Trial - Certificate Properties

Each certificate has properties that you can configure by selecting the certificate in the Certificate Manager and double-clicking it (or clicking the Configure button). The following window will appear:


Except the Default certificate, each certificate has a Certificate ID which should be unique. You can enter what you want or let HTML Executable create a unique key for you by clicking New Key.

Changing the unique signature will automatically invalidate any older keys that you generated and distributed to your users.

You can forbid the entire access to your publication if the user is not registered (no evaluation is possible): just enable “Do not allow access to the publication without prior registration”. This option is only available for the Default certificate. It always displays a nag screen called the “Unlock screen” at startup; this dialog box (that you can customize according to your needs, see below) allows users to enter their key and unlock the publication.

Expiration Features

Certificates can expire: you can specify the number of days or allowed runs for the evaluation period (the certificate will work during this period and it will stop working after that).

  • For the default certificate which is designed for trial purposes, the evaluation period starts when the publication is run for the first time by the end user.

  • For other certificates, the evaluation period starts when the end user enters a key.

You can either create X-day trial periods or X-use ones. Just select the expiration mode you want using the list: “days” or “runs”. Note that changing the expiration mode may require you to reset trial information on your system (on the Publication Output tab, Output Settings, select Reset Settings).

For the number of runs, do not forget that the first run actually counts! If you wish to give 5 additional runs to the user after the first run, then enter 6 runs instead of 5.

Warning: avoid using expiration features for a portable publication. In fact, portable publications store their settings on the USB disk. Consequently, trial settings are saved on the disk too: an end user could easily reset his trial period by removing the settings files. For portable publications, you should forbid the entire access as explained above or use Security Profiles to partially lock your publication.

When the default certificate has expired, end users cannot access to the publication anymore. They have to enter a key to upgrade to another certificate than the default one.

When a certificate other than the default one has expired, it can optionally revert to the default certificate: to allow this behavior, enable the “Revert to the default certificate if expired” option. Otherwise end users cannot access to the publication anymore.

When a certificate has expired, the nag screen (if enabled) will display an error message: you can change this error message or let HTML Executable use the default one. If the nag screen is not enabled, a standard message box will appear. Then the publication exits.

Nag screen or unlock screen at startup

nag screen

The nag screen invites your end users to register the publication (i.e. pay the registration fee to you). It can also let them enter their key and activate the publication, go to the online purchase page or evaluate your publication. You can enable or disable it thanks to the “Show the nag screen at startup” option:

  • Never: the nag screen is never displayed. This is not recommended if your certificate has an expiration date; however use this choice for registered versions as you should never display a nag screen in a registered version of your publication.

  • Only if certificate expired: the nag screen will pop up only if the certificate expired. In this case, it allows end users to enter a key to upgrade to another certificate. However if the certificate is still active, then the nag screen is not displayed.

  • Always: the nag screen is always displayed at startup. Recommended for the default certificate only.

You need to specify a URL to your online order page where end users may place their order to get the registration key. In the nag screen, end users can click the “Purchase Online” button which will open this URL.

If you do not want to show the nag screen at startup, you can still add a menu command to your ebook that can invoke it. The option named Add “Unlock the program” menu command is available for this reason. End users will be able to choose “Help / Unlock the program” in the menu of your ebook.

The nag screen can be completely customized thanks to the Dialog Boxes feature. Please note that you have two possible dialog boxes: nag screen and unlock screen. The unlock screen is used only if you enable the “Do not allow access to the publication without prior registration” option.

If you customize the HTML code of the nag screen, do not remove the code that defines existing fields like Name or Organization. For instance, if you do not want to show an Organization field in the nag screen, add a display:none style option to the INPUT tag.

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