How to print an envelope or two on the Mac?
December 22, 2014 12:34 PM   Subscribe

How can I simply print an envelope or two from my Mac to any printer that can handle envelopes? I'm printing directly on the envelope, but it's a standard #10 envelope--no labels, no odd sizes. I'd like USPS barcodes. I've got a copy of EasyEnvelopes and I've been trying to print from it, but nothing happens on my printer and I can't update it because they charge for it now. Printing other docs works fine.

This should be elementary--how can I print professional-looking, pre-barcoded envelopes on my Mac? I was doing this under Windows and Word back in the '90s; why can't the Mac do it in the 21st century?

Yes, I've tried EasyEnvelopes (v. 1.0.10). It used to work fine--I don't know, perhaps one of the OS X updates threw it off. Now when I click the stamp icon (the "print" command) it just throws up a print dialog for a split second, my print queue shows a job in it for slightly longer (500-700 ms, maybe), and then a fat lot of nothing happens on both ends.

I've tried removing the widget and reinstalling it, restarting the widget, restarting the print system and reinstalling the printer, printing over both Bonjour and USB . . . nothing either way. I've even tried looking through the code for EasyEnvelopes.wdgt, but all the print magic happens in a binary blob I'm not prepared to disassemble.

I'd like to be able to print a #10 envelope with USPS barcodes from my Mac to a printer hooked up via USB. I'll take that for free. For 99 cents, I'll buy an app that does that for any size of envelope and works over Bonjour, and for $1.99, I'll take one that does all that automatically looks up the best ZIP+4 code based on the address I type in, gives me the option to fully standardize the address per USPS, and does mail merge.

I'm running OS X "Yosemite" 10.10.1 and Pages 5.5.1.

(Failing all else, hints on how to start programming this sort of thing would be appreciated . . .)
posted by tellumo to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not sure this will help but I went through a similar experience when trying to print labels. Pages doesn't offer this option, wouldn't work through open office and Avery online labels kept deleting pages. Super frustrated. So I ended up going to my contacts and it has a option under print. There is a mailing labels or envelope option. Hope this helps :)
posted by LiveEveryMinuteNZ at 12:50 PM on December 22, 2014

Response by poster: Nice try (by the way, that is not snark--it's easily the best built-in envelope-printing solution I've seen on the Mac), but:
  1. I don't want to have to add an address to my contacts every time I print one.
  2. I find Contacts' interface clunky (e.g., you need to check whether copied and pasted address got through the way you wanted them, as you wouldn't with a plain text field).
  3. It completely ruined an envelope I sent through using the recommended settings.
  4. As far as I can see, it didn't even try to add the barcodes.

posted by tellumo at 1:02 PM on December 22, 2014

USPS offers a free barcode encoder for Microsoft Word and other applications.
posted by qi at 1:17 PM on December 22, 2014

Best answer: The current version of Pages will happily print envelopes to my printer (including using the special envelop feed and paper path) by creating a new blank landscape document and changing the paper size to "Envelope #10" in Page Setup.
posted by RichardP at 2:22 PM on December 22, 2014

The USPS will let you generate the new Intelligent Mail barcodes with their online encoder. Use the "floppy disk" icon to download a PNG version of the barcode. The old POSTNET barcodes generated by the EasyEnvelopes widget have been obsolete since January 2013.
posted by RichardP at 2:28 PM on December 22, 2014

EasyEnvelopes has been around since OSX was first released. It was originally a free dashboard widget but that was discontinued a few years ago in favor of a $9.99 app in the Mac App Store which can pull addresses from your Contacts and can also print barcodes. (Disclosure: I used to use the widget, never got the app.)
posted by skywhite at 7:42 AM on December 23, 2014

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