RE: Everyone needs to know JavaScript

1 Min Read
231 words

Back in the nineties, I got semi-good at JavaScript when I was building websites for a graphic design company where I worked. Changed jobs and had no need for it for about two decades.

Then a couple of years ago at my last paycheck job before my retirement my vestigial skills came in handy. I was working at a health insurance company. The folks in the mailroom down the hall would periodically get sent a one-page PDF (“File X”) that had to be mailed to thousands of people. They’d have thousands of them printed and then on the blank backside hand-affix address labels, run the sheets though a folding machine, and put them in address-window envelopes for mailing. Easily thousands of Avery label sheets (30 addresses per sheet) of manual labor a week.

I got wind of what they were doing and knew that there had to be a better way. Went online and found a snippet of JavaScript that I could modify so that they could use it to build a large PDF file where all of the odd-numbered pages were File X and all of the even-numbered pages had one address from an Excel file with the address in the correct position for the envelope widow. They could then do a double-sided print run.

They looked at me like I’d stepped down from the cross.

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