My Sanity is in the Mail

I had occasion to print a bunch of envelopes this weekend. Being the smug Apple fanboy that I am, I couldn't wait to show my wife how her silly Excel spreadsheet was going to get trounced by Apple's handling of contacts and envelope printing in Address Book.

We got the Address Book all up to date and I popped open the print dialog to show how easy it is to say you want to print envelopes. I'd show you a screenshot of that, but that's the reason for the lost sanity. After successfully printing some test envelopes, I realized that the text would line up better if I defined a custom envelope for the ones we were using. For those that can't stand Mac carnage, please stop reading now.

While entering my custom envelope dimensions, Address Book just sort of start ignoring me. That's odd, I thought. I closed the dialog and figured I'd try again. Well, I haven't seen that dialog since. Address Book now refuses to open the print dialog. I spent about 3 hours attempting to reinstall Address Book, reinstall the printing subsystem, and reapply the 10.4.6 update.

I got to learn all about Pacifist, a utility capable of reinstalling chunks of OS X, but even though Pacifist seemed to do its thing, Address Book was still snubbing me.

In my Google digging, I came across an alternative solution that was my last resort. It was my last because after using it, I'm much less bothered by the inability to print from Address Book.

The wonderful developers at Ambrosia Software have a free envelope printing widget!

They call it EasyEnvelopes and it is fantastic. Aside from the oddness that it runs as a widget, it is perfect. It taps in to my Address Book contacts and provides quick searching for the person you want to send to. Type a couple of letters and select the contact and you are ready to print. Return address is already filled in based on the me contact in your Address Book. It is even flexible enough to allow editing of the return or to address before printing in case you want to add a spouse name, remove kids names, whatever.

I cranked out the envelopes as fast as I could load them in the stupidly designed printer of mine. Printing one envelope at a time wasn't a problem because I had to load them one at a time in the printer anyway.

My faith in Apple was shaken, but at least Ambrosia was there to pick up my shattered perceptions of perfect software, rainbows, and unicorns.

1 comment:

Ben said...

So, would you have tried Word's Envelope and Mailing wizard if your trial had not run out? A side by side comparison between the two would be interesting.