'Tis the season for sending out Christmas cards! Being a cartoonist, I design and print out my own Christmas cards. Each year, my Christmas card features characters (or a comic) from my George comic strip. This year, my Christmas card was created completely (100%) in Linux! I designed it using Linux, I printed it using Linux and I addressed all the envelopes using the OpenOffice envelope and database functions. And, yes, this was done in Linux, as well!
Now, after using Windows all these years, how did I make the transition? And, was it difficult? Not at all!
First, I designed the card completely in Scribus! Scribus is a free, professional level desktop publishing program for Linux. It worked just like any other desktop publishing program I've ever used in Windows. More on that process in a later post.
The next big hurdle was getting my Christmas list database printed out to individual envelopes. This was new territory for me because, in the past, I had relied on Windows programs to handle this task.
Well, the Linux and OpenOffice community came to my rescue! I visited OpenOffice.org and queried the support forums on how to convert my delimited text file (also saved as a spreadsheet file, both from Windows applications) to a database file. The folks gave me the answer here.
Now that I have my database, the next thing I needed to know was how to make use of this information to address envelopes. A quick Google search turned up this site. Here, I found my answer on how to merge the database with an envelope design and print out all my envelopes in OpenOffice. The process was flawless! And, even easier than other programs I've used to accomplish this.
So, this holiday season,if you're creating your own Christmas cards, remember to give Scribus and OpenOffice a try. For best results, first get Linux!