger than 8.5" by 11" is probably about the same for any printer that can handle "oversized" paper.

Using the BJC-4550, you can produce highly professional looking versions of my pages on either International or Specialty sized paper. Of course you'll have to locate a supply of good quality paper in the right size (see my FAQ on paper). You can't just print on blank International or Specialty pages, since my pages already have a built-in border, and this would give you two set of borders on the page. You'll need totally blank paper. It's also a little tricky getting the BJC-4550 set up initially for this type of printing, but here I can help you out. Just click on either International Printing or Specialty Printing for complete instructions. The BJC-4550 is a fairly fast printer for most types of documents; however, the special settings you'll use for printing my pages will slow it down considerably, so that each page will take about 2 minutes to print. This is the only disadvantage to the BJC-4550 that I'm aware of, but it's worth the wait considering the quality of the pages.

If you're wondering about Laser printers, don't!  Lasers that can handle oversized papers are very expensive - many thousands of dollars. Prices are falling, and I may eventually find one that's suitable and not too horribly expensive, but I don't know of one now.

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How about printing on actual Scott Specialty pages?

I haven't actually done this myself, but here's a technique one of my users reported. Sounds like it ought to be fairly easy:

1)  I download and print the pages from your website on regular 8 1/2 X 11 paper.

2)  I go to a Kinkos or some other professional copy location and cut your sheets so there are no borders showing.

3)  I feed in blank Scott Specialty pages to the copier and copy the borderless sheets to these fed in sheets. The product is now on a quality paper type and looks identical to a regularly published Scott Specialty page.

It takes very little time to with a cutter to take off your borders. I have found this process both cheap and fast. Your only costs are the price of taking a copy (5-7cents) and the cost of blank Scott specialty pages.

Sincerely,
Howard Waitzman

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The border prints too high (or is cut off at the top). Help!

This problem should happen rarely, if ever, on a laser printer. So one solution is to use a laser printer if you have access to one. This will be a lot faster and cheaper then printing one an ink-jet printer, too.

Where this problem happens is on some ink-jet printers. A solution that usually works is to set your printer's paper type to "A4" (a size used outside the US), but still use regular 8 1/2 x 11" letter sized paper. In effect you're lying to your printer and telling it the paper is a little taller than it really is, which has the effect of getting the printing positioned better. If your printer lets you define custom paper sizes you can get the positioning even better. I recommend trying something like 210mm x 297mm, then experimenting with small changes to fine tune it.

The same approach (in reverse) would work if the printing is too low on the paper. But in this case you'll probably need a Custom paper option to set something like 8 1/2" by 10 1/2", since you probably won't have a pre-defined size that's only a little less than 11".

There may be a few printers that will cut off some of the border no matter what you do. I deliberately made the borders close to the edges of the page in order to be able to get a reasonable number of stamps on each page - that's why most commercial album makers user larger sized pages; regular letter sized paper presents some significant layout and design problems.

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Text won't print right with my HP 693c printer.

Apparently, there is some sort of weird problem between this printer and Adobe Acrobat when you're printing in "presentation mode". It should work OK as long as you don't use the "presentation mode".

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Can I edit or modify the pages?

No, the pages cannot be edited.

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Who are you, anyway?

My name is William E. Steiner, but I generally answer to Bill. Together with my trusty computer, Mortimer, I've been designing album pages for about 10 years. I'm a serious "geek" - been working with computers longer than Bill Gates. Started writing programs to teach people to recognize the tracks of new sub-atomic particles from bubble-chamber films at the University of Illinois as a "summer job" while still in high school. Told you I was a serious geek. I took an early retirement (at age 47) from my job with Department of Defense as a systems designer/programmer the end of May, 1998, and started this website as sort of a retirement hobby. It's gradually grown into a "real business", but I'm trying to keep prices low enough that everyone that still get affordable album pages. In Spring of 2000 I met the girl of my dreams (Insuk - she's Korean) after figuring I'd be a bachelor my whole life. We've been together ever since and she sometimes helps me with the website. I intend to make getting a complete set of affordable worldwide album pages the "rest of my life's work" - and it may take that long. If you're curious, click here to see what I look like.

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