Friday, July 31, 2009

Google Applications for small business owners.

My son-in-law launched a company this month and was looking for low cost email, Document Sharing and website solution and I discovered standard edition of Google Applications which is giving more than he asked for and only at the cost of a domain registration.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Printing Mailing Labels using gLabels

When there are weddings you need to send large number of invitations. You need to build postal address database and then print mailing labels. I had prepared address database for my daughter's marriage in 2001 but lost the file due to loss of hard disk on my old desktop from which data could not be recovered.

Another marriage is planned in Nov 2009 and since advance period of rail reservations is 3 months formal letters of invitations are required to be sent by first week of Aug 09.

This time I have prepared the Database in Spreadsheet on Google Docs so that it does not get lost. I have shared the document with others so that addresses could be fed into it quickly.

I bought Mailing Labels from a Stationery shop and the page format is 210x306 mm which looks non-standard. The product is from Oddy and perhaps obsolete (meant for Dot-matrix Printers).

I tried to create the Labels in Open Office but it has selection for Brand of paper and Oddy was missing from the list and no Brand was close enough.

Then I searched for "Printing Labels on Ubuntu" and discovered gLabels and installed it.

gLabel also had many templates but I decided to create one for Oddy for the paper size I had. There is a Template Designer accessible through File Menu. I selected custom size of paper and entered the measured dimensions. Then I entered the dimensions of the Label, no of Labels on the paper (16), horizontal and vertical pitch etc. carefully and saved the template but it was not satisfactory. Then I opened the XML file of the template from ~/.glabels as text file and edited and saved it.

gLabel does not accept spreadsheet data, therefore, I saved it in CSV format and used it through "Merge Properties". For entering text on the label, I created the text objects and inserted the merge fields into them.

I could print the Mailing Labels perfectly on the non-standard stationery. Before printing I went into the printer set up and selected Custom paper size.