Hello! Dunno if this was done before (didn't see it here anyway). It's just a small tip to ease up the use of sprmaker for those who still dont trust the front ends and apps. It involves the use of a batch file to automate the pipe proccess.
First. Batch (.bat) files have a bad rep around as holders of viruses and the like. It's always best not to open any received .bat files or check them using the 'edit' function on the right click menu when browsing for it. For those who don't know, a batch file is simply a text file in a different file format with instrucctions to use programs. So if you make a batch file and write iexplore.exe on it, it will open your Internet Explorer when you click on it.
Now on with the little tip wich is aimed at Windows users. So you have your set of sprites, your text file to pipe into sprmaker and the program itself. Normally, you have to open a command prompt or DOS prompt and "drive" all the way to the folder containing all the stuff and then command it to do the job. What if you could just let something else do it? Well you can. Place all the sprites, the text file and sprmaker in the same folder, then open Notepad and type.
sprmaker < charname.txt
Of course, put the name of the text file and any options you would like like crop and the like. Then choose Save as and make sure to select "all files" down in the file type. On the file name, input charname.bat . The name can be anything. Just make sure that you end it in .bat. Save it in the folder the rest of the stuff is. Now you created a simple way to quickly add changes to your .sff without the use of frontends.
We all know that MCM can be time saving but it can destroy your .sff somewhat. So how can we use it's simple display of axes for sprites without breaking our beloved .sff? Simple. Make things like the old times. A text file with sprites and axes to pipe into sprmaker. But also, open up mcm and add sprites on it. Align the sprites as needed on mcm then read and pass the axes to the text file. Close mcm without saving and pipe the text on sprmaker.
Hope this can help someone.