Check address block misaligned in envelope window

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RossEvans
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Check address block misaligned in envelope window

Postby RossEvans » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:18 am

We have a large ward with a lot of check-writing. Thinking to make this process less burdensome on the finance clerk (me), we recently ordered a box of 1,000 preprinted envelopes with the window for payee and address.

Unforturnately, the place where MLS prints that address is so high in the window that the first line (the payee name) is almost obscured. And if there is any variance in the physical printer offsets, as there is on our HP Laserjet 1300 when it takes manually fed stock, the line is obscured altogether. (I can find no place in the printer setup to change this offset.)

There does seem to be ample white space on the check and in the window below the address, although I have not tested it with a two-line street address.

Since the church stationery inventory probably has a billion such envelopes, perhaps an easy solution to this would be for the MLS software to print the payee block slightly below where it does.

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Postby aebrown » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:35 am

boomerbubba wrote:Unfortunately, the place where MLS prints that address is so high in the window that the first line (the payee name) is almost obscured. And if there is any variance in the physical printer offsets, as there is on our HP Laserjet 1300 when it takes manually fed stock, the line is obscured altogether. (I can find no place in the printer setup to change this offset.)


You can put the check in the envelope with the check appearing in the window (bluish background), or the stub (white background). I have had much better luck using the stub, but even then the payee name is sometimes partially obscured, unless the check is situated right at the bottom of the envelope. Of course, even if you carefully tap the envelope to make sure the check is at the bottom, it may shift during handling.

But the payee is the least important piece of information for delivery. I've never had a mailed check returned, and I've sent hundreds of checks in windowed envelopes. I agree that it would look a bit better if MLS printed the address block a bit lower, but since I've had no delivery problems, I've ceased worrying about it.

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Postby RossEvans » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:50 am

Alan_Brown wrote:You can put the check in the envelope with the check appearing in the window (bluish background), or the stub (white background). I have had much better luck using the stub, but even then the payee name is sometimes partially obscured, unless the check is situated right at the bottom of the envelope. Of course, even if you carefully tap the envelope to make sure the check is at the bottom, it may shift during handling.


Thanks for the tip. I'll try that with reimbursement checks to members. Our practice is to provide them with both the check and that middle stub.

But with checks mailed to third-party vendors, I have always preferred to retain the middle part of the stub in our own records, or possibly hand it to a fast-offering recipient for his own records. Much of the time we are mailing the vendor's own paperwork, such as the detached portion of a utility bill, as an enclosure anyway.

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Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:08 am

I agree, I've seen this every time I've stuffed a windowed envelope. I even tried to tweak the Check Printing Offsets found in System Options --> Printing, but the results were unacceptable, as it shifts every part of the check and not just the address, making a few of the printed parts collide with pre-printed areas on the check form. I quickly returned those to the default of zero for my LaserJet 1100 and gave up trying to correct the problem.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:14 am

boomerbubba wrote:But with checks mailed to third-party vendors, I have always preferred to retain the middle part of the stub in our own records, or possibly hand it to a fast-offering recipient for his own records. Much of the time we are mailing the vendor's own paperwork, such as the detached portion of a utility bill, as an enclosure anyway.


You have the top portion of the stub for your own records, so you shouldn't need to keep the middle portion. The online lesson Handling Church Expenses says (on slide 20) that you are to deliver the check stub (middle portion) to the payee:

Each expense normally has four supporting documents that you should keep in the ward files.
These documents include:

  • The top portion of the printed MLS check (if your ward prints checks from MLS).
  • The check stub and the check should be delivered to the payee.
...
As a recipient of ward checks (I'm a stake financial clerk), I very much appreciate receiving the stub for my documentation. I imagine other payees are in a similar situation, so I would recommend that you follow the documented practice.

Using the check stub for the address that appears in the window of the envelope also has the benefits of being more readable and not looking quite so much like a check.

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Postby RossEvans » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:20 am

Alan_Brown wrote:You have the top portion of the stub for your own records, so you shouldn't need to keep the middle portion. The online lesson Handling Church Expenses says (on slide 20) that you are to deliver the check stub (middle portion) to the payee.


Thank you, again, for the remedial lesson. I will change our practice to conform.

As far as the possiblity of tweaking the MLS check format goes, the formatting of the middle stub seems to offer even greater opportunity for improvement. On that portion of the printed output, the designer does not have to worry about the address block getting too close to the ABA bank numbers at the bottom of the check portion.

EDIT: I just looked at an uncashed reimbursement check that I have, and the address block in the stub is slightly below the position it is on the check. So I guess if I am following instructions, and use the stub in the window, there is no serious problem. Call this one pilot error.

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Postby RossEvans » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:03 am

I'm going to renew this gripe. Even after following all the best practices above, addresses on the check stub still don't align well with the window on the envelope.

Contrary to Alan_Brown's experience, ours is not benign. We recently had a fast-offering check to a landlord returned by the Postal Service because the addressee name was not visible. This caused real problems because the rent payment was late.

It seems to me that it should not be a huge task to alter the formatting of the check-printing software. There is ample white space appearing in the window below the address.

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Postby jbh001 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:34 am

boomerbubba wrote:I'm going to renew this gripe. Even after following all the best practices above, addresses on the check stub still don't align well with the window on the envelope.

Contrary to Alan_Brown's experience, ours is not benign. We recently had a fast-offering check to a landlord returned by the Postal Service because the addressee name was not visible. This caused real problems because the rent payment was late.

It seems to me that it should not be a huge task to alter the formatting of the check-printing software. There is ample white space appearing in the window below the address.

This makes me feel like ours is the only unit not experiencing problems with this. For us, the middle portion of the check stock shows the address just fine through the envelope window. Perhaps the problem is the printer. I seem to recall that the HP LaserJet 1300 (and 1200, and 1100, and 6L, and 5L) all had paper feed problems, or eventually developed them. And HP's current offerings appear to have abandoned that way of feeding the paper through the printer. Perhaps it is time for a replacement.

As for the Post Office, I would talk to the postmaster about it. By their own rules, they read the address from the bottom line up. I've had mail carriers return properly addressed mailpieces as undeliverable, eventhough everything was formatted correctly and there were no typos in the address (rare that it was returned, but it does happen).

The Post Office expects the address to shift around a bit, but if you can whack the bottom edge of the envelope against a table top and the entire address is then readable through the window, it is deliverable. If not, you need to refold the contents so the complete address shows through the window. This is much easier to do with the middle portion of the check stock than with the check itself.

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Postby russellhltn » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:45 am

Under System Options, there are settings for "Check Printing Options". It may be worth trying to see if you can bring the address block into the window without moving other items too far away from their "home".
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Postby RossEvans » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:47 am

jbh001 wrote:This makes me feel like ours is the only unit not experiencing problems with this. For us, the middle portion of the check stock shows the address just fine through the envelope window. Perhaps the problem is the printer. I seem to recall that the HP LaserJet 1300 (and 1200, and 1100, and 6L, and 5L) all had paper feed problems, or eventually developed them. And HP's current offerings appear to have abandoned that way of feeding the paper through the printer. Perhaps it is time for a replacement.


We use an HP 1300, a small workhorse that has been churning out printouts for years. I have found that the paper feeds more reliably when using the tray rather than the manual feed. But even using the tray method, the first line of an address can be obscured in the envelope window.

It's hard to blame this on a paper-feed problem, because that would affect the alignment of all fields on the full check page. The fields on the check itself do not seem misaligned. I also have no problem with alignment when mailing labels are printed.

And I do try physically tapping the check within the envelope to make sure it is at the bottom. That does not cure the problem. What would cure the problem would be adjusting the alignment in the MLS software.


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