If you’d like to reach us, feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or come stop by Houchen Bindery.

We’re glad you came here where you can get in touch with us and we can help answer your questions. Make sure to check out our FAQs, where we may have already answered your question. If you’d like to reach us, feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or come stop by Houchen Bindery.

General Support

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I order from Houchen Bindery Ltd.?
Ordering from Houchen Bindery can be as simple as a few clicks. We offer our online book builder for our On Demand Printing theses and manuscript customers, and order forms for all of our other binding services.

After clicking “Order” from the top menu, browse through the guidelines, instructions and information about our specific services to learn about order preparations and how to order from Houchen Bindery.

All order forms are found on the right side of the “Order” page. Download the appropriate form(s), complete and print them, then send them to us along with any materials required for binding (double check Order Instructions before sending materials).

Can I get a quote for my project before ordering?
Of course you can! Feel free to use our Quote forms for hard and soft cover books. If you’d like a quote for another one of our services, please contact us by phone, email, or through our contact forms.

On Demand Printing

Frequently Asked Questions

What needs to be done to my manuscript before sending it to print?
  • Must be a PDF document.
  • Only one PDF document will be accepted, up to 50mb in size.
  • Must be ready to print, as is. We will not alter your document for you.
  • All pages must be either 8.5″x11.5″, in either a landscape (wider) or portrait (taller) orientation. The document must be the same size and orientation as selected when ordering your book.
  • DOUBLE-SIDED PRINTING: If wanting page numbers, the number must be included in the document if you want them printed in the book. We will not add them for you. We recommend having them centered.
  • If you require a paper stock other than what we provide, please contact us. You can then either send us the paper stock for us to print on or send us the printed pages on the paper stock you want.
  • If you have signature pages that need to be inserted within the book, please indicate that as a special instruction of the order.
Can I have a logo on the cover?
We do offer die stamping but not through our online store. Due to the cost of producing a die the price can double the amount of the order. If you require a die stamp please contact us for pricing.
What cover colors do you offer?
We have a variety of F grade buckram cloth cover colors available for you to choose from. Visit Buckram Cloth to view your options.
Can I navigate through the ODP sections?
Yes! There are two ways you can go back and forth between the sections of the On Demand Printing form.

  1. On the bottom of the form are buttons that allow you to do this: Previous, Next, and Back to The Last Page.
  2. On the top of the form are listed the name of each section you can navigate through. Note: You have to enter information in a section to go directly to it.

NOTE: Using the traditional website browser back button or F5 will delete all information entered into the form.


Frequently Asked Questions


What (specific) version of ABLE 7.0 am I running?

There are actually two ways you can find this out: on the login screen, the version number is displayed (e.g., ABLE Library 7.0), or by choosing About ABLE from the Help menu, the version number should be displayed in the resulting dialog box (e.g., ABLE Library 7.0).

What ports are required to be allowed in our company firewall to access ABLE?

If you are having trouble connecting to HFGroup NE ABLE server, you may need your IT department to allow TCP 80 and TCP 9000.  


Title Composition

How do I create variable prompts in the title composition screen's title text area (e.g., a title prompt)?

Specifying text in the title composition’s title text area as ‘variable’ text in ABLE 7.0  you hit the F8 key and the text will be blue variable (non stamping).  To revert to black text (that does stamp) hit the F5 key.

How do I search for a list of records?

In ABLE 7.0, if you want to be able to do a quick search to retrieve a list of records, you need the Key field to be in Title Text, Enter an A, and hit Enter, you will see a list of all your A titles.  Or you can enter AM, and see a list of all titles beginning with AM. 


Catalog System

How come when I choose Alt-Z, the ZLink window doesn't come up?
One (simple) possibility is that the catalog system is not enabled. Make sure that Setup: User Parameters: Enable Catalog System is selected (i.e., with a check next to it).

Another (not so simple) possibility is that a certain file cannot be found, one that is needed to display the ZLink window. To see if this is the case, type the following at an MS-DOS command prompt:

set | more

You should see a line similar to the following (but maybe not exactly like it):


If your line doesn’t include these three files




then you need to edit your c:\autoexec.bat file and let us know at But, to do this, open c:\autoexec.bat for editing (e.g., with Notepad), and find the line that looks like


(where … is some text).

Change this line to

set CLASSPATH=c:\swing\swing.jar;c:\swing\windows.jar;c:\swing\zlink.jar

apply the changes, and then restart your machine.

Note: We have had some reports where the win command was present in the c:\autoexec.bat file; in particular, occurring before the set CLASSPATH command. Note that the win command is not necessary for Windows 95, 98, or NT, but if you still want to include in this file, make sure it appears after the set CLASSPATH command.

I want to connect with a Z39.50 server to import MARC data, but I don't know what information to fill in for a new database in the ZLink window.
After choosing Add from the Database menu (in the ZLink) window, you’re prompted for four parameters:

Pretty Name

Pretty Name can be any name that you want to refer to this database as. Host can be the domain name (or IP address) of the Z39.50 server that you want to connect with. Port is the port number used with the host specified, and Database is the name of the database to search over with the host specified.

For example, for testing, you can try the Library of Congress LC Voyager Z39.50 test server, which means you would enter the following parameters for a new database (with Pretty Name set to any name you want):

Port 7090
Database Voyager

(You also have the option of entering the IP address for Host if you prefer.) The above data was obtained at

A good resource for finding other Z39.50 servers to connect with can be found at (this is like an A to Z compilation).

Why do I get an error message when trying to connect to a database?
There could be many reasons for this, but in order, check the following:

Are the Parameters Entered for the Database Correct?

Make sure the data you entered when creating the database in the ZLink window is correct. You could try the most recent Library of Congress test server to see if this is the problem (see ZLink Databases).

Is the Machine Connected to the Internet?

Make sure that you establish an Internet connection before attempting to use ZLink (ZLink will not attempt to make this initial connection for you). You could check that you are ‘online’ by using your web browser to check out a remote web site, e.g.,

Is it a Domain Name Server (DNS) Problem?

If you entered a domain name for Host when specifying the database, make sure your DNS isn’t causing problems. You can avoid DNS services by specifying the IP address instead of the domain name (e.g., versus

Is the Host Alive?

It’s possible that the host may be down. In order to see if this is the case, type the following at an MS-DOS prompt:

ping -n 3 hostaddress

(where hostaddress is the domain name or IP address of the host you’re trying to connect to). If the host is alive and routing is correct, you should see something like the listing below (the result of pinging IP address

Pinging with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=80ms TTL=47

Reply from bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=47

Reply from bytes=32 time=71ms TTL=47

Is the Port Number Correct?

It’s also possible that you have the incorrect port number specified in the database entry you created in the ZLink window. To see if anybody is even listening at that port, launch telnet, and choose Remote System… from the Connect menu. Enter the following parameters:

Host Name hostaddress
Port portnumber
Term Type ansi

(where hostaddress is the host you’re trying to connect with, with port number portnumber). If the port number is correct, you should be able to connect (in which case, you can choose Disconnectfrom the Connect menu).

Why Still Can’t I Connect?

At this point, you should contact us at!

Why is it that when I import MARC data using ZLink, the results I get aren't what I expected?
The processing of MARC data goes through several stages before it actually appears in the title composition screen, and it is important to understand the order of these operations.

Phase I

As stated in the File Maintenance reference guide, operations are done in the following order (see further below for post-Phase I release information):

  1. MARC field is placed into ABLE field according to Editing parameter (e.g., Insert); If the MARC field is unavailable, the ABLE field is used as it is.
  2. Any truncation is then performed on field resulting from (1).
  3. Any uppercase conversion is performed on above result from (2).
  4. Any substitution (of spaces) is performed on above result from (3).

This gives (4) as the final result. So, depending upon which data is actually imported and how you have your catalog system mapping table set up, you may get results you didn’t expect. A few examples follow below (for insertion editing, truncating on spaces).

Example 1

ABLE Call field: DEF

MARC data: ABC 123

Step 1 (Editing): ABC 123DEF

Step 2 (Truncation): ABC

Result: ABC

Example 2

ABLEä Call field: DEF

MARC data: ABC-123

Step 1 (Editing): ABC-123DEF

Step 2 (Truncation): ABC-123DEF

Result: ABC-123DEF

Phase II (and Beyond)

But, the above only applies to Phase I. In Phase I, the order of operations has been changed to:

  1. The MARC field is obtained (if unavailable, an empty string is used).
  2. Any truncation is then performed on field resulting from (1).
  3. Any uppercase conversion is performed on above result from (2).
  4. Any substitution (of spaces) is performed on above result from (3).
  5. Result from (4) is placed into ABLE field according to Editing parameter (e.g., Insert).

The examples now become as shown below (with insertion editing, and truncating on spaces).

Example 1

ABLE Call field: DEF

MARC data: ABC 123

Step 1 (Extraction): ABC 123

Step 2 (Truncation): ABC

Step 5 (Editing): ABCDEF

Result: ABCDEF

Example 2

ABLE Call field: DEF

MARC data: ABC-123

Step 1 (Extraction): ABC-123

Step 2 (Truncation): ABC-123

Step 5 (Editing): ABC-123DEF

Result: ABC-123DEF

Help System

Why do tooltips appear when the mouse is over a label (e.g., next to a text field), but not when over the text field itself?

This is simply by design.