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Snail Mail - Easy printing of envelopes Pick of the Week
The macosxhints Rating:

[Score: 9 out of 10]
[This is the Pick of the Week for the week of December 18th]

It's that time of year again -- the dreaded holiday card season. That means lots of envelopes to be addressed, cards to filled out and stuffed, stamps to be applied, and then a trip to the post office to send off the pile of cards. Of all the tasks involved in this process, it's the addressing of the envelopes I dread the most. Hand-addressing is the most personal, printing labels the easiest, and printing directly on the envelopes is ideal, but more difficult. For the last couple of years, we've just used printed labels, but I wanted to try printing on the envelopes this year.

I started with the obvious candidate, Address Book, but quickly gave up once I found you can't set a different font size for the return address and the destinaton address. I think I then tried nearly every solution listed on MacUpdate and VersionTracker under a search for envelope in the process of discovering Snail Mail.

I found Snail Mail perfect for the job for a couple of key reasons. First, its interface was easy to understand, and neither too feature-laden nor too stripped to be useful. Second, control over the placement of the return and destination addresses was good, though still not as simple as a visual drag and drop operation. Third, it was easy to take an address from Address Book, and then modify it for the print job only -- this makes it easy to add a spouse or partner, for instance, who might have a card of their own in your Address Book. Fourth, you can use either your card from the Address Book as the return address, or a manual entry -- and you control which fields from Address Book show up on the envelope. Finally, I had full control over the font and color for both address blocks. Printing bar codes is also an option, though I chose not to use that feature.

After a short bit of work, we had a full set of printed envelopes, thanks in no small part to Snail Mail. It's a simple program, but it does its job very well.
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Snail Mail - Easy printing of envelopes
Authored by: rammjet on Dec 18, '06 08:42:30AM

I like the widget Easy Envelopes from Ambrosia. Hasn't been updated in a while, but just works.



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Snail Mail - Easy printing of envelopes
Authored by: landis on Dec 18, '06 09:01:14AM
Snail Mail looks great for mass mailings (such as Christmas Cards), but I agree that Easy Envelope has earned an always-open place on my dashboard.

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Snail Mail - Easy printing of envelopes
Authored by: robg on Dec 18, '06 11:58:33AM

I've used Easy Envelopes myself, but I can't seem to find any way to exactly position the two address book fields -- perhaps I'm overlooking something obvious. We were using a non-standard size envelope, and I just couldn't quite get the spacing to look right.

-rob.



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Address Book - font size of return address
Authored by: noworryz on Dec 18, '06 10:09:23AM

Errrr, the font size for the return address in Address book is set by defining a custom envelope layout and adjusting the height of the "sender" box. Perhaps this needs a hint...

Not that Address Book doesn't have all sorts of other quirks. See the comments to this hint:

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20051221232010333

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Address Book - font size of return address
Authored by: robg on Dec 18, '06 11:59:24AM

Ah, now *that's* intuitive :). Thanks for the reminder. I was still frustrated, though, by having to change my own address to make the return address look the way we wanted it to look.

-rob.



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Snail Mail - Easy printing of envelopes
Authored by: horkstow on Dec 18, '06 12:08:08PM

I use Easy Envelopes. It's excellent.



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Snail Mail - Easy printing of envelopes
Authored by: Dave Creek on Dec 18, '06 03:47:29PM
The envelope app that I use is Addressix <http://a-sharp.com/addressix/>;. The Addressix feature that keeps me using it: it retains in its address file every address that I either manually enter or pull from the Apple Address Book. So I get to keep handy those addresses that I don't consider worthwhile cluttering up my Apple Address Book.

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Snail Mail - Easy printing of envelopes
Authored by: brw3sbc on Dec 18, '06 04:10:54PM

Address Book 4.2.6.3 is one of the two reasons that I maintain an OS-9 capable machine. I haven't found an OS X address book / envelope printing application that comes anywhere near the flexibility and comprehensive nature of AB 4.2.6.3. I am particularly keen on it because it prints the Canadian Postal Code bar and U.S. Zip Code bar in the appropriate places on the envelopes, producing a very professional-looking and functional envelope. The return address panel can contain a graphic. Text for sender- and recipient-addresses can be any available font and need not be the same font nor the same size. Sadly, the developer died, and the code was not evolved.



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Snail Mail - Easy printing of envelopes
Authored by: calnelson on Dec 18, '06 04:12:51PM

I have been using Snail Mail for years.
Simplicity personified.



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Snail Mail - Easy printing of envelopes
Authored by: laudet on Dec 18, '06 06:30:44PM

After looking for years for a program that could handle canadian postal codes, I found Mail Factory. Wonderful. So I stopped looking. There is also a low cost home edition for around 20$ (it does not handle mailing lists, I think).



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UNDERWARE - huh?
Authored by: dan55304 on Dec 19, '06 07:17:48AM

While I genuinely appreciate the efforts of the developer and his/her commitment to releasing a free version, this UNDERWARE thing is goofy. It's either free or not, shareware or not, commercial or not. Seems like they can't decide and it just makes it all not worth the bother to understand it. KISS.



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