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How to print a label with the new USPS web system Web Browsers
USPS has changed some of the software they provide for users to print their own shipping labels. The prior software had always worked well for me using Safari. I could purchase and print a shipping label directly from their site. When it came time to print, a Java applet would load, process my credit card, and send the label directly to my printer.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that anymore. Today I found that the website now sends (or tries to send) the label directly to your printer without using a Java applet. While it is true that many people probably don't have the required Java software on their computer to print the old way, the new way didn't work at all. I got a nice message saying the data had ben sent to the printer (it had not) nor could I confirm it printed okay.

What I thought was interesting was that when I clicked "no," all it said was to make sure I had Adobe Reader installed -- which of course I do (along with Apple's Preview and the full version of Acrobat). None of that seemed to help. The website offered no other information; they should have at least offered some things to check like their system requirements page, make sure the printer is turned on, etc. They offered nothing.

So I logged back in under FireFox and tried it there. The website again told me that the label had been sent to my printer and asked if it printed okay. Nope. However, a file called com.usps.cns.web.pdf.LabelGenerationServlet was downloaded to my Desktop. Of course, since 'LabelGenerationServlet' wasn't a file extension my Mac was familiar with, it gave up. So I renamed the file to com.usps.cns.web.pdf, and opened the file in Preview. Sure enough, there was my label. I manually hit Print and the label successfully came out of the printer.

Don't you just love it when people completely break functionality in an effort to make things better? Perhaps these hints will save someone else some trouble...
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How to print a label with the new USPS web system | 23 comments | Create New Account
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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: jehrler on Jun 13, '05 10:17:49AM

Funny, last night I printed my first label under the new system with no problem. The pdf was downloaded to my desktop, opened in Preview and I printed it.

I think the issue may be that you have pdfs set to be viewed in the browser window. Given the screwy extension on the pdf file, that could be causing a problem. I use OmniWeb and actually don't like in line pdf viewing so all my pdfs are sent to my download folder (the desktop) and opened in Preview.



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: Tomnibus on Jun 13, '05 10:46:01AM

You know what, I hate that Safari now displays the PDF in the browser, how can I turn that off?



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Re: Disable in-line PDF view.
Authored by: jscarry on Jun 13, '05 02:55:18PM

I looked in the preferences for Safari, Quicktime, Preview, and Acrobat hoping to change the behavior and I can't find anything either. Your best bet is to right-click on the link and then choose "Open with Preview".



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: tflight on Jun 13, '05 10:51:30AM

I originally submitted this hint on May 27. There have been so many good hints lately that a lot has transpired since then. Some days I can print fine... other times it won't print without any change to my setup. So it seems USPS might be working on the issue and at some points it appears fixed. Friday it worked fine, I have not checked yet again today.



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: Old Toad on Jun 13, '05 12:52:50PM
The preference pane may do it for you:
http://www.monkeyfood.com/software/moreInternet/


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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: kyngchaos on Jun 13, '05 03:07:31PM

no good - it just does protocol helpers, and PDF is not in the protocol list, nor is it a protocol so couldn't be added. MisFox does file types and allows you to change the post-processing action for them, like the old Internet Explorer, but that doesn't work - Tiger Safari somehow ignores it. Maybe there's a hidden Safari plist option to disable it?



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: jamiemckee@comca on Jun 13, '05 02:39:20PM

I contacted USPS about this issue as well, asking them to make both "ways" of printing labels available: the new PDF way and the old Java way. I couldn't get the new PDF way to work for me as of about 2 weeks ago. I haven't tried since, but maybe they worked on things and fixed it. My resolution was to switch to Firefox as well, which, like the author, downloaded the PDF file that could be printed once you removed the ".LabelGenerationServlet" suffix.

The advantage to the Java version, however, was that not only did it work, but it brought up the "Print" dialog box, allowing me to change what tray the printer printed from, so that I could keep all my UPS labels in my printer's upper tray. The Java method worked far much better IMO. I don't know why they thought they needed to change it, but I wish they hadn't.



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: jamiemckee@comca on Jun 20, '05 02:41:57PM

I can confirm this hint from the MacInTouch website worked for me:

It is a Safari problem and there IS a solution. Here's how to fix it. Stop Safari from displaying PDFs in-line and return to using Preview to display them.
Do the following:
1) Shut down Safari.?2) Check the /Library/Internet Plug-ins/ folder to be sure there are NO Adobe reader plug-ins. If you find any, trash them.?3) Open Terminal.?4) Type (or cut and paste):?defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitOmitPDFSupport -bool YES
This DISABLES Safari from displaying PDFs in-line. USPS PDFs will now correctly appear in Preview and the labels can be printed.
If you every want to return to using Safari for PDF display, repeat the above procedure but type (or cut and paste) into the Terminal
defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitOmitPDFSupport -bool NO



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: rusto on Jun 13, '05 03:55:43PM

I'm at work on a PC right now, so I am unable to veryfy that this would work, but couldn't you create an Applescript to watch the Desktop folder for the offending extension, strip it, open the file in Preview and print it automatically?

The might also be a way to use Automator to this end.



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: jamiemckee@comca on Jun 14, '05 03:28:44AM

I'm afraid this won't work, because it's not a question of what to do with the file. The problem, at least for me, is that Safari doesn't download anything. When you click print, nothing happens. With Firefox, the PDF downloads to your desktop...it just doesn't know it's a PDF because it contains ".LabelGernerationServlet" at the end of its name.



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: chanamasala on Jun 13, '05 10:03:19PM

Doesn't work with Firefox, Camino, nor Safari for me. Only way is with grodo IE and it works the way it works for you with Firefox. Why it doesn't work with Firefox for me is a mystery. I love this new method just so long as they get it to download to the desktop with Camino mostly and the other browsers.



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: rosemary on Jun 14, '05 12:22:29PM

The weird thing is, when the PDF version first came out it worked fine with Safari. Something changed in the past week that makes it not work with Safari any more.

I've been using Firefox too. I went to one of those "com.usps.cns.web.pdf-2.LabelGenerationServlet" files and did Get info and changed the "Open With" to Adobe Reader, and then clicked the "Change All" button so at least it opens up automatically right now.

I print a lot of labels, and this "upgrade" is a real disappointment.



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: blackbones on Jun 14, '05 01:23:27PM

I ran into something completely different with the USPS labeling system. While with the new set up i can download the pdf's via safari with no problem, when i try to open the files in preview everything comes up except the bar code. The barcode seems only to be viewable in acrobat. This was as of last weekend, so not sure if any changes to the system have taken care of this problem.



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: rosemary on Jun 14, '05 09:29:52PM

I had that problem during the first few days of the release, when it actually worked on Safari. Now I can't get it to even generate a PDF from Safari and must use Firefox instead.



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USPS Click-N-Ship PDF with 10.4.5
Authored by: LRHann on Mar 07, '06 10:51:09PM

I just discovered that this works to print USPS labels in 10.4.5:

Stop inline display of PDF files - Open PDF files in Preview instead.

1) Shut down Safari.
2) Check the /Library/Internet Plug-ins/ folder to be sure there are NO Adobe reader plug-ins. If you find any, trash them.
3) Open Terminal.
4) Type (or cut and paste):
defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitOmitPDFSupport -bool YES
This DISABLES Safari from displaying PDFs in-line.

To ENABLE inline PDF display:
defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitOmitPDFSupport -bool NO

I found this here at Macintouch:

http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports/macmarginalization/topic2709.html



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: polishbroadcast on Oct 23, '07 08:22:41PM
Here is a simple solution that worked for me just now using just Safari:
1. Get to the print verification screen (the one that asks you if it printed)
2. Open Safari's activity window (Window > Activity or Opt+Cmd+A)
3. Double-click the largest file under the "USPS - Print Shipping ..." and the PDF will open in a Safari window. The file will look like this:
"https://sss-web.usps.com/cns/servlet/com.usps.cns.web.pdf.LabelGenerationServlet?";

Thanks for the topic. I would have given up otherwise.



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: kalifg on May 26, '10 08:37:03AM

I'm on 10.6.3...USPS site worked fine in Safari last week, but now does not. This tip worked like a charm!



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: ptone on Jun 23, '08 08:47:34AM

I also banged my head on this. But the solution for me was to realize that there is an area of the page that when you hover over (lower left of the box that asks you if it printed OK), you get the 10.5 PDF bezel UI. From here you can just select "open in preview" and it opens fine and can be printed.



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: bcometa on Apr 28, '09 11:09:21AM

excellent tip, thanks!!



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How to print a label with the new USPS web system
Authored by: Dave Andrews on Apr 28, '09 02:43:22PM
you could also create the label using software instead of the web page:
http://www.brinscall.com

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USPS Click-N-Ship PDF with 10.4.5
Authored by: jpwav716 on Feb 21, '10 09:50:48AM

Flash forward to 10.6 Snow Leopard.

I never had a problem before.

Here is a response I got from the USPS.
You can print a shipping label with Click-N-Ship <https://sss-web.usps.com/cns/landing.do> if you are using a Mac computer with OS 10.x or higher. Please note that the Safari browser will not work at this time due to a technical issue involving the use of Adobe’s advanced PDF elements and objects interaction with the Safari browser. Please use Firefox. If you follow the following steps, you should be able to set Firefox up before you print the label.

1) Open Firefox (If you do not have firefox, you can download it here: http://www.mozilla.com)
2) Select the word Firefox located next to the apple icon to bring up the drop down menu
3) Select Preferences from the drop down menu
4) Select Applications under preferences
5) On the Applications menu, under Content Type, look for Portable Document Format or PDF, or LabelGenerationServlet
6) Across from that under Action, select to open with Adobe Reader
7) Once the change shows in the Application Menu, close the menu and your browser session
9) Start a new Firefox browser and sign into USPS.com and attempt to print the labels

Additionally, Apple Preview does not support printing the label, you must use Adobe Reader Version 7.0 or higher. If you require additional assistance, please contact us again




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USPS Click-N-Ship PDF with 10.4.5
Authored by: buckarette on Mar 28, '10 02:47:18PM

Thank you, thank you jpway716! I have struggled mightily with this, but today it worked! It's not as smooth and quick as my old pc way, but maybe part of it is because I'm a new mac user and everything takes me twice as long to figure out. Thanks again; I can now stop beating my head against the wall.



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How it works as of July 2010
Authored by: jpdemers on Jul 05, '10 12:02:15PM

This worked for me, but only after trolling through all of the different names that FireFox uses for pdf documents, and assigning all of them to the Adobe Reader program. That at least produced a downloaded file (com.usps.cns.web.pdf.LabelGenerationServlet, found in my "Downloads" folder), which itself had to be assigned to Adobe Reader before it could be opened and printed.

I wish they were as smart as UPS.com, which generates the same sort of label without any trouble!



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