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November 10, 2008


Nice article, but why not to use text fields for both addresses? I think Enter should be used solely to end paragraphs and not for template formatting. Yes, if I want to write a quick note, enters are fine, but for templates? Moreover, a text field could contain a hint text like "Type the posting address here" so that the template could be given to someone else. And text fields can be moved freely without bothering with text lines grid.

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Good article: I can tell because that's exactly how I (finally) fiuured out how to do envelopes too! Funny how we like things that agree with us.

Seriously, I am happy to see the fonfirmation of the process. I only make the templates as I need them so I haven't done them all, but it does wokr well.

A comment:
The normal printer driver will usually tell you which way to insert the envelope. Pretend you're going to print an envelope until you get to that part, then back out of it. Mine is long way, centered which presents a few extra problems but this same process will work fine for it, just a little extra positioning to do.
For testing, it's handy to first just print on a standard sheet of paper to see how the positioning comes out. I put a border on th eenvelope so it's easy to see just where it is. When it looks right, pull the border off and try it with a real envelope. I'm cheap & paper's cheaper than envelopes.

Thanks for the article!

I must admit I was disappointed when I did not find an option for 'Envelopes and Labels' under Tools, like I was accustomed to using in Word 97.
I did find the 'Insert' -- 'Envelope' approach by using Help, and that worked well with a little experimentation for printing, as your process explained also.
I guess I'll have to learn to live without the ability to insert a postal bar code for the address, eh?

Hi Frank,

Envelopes/labels aren't really OOo's strong suit, though you can do them. There's a way to do bar codes but it looked so complicated I haven't tried to figure it out yet.

If you have access to Linux, try Glabels which is a beautiful combination of simple and powerful.

Hi Tomas,

Text boxes are a level up in complexity, and I wanted to just have a very simple approach. Also with frames, a better type of text box, it can be a little confusing whether you're clicking on the box to move it or type in it. You have to click outside, then inside again, to clarify you want to edit rather than move.

Using text boxes or frames is fine, just depends on what you want to do and what your users can handle more easily. You could also include a note (Insert > Note) with plain text to give a hint.

I found this article incredibly easy to understand and use. I have been trying to use the envelope function since 2.0, but have gotten very frustrated with the process. Now, I have a clear understanding and will be able to use the envelope function tremendously.

Thank you very much on the well-written article that explains the function to everyday users of OOo

Thanks again

Great article! Envelopes have bugged me for three years. I have a MacBook Pro running Leopard 10.5.5 so my Print Options are a little different --- never did find an option for Envelope under Printer Setup Options or in the Print dialog box itself, but it turns out I didn't need it; the envelope printed perfectly the first time!

Now if we can just get bar codes . . .

Yours appears to be one of the better tips on envelopes out there, and I see it cited several times on the OOo web forums. I'm still not even close. I've thought of even re-installing Word '97 just to do envelopes. Egad!

When envelope after envelope comes out completely blank, I've been printing on paper to see where the printer wants to put the addresses, and it looks like it's printing six inches too far to the left, off the letter-sized paper (and completely missing my 6 3/4 envelopes when I use them).

Why is it so difficult to print envelopes from Writer when I can pop them out so easily Word?


If the good folks who write the Open Office software would just fix the problems they have with the envelope styles, people wouldn't have to screw around with creating envelopes the wrong way just to end up printing them correctly.

Sheesh! There are only so many sizes of envelopes and only so many legitimate ways to print them. And envelopes were the second thing a caveman ever wanted to print. What's the holdup on getting the program to do it correctly?

Great Template tutorial.....
I searched for months to glean all this info and within a few short steps I was able to master how to make envelope and label templates......

Since then my work load has shrunk. I have also gleaned a lot of starbasic macro information and have been running my very own envelope macro selecting envelope gizmo.....
I am about to release it as an OOo extention. Just finalising a few small niggly details though......

Very clearly written and illustrated -- just what I needed. The problem I have is printing envelopes with LEGIBLE kernering. It seems that the additional kernering has to be set separately for each font used. Otherwise the font may come out with -5 pts kernering to +5 pts kernering; the latter with letters "squished" and entirely unlike the screen font.

I do know OpenOffice does not have the financial importance that Word has for Microsoft behind it, so I am not complaining. On the other hand, the usability differences between the two products explain why open source is not (yet) a standard in the corporate offices and in most homes.

Again, thanks for the excellent tutorial!

Hi Kurt,

Re the kerning, the only thing I know to try is Format > Character, Position tab, Pair Kerning option. The help says that this works only with fonts that support it and where the printer font supports it too. So perhaps try other fonts?

"Automatically adjust the character spacing for specific letter combinations.
Kerning is only available for certain font types and requires that your printer support this option."

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