13 Replies Latest reply on Mar 27, 2017 10:30 AM by fmkelly

    How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?

    fmkelly

      BACKGROUND, and then the PROBLEM: Our invoice file is in Filemaker. I typically access it in FMPro 7, but also have FM11, and FM12 on two other computers. Our invoices have all the purchase details, plus images of the products that were purchased. I want to create a generic postcard layout in my invoice database that will allow me to print the 4 postcards on pre-perfed 8.5 x 11 postcard stock. Addresses would be on the "A" side of the postcard, along with some photos from that invoice. On the "B" side, I would have more photos of what was purchased and a text box for copy. This would allow me to ...say...bring up a list of 20 invoices, switch to the postcard layout, and then run down the list and write a few words specific to each client relevant to their particular purchase in the text box. I would then print side "A" through the manual feed of my Xerox Phaser onto the pre-perfed postcard stock. Once side A was done, I would re-feed the postcard stock to print side B.

      My Problem: I have no problem creating either side A, or side B in my layouts. My issues is trying to get the 4 postcards / side "A" to line up with the refeed when printing side "B". I've been using the label layout. It seems like it would be an easy tweek, but I've yet to hit it. I've tried the page set-up, and some other things. I just want to print 4 quadrants (postcards) of data on side A, we'll call them 1, 2, 3, 4. And then print corresponding data on side B so that 1, 2, 3, 4 match up on both sides before I mail those puppies out. Any assistance would be appreciated. Thanks...

        • 1. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
          usbc

          Can it be as simple as giving all the records in each batch a sequential number for sorting. (making sure the total number divides x 4)

          Sort

          After running the A side: flip the cards and rotate the leading edge to the opposite

          Sort the records backwards.

          • 2. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
            fmkelly

            Hey USBC - Thanks for the response.  You know, I thought about that earlier, along with a few other options, but I think your sequence nailed it.  I was thinking about it more while eating a gyro at work this evening.  The combination just may work.  Standby...

            • 3. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
              fmkelly

              I took 8 records.  Sorting in ascending order by the invoice number.  Then printed Side A.  Then...

              > Resorted 8 records in descending order

              > Flipped printed sheet with Side A up

              > Rotated printed sheet so the leading edge from the first print, was now the trailing edge

              > Printed.

              >Pull hair out.  Still didn't line up.  It's a Rubik's Cube!

              • 4. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
                erolst

                Try this: create a sort field (type number) and a calculation field.

                 

                Define the calculation field:

                 

                printing across: sortField + Case ( Mod ( sortField ; 2 ) ; 1 ; -1 ).

                 

                printing down: Case ( orderField > 2 ; order field - 2 ; order field + 2 ) too naïve by half …

                 

                Let ( [

                ~p = sortField ;

                ~d = Div ( ~p ; 4 ) ;

                ~m = Mod ( ~p ; 4 ) ;

                ~m = Case ( ~m = 0 ; 4 ; ~m )

                ] ;

                ~d * 4 + ~m + Case ( ~m > 2 ; - 2 ; 2 )

                )


                • Sort your records in the desired front page order

                • Replace Field Contents of the order field with the default values (1, 1) of the Serial Number option

                • Print the front page

                • Re-sort by the calc field

                • Print the flip page

                • 5. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
                  rgordon

                  This doesn't directly address your question but have you considered using 4 by 6 inch index cards.  This would be easier to figure plus you would have the ability to print just 1, 2 or 3 cards.  You also don't have to tear the cards apart.  4 by 6 still qualifies for postcard rate.

                  • 6. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
                    fmkelly

                    I tried to set up a calculation field, but of course, I wasn't sure what would be calculating.  I copied your calculation in to the calculation field thinking there was something I didn't know...besides all the obvioius things I don't know...anyway...I wasn't doing something right.  It's amazing to me there isn't a template for this.  When it works, it will be great!  I do appreciate your reply, and will keep working on a solution.

                    • 7. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
                      fmkelly

                      Hey rgordon...There you go with that common sense stuff, eh?  "Hey, you want to print postcards, why not print directly on to postcard size stock?"  Yeh.  Well, that's esy for you to say, and probably the best solution.  I guess I got so hung up on how "easy" this was going to be, that I basically burned the better part of a day futzing around with it.  Now, if I go with the A3 (postcard) print, all I need to do now is figure out how to get my Xerox 8560 to print to that size, along with my Mac.  I will tackle that, but probably not tonight.  It's after 10 now, and time for a beer.  Thanks for your reply.  I'll keep everybody posted when I finally settle on a solution.  Cheers!

                      • 8. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
                        fmkelly

                        Man, you're breaking my heart.  I really appreciate your input / effort.  Keep in mind, I'm probably wandering in the mist out of my league here.  While I love Filemaker, and basically run our business on it with all sorts of programs I've cobbled together, I by no means would call myself a "systems developer".  I just know enough to be dangerous, and have a great appreciation for the folks that really know what they're doing.  I will revisit this tomorrow.  Who knows, maybe in the meantime someone will come up with an app I can buy for $9.99 and be done with this!  Thanks again...it's beer-thirty for me now.  10:20 EST. CHEERS!

                        • 9. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
                          rgordon

                          If you print columns from left to right instead of down to up here is a fairly simple calc that can be used for a sort field for the second pass.  If the record number is odd, add 1 to the number.  If it is even, subtract 1 from the number.  If you sort by this field the second pass should line up with the first pass.

                          • 10. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
                            fmkelly

                            EUREKA! I hate to say I found my own answer...but it turns out that way.  This is a case of FileMaker having an easy solution, but some how...some where... there is little said or posted about it.  So, here goes.  The solution is very easy.  In the print dialog box, you'll see "Copies Pages". Scroll down to "Layout". This is something I never need, so I never do it.  Today, I did.  In the Layout, you can choose the number of pages per sheet.  I chose 4, since I have 4 postcards per sheet.  Here's the easy part.  See the "Layout Direction".  This is the sweet spot that makes it all possible.  For Side A, I print in the 1-2-3-4 Layout Direction.  For Side B, I just click on the next icon...second from the left, which will orient the 4 pages per sheet in the 4-3-2-1 layout.  I've already tried it, and it works perfectly with my test layouts.  Later today, I'll put together some layouts specific to my offers and see how it goes.  Thanks again to everybody that took the time to answer.  Hope this provides another option for you.FlipSidePrinting.jpg

                            • 11. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
                              rgordon

                              Good discovery!  I've used FileMaker for 20 years and didn't know that feature is there.  I've never needed this in the past but if I do in the future, I'll know where to go.

                              • 12. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
                                fmkelly

                                Thanks for the note, Gordon. I seem to remember seeing that page in the old FMP7 manual. Of course, I didn't remember it until I had wasted the better part of the day trying to figure it out. Oh well onward and upward. Thanks again. Kelly

                                 

                                Sent from my iPhone

                                • 13. Re: How can I create/print postcards that match data on both sides?
                                  fmkelly

                                  You will need to flip the paper and rotate the leading edge.