Friday, November 07, 2008

Perfect Business Envelopes with Open Office and the Samsung ML-1430

Here is how I was able to get perfect business envelopes to print on my Samsung ML-1430 using Open Office version 3.0.

The key to getting your envelope to print correctly is matching up what the printer expects with what you are telling the printer. That said, here are the specific steps and some thoughts on how you can expand this to other printers.

When you have your business letter printed and are ready for your envelope, I recommend that you create a new document with the envelope format.

TIP: Highlight and copy the recipients name and address from the head of the business letter. That way you have it ready to paste into your envelope wizard.

Insert an Envelope

Select Insert, Envelope to open the Envelope Wizard. The Wizard has three tabs and you need to visit each one!

On the Envelope tab, paste the addressee's information (aren't you glad you copied that instead of having to retype it now?). Make sure the Sender box is checked and that your return address is present. Now select the Format tab. Make sure the Format field in the Size section
is set for "Env. 10" and select the Printer tab. Here is where much of the magic juju happens.

The ML-1430 has a center-feed envelope feeder. The print side faces out and the top of the envelope (into which you slide your letter) is on the right. Therefore, select the icon with vertical envelope orientation that feeds from the center of the print tray and make sure "Print from top" is selected.

Here is what my dialog box looked like:

Add Image

Now click on "New Doc."

What you will see is horrifically ugly, but will get us to where we need to be. So onward!

Format the New Envelope Document

Select Format, Page to get the Page Style dialog box. Change the Format selection list to "Env. #10" and reduce the top margin to 0.00". You will ge a dialog box warning that the margin settings are out of print range. Say "Yes" to apply the settings nonetheless.

Now click on the line of the text box containing your return address so that it shows the little green handles. Then right click inside of it and select "Frame". In the Position section, set the Horizontal and Vertical positions to 0.39" and click on "OK".

Now do the same for the addressee text box and set the Horizontal andVertical positions to 4.5" from the left and 1.75" from the top.

Still with me? Here comes the easy part. About time, too, right?

Print your Envelope

Put your envelope into the envelope feeder of your printer. As mentioned, it goes print side out, top of the envelope to the right. Snug up the print guides to hold the envelope steady. You might need to take the letter paper supply out of the printer to ensure that the envelope gets picked up by the sheet feeder.

Open the output slot at the front so that your envelope doesn't get mashed up by being rolled to the vertical output tray.

Click on the print icon in Open Office and make sure your envelope feeds correctly. Voila!

Do you need to print with an earlier version of Open Office? Here is some advice that got me started. However, the specifics of the Samsung ML-1430 and Open Office 3.0 were enough that I wanted to document this for electronic posterity.

Save the Envelope as a Template for future use

Oh, one more tip.

TIP: Save your envelope as a template so you can easily print envelopes whenever you want.

Here's how to do that:

Start by replacing the specifics of the addressee field with some generic placeholders. Here is what I used:

Address Line 1
Address Line 2
City, State, ZIP

From within your envelope document, select File, Templates, Save. Select "My Templates" as the category and enter a name for the template. I used "ML-1430 Envelope" and click on OK.

The next time you need a size 10 envelope for a business letter, select File, New, Templates and Documents. Click on "Template" and then double-click (tricky that!) on "My Templates". There you will see your ML-1430 Envelope template and you can easily replace the placeholder text with the address information from your letter.

There you have it! I certainly hope that helps you in your quest for perfect business envelopes!

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