Thursday, May 20, 2010

Brother P-Touch QL-500 and Outlook 2007

A few months ago I picked up an office label printer Brother P-Touch QL-500 for about $90.

This printer is supposedly compatible with Outlook 2007 (which I also use plugin based CRMs including Business Contact Manager and Avidian Prophet).

However there are some massive issues.  For a start, the drivers (latest update in 2009) do not work with Outlook 2007 and Windows XP, although they claim to be compatible.  Sure you can do some stuff but you are limited to default styles that are not compatible with the labels the printer uses.  It is effectively stuck on "Memo Style" and "Table Style" - any other type of paper you change it to Outlook blocks you with the error "The paper size is not valid. Check the values for Width and Height."

The add-on does work, but only allows individual printing of labels, which defeats the purpose of a label printer.  Bulk printing of labels from within Outlook's contact system is impossible without manually importing and exporting.  It is not available on the list view and selecting multiple and only available.

Disappointingly, the product is now already listed as an "obsolete model" by Brother.  oh Brother ...

The worst part about buying printers like this is you never know just how compatible they will be with Office applications until you buy them, unwrap them and get them going.

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