Saturday, September 25, 2010

Is It Wrong to Lie to the Printer? (or How to Print a 6 3/4 Envelope)

Technology is a fickle thing.

When it works the way you expect, it's wonderful.

When it refuses, there are few things as frustrating.

That's where I was on Thursday:  frustrated.

For the past several years, we have had a Building Fund Pledge drive at our church.  We have printed envelopes with places to record what's actually in the envelope and any additional pledge for the upcoming 12 months.  We have used #10 envelopes for that. (definition from officeguide:   A #10 envelope is 4-1/8" x 9-1/2". It is the most common business envelope size and is commonly used for standard 8-1/2" x 11" sheets of paper.)  I have set up all the information on a Publisher file and just run them through my hp printer.  Not a big deal and no need to pay a printer.   The problem with them is that they are so much bigger than our regular giving envelopes. They just don't fit into the filing system that I use.  I decided this year to make a change.

A 6 3/4 envelope is smaller:  3 5/8 X 6 1/2 inches.  (Why it's called a 6 3/4, I don't know)  It fits into my office better.  So, I went in to the Publisher file and adjusted the document size and scaled down the text boxes, made sure everything that needed to be there was still there and was ready to print.  I didn't want to waste any of the envelopes themselves, so I cut some used paper the correct size, drew a flap on the back so I'd know how to load the real things, and ran them through the printer.

What I got was the center of my text box printed across the narrow end of the sheet.  There was no way to change the orientation and I discovered that the 6 3/4 envelope is NOT supported by my driver.  RATS!!

I decided to research the problem and discovered that this envelope size, while fairly common, is not listed on many printers.  One forum gave me a hint, though.  Don't try to force it to use this envelope.  Start with something it will use and then position your information so that even though the screen doesn't look like your end product, the actual end product is what you want.

I tried it.  I told it I was using a larger envelope size it recognized and moved the text box all the way to the right edge.  Almost perfect.  I flipped the box upside down and reoriented the paper that was standing in for the envelopes to flaps on the right.  Perfect!!!

So now, as a church lady, I am faced with a dilemma:  I can tell lies to my printer to get exactly what I want or I can go back to the larger envelopes.  Is it wrong to lie to the printer?

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