One key feature of Spindle Document Distribution is the ability to place a form 'behind' your document, effectively giving you the benefits of pre-printed stationery even when documents are emailed. Draycir refers to these as Backdrop Forms and they are created using the Spindle Pro Form Creator printer.

Creating a Backdrop form

Create your design in the design software of your choice, such as MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite etc. We recommend where possible using vector images to minimise the page 'weight' (in Kb) while maintaining image quality.

Print the design to the Spindle Pro Form Creator:

The file name of the original document will be suggested as the form name - you can edit this if needed:

The form will show in Spindle Document Distribution Tools>Forms Manager:

Once the form is printed and present in the Forms Manager, save the original (Word/Illustrator etc) file into a safe location so that it may be edited if any details change. The SpindlePro folder in the shared path is a very good candidate (create a new subfolder), as this folder is backed up and moved during server moves.

Importing and exporting forms

The Forms Manager in Spindle Document Distribution Tools allows forms to be exported as a .fmc file. This files cannot be edited. The only action you can take with this file is to import it to another installation of Spindle Document Distribution. This allows you to create the forms on another machine and then deploy them to the customer site.

The form files (.fmc) are compatible with every version of Spindle Document Distribution and Spindle Professional from v2007 to the current release, so you do not need to match the versions when exporting and importing the forms.

Modifying a backdrop form

If a form requires modification, the simplest and best method is to re-open the original file in the original design software, make the changes and then re-print to the Spindle Pro Form Creator. If you have saved the original then this is not a problem.

If the original is no longer available

If the original document is no longer available, you will need to re-create it in the design software of your choice. You can use the following steps to get a PDF copy of the form, which you can use to help re-create the form layout.

Make a Word document that contains nothing but a full stop in light grey is a small font size.

Above: This Word document contains a full stop, in Calibri 2pt font, in 5% grey. The document is at 500% zoom

Print the Word document to Spindle Pro

In the window that opens, choose 

1) Distribution Type = NONE

2) Under Archive set Example PDF Archive

3) Under Backdrop Form, select the form you want to modify


Click OK - you will end up with a PDF of the backdrop form (with a tiny pale grey dot on it) in the folder C:\TestArchive

You may then be able to modify the PDF, or at least use it as the basis for re-building the form backdrop in Word/Illustrator etc

Of course, once you have a form backdrop in a 'source' format, we recommend saving the originals in the SpindlePro folder as above.

Knowledge Base Article Details

Related ProductSpindle Document Distributin & Spindle Professional
Ref NumberKBA-01-01-015
Document Date16/11/2023
Original AuthorVince Hodgson
Document Versionv1.0
Last updated 16/11/2023
Update Author Vince Hodgson