Printing barcodes for mailing envelopes speeds up delivery time andif done correctlyreduces postage prices. How is this done? In this tutorial, we at Qualified Address will show you how to print barcodes using OpenOffice.org 3.1 software.
Well use the same public information used in our blog post How Do I Comply With Privacy Laws? , so that we have real address data for the tutorial. The data has been scrubbed with our CASS-Certified Scrubbing , and is now in Microsoft Excel file format.
*Before you begin, you will need the POSTNET barcode font, which is used in printing the barcodes. As a courtesy to visitors and customers, you may download the POSTNET font for FREE . Once you have downloaded POSTNET to your computer, you will need to install the font. On Windows-based computers, this is typically done by right-clicking on the downloaded file icon and clicking the install option.*
1. Set up a data source. Setting up a data source is essentially telling OpenOffice where to find the date it will be using.
a) Open OpenOffice.org 3.1, and click the button next to Spreadsheet. The OpenOffice program Calc will open.
b) In Calc, click Open under the File menu located on the toolbar. Locate your scrubbed Excel file from the list that pops up, and click Open. (Our file is named file to process.)
c) Your scrubbed address list from Excel should now be visible. Under the File menu, click Save As. In the dropdown box next to Save as type: select ODF Spreadsheet (.ods). Click the Save button.
d) From any OpenOffice application, click on FileNewDatabase, to be taken to the Database Wizard. On the first screen, select Connect to an existing database. Choose Spreadsheet as the type.
e) On the next screen, click on Browse to locate the directory where you stored your .ods files. When located, click Next.
f) On the final screen of the wizard, leave the default to register the database, but uncheck the box next to Open the database for editing to turn this feature off. Click Finish.
g) You will be presented a Save dialog box. Name the file and click Save. In our example, we name our file The Database.
2. Create envelope. First, you will want to close any OpenOffice programs to get them out of the way. Then, open Writer. To start a new envelope in Writer go to InsertEnvelope, and following the directions for opening the Envelope dialog.
3. Select your database. Select the table containing the address data from the dropdown box under Database, located in the top right corner of the envelope dialog. (The table in our example is named List_of_Addresses.) From the Database field dropdown box, choose the database field you want to insert first (QA_FirmName). A database field is a column of data from our spreadsheet.
4. Enter your return address . In the box labeled Sender, you may enter a return address if you wish. (In the example, we have filled in a return address for Jim Smith.) However, if you have pre-printed envelopes with your address already on them, you will not want to do this.
5. Add addressees. Located in the center of the dialog box is a button with a black, left-pointing arrow. This button moves the database fields into the Addressee box on the left. Once you have QA_FirmName selected in the Database field box, click the arrow button to move it over.
*Note: From the above image we see that there are now characters in the Addressee box. This box will be a templatea mold, if you willof how we want the data to appear on the envelope. Therefore, if there needs to be a space between fields, then you must put it there; OpenOffice will not do it for you.
* The image above is the format we want our template to be in. Notice that highlighted in red is a comma and a space between QA_City and QA_State and also a space between QA_State and QA_FullZipCode. This is so the address will look like STUDIO CITY, CA 91604-2606 instead of STUDIO CITY,CA91604-2606.*
6. Insert remaining data. Using the format described in the above paragraph and shown in the corresponding image, insert the rest of the database fieldsFirmName, DeliveryLine1, City, State, FullZIPCode, and Barcodeinto the Addressee box. When finished, click Insert.
Your envelope should now look something like this:
7. Convert to the POSTNET font. Now we need to change the font of the field QA_Barcode into USPS Barcode font. To do this follow these steps:
a) Highlight the whole field.
b) Locate the font dropdown box on the toolbar, and scroll down the list to between the U section. This is where the USPS Barcode font should be located. Click on it.
*Note: Dont panic when the text where should be isnt visible anymore...it is still there! The USPS Barcode font only handles numbersnot letters.*
8. Preview envelopes. To preview the envelopes before printing, click on the toolbar ViewData Sources. Click on the empty box to the left of a record you want to check, which will highlight that record. Click on the icon in the toolbar immediately above the data with the tooltip label Data to Fields. As you repeat this with a few of the rows of data, the template on the letter below should display the corresponding data with a barcode.
9. Print a test envelope. Proceed as if printing any document. FilePrint. A question will appear, asking if you want to print a form letter. Answer Yes and the Mail Merge dialog will appear.
Select row 1 so the green arrow is in the box to the left of it, and the row is highlighted in blue. This means that it will only print the envelope using the first row of data. Click OK. Your printer dialog will come up so you may change the options on your printer if you wish; when everything here is how you want it, Click OK in the print dialog, and your document should begin printing.
If everything worked out, your letter should look something like this:
10. Print envelopes. If you are satisfied with the results of your test print, you may begin printing all of your envelopes. Proceed as if printing any document. FilePrint. A question will appear, asking if you want to print a form letter. Answer Yes and the Mail Merge dialog will appear. Your printer dialog will come up so you may change the options on your printer if you wish; when everything here is how you want it, Click OK in the print dialog, and your document should begin printing. Filling in the bubble labeled Records labeled All will print all of the rows of addresses; filling in the bubble labeled Selected records will print only the rows you select (You may use shift+click to select single additional records or Ctrl+click to select a range of records); and filling in the bubble labeled From:__To:__ will print the records you define in the boxes.
We at Qualified Address are committed to reducing your mailing costs with our address scrubbing services . Make the provident choice today by visiting QualifiedAddress.com to see which of our services can help you and your business cut costs of mailing!