Homebrew QSL-card redux

For those of you who may be, like me, too cheap to buy QSL cards or software, or, more accurately, we love to homebrew ham-related stuff, one useful alternative is to use a free office-suite program such as LibreOffice (Linux, Windows, OS X). It has a slick Draw module that can produce some nice-looking QSLs.

But (and there’s always a “but”), I found it hard to make the best use of an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of card stock. I had a tough time getting more than two 3-1/2 by 5-1/2 cards to a sheet. The reason:¬† There seemed to be no way to get my printer to accept far narrower page margins I’d applied to the 8-1/2 x 11 inch document containing my cards.

I had three cards on the page, but the printer would shave some off the top of the first card and some off the bottom of the third card to get everything to fit. There seemed to be no way to accommodate really narrow margins. That led to more wasted stock than I wanted to see.

After some noodling, however, lightning struck, in a manner of speaking.

The result:

Image

The trick was to move margins on an 8-1/2 x 11 LibreOffice Draw document as close to the page edges as possible, lay out the three cards to fit within the far narrower margins, then print as though I’m using slightly larger paper, A4 (no margins). Voil√†: three cards to a printed 8-1/2 x 11 inch page of card stock.

Now I’m sure some of you more computer savvy folks have or will come up with a less kludgey way to do this, but this works.

Printing to an A4 page, you have nothing on the page below what would have been the 11-inch mark, so the printer stops depositing ink after about 10-3/4 inches, or wherever the bottom of the third card falls.

Oh, and the little text block to the right of the QSL cards at the top of the page? That’s a note to self to return things to the letter-size settings after I’m through printing a batch of QSLs.

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One Response to “Homebrew QSL-card redux”

  1. Paul W. Ross Says:

    Do “4 up” for printing. I got mine done from a PDF file with MS Publisher I took to Staples.

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