Address Book, I absolutely appetite to like you. You’re a axial amateur on my Mac, advised as a bulk basic of Mac OS X area all of my contacts are stored. And yet you consistently abrade the heck out of me at the affliction times.
I was putting calm my account of contacts for acclamation anniversary cards, a assignment that seems to crave that I alpha from blemish every year. It’s commonly annoying abundant that I get cranky, and yet not so arduous that I’m accommodating to hand-write anniversary envelope.
So, starting over afresh this year, my wife and I threw calm a Google Docs spreadsheet to body the antecedent list. That enabled either of us to add names as they came to us afterwards accepting to administer one aggregate Excel spreadsheet.
Once the account was complete, I set about accepting commitment addresses from my Abode Book database. I created a new accumulation alleged Xmas Account and began the arduous action of analytic for a acquaintance and boring it to the Xmas Account name in the Accumulation column. (I ambition I could accessible a accumulation in a new window, thereby authoritative the ambition of boring beyond and easier to hit.) We had about 70 recipients on our list, so this took absolutely some time.
The aing footfall in my plan was artlessly to consign the addresses as a tab-delimited argument book that I could acceptation into a Microsoft Word commitment characterization template. But Abode Book exports alone vCard files.
Really? Years of Mac OS X software development and Abode Book can’t alike consign apparent text? (I hoped, briefly, that Excel ability be able to anatomize the vCard format, but no luck.)
With the commitment advice bound into Abode Book, I ample I would analysis out the program’s press capabilities. I rarely print, so I was afraid to ascertain that the appearance are added able-bodied than I thought, with options to book commitment labels, envelopes, acquaintance lists, and the like. Right away, though, I hit problems. The characterization arrangement I’m using, Avery 8160, showed up in the list, but the examination was wrong, assuming two columns instead of the actual three.
And afresh I noticed article absolutely weird. Contacts for whom I’d defined added relations (such as a Child field) showed up as, for example, “Adam Engst and Tristan.” As far as I can tell, there’s no way to change that behavior.
The final harbinger (I still had a little achievement at this point) was customizing how some recipients appeared on the labels. I capital to access a name such as “Susan and Ron Valencia.” But my acquaintance account is, rightly, set up with a distinct being for anniversary record. To get “Susan and Ron Valencia,” I’d charge to set the Aboriginal Name acreage for Susan’s almanac to “Susan and Ron.”
Labels & Addresses Saves Christmas — Instead of abandoning the absolute anniversary agenda endeavor (which was attractive like a applicable option), I took a footfall back. There charge be article bigger out there. Afterwards some dabbling about online, I came beyond Endicia, a absolutely absorbing attractive appliance and account that can book labels and postage. Endicia was way too abundant for my bashful needs, but I can see how a baby business that mails and ships a lot of actual would acquisition it useful.
The apparition of solutions accomplished flickered in my brain, and afterwards a bit added analytic I begin a DealBITS cartoon for BeLight Software’s Mail Factory. The software has back been renamed to the added all-encompassing Labels & Addresses, and it was absolutely what I needed.
As with abounding of BeLight’s products, Labels & Addresses offers lots of pre-made designs and templates to aroma up commitment labels, envelopes, postcards, and alike binder labels. I had beneath aggressive needs, so I bypassed those options and went beeline for a bare commitment label.
The aboriginal assurance that Labels & Addresses would assignment was that my Avery characterization was the absence alternative back I clicked the Labels tab. Choosing it brought up a window absolute a bare label. In the aftereffect at left, I clicked the Contacts on to acknowledge my Abode Book database, and there I chose my Xmas Account group. I didn’t accept to acceptation anything, although Labels & Addresses can accompany in contacts from Entourage, Excel, Now Contact, FileMaker, vCards, or tab-delimited argument files.
One bang created an “address panel” absolute the fields for a archetypal commitment characterization (name, company, address). As these labels were personal, I clicked a pop-up card absorbed to the console that let me accept from one of several templates. You can additionally adapt the templates or actualize your own.
I did a baby bulk of formatting, accession the console even larboard (using onscreen guides agnate to those begin in Keynote) and alteration the chantry and size. Beat any acquaintance in the aftereffect previewed the label.
The aing footfall was to adapt some of the names. You can bang any argument and adapt it, which I anticipation would do the trick; however, beat the acquaintance name in the aftereffect afresh (such as back selecting all of the names for printing) restores the abstracts to what appears in Abode Book. Afterwards abundant promise, I anticipation I had hit a barrier block. I advised appliance Abode Book’s Nickname acreage to set up the variations I capital (like “Susan and Ron”), and replacing the Aboriginal Name acreage in the abode panel, but that would accept appropriate me to change every acquaintance in Abode Book.
Realize that at this point I had apprehend no documentation, almost skimmed the Web site, and not explored any of the program’s menus. I was 90 percent done with my job by aloof jumping into the software.
Clicking the Book on appear the solution: book lists. You can actualize a customizable account of your contacts, in this case based on my Xmas Account group, which retains any bounded edits you make. From the Merge Press pop-up card in the aboriginal Book dialog, I chose Adapt List. (You can additionally accept Window > Contacts > Book Lists.)
In the chat that appeared, I called all contacts in my Xmas Account group, confused them to the Persons field, and selectively edited their claimed information. I not alone added some names to the Aboriginal Name field, but additionally deleted the Last Name acreage back I capital to be added accidental (such as acclamation accompany like “Peter, Emily, and Olive”). Doing so didn’t change my Abode Book database, but the account does become afar from the contacts. If the abode for “Susan and Ron” changes, the account won’t aces up the new advice from Abode Book; I’d accept to additionally accomplish the change to the book list.
With a few bedding of custom labels printed afterwards a abundant beneath aeon of assignment than what faced me in Abode Book, I was able to say goodbye to my bad-humored attitude and alpha commitment our Christmas cards.
Labels & Addresses is accessible in two editions: the Standard copy is a 32.6 MB download, costs $49.95, and includes about 1,000 blow art images; the Retail copy includes a gigabyte of added art and costs $59.95. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 and college and prints a arresting watermark on labels if acclimated afterwards a license.
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