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About PAD

What is PAD?

PAD is the Portable Application Description, that helps the software authors provide product descriptions and specifications to online sources in a standard way, using a standard data format that will allow webmasters and program librarians to automate program listings. PAD saves time for both authors and webmasters. More information can be found on asp-shareware.org site.

In order to use the advantages of PAD, you should produce a PAD file in XML format for each software. Please refer to the latest version of PAD specification and pay your attention on strings format and strings length to create PAD files that are compatible with PAD enabled web sites.

To produce your PAD files in a simple way, you may use free PADGen tool. Then, you can submit your software only by entering the PAD file URL to the most of software download sites.

Accepted PAD Files

Your PAD files should be compatible with PAD specification version 2.0 or higher having included the <Program_Category_Class> field (older versions did not specify the category listing within PAD files). For creation of valid PAD files please use the freeware PADGen with version number 2.0 or higher (the current version is 3.x) that fully supports this format.

The following fields in PAD file are required:


The following fields in PAD file are optional:


PAD Creation Tips

  • Do NOT specify the software version in PAD file name! When updating your software product on the web you will have to update the existing PAD file and NOT to create a new one!
  • Provide your valid email address in Contact Email Address field to be able to receive PAD polling error reports, update and review notices etc.
  • Do NOT specify the software version in Title field (e.g. "your-software-name v.2.01", "your-software-name 2.01", etc.) but ONLY in Version field of your PAD!
  • Do NOT include the license information in your software name (e.g. "your-software-name single user license", "your-software-name 25 users license", etc.)!
  • Specify the same software name in PAD file as provided on your web site! Do NOT add any descriptions and/or any other unwanted information in Title field!
  • Do NOT include the software name and/or any other unwanted information in Company field - this will only prevent to search the software by company name!
  • The Screenshot URL must take DIRECTLY to an image file and NOT to screenshots page on your web site!
  • The Icon URL must take to an image in a web-supported format (GIF, JPG or PNG, NOT in ICO format!) having size 32x32 pixels!
  • The Download URL must take DIRECTLY to the program file and NOT to download page on your web site!
  • Affiliates PAD extension is intended ONLY for suggesting the affiliate partnership for your software product at download sites, so if you do NOT support affiliate partnership via current payments service, do NOT fill the appropriate field but leave it empty!
  • To change the PAD file URL just set the PAD XML File field of the old PAD file taking to the new PAD file location so that on the next polling round our script could pick it up automatically.

Useful Links

  • PADGen - Free software to generate PAD files.
  • PAD FAQ - Frequently asked questions about PAD format and useful tips on creating PAD files.
  • PAD Specification - The official specification for PAD format.
  • Online PAD Validator - validate your PAD file against the official PAD specification and fix all reported errors before submitting it to download sites.
  • PAD Repository - Submit your PAD URL to this free repository referred by many download sites to pick up new listings for their databases.
  • PAD Supporting Archives - List of PAD supporting download sites to submit your PAD.

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