Printing Envelopes, can it be done?

  • What would need to be done to allow easy printing of mixed page sizes, as an example a number 9 envelope followed by a "letter" sized page?

    Windows drivers seem to be able to take the printer input and print to an envelope entered into the manual feed, and then print on a piece of paper from the main paper tray.

    So far the only way that I can see to perform this trick is to set-up separate printer queues to handle the different page sizes (that is if ghostscript and pnm2ppa knew about envelope paper sizes).

    Star Office and Word Perfect all seem to support adding an envelope to a document, but so far I have been unable to print the envelopes correctly.

    Anybody got an idea how it should be done? Dynamically sensing the paper size would somehow seem to be the easiest way to do it from the I don't know anything about computers, I use windows user perspective.

    • Duncan just added support for US legal, which was fairly trivial. It shouldn't be hard to support more paper sizes, including common envelope sizes.

      We are looking at ways of improving the robustness of the page size handling (it will halt if it receives a US letter amount of data when it expects A4 and vice versa).

      Can you please tell us which envelope size you use in GhostScript? I'll try and obtain some of those and see if we can support it.

      • Well, I've looked at my ghostscript man pages and there don't appear to be any envelope page sizes defined. If it is just a matter of adding them to the initialization file then the US envelope size know as # 10 would be the one to start with.

        It is 9.5"x4.125" and is commonly used to send folded letter size pages.

        I have added the following line to the file

        /envN10 {684 297 //.setpagesize exec} bind def % U.S. # 10 Envelope.

        and added envN10 to the list of know paper types.

        It seems to work.

        How could printing envelopes and letters be best supported? Typically WP packages let you add an envelope as page one of a document. When it is printed then one PostScript file gets sent to the printer. Cheapo printers expect you to have remembered to stick an envelope in t he manual feed slot for the first page and pick up the subsequent pages from the main paper hopper.

        Can this be made to work as the Linux printer queues are paper size specific?

        • I think as long as you are very careful about not sending ink off the area of an envelope, it is safe to print an envelope as an A4, US or Legal page size. The trick of course is figuring out which side of the page it is going to do it on. My 710c has a little manual envelope feed area which seems to handle envelopes up to half size a4. My guess is that what you suggest will work.