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February 19, 2007

Printing Envelopes in OpenOffice.org Writer (Repost)


(Originally posted December 2, 2005)

I get a lot of questions about envelopes. A lot. I wrote an article for TechTarget.com about how to do envelopes in OpenOffice.org 2.0.

I included some templates there; here are the same envelope templates for OpenOffice.org 2.0.

The article is long and detailed. Here are the key points.

  • You need to get to know your printer and let it know to expect envelope shapes, not letter or A4 shapes.

  • You also need to fiddle around for a while and figure out where--left, right, perpendicular, parallel--in the tray your printer expects envelopes. Buy a box of cheap envelopes and expect to waste a few while you experiment.

  • Then make sure that your envelope document is set up to print to the envelope size your printer is expecting. Envelope 10 is good.

  • You can type in your data for the envelope or use a data source. My article goes over both.
  • The simplest way is to just choose File > New > Envelope, then Format > Page Size and instead of Letter or A4, choose Envelope 10 and change the orientation to landscape.  Then either with standard margin formatting or with frames, put the text where you want.
  • As another way to create the envelope document, you can also choose Insert > Envelope, and use the three-tabbed window that appears.
  • Print the envelopes separately from your letter or other document that goes with the envelope. It complicates things too much with the paper size that the printer expects.

Then just print the envelope. (If you're using data sources, click Yes in the dialog box that appears asking if you want to print a form letter.)

The next time you want envelopes, just use that same document you already created, and change the addresses. Either save the document in myimportantdocuments\envelopes, or if you're a template kind of person, make it a template. (File > Templates > Save, select a category and name the template, then choose File > New > Templates and Documents and pick your envelope template.

Note: Doing it in 2.0 is quite similar to how to do it in OpenOffice.org 1.1. Here are my posts how to do that; they're excerpted from my OpenOffice.org workbooks.

Tip on Printer Setup

Some of the pain of envelopes is the printer setup. Here's a GREAT tip from Miriam:
"I just read your envelope printing tip. Instead of constantly changing and checking the printer settings, I add another instance of the printer, configure it for envelopes and name it "envelope." When I want to print an envelope I choose this printer instead of the default one. That way my settings are always the same."

Envelope Mantra
Here's the other main point I want to make sure everyone understands.

Envelopes aren't too bad once you figure out how to do it the first time. Honest.

I hope the article helps.



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Well, Thanks for the pointers BUT....
OO 2.1 in writer NEW has no option for envelope/s. None.

Hi Al,

There has never been a File > New > Envelope option; I agree that that would be more logical but that's not how you create an envelope. Choose Insert > Envelope.

You can choose File > New > Text Document and then choose Format > Page and specify Envelope as the page size.


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