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PostNet Codes on Writer

 
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cburkitt
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Joined: 20 Jun 2009
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Location: Saint Paul, MN

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:12 pm    Post subject: PostNet Codes on Writer Reply with quote

It is possible to create PostNet codes in Ooo but not advisable. I found that out recently while trying to generate Postnet codes for a mail merge I wanted to do. I had no trouble generating the postnet codes and obtaining a barcode font, but I discovered a couple of facts I had not previously know.

1. PostNet codes have changed over the years. The current version has a format of Zip+4+CD+DP where,

    Zip+4 is the 9-digit zip code
    CD is the check digit found by summing the zip digits, discarding all but the ones digit, and subtracting that from 10<
    DP is a two-digit delivery point code, usually the last two digits of the address number


2. The current PostNet is deprecated in favor of Intelligent Mail Barcode (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_Mail_Barcode). Intelligent Mail Barcode is specifically designed for large bulk mailers. Individual users do not benefit from using it.

3. There is no benefit from sorting mail by Zip unless you are mailing more than 250 pieces more often than three times annually. To get a bulk rate, you have to pay $200 to join the bulk mailing program. Only then do you get lower rates and benefit from sorting your mail or using postnet codes.

The post office does not expect low volume mailers to use postnet code, and there is no benefit in doing so. Mail sorting equipment is very good at recognizing zip codes and routing mail accordingly. My advice is just to make sure your addresses are printed in an easily readable font. I suggest an OCR font.

Bulk mailers who really need to use delivery codes should contact the post office about specifications and program requirements. OpenOffice has never been intended for bulk mailers.

One last note: I do not use MS Word, but I came across claims that PostNet had been removed from recent versions of Word.
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AndrewZ
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once you join the program, there are rules and paperwork that make it troublesome unless you are mailing a significant volume.

For us the bulk mail rate program was worth it. Most of our postage was about 10 cents (local geography, non-profit rate). I used to prepare mailings upwards of 200,000 pieces using Mailers+4 from MelissaData (which does the paperwork, sorting, address standardization, plus+4 lookup, etc.) and printers such as a high-speed printer from Neopost.
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