Last week, someone asked me for my fax number. I thought, “How quaint.” Seriously, there are some day-to-day office functions that are not email, web site related.
So it goes with mailing labels, envelopes, addresses. Old fashioned? Yes. For some. For others, it’s a factory job with Mail Factory.
Most of us at Mac360 have our favorite Mac applications and, as the Mac platform grows and software writers improve their wares, we have favorite developers, too.
BeLight Software falls into that category, and we’ve reviewed nearly every Mac application they publish. BeLight “gets it” and understands what a Mac application should look like and feel like.
If you’ve been a Mac user for any length of time, you understand about “feel.” In most cases, you can open a new Mac app, run through the menus, and get it working without devoting a week to PDF study.
BeLilght’s Mail Factory works that way, too. While the Help screens are, well, helpful, it’s doubtful you’ll need to spend much time there.
If faxes and email are not the only way you communicate with businesses and people, then having a built-in Mail Factory in your Mac will help.
Simply put, Mail Factory lets you create and print envelopes, address and shipping labels from your Mac.
Quickly, easily, accurately. No fuss, no mess, no bother.
Getting started with any new Mac app is a sweet challenge. Expectations are high. Mail Factory doesn’t disappoint. The 3 Step Assistant makes it easy to dispense with Help screens.
Select what you want. Label, Envelope, Postcard. Each tab provides different options. For labels, it’s all the standard and many non-standard label sizes; Avery, Decadry, APLI, A-One, Dymo, Seiko, MACO, Pimaco, and many others.
Select a label, and click Next. That’s Step One.
Step Two lets you define the label, center or flush left, or whatever, add color, and so on. Step Three is what you’d expect. The end. Almost.
Mac OS X’s AddressBook is integrated, so you can simply pull addresses you already have. Modify the Sender information, select One Recipient, or Multiple Recipients.
Click Finish and you’re ready to print.
Options? You want options? Sure, how many? You can customize the label size, content, or start over and design what you want from scratch.
More options? Import a mailing list from Excel, vCards, FileMaker, and pretty much any tab-delimited text file. If you’re into sorting, Mail Factory gives you all the basic options from contact fields; Name, Zip Code, State, whatever.
Also handy is the fact that Mail Factory is not US Centric. USPS, Canada Post, Royal Mail, even European and Japanese envelope and postcard sizes are available.
If you’re into customization, Mail Factory has built-in designs (dozens), built-in clipart (hundreds), and custom masks. It’s also Mac OS X Tiger savvy, and can apply Tiger’s Core Image filters to your imported images.
Comparing features to AddressBook is actually fun, since Mail Factory has more than AddressBook or anything else I’ve used.
I prefer Mac developers who recognize the difference between home, home office, and office. Mail Factory is $39.95 for the full on edition that does everything. Not everyone needs a mail merge function for mass mailings and gazillions of addresses.
The Mail Factory Home Edition is half that price, but does the same basic envelopes, labels, mailings for those of us with more subtle requirements.
What’s great about BeLight’s applications is the attention to detail, ease-of-use, yet power and flexibility. Mail Factory’s only visible flaw is the now tired brushed aluminum look and the pure “gray is out of your way” design. A little color wouldn’t hurt.
Outside of that, if you need mailing labels, Mail Factory makes the process pleasant, not painful, with many more features than available in AddressBook, yet it integrates well letting you manage your names and address information as you always have.
Yes, we use email and PDFs these days. Labels and envelopes are not dead. What do you use to create and manage mailing labels and envelopes? Share your experience in the Comments section below.