Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 3, NO. 11 / MARCH 1985


Print your own return address labels

Now you can print tiny return address labels with fancy borders, just like the ones sold in mail-order catalogs.  This short BASIC program will run on any Atari.  As written, it's for a Gemini 10X printer.  But the article explains how Label Maker can easily be modified to work with any dot-matrix printer that prints condensed and subscript lettering.

Let's say you just ordered 500 return address stickers from one of those coupon sections in the Sunday paper.  Then two weeks after the labels arrive in the mail, your company transfers you to Minot, North Dakota.
  Well, no need to worry any more.  With the Label Maker and your Atari, your printer can turn out an unlimited labels.  Print out a few for your Aunt Betty, or for Uncle Harry who keeps telling you that the Atari is just a toy.
  Type in listing 1, checking it with TYPO II, and SAVE it to disk or cassette.  Later in this article we'll explain how to use Listing 2, which prints larger labels.
  For this program to work, you need a dot matrix printer capable of printing in both condensed and super-supply of fancy-trim return address script modes.  It should also be able to handle size 3.5" x 15/16", (single width) labels with tractor feed sprocket holes.

The program as written is for a Gemini 10X.  To adapt it for your own printer, you need to change the codes in line 620.
  Presently, line 620 contains the Gemini printer codes for condensed and superscript lettering.  This gives you the smallest type available from the printer.  The condensed print code is CHR$(15).  The setting for superscript is CHR$(27); CHR$(83); CHR$(0).  Then CHR$(51) and CHR$(12) set the line feed to 12/144 inches.
  You'll have to find the comparable codes from your own printer manual and substitute them for the line 620 settings shown above.  For example, with an Epson FX-80 simply change the CHR$(12) to CHR$(18).  The codes for both condensed and superscript are identical on both printers.  But the Epson's line feed codes are counted in 216th of an inch instead of the Gemini's 144th of an inch.

Now load your label paper into your printer and RUN Listing 1. You will be asked to enter a border character.  For now, press [X] and the screen will display an example of what the label will look like with X's as the border.  You can then accept that border or choose another character.
  If you press [ESC] at this point, you will be asked for a 3 digit number representing one of the graphics characters found on page 227 of the Gemini manual. (Epson owners can ignore the special characters).  Type in your number and press [RETURN].  Since your computer has different character codes than the Gemini chart, what you next see on the screen will not be the same character as what is printed.
  As you continue with the program, you are given opportunities to back up and re-do any of the steps.  Eventually, you enter the name and address as it should appear on your labels.  Reference numbers appear overhead to help in centering each line.  At the end of each line, press [RETURN] to continue.
  When finished with the entire address, you can change your border character or press [RETURN] to continue.  Then you have the option of choosing any of the line numbers to re-edit, or choosing 0 if all is okay.
  Next, you are given the choice of [1] returning to edit or [2] printing.  After pressing [2], type in the number of labels you want, line up your printer and away you go!  When your labels are all printed, simply cut them into four parts with scissors and stick them on your envelopes as needed.
  If you want to print larger-one return address on each label-merge Listing 2 with listing 1 as follows: LOAD Listing 1 into memory then enter Listing 2 by typing ENTER "D:Filename" (Cassette, ENTER "C:").  Before running the altered program, turn your printer off to clear the memory buffer, then turn it on again to reset it.

William Watson lives in Reno, Nevada according to his return address label.

Program Listings