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Ryan K. Level 1 Level 1
How Do I Print A Standard Envelope From Pages '09?

I'm not sure how to print an envelope from Pages '09 correctly, I had the same issue in Pages '08. In Pages I choose an envelope template (which is horizontal) and fill in my info. I then proceed to print the envelope, the Pages drop down print dialog box preview shows my envelope horizontal but my printer only prints envelopes turned vertical in orientation, which normally isn't a problem, most program printer dialog boxes have orientation buttons, but Pages does not. So if I proceed to print the envelope comes out wrong.

I accidently stumbled across a multi step solution, in Pages print dialog box I selected to view my envelope in Preview. In Preview I selected Command P and its print dialog box appeared and it had the orientation buttons Pages was missing. I'm able to select vertical and the envelop prints fine.

Is this a bug in the iWork apps? I thought all Cocoa Mac OS X apps were supposed to have the same print dialog box. Why would the orientation buttons not be available?

Here are links to screenshots of the print dialog boxes from Preview and Pages '09:

Preview - print dialog box that works correctly:

Pages '09 - print dialog box that is missing important options:

Any help with this would be appreciated.


Power Mac G5 Dual 2.0, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Peggy Level 8 Level 8
    Pages still has File > Page Setup… where you set the paper size. Preview does it all in the print dialog.

  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7
    Virtually all OSX applications separate the two functions of Printing and Print Setup.

    Safari, Mail and iPhoto are different because Apple as a leader in GUI design understands the value of consistency in the user interface.

    Basically *Page Setup* handles all the background stuff, page size, orientation etc, which you basically leave alone once it is done.

    The Print dialog box then deals with the final options for output.

    Except of course when you called up *Print Preview*, which is when the 2 cross over. I assume so that you can correct any visually obvious problems.
  • Alan Agardi Level 1 Level 1
    Ryan -

    My thought is to always use the right tool for the job. In this case, using Pages '09 to print an envelope is not the appropriate tool.

    The app of choice for me has been - since the days of OS 8.x - a widget called EasyEnvelopes. And - be still my beating heart - it's FREE.

    It's available at

    After filling in the return address and the address, the Print command is the printer on the postage stamp.

    So easy - and it works perfectly - every time. It will even store addresses - so that if you need to do an envelope to the same party again and again, it's got that covered.


  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7
    Personally my heart races at the thought of window face envelopes.

  • Ryan K. Level 1 Level 1
    Thank you all for your help on this.

    In Pages I've changed the orientation of my envelope in Page Setup, but when I do, the page, in this case my envelope, flips vertical but my text, return address and my address, do not which messes up the entire envelope.

    Page Setup orientation only flips the document not the document and it's contents which I understand. What I don;'t understand is why orientation for printing is not in the Pages print dialog box. Oh well.

    I guess it's not a good tool for creating and printing envelopes. I still think it's a strange omission.

    Thanks again.
  • guiroo Level 1 Level 1
    Ryan K. wrote: Page Setup orientation only flips the document not the document and it's contents which I understand. What I don;'t understand is why orientation for printing is not in the Pages print dialog box. Oh well.

    While still a software bug, I think I found a fix. I use the page orientation to flip the page then I reverse the dimensions of the page (Height as width and width as height) and then I can print envelopes.
  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 Level 7

    I don't believe that there is any problem with how Pages prints envelopes, only a problem with your understanding of how it is done. The key to understanding what will happen when you print in either portrait or landscape mode is to study the graphics in the screen shot you posted for the Preview Print Dialog, which is similar to the dialog for Pages' Page Setup.

    Note that the Orientation icons have a "little man" symbol and a direction arrow. The little man indicates how text will be printed on the sheet, from head to toe, with lines of text parallel to his shoulders. The arrows indicate the direction of paper travel through your printer. Neither the printer nor the Pages program know or care how you insert the paper into the printer, but you must.

    If you select Portrait Orientation, lines of text in your document will be printed at right angles to the direction of travel of paper through your printer. If you select Landscape Orientation, lines of text in your document will be printed parallel to the direction of paper travel through your printer.

    Another way to say the same thing is to say: in Portrait Orientation the first thing printed will be the top line of document text. In Landscape Orientation, the first thing printed will be the left edge of your document text.

    Hope this helps.

  • Badunit Level 6 Level 6

    Before reading your post I had not used Pages to print an envelope but I became curious about it when I saw your question. As a test, I used one of the envelope templates and printed it. It printed in the correct orientation for me, just as it should have. My printer feeds envelopes like most others, short edge first. I'm sure that this is no help to you, as it is not a solution to your problem, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.
  • Chris ORourke Level 1 Level 1
    Wouldn't it have been easier to just answer Ryan's question rather than give him a tutorial on how printing is supposed to work?
    I've got multiple users with the same issue when printing envelopes. According to the great mantra of Apple "It should just work". In this case it doesn't. Regardless of correct printing protocols, policies or even grand voodoo experimentation what should be a simple solution of:
    1. fill out envelope template
    2. press print
    3. use printed envelope of perfection

    what really happens is it ends up being more of an exercise in futility as people experiment to get it to work.

    Maybe the perfect solution you could provide would be updated page settings to explain how to fix this issue?
  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 Level 7
    Excuse me, Chris. I'm just a user as you are. I don't work for Apple and have no influence on what the programs do.

    Don't you believe that the best way to master a program is to understand how it works? Should the envelope be printed correctly even if the user puts the wrong side into the printer first? Arrows and stick figures are pretty well established international standards, we just need to pay attention to them.

  • Chris ORourke Level 1 Level 1
    I concur on lack of influence however in this situation pages does not print correctly based on it's own settings for #10 envelopes. If you read through the rest of the pages subforum you'll see dozens of people with the same issue.
    It's not about understanding it's that the app does not print according to the rules. If I had to guess I'd say that the devs didn't change any of the underlying code from older versions but the ui team changed the ui which made it incompatible with the original settings.
  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 Level 7

    I just took a #10 envelope and inserted it in my HP printer according to the diagram on the printer's paper guide shelf. I used Pages' Classic Envelope template, which is preset to a #10 and landscape print orientation. I printed the document and everything went where it was supposed to, in the proper orientation, on the envelope.

    So, what rules are being broken? None that I can see. What code has been changed? What difference does it make when it works perfectly. Apple's getting a bad rap here. It does just work. Perhaps my history with Apple isn't as lengthy as yours and I may not be aware of how the print setup worked in the past, but as of now, if you just open the envelope template, fill in the return address and addressee, and select File Print, everything works assuming the paper is inserted in the printer per the printer's instructions. There are eight different ways to attempt to place a blank envelope into a printer; seven of them will give bad results.

    You have yet to clearly explain what problem you and your multiple users are having.

  • Neil Paisnel Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X
    Well I would have to aggree that it does NOT 'Just Work' and it is not intuitive.
    The diagrams of the little man with the arrow do not help and in fact even seemed wrong.
    Last night I tried to print and envelope and after 6 enveolpes and about 4 sheets of cut up A4 paper, I gave up. I did not know the correct name for the envelope type, so created a custom paper size of the envelope size (size 22cm x 11cm).

    It looks fine on screen, but which ever button I used in the preview window, it always came out with the lines of text 90 degrees to the direction of travel.

    I eventually managed to get it to work by using the technique as described by somoeone else above, of changing the paper dimensions on my custom size. I swapped the dimensions from 11x22cm to 22x11cm.
    It looked exactly the same on the screen as the previous paper setup but printed correctly when printed on a sheet of A4. So I stuck in my one but last envelope....but when swapping the dimensions on the custom paper size I forgot to reset the margin it printed off the edge of the envelope.

    With one envelope left I admitted defeat and fired up the Dell and did it in Windows and MS least that 'Just Works'

    OH...btw...anyone know what the name of the 11 x 22 cm envelope that takes a piece of A4 folded three times is called?
    Is this the #10 as talked about in this thread.
  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7

    That envelope is a standard *DL envelope* which Apple unfortunately does not have a page size for.

    The principle of printing is:

    You work in layout as you would read the file ie in this case in landscape.

    Depending how your printer expects the paper you set the feed to match.

    So if it accepts the flap edge first you leave the orientation as viewed (landscape) arrow up.

    If the printer accepts the envelope left edge first you turn the feed icon to match ie with the arrow pointing to the right.

    The Mac can't tell how the printer grabs the paper, unless you install the correct printer drivers or you manually tell it.

    It sounds like you have either not installed the correct printer drivers for your model printer or you have not chosen that Printer from the list of printers in the Print dialog box.

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