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  • Creating Mailing Labels

    Overview

    You can use many different programs to make and print labels from addresses generated by Autodesk MapGuide. This tutorial covers Microsoft Word and Microsoft Access. If you use other word processing or database software these procedures may still give you some insight into the process.

    Using Autodesk MapGuide's reports feature, you can create reports on a data layer's selected objects. These reports are displayed in another browser window and can be printed and saved using browser options, typically File, Print... and File, Save As... The report can then be used to make mailing labels.

    Most parcel reports that we can read easily are not likely to be in the correct format to make mailing labels. The reports are not designed for any particular label size. Furthermore, the number of lines per address varies depending on the length of the address. If the report was simply printed to label forms, a few addresses might line up OK and then an address with more or fewer lines would cause following labels to be misaligned.

    For these reasons, it is necessary to use other software outside of MapGuide to format the report for labels instead of simply printing the report to labels directly from MapGuide. A comma delimited report is the report format accepted by most other software to make labels. The comma delimited report easy for the other software to read, even if it's hard for us to read. Most users use Microsoft Word or another word processor to make labels. If you import a comma delimited report into a database, then it is likely that the database has the capability to print to labels. Importing a comma delimited report into Microsoft Access works well.

    No doubt there are a number of procedures that can be used to make labels from MapGuide in addition to these specific procedures.

    Before You Start - Displaying File Type Extensions

    In Windows, file names include both a name part and an extension indicting the file type. For instance, labels.txt (a "text" file), letter.doc (generally a Word document), or index.htm (an HTML web page). The comma delimited report file you make for your labels should be a text file with the .txt extension.

    Unfortunately, Windows defaults to hiding file extensions for .txt and most other files types. Since you'll be working with .txt files, you should set Windows to show the file type extension rather than hiding it. To tell Windows show file type extensions:

    1. Open the Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer) or double-click the "My Computer" icon on the desktop.
    2. Pick Tools, Folder Options... from the menu to display the Folder Options dialog window.
    3. Pick the View tab.
    4. Find the entry "Hide extensions for known file types".
    5. Remove the check from the check box next to "Hide extensions for known file types" or leave it blank if it's already unchecked.
    6. Click OK to close the Folder Options dialog window.

    Now you should see file extensions, including .txt, when saving and opening files in all your Windows applications, including Internet Explorer and Word.

    Making a Comma Delimited Address Report With MapGuide

    See MapGuide Tutorial: Creating Reports if you haven't already. It's also a good idea to review About situs addresses to understand the distinction between the parcel owner's mailing address and the parcel situs address.

    Prior to printing labels with Microsoft Word or Microsoft Access, create a comma delimited report with information for your labels from MapGuide as follows:

    • Select one or more parcels on the map as the basis for the report as explained in MapGuide Tutorial: Creating Reports.
    • Make the address report in MapGuide by choosing the report using the View Report" icon in the MapGuide toolbar or right-click View, View Reports... to bring up the list of available reports.
    • To print labels of the parcel owner's mailing address:
      • Select "Owner adr, situs and values (comma delimited with header)". Be sure to choose the with header report.
    • To print labels using the parcel's situs address(es):
      • Select "Situs addresses (comma delimited with header)". Be sure to choose the with header report.
    • Review the report which opens in a new window.
    • Use your web browser to save the report as a ".txt" file:
      • Select File, Save As...
      • Find the folder you want to use for the saved file.
      • Make sure "Save as type:" is set to "Text File (*.txt)".
      • Enter the full name of the file such as "myfile.txt" (without the quotes) after "File Name:".
      • Click Save.

    Using Microsoft Word or Microsoft Access to Print Labels

    Once you have your address list in comma delimited format, you can use Microsoft Word or Microsoft Access to make and print labels.

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