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Help working with your e-mailed patterns from Patterns...Your Way!™

Note: The following sections deal with PDF file attachments of purchased patterns that were e-mailed.  If you a subscriber to our Monthly Patterns Series needing help downloading the patterns, go to the very bottom of this page.

Downloading your pattern’s PDF file attachment

Your pattern was sent to you as an Acrobat PDF file and attached to our e-mail letter to you as a “file attachment”.  When you signon to "read" your e-mail, be sure you have made a clean connection and that no one picks up a phone extension during your session which is the primary cause of file corruption during the download.

IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE YOUR PATTERN ORDER IN YOUR E-MAIL, be sure you have not set your e-mail service or program to block (or filter) all e-mail letters with files attached.  (AOL, for example, allows you to set up your account's preferences to prevent the receipt of e-mail letters with file attachments.)  You will not receive your order if your mail service is set to block file attachments since your patterns are in a PDF file attachment!  Additionally, many "Junk Mail" or "Spam" filters that are poorly written will filter out all e-mail with legitimate file attachments.  If you, or your ISP, use "Junk Mail" or "Spam" filters, be sure they work properly and are not the cause of your problem.

Also be sure your ISP account is capable of receiving a file attachment possibly as large as 750Kb.  Most orders have file sizes in range of 200K - 300K, but some large orders, or orders for the previous pattern bundles, can be as large as 750K.  Hence, if ordering a large file, be sure to read all your e-mail to clear your mailbox before ordering.  If your mailbox is "over quota", your order will be returned to us.

YOU MUST HAVE ACROBAT READER INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER TO USE PDF FILES! Acrobat Reader is a free utility that is pre-installed on all brand name computers. If you do not have it, you can get it by clicking the "Get Acrobat" link in the left menu.

Special note for ISP's with 'Spam Blocker' programs, like Earthlink: Generally, these ill-conceived programs merely block spam by blocking most e-mail addresses not listed as OK by you, particularly if a file attachment is included.  If you have Earthlink, or similar ISP, and use this type of program, you will have to add our e-mail address ()
to your list of acceptable addresses in order to receive your pattern order.  If mail is returned from your mailbox, we merely mark order as having an INVALID ADDRESS and hence can not send your order, nor can we reply to any letters from you.  If refused by your ISP, WE CAN NOT RESPOND to requests on returned e-mail asking us to write a note and click a link that sends a request you to unblock our address.  No refunds are made for such orders that can not be delivered to the e-mail address you provide.

We send the e-mail letters using Eudora.  The file attachment is encoded by Eudora as MIME -- the standard for sending file attachments over the internet.  It is your responsibility to be using a MIME compliant e-mail program for reading your e-mail -- AOL, CompuServe, Outlook Express, Eudora, Apple's Mail for System X, and Netscape are all MIME compliant e-mail programs.  Otherwise the file attachment will show as lots of strange looking text WITHIN the letter at the letter's end, or may not show at all.

e-Mail 101 (e-mail Mailbox Account Basics)

Most inexpensive monthly fee ISP (Internet Service Provider) dialup accounts provide POP accounts that send you the file attachment immediately when it sends you your e-mail.  On POP mailboxes, you usually get just one chance to get your e-mail letters.  After the POP server sends it to you, the mail is gone.  Your e-mail client (the program you use to read mail) may also be set to receive just a part of the full file attachment.  If this is the case, when you attempt to move the file from your e-mail letter to your desktop as described below, the program will need to signon again to "fetch" the remainder of the file. (The remainder is still on the server until it all has been sent to you.)

Another type of mail account is an IMAP account -- in this case, your mail stays on the server until you (or your e-mail client program) tells the IMAP account to discard old mail.  File attachments also are sent to your computer immediately when you read mail.  But, with an IMAP mailbox you can ask that e-mail be sent again -- see instructions that came from your ISP when you opened your account.

The more expensive services, like America Online, actually keep all mail on their servers for up to several weeks and often you can re-download file attachments a month or so later.  (You get what you pay for!)  For these services, you set when it downloads the file attachments in the programs preferences. For AOL, each e-mail letter has a "Download Now" button to start the file attachment's downloading from their server.  If you need to download the file again, just go to your "Read Mail" tab, open our e-mail letter again, and again just click the Download Now button.

Getting the file attachment onto your computer's desktop

Before, trying to open the file attachment, you should first get it on your computer’s desktop.  For POP and IMAP mailbox accounts, don’t try to open it while it is still inside your e-mail client program because it is often compressed and unusable while there.  Here are some typical methods of finding it and moving it to your desktop (that is, your computer's desktop which is part of your computer's internal hard drive):

How do I find the file attachment?
Most e-mail programs display a “paperclip” icon to show that a file is attached to this e-mail letter. If the file’s icon is not showing, click on the “paperclip” icon. Doing so usually will then display the icon of the file attachment. If you are using AOL software, clicking the Attachments tab on the opened e-mail letter will show the file.  Unlike common graphic file attachments like .gif, .jpg, .bmp, PDF files will show as a file attachment ONLY if Acrobat Reader is installed on your computer.

Outlook Express says "Outlook Express removed access to the following unsafe attachments in your mail:  file_name.pdf."
Partly because Outlook Express is the favorite target for virus creators, it compensates for this by offering an overzealous approach to providing security:  namely blocking all "suspect" file attachments (the main source of viruses).  Valid PDF files are incapable of carrying any viruses or other damaging bugs.  Rather than verify that the file attachment is a true PDF file, Outlook Express has a filter that merely warns you that ANY file attachment it does not recognize as safe could possibly be malicious, and when this filter option is checked, it prevents you from opening ALL such file attachments, including valid PDF files.  Basically, it is a safeguard designed for new users who might be incapable of making good judgments on what to open and what to toss.  Here's how to disable this filter:
  1)  Open your Outlook Express and open the Inbox.
  2)  In the Inbox's menu bar:  from the "Tools" menu, choose "Options"
  3)  A dialog window will open with many folder tabs.  Click the "Security" tab.
  4)  UNCHECK the box for "Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened
        that could potentially be a virus."
  5)  At bottom of this dialog window, click the APPLY button, then click OK.
You will now be able to open, move, or save the PDF file we sent you.

How do I move the file attachment to my desktop?
On most newer computers, and all Macs, you can just DRAG the file’s icon to your desktop, and bingo, it’s there.  If this action does not move it on your computer, right-click the file’s icon and choose in the dialog box that opens “Save Target As”, or “Save to Disk”, and choose your Desktop as the location you want to save the file to.  For AOL, just click the Download Now button in the opened e-mail letter and choose your desktop as location for where AOL will put it.  (If you don’t choose your desktop, AOL by default puts it in a folder called Downloads which is inside the main AOL folder on your hard drive (which is usually inside the Programs or Applications folder.)

Opening your pattern's PDF file with Acrobat Reader

Great.  It’s on the desktop.  How do I see my patterns?
If you already have Acrobat Reader installed on your computer and the icon has the Acrobat logo on it, just double-click the file.  Acrobat Reader will start up and your patterns will show.  If the icon did NOT have the Acrobat logo on it (i.e. it is a blank or generic icon), then first startup Acrobat Reader, then go to its File menu and choose Open.  Locate the file (it should be on your Desktop), select it, then click Open.  Bingo!  If you don't have the free Acrobat Reader utility installed on your computer, or you have a very old version (you need version 3.1 or newer to open our files), click the Get Acrobat Reader button in the left menu. (It's the square yellow button in the left menu.)

It asks me for a password.  What is my password?  (Purchased patterns ONLY.  Monthly Subscription Patterns are NOT password protected.)
The answer is simple:  read the e-mail letter we sent you.  It tells you how to enter your password (which is the credit card you used to purchase the pattern).  Enter the credit card & expiration date in EXACTLY the following format, using ALL UPPERCASE LETTERS and including the dashes as shown in our letter to you and below. ( x=credit card numbers, mm=month and yy=year of expiration date:  example of Exp.Date for Jan'02:  'EXP01-02' )
        Example of full password:  4444-5555-6666-7777EXP03-06

If you continue to have problems opening the PDF file with your assigned password, be sure you are carefully following these instructions:

1) Be sure you are including the dashes, i.e. the minus sign (-), between your credit card's digits as shown in the letter. Visa, MC, and Discover cards require dashes between EACH 4 digits (xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx). American Express cards require the dashes in this order: xxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxx. This should be the normal spacing of numbers as embossed on your credit card. Visa,MC,Discover have a total of 16 numeric digits; Amer.Express have 15 digits.

2) Immediately following the credit card digits (with no additional spacing), enter these 3-letters in UPPERCASE: EXP .  Acrobat is case-sensitive and if you enter ANY lowercase letters or spaces, it will treat such entries as invalid.

3) Next enter your expiration date in format: mm-yy where mm=the month shown as two digits (i.e. for January, 01), separated by another dash (-), and yy=year shown again as two digits (i.e. 03 for 2003).  Do NOT enter the day if shown on your credit card (i.e. 31 for Jan.31st).

We test each pattern file before sending it to you so that we are certain the password is correctly set for your order.  Occassionally, a file attachment can become corrupted when you download it.  This happens most often if you have less than clear phone lines, someone picks up a phone extension during the download, etc.  If this happens, write us and we will resend you the file.

Why password the file anyway?  (Purchased patterns only.)
Patterns...Your Way! is a co-op of stained glass artists who have worked hard to make their artwork available for your use.  If the file was not password protected, some folks think it is OK to send the file to friends -- in short, robbing the artist of the royalty they earn each time one of their designs is sold.  We use your credit card because we are certain you wouldn’t give it to robbers, or even your best friend for that matter.

PRINTING your patterns from the Acrobat PDF file

Before printing, you should check these settings:

1) Preferences in Acrobat Reader: Uncheck the “Display page to Edge” box
Having this option selected will cause the printed areas to extend beyond the correct line edges where you will tape the pages together.  This may cause you confusion on how to match up the pages for taping.

2) Printer’s Page Setup must be set to 100% (Scaling) and a true 'Letter Size' (8.5x11).

If your final size of the pattern is a fixed percent of the ordered size, the solution will be found in one of these more detailed tips:

a) PAPER SIZE: Many printers come with a default page setup (i.e. Mac postscript printers) set to 'Small Letter' size which reduces the printing area to 90-95% of full size.  This is done to increase the page's margin size. If your printer has this as the page setup default, before printing the opened PDF file, you must first do a Page Setup (Print Setup, Properties) under the File menu to specify 'US Letter' or 'Full Letter' size as the page size.  Otherwise all pages will be printed at approx. 90-95%, depending on the make & model of your printer.

b) FOR POSTSCRIPT PRINTERS ONLY: Some PostScript printers come with 'PostScript Options' on the page setup (i.e. Mac LaserWriter printers). If your printer has this option on the Page Setup (Print Setup, Properties) page, be sure an option called 'Precision Bitmap Alignment' is NOT SELECTED.  Otherwise all pages will be printed at approx. 95-97%, depending on the make & model of your printer.

c) SCALING: Some printers have a scale to percent print option. If your printer lets you print at various percents of full-size, be sure this option is set to 100%. On PC's, this option is called 'Scaling' and is in Print Setup / Properties under the Graphics tab if your printer has this option.

d) MARGINS (Unprintable Area...): Acrobat Reader's default margins are 0.42 inch on the sides, and 0.43 inch on the top/bottom. IF YOUR PRINTER IS SET TO LARGER MARGINS (Unprintable Area...), REDUCE THEM TO NO MORE THAN THESE SIZES. On PC's, you can specify margins for your printer in Print Setup / Properties, then click Unprintable Area (button on the Paper tab page). If your settings are less than or equal to the values above (0.42, 0.43), leave them unchanged. If your choices on the Paper tab page offer only check boxes for 'Centered' or 'Maximum Area', check the box next to 'Maximum Area'.

e) FIT TO SIZE (or SHRINK TO FIT) OPTION: Some printers have a 'Fit to Size' or 'Shrink to Fit' option. This option is usually available only if your margins are set to more than the document's margins as created, or your Page Setup (Print Setup) is set to less than a full LETTER size. If you see this option, be sure it is NOT selected since it will reduce the size of the page, and hence, reduce the overall pattern's size.  If you printer's minimum margin requirements are greater than 0.42 inch, by not selecting this option the final pattern will be correct size, but you will be missing a tiny portion of the lines normally printed along each page's edges.  To avoid this, read again and follow step d) above.

Other printing problems:

Printer Memory or Computer RAM memory related problems

Acrobat Reader is a fairly memory intensive utility. That means it needs LOTS of memory in your printer to print the pages in the PDF file we sent you. If your computer is slim on memory (i.e. less than 256Mb of internal RAM) and/or your printer does not have its own auxillary memory (most come with a rather small amount built in, particularly printers costing less than $100), here's how to avoid those "There was an error processing a page....", "PostScript error...", and other print errors: Instead of asking your printer to print the entire file (which may be made up of many pages), ask it to print just a few pages at a time.  For example, if you get a PDF file that has 12 pages, ask your printer to just print pages 1 through 3 as a single print request.  Then when done, ask it to print pages 4 through 6, etc.  This usually solves printer memory problems. (Note: In rare situations or when using a very old computer, you may have to ask it to print just a single page for each print request.)

Detailed Instructions -- How to Login to your Account and Download the Monthly Patterns

The following applies ONLY to subscribers who have purchased a Monthly Patterns Series subscription, and are logging in to their account.

Note:  You must login again each time to access the patterns.  Bookmarked
             or saved pages from previous download sessions will not work!

Important:  Your browser must have JAVA ENABLED and FILE DOWNLOAD
             OPTION ENABLED
. (IE: Tools / Internet Options / Security / Internet).
             If you have Internet Explorer's Security Custom Level set to "High",
             you will not be able to download files.  Set it to "Medium".

To Login to Your Subscription's Account for downloading the patterns: 

1) Click the "Subscribers Only Login" button in the left menu above.
A new browser page will open with boxes for you to enter your information.

2) Enter your login phrase made up from your e-mail address & password:
Your login phrase is made up of the left side of your e-mail address, then a
       slash, then the first word of the right side of your e-mail address, then a
       slash, then your password.  (Do not use the @, any periods, underscores,
       or spaces that may be in the left side of your e-mail address.)
   For example:
     If e-mail address is "" and password is "2258",
        then your login phrase would be:      mrobb
/hamilton/2258    Note that the
        period (.) was dropped from "m.robb", and that slashes (
/ ) separate the
        three parts of the login phrase.

   More examples, all with "2258" as the password:
                 e-mail address                                        Login Phrase              

  Your account's current password was shown in the letter we e-mailed to you
      announcing the new pattern for this month.  Initially it was set to a 4 digit
      number.  You can change it to something easy to remember -- 4 to 8 letters
      and/or numbers.  If you can't remember it, follow the instructions on the
      login page to have it e-mailed to the e-mail address listed for your account.

3) Go to the Subscription Options Page:
Once you have logged in, you'll go to the Subscription Options Menu page
     where you can choose from these options:
     a)  Go to page to download the CURRENT month's pattern,
     b)  Go to page to download the PREVIOUS month's pattern,
     c)  Change (update) your e-mail address for your subscription, or,
     d)  Change the login password for your subscription.

If you get an error page when you attempt to login, clear your browser's cache
     and login again. Some browsers hold old error pages in your computer's
     internal cache (temporary internet files) for up to 9 days, and load that old
     error page instead of loading current web page from server. Clearing your
     browser's cache files regularly will prevent these kind of errors. This can
     most often occur when using Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.

DO NOT BOOKMARK PAGES after you have logged in -- those pages
     exist only for each session.  You must login again each month to gain
     access to the pattern download pages. Otherwise, you'll get a "Page Has
     Expired" error because the bookmarked page no longer exists.

To download the current or previous month's pattern: 

1) Click the button to go to page for either the current or previous pattern
-- either of the first two buttons on the Subscription Options Menu page.

2) You'll be taken to page where you can download the pattern.
     Right-click the pattern image as shown by the arrow at top of page.
If you are new to downloading files from a web site, read the more detailed
  instructions shown here.

Step 1:  Right-Click the pattern's picture
  PC: Using mouse, right-click on the pattern's picture.
  MAC SysX: Control-click on the pattern's picture.
  MAC Sys9:
Click and hold mouse button on the pattern's picture.

Step 2:  Select download options and location for download.
  Netscape:                Choose option "Save This Link as.."
  AOL:                          Choose " Download Link to.."
  Internet Explorer:   Choose "Save Target as..".
  Be sure you choose the option with the word LINK (or TARGET) in it, and not the word IMAGE in it -- otherwise you will download just the tiny thumbnail picture (image) that you are clicking and not the pattern's PDF file which is located by the "link" or "target".

Step 3:  Specify where to save the file. (Note: Some browsers don't ask for this option, but instead automatically save the file to the location specified in the browser's Preferences.)  We suggest you choose "Desktop" so you can easily find the file when downloaded.  If the "Desktop" location doesn't show in the dialog box, slide the scroll bar on right side of window up until it shows, then select it.  Otherwise, you'll be searching for where the file was put. If offered these format choices, choose "SOURCE" or "RAW DATA" rather than "TEXT".

Step 4:  Open the downloaded file. To open the saved file, just double-click the downloaded file if it has the Acrobat icon on it. If it shows as a "generic" file (blank icon), instead of double-clicking it, first start up Acrobat Reader, then go to file menu, choose Open, and locate the downloaded file, select it, and then click the Open button.

Need help on using Adobe Acrobat Reader or PRINTING patterns in the PDF files?
You'll find answers by going to the top of this page and reading entire page.  

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