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Mac OS 10.5 Leopard breaks HP Laserjet 1300 envelope support

:: Saturday, November 10th, 2007 @ 1:20:00 am

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So, all I want to do is print envelopes through Address Book.app on Mac OS X. I’ve concluded that it is impossible. I found a way to do it.

I use an HP Laserjet 1300, which allows me to feed it envelopes, but only the thin-side first. Before I upgraded to Leopard, my Macbook Pro printed envelopes just fine (actually, it previewed them in the wrong orientation, but printed them properly). But my Mac Pro has always refused to print them properly. One day, I tried to print a smaller envelope. I chose the smaller envelope size in the print dialog, and SUDDENLY, PRINTING ENVELOPES STOPPED WORKING! No amount of clicking around could restore it to the state it had been in.

To fix the problem I had to choose the orientation to match the screen with the paper feeder. What baffled me is that after the new configuration, the text on the envelope came out rotated 180 degrees from the way it had been printing before. Bizarre.

Then, I upgraded to Leopard. Now, no combination of print orientations works properly. There are a bunch of envelopes strewn about the floor with addresses printed on them in all sorts of weird locations. I think the problem is that the printer driver assumes that the paper is aligned on one side of the paper tray despite the fact that it is actually centered.

I’m so glad I have a Mac. It’s so easy to use!

I did a Google search on how to print envelopes with Address Book, and I found about a billion sites with whiny messages like the one you’re reading here. I’m going to go try some third-party apps now…

UPDATE I posted it to the HP forums. I hope someone there can help.

UPDATE I defined a custom envelope to do the job. It’s a lame solution, but it works. Here’s a screenshot of the settings (also be sure to set the orientation as well).

| Oakland, CA | link | trackback | Nov 10, 2007 01:20:00
  • http://psychohistory.wordpress.com Adam Nash

    Poor Eric. So grumpy :)

    Don’t you know you need to wait for the first dot release before installing a new Mac OS :)

    I actually print envelopes on my HP 2200 all the time, with the envelope feeder and Address Book. No problems in terms of orientation, but I haven’t tried Leopard yet.

    MS Word actually prints envelopes great too – you might want to try that. If you export the addresses to a CSV file, you can use the print merge in Word to print envelopes.

    Adam

  • http://echeng.com echeng

    Hey, Adam — this is an issue with the driver thinking documents are left-justified in the paper tray. No amount of fudging will make this work, unless I set paper size to something big and use a huge margin or something!

  • grutter

    Eric – The Leopard drivers also mangled envelope printing using the Lexmark E323. Exactly the same problem as reported with your Laserjet 1300. Thanks for the workaround. I doubt Apple, Lexmark or HP will fix the problem. And only Address Book seems to have the printing customization to attempt a solution like yours. – Richard

  • jmwinder

    how did you manage to print anything with Lexmark1300 series on Leopard? i’m having a bum time trying to figure this out… and seriously considering re-installing Tiger instead. I”m a student and cannot deal without a printer! any ideas how your 1300 works properly with Leopard? – jenn

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