Simple address label app?

(Ron Risley) #21

Does the Brother software use the standard system printing features? In other words, do you get a regular print dialog when you use it that would let you print to other printers, save as PDF, etc?

Conversely, can you print to the Brother label printer from other apps (formatting issues aside)?

(Adam Engst) #22

BeLight tells me that Labels & Addresses still works fine in Mojave, but as a 32-bit app, won’t make the jump to the next version of macOS.

As a replacement, they’re pointing users to their Printworks app. It does labels, but I don’t yet know if it can do one-off labels on a printer like you’re talking about. I have a Seiko label printer somewhere so I’ll see if I can give it a try.

(Gordon Meyer) #23

I don’t use the Brother software because it is such an abomination, but it won’t even launch unless you have a Brother printer attached so I’m pretty sure it has other restrictions as well. Dymo has the same type of restrictions. (I also use a Dymo label printer for printing postage.)

I’ve tried using Word, Pages, and TextEdit but none work satisfactorily. (Those are all page oriented, and the labels aren’t tiny pages, no matter how hard I’ve tried to convince the parts otherwise.)

(Matt McCaffrey) #24

Does the Brother software use the standard system printing features? In other words, do you get a regular print dialog when you use it that would let you print to other printers, save as PDF, etc?

Conversely, can you print to the Brother label printer from other apps (formatting issues aside)?

Yes, and yes. It shows up in System Preferences—>Printers & Scanners as an available printer.

(James R Cutler) #25

I use Brother’s P-touch Editor 5.1 regularly with the QL-700 label printer. It certainly does not meet many of the expected macOS behaviors, making it sometimes difficult but not quite an abomination. Often, after launching the editor and editing a label, a printing attempt results in a dialog box announcing that the label printer is turned on or not connected. I can continue with the print operation and, if desired, select another printer and use it without restrictions. Or, just turn on the printer if a label is the print target.

Regarding restrictions, a valid printer serial number is required to download the editor software.

(Currently using macOS 10.13.6)

(Gordon Meyer) #26

Perhaps we have different experiences with launching the app because we have different printer models. Your QL-700 is much newer. We do have different tolerances for design, tho. Just one small example how I find the app offensive is that it doesn’t use the system font selector. But if it works for you, great. The alternative that is better for me is, unfortunately, abandoned.

(Adam Engst) #27

Unfortunately, I heard from BeLight that their Printworks software cannot print to label printers, unlike Labels & Addresses. :frowning:

(Tommy Weir) #28

Yep. Once Labels and Addresses is gone I’ll be on Dymo’s terrible app.

(James R Cutler) #29

Update on P-touch Editor: I currently use version 5.1.106 which has apparently not been updated since November of 2016. It is 64-bit and continues to work through macOS 10.14.2. The installer worked on a new Mojave install and another instance of the app survived upgrades from at least macOS 10.12.x.

The best part of the ‘bad’ interface is that it has not changed during the lifetime of the printer. This is in stark contrast to Apple’s continuous interface changes. My muscle memory has not needed any retraining for this app.

(frederico) #30

I haven’t looked at the code for years, but a good while back I wrote a simple program for one of my retail stores (could easily be replicated in Automator/AppleScript) that popped up, waited for input, and executed a single label print to a DYMO (serial, later via USB adapter) using Folder Actions and some further AppleScript.

It wasn’t for addresses, but that’s irrelevant; you could adapt the input to your needs. It relied on (at the time) shell scripts and PDF creation; it could be adapted to just talk to nearly any text-based app to get the job done (in backgorund; no sledgehammers need be opened), then either log or toss the address used.

Are you interested in something like this, or are you looking for a supported, commercial package?

(Gordon Meyer) #31

Thanks, Frederico, I think that’s a viable option of you’re willing to share it.

(frederico) #32

If your Brother printer is smart enough to do auto-fit (or dumb enough to just print the top left corner) it may be as simple as this:

set _printContent to (text returned of ( display dialog “Enter Address to Print” default answer “Name” & return & “Address Line 1” & return & “Address Line 2” & return & “City, State, ZIP Code”))

set _filePath to "/private/var/tmp/label" & (time of ( current date )) & “.txt”

do shell script "echo " & _printContent & " >> " & _filePath

set _newLabel to POSIX file _filePath as alias

print _newLabel with properties {target printer:“Adobe PDF 8.0”} with print dialog
(* replace “Adobe PDF 8.0” with your “Brother printer name” here; remove “with Print Dialog” if you just want it to print without any settings changes *)

do shell script "rm " & _filePath

If we need to manipulate formatting, typeface, etc. we can certainly go further; but I want to be certain this is something you think we can pursue; also, since I don’t have your printer model (I do have a DYMO), you may have to dive into some of the code settings yourself to fine tune it.

EDIT: Boy, Discourse sure made a mess of that code in a few places; be sure you copy/paste this new edit as of 12:03:35PM MST

(frederico) #33

I forgot to also say that we could build this as a Service, so you could select the text of an already (or reasonably) formatted address from any application, right-click (or hotkey) to automatically just capture the address text, and optionally stop to allow you to double check the formatting, then print, with, or without, a print dialog.

(Gordon Meyer) #34

Thanks! The script is great, but I need to do some debugging as the printed label comes out blank. It appears to be a problem with the paper size setting, as the preview in the Print dialog shows a full page, but normally when you print to the Brother, the preview reflects the size of the label. Thanks again for getting me off on the right path!

(frederico) #35

Yes, I kinda expected that might be the case; not having your model printer to test. What will need to happen (as you’ve figured out) is to create a document whose properties do not default to 8.5"x11". This is generally best done by either generating a full PDF, but requires more code to generate all the document parameters, or by simply creating a template first in pretty much any text editor; then using less code in making a copy of the template for each job, and inserting the text to the already-formatted page, then printing.

(frederico) #36

BTW, for now, you can just use the printer dialog to change the destination paper size and use the ‘scale to fit’ option (assuming your Brother has it enabled); I just tested it with my DYMO and it works. If you further create a custom printer profile, you can more quickly enable these two options; and further, if you are OK with ‘Use Last Used Settings’ under the presets, you won’t have to think about it.

(Adam Engst) #37

FYI, Discourse has Markdown-style support for code. Just prefix a line by four spaces or surround text with backticks.

This is a line of code

This line contains two words of code.

It won’t get you AppleScript-style formatting of the code, but it will provide a decent approach. You can also just select your code and click the code button with angle brackets in the Discourse editor’s toolbar to format a chunk of text all at once.

(frederico) #38

set _gratitudeExpression to "Thanks, Adam; I really should try to challenge my degenerative condition more by learning to use new systems; but some days it's all I can do to keep my prior skills." & return & return & "But I do want to express my continued gratitude for your impressive oversight and helpfulness in moderating these boards." & return
set _deservedPraise to "You're the best!"
set {a, b, c} to {"Humble Denial", "It's just my job… ", "Cheers"}
set _heroResponse to button returned of (display dialog _gratitudeExpression & _deservedPraise with title "Board Hero Appreciation Award" buttons {a, b, c} default button 3 with icon 1)
if _heroResponse is c then
exit repeat
set _heroResponse to button returned of (display dialog _deservedPraise with title "No, For Reals" buttons {a, b, c} default button 3 with icon 2)
end if
end repeat
display notification "Happy Saturday" with title "Frederico Says:" subtitle "Hooray for Weekends!" sound name "Wild Eeep"