MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Post Office and Shipping

Jan. 13, 2009
Jan. 14, 2009
Jan. 15, 2009
Jan. 16, 2009
Jan. 21, 2009
Jan. 23, 2009
Feb. 23, 2009
Apr. 30, 2009
May. 1, 2009
May. 2, 2009
May. 7, 2009
May. 8, 2009
May. 9, 2009
May. 28, 2009
Oct. 9, 2009
Oct. 20, 2009
Oct. 21, 2009
Oct. 22, 2009
Oct. 23, 2009
Nov. 2, 2009
Dec. 4, 2009
Feb. 5, 2010
Feb. 6, 2010
Feb. 12, 2010
Feb. 13, 2010
Feb. 24, 2010
Mar. 15, 2010
Mar. 16, 2010
Aug. 18, 2011
Aug. 19, 2011
Aug. 20, 2011
Aug. 22, 2011
Aug. 23, 2011
Oct. 14, 2011
Oct. 15, 2011
Oct. 17, 2011
Dec. 1, 2011
May. 18, 2013

Newer entries...
Jan. 13, 2009


Peter Goodman

This post is months after the previous one, but problems with USPS and Macs persist. Firefox is out in a new version, and in order to get it to work to print USPS labels, USPS has issued a set of instructions that require you to associate pdf files with Acrobat Reader (and only with Reader) using the Finder's Get Info window, as well as to set Reader preferences so that your browser will only open pdfs outside the browser in Reader.
This works, but I don't like having to open up Reader instead of Preview, since Preview is faster; and I REALLY don't like being forced to leave the browser to views pdfs.

USPS is being arrogant to demand this level of control over my computing environment just so I can print out their labels. No site that I know of requires this.

Note also that the USPS will not work with Safari in Tiger (constant crashing for me). Camino, another alternative, will not print labels at all, although other USPS functions work OK.
Does anyone have different, or better, experiences?

Jan. 14, 2009


J Ake

Yes. I use USPS weekly to print postage and have not had any (knock on wood) issues. I have both a PowerPC and an Intel computer, however both are running the latest version of Leopard. I am using Safari by way of the Webkit nightly builds, printing to an old Epson C88 in one case and an HP 6122 in the other. I haven't used Firefox once since switching over to Webkit. Based on my experience, I actually think that online postage is one of the best things that the USPS does.


MacInTouch Reader

You can use the free Swordfish Express to print labels without going through the USPS site:

They also have a paid-for version with more features.


Edward Anders

Peter Goodman wrote:

"USPS has issued a set of instructions that require you to associate pdf files with Acrobat Reader (and only with Reader) using the Finder's Get Info window, as well as to set Reader preferences so that your browser will only open pdfs outside the browser in Reader."

Set Firefox preferences to download but not open files. Locate the downloaded com.usps.cns.web.pdf file, delete the garbage (servlet?) after pdf and approve the OS X query whether it is OK to change the extension to "pdf". If you have previously set Preview as your default application for pdf files, the file will instantly acquire a Preview icon and open and print in Preview. Old versions of Preview used to lose the barcodes on printing, but recent ones do as good a job as Reader, without the tonnage and nagging about updates.


Dennis Chang

Yeah, the USPS requirement to use Acrobat Reader is a royal, especially for those of us who cannot get Acrobat Reader or Pro or Standard to print! Preview can print the same PDF files that Acrobat fails to, and so I've had to boot into Windows XP via VMWare Fusion in order to use USPS online postage. This wouldn't be necessary if the site allowed me to "Save As PDF," like FedEx's online shipping label service...


MacInTouch Reader

I have no problems printing USPS shipping labels while using Safari 3.2 (Mac OS 10.5.6) -- and I'm sure this worked for me in OS 10.4. If you have the utility Cocktail installed ($14.95):

In Interface>Safari>Disable PDF support.

This results in the label to be printed being downloaded to your chosen Downloads folder.

I have elected to have all pdf files open in Preview (via Get Info), so clicking on the downloaded label opens it in Preview for printing.

Hope this is helpful.


Robert MacLeay

With regard to printing labels, postpaid or otherwise, I have been doing so (almost) without issue through PayPal using 10.5.6 and Safari.

The almost? You must have your pop-up blocker deactivated.

It is not the USPS, but their contractor Pitney Bowes, that demands I make myself vulnerable through this most obnoxious vector for web advertising and malware distribution. There is no excuse except programmers' laziness or incompetence for demanding it; I condemn them both for this.

You might check your browser settings to see if the same gotcha applies to you.


Tom Allen

I have made USPS shipping label printing work in Safari (3.2.1 under 10.5.6). I noticed the first time I tried to print a label, nothing showed up. I tried again and there was the little mouse over box with the zoom buttons and the open/download choices that one sees with a PDF displayed in Safari (no 3rd party pdf plugins). I clicked the Preview choice and my label showed up as a Preview document that I printed.

If you want to experiment without risking postage money, sign in to your USPS account and go to Click-N-Ship. There you will see a link to "See System Requirements". That pops open a small window telling you that you need Internet Explorer or Netscape. Ignore that and click the link at the bottom of the list to "test your system."

You should get to a print verification page and Safari's grey pdf action selector should appear. If it disappears before you can click on it, move the mouse cursor around over the left margin of the print verification window and it should come back. Click open PDF in Preview and print your label.


Joshua Fried

Same problem here. I open up Firefox 2 to print USPS labels.


William Luckie

I have no problems with USPS. I can print Priority Mail labels, etc. I am using OS10.5.6 on a iMac.


Jonathan L

I just used the "click-n-ship" feature of the USPS website with no problems. I am using Safari 3.2.1 and Mac OS X 10.5.6. The label printed out using Acrobat, just the print dialog opens (I have Acrobat Professional as my default pdf reader in Safari). While this is a less than elegant solution, it is much better than the old java-based solution they used in the past which was hit and miss on the Mac.


MacInTouch Reader

I have been able to print with Safari in Leopard from the USPS. What you have to do is be sure to turn off the pop-up blocker and then you'll be able to print it out. Also, you can mouse over the bottom middle of the screen and click the download icon to download the PDF.

A hacky workaround, but it works nonetheless.


Becky Waring

Printing USPS labels in Camino works just fine for me, with the same system of opening and printing in Adobe Reader as Peter Goodman mentions.

I actually prefer this system to printing within the browser, since it downloads the file to your computer, and you can then reprint it if there is any problem.

When printing from the browser, you get only one chance to print. While it does ask you if things printed correctly, my printer is in another room and it is a hassle to go check, so I often had to request refunds and cancel labels, and it can take weeks to get a refund from the post office.

Jan. 15, 2009


Paul Ukena

In regard to printing USPS labels from Firefox: it's been a long time since the label printing worked for me automatically. For quite some time, the label has simply been saved to the desktop. I erase the extension after ".pdf" (the servlet extension) and can then print the label from either Preview, Adobe Reader, or Acrobat. I also have a copy of the label saved to my computer.

I'm using the latest version of Firefox, by the way.


Chris Eschweiler

Here's a question... is it possible to take a screenshot of the label and print that instead of the actual label?


Mike McWhirter

I have been using USPS and Paypal shipping for many years. With every iteration of Safari. Works every time. I have not had to re-print, never lost postage and my HP LaserJet 4050 prints to the Avery 2 up labels perfectly from the Tray 1 Manual input.

As one other poster above mentioned, Popup Blocker needs to be off BEFORE you click 'pay for label.' If you don't, the label never shows up.

My labels always show up in the Safari window and I have not had to open them any other way... Paypal or USPS.

So something must be running that interferes with those who are having issues because it works just fine.

Jan. 16, 2009


Great Dane

One benefit for using FireFox for printing USPS postage is that the pop-up blocker can be customized in preferences for individual websites - - so that the person doesn't need to remember to deselect it in Safari, and they don't have to wonder why it's not working if they forget to deselect it.

It would be nice if Apple adds this functionality to Safari.


Evan Dreyer

I too use Firefox and the USPS website to print postage. The file is saved to my desktop, and I print from Adobe Reader or something similar. This actually presents a bit of an advantage; I rename and save the file and if there is a tracking issue, have the info on my machine. If I have a complaint, it is actually on the apple end. being constantly asked if I "want to open this program that was downloaded from the internet," is annoying. I recognize the safety issue, but wish there was some way to have the OS learn that when I download from USPS, I do not need prompting.


Bill Planey

Certain label types print differently. If I remember correctly, I had trouble printing a label for an international shipment. You may have success if you will switch your printer to Adobe PDF x.0 (if you have a version of Acrobat Professional installed). Your label will print to PDF and you can print it out at your leisure.

Jan. 21, 2009


Stephen Clark

Discovered today... set up an account, then disappointed to learn you must download their PC-only (.exe) software to get it to work.


Nothing in the sign-up pages to tell you that! You gotta dig deep into their FAQ sheet to find they're working on making Mac-compatible sometime soon. Programmers never heard of Java, 'parently....

Now I gotta cancel my account... but can't do it on-line, I gotta call their phone number & Customer Service is closed for MLK Day.

No wonder the USPS is losing money....


Brian Lipscomb

Have you taken a look at Endicia? They have had a Mac version of their online postage product for some time. I have not tried it, but here is a link:


MacInTouch Reader


Not sure if this is the result of a (very) recent update, but I just created and ordered stamps at last Friday. Everything went smoothly on a Mac mini 1.83C2D/ running 10.5.6. No problems.


Larry Rosenblum is not part of the USPS. They are a private company that licenses from the USPS the right to produce postage.

The USPS has many faults, but don't blame them for


Dennis Henley

These guys have been working on a Mac version for, like, forever....

By the way, they are only an approved vendor for the Post Office. They are not actually the Post Office. So Stephen Clark's comment "No wonder the USPS is losing money...." really has nothing to do with

I'd say the primary reason the USPS is losing revenue is due to email and online bill payment.


Pete Masterson

Stephen Clark complains that is PC-only.

He should check out Endicia
as they support the Mac -- and had a booth at the recent MacWorld Expo in San Francisco.

(I have no financial interest in Endicia, nor am I even a customer as I'm too cheap to pay for the service. I buy stamps at my local Post Office.)


Brian Weiss

In commenting on marginalization, Stephen Clark says, "No wonder the USPS is losing money...." He should be aware that is NOT the U.S. Postal Service. They are simply a commercial vendor with a license to sell postage products. And if he wants a Mac-compatible postage solution, he should check They speak Mac very well.

Jan. 23, 2009


David Andrews

I am in the process of developing a Mac application for generating USPS shipping labels.

Being a lone developer (hobbyist) I do not have the resources to be able to integrate fully with USPS and provide postage. My application does address validation and generates the shipping label (you have to add the postage stamps yourself).

Electronically generated shipping labels come with *free* delivery confirmation - so this in its own makes the application a valuable tool. The application also integrates with your Apple Address Book.

Last weekend I added support for USB postal scales - I only tested this with my USB scale (model 2500i) I bought for use on a now retired Windows PC, but plan to support as many USB postage scales as possible.

In summary; to ship a packet using my application you drop the package on the USB scales, select the service speed (first class, priority, express, etc) click an address in your address book (or manually enter the address), and then click the print button to automatically make a shipping label (the address is validated with USPS, and the free delivery confirmation is added), the application informs you how much postage you need to apply to the packet.

The application is still in early alpha - everything works, but I need to add better error checking, some pretty icons, and polish the interface a little.

I will be looking for Beta testers soon, ideally Mac owners that have a USB postage scale available to them to test the application in its entirety.

I appreciate the application doesn't actually allow you to purchase the stamps, but its a step in the right direction . . .

Interested parties should email me at postageapp at brinscall dot com.

Please indicate your OS version, and make and model of USB scale

Feb. 23, 2009


MacInTouch Reader

I just canceled Endicia because their Mac software is very, very weak... it actually only supports one label format, unless you buy an expensive label printer, and printing formatting you set up to squeeze your postage onto a smaller label will completely take over your printer settings for *everything*.

I'd be so happy just to find a generic USB scale utility so I can weigh my packages and purchase postage through Paypal. I'm just done with the "simple" solutions that cost me time and money.

Apr. 30, 2009


Brian Weiss

Endicia offers print-your-own online postage. To their credit, and unlike, they offer a Mac option. However, Endicia offers Windows users 4 service plans, starting at $9.95/month. If you have a Mac, however, you're not eligible for the lowest tier, so the minimum level is $15.95 a month. A Mac tax? And the Mac version won't do insured mail, or third-party insurance, which the entry-level Windows version will.

This is sort of paid marginalization!

May. 1, 2009


Colleen Thompson

While I've looked into the third-party services like Endicia, I couldn't see any reason to use it, at least for someone with fairly small requirements like me; I do a little mail order fulfillment for one client, and between Paypal's online shipping via UPS and USPS, and the Postal Service's Click&Ship, neither of which costs any more than the actual postage, it's enough for me. They even make international shipping easy.

Interestingly, you can do Media Mail through Paypal but not on the Click&Ship site.

May. 2, 2009


Pete Masterson

I use the click & ship for some of the USPS stuff. I find that when I have several books to ship that FedEx Ground (with a discount through a trade association) is cheaper than USPS and has real tracking instead of "delivery confirmation."

May. 7, 2009


Terrell Smith

Just received a CD in the mail from "Postage is only a click away." Free: $45 in postage, free digital postage scale, free $5 supplies kit - unless you have a Mac. The CD is Windows only, the website only mentions that their software doesn't work with a Mac on the FAQ page, where they say "they are working on it."

May. 8, 2009


George Qualley

Buy a Dymo TwinTurbo and use It couldn't work more smoothly.


Randy Garbin

Well, [ has] been "working on it" for a good six years or so. Try Endicia. There are far fewer promotions, but it works fine on a Mac.


Pete Masterson is the only online postage service that supports the Mac (as far as I know). The USPS web site also works with Macs for online purchase of postage and printing of mailing labels., of course, charges for their service and special label stock is required for best results (especially handy if you have a Dymo LabelWriter or similar supported label printer).

In general, the prices are in line with, but promotional offers may be different at any given time.

USPS prints to a standard laser printer. You can get full-sized sheets of adhesive-backed label stock that fits the various USPS online "stamps" -- but it's kind of expensive as each package uses a full sheet of paper. (I normally don't bother with single envelopes from the USPS site, but rather do priority mail or packages.) Unfortunately, the USPS site does not support all classes of mail, so if you need Media Mail (as one example) you can't use the USPS site for online processing.

May. 9, 2009


Tracy Valleau

Buy a Dymo printer and use Dymo stamps for free. Only cost is for the rolls of blank stamps (& the postage itself, of course.) Powered by Endicia.

May. 28, 2009


Dick Barton

In a time when we Mac folks are sometimes kept out of the club, it's nice to know that some companies are a little more savvy. I wish that I shipped enough UPS packages to warrant a subscription to this service:

Oct. 9, 2009


Andrew Starr

Turns out one can't use the same Endicia account cross-platform. Signed up for a new Endicia account, indicated I was on a Mac, and then was able to download the Mac postage software.

(Of course that means one might be left with postage credit on their Windows Endicia account -- don't know if one can get a refund or transfer).

Oct. 20, 2009


Gregory Tetrault

The current version of USPS Click-N-Ship still is not set up properly for Macintosh users. The Click-N-Ship process still requires Adobe Reader. (Similar postage purchase and label printing from PayPal does not.) Even with Reader installed and open, the downloaded file (com.usps.cns.web.pdf.LabelGenerationServelet) will not automatically begin label printing. The file has no ".app" indicator. Therefore, the first time you do this you must double-click on the file and choose Adobe Reader.

The USPS web site states that the labels will print to your default printer. But, since auto-activation doesn't work with Macs, you have the opportunity to select the printer via the standard Print window.

I find this situation annoying because I purged my computers of everything Adobe a few years ago. Every Adobe application I owned was troublesome, and my computing experience improved once they were gone. I'll soon find out if Reader 9.2 (not allowed to be default PDF application and not installed as a browser plugin) behaves under Snow Leopard.

Oct. 21, 2009


Edward Anders

Gregory Tetrault wrote:

The current version of USPS Click-N-Ship still is not set up properly for Macintosh users. The Click-N-Ship process still requires Adobe Reader. (Similar postage purchase and label printing from PayPal does not.) Even with Reader installed and open, the downloaded file (com.usps.cns.web.pdf.LabelGenerationServelet) will not automatically begin label printing.

You do not need Adobe Reader. The downloaded file has two .pdf extensions (the second one after "Servlet"). Simply chop off the redundant ".LabelGenerationServlet.pdf" and double-click on the remainder. It will open in Preview and can be printed. Earlier versions of Preview choked on the bar codes, but at least v.3.09 does a perfect job.


Mel Krewall

Gregory Tetrault commented on problems with USPS Click N Ship. While I have had limited success with Safari and Adobe Reader, it works with Camino and Preview just fine. You have to let Camino download the label into your designated download folder, then you can open and print it in Preview. The file will have a UTI-type name, e.g.


Rich Hartman

I don't have Adobe reader and I regularly use click-and-ship with my Leopard (10.5.6) iMac without problems, although without the "automatic printing" feature.

I have safari set to download pdfs instead of opening them (in preview or adobe), and I just open the resulting downloaded USPS pdf in Preview and print it from there without issue.



Scott Horton

I have found "Opera" to work well with this site. I fire up this browser any time I need to use USPS-Click 'n Ship and, to date, have had no issues.


Vince Heuring

Can you use Safari instead of Acrobat?


Charles Reeves, Jr.

Click-N-Ship works just fine on my MacPro under OSX 10.5.8 and Safari 4.0.3 w/o the Acrobat Reader plugin installed. At the appropriate point an icon pops up on the desktop, with one of the button choices being to open in Preview. I click on it, it opens in Preview, and prints with no problems. I seem to recall problems with the Reader plugin installed, and everything worked once I removed it.


Larry Rosenblum

I have no problem using Preview (OS 10.5.8) to print the pdf files created by Click N Ship. I change the file name to .pdf, open with Preview, and print. No Adobe software needed. I use Firefox (which has to be set to save pdf's as a file) or Camino (which saves the file by default).

Oct. 22, 2009


Andrew Main

Being a cautious sort, when working with Internet-generated shipping labels from USPS or UPS I always create (or download) a PDF file to my computer, rather than printing the label directly from the browser; thus if there's a printing problem I have the PDF file to simply print again.

Been a while since I've done this, so I don't remember what name the file gets, but any time I see a file with a name like "com.usps.cns.web.pdf.LabelGenerationServelet.pdf" with two "type" extension codes in it, I clean it up so it has only one before I try to do anything with it. (Sometimes when I create a "webloc" file by dragging a website address to the desktop, if the page title has an extension in it, the file can end up with ".com.webloc" at the end, which I've noticed can confuse the Finder.)


Gregory Tetrault

Edward Anders said:

Gregory Tetrault wrote:

The current version of USPS Click-N-Ship still is not set up properly for Macintosh users. The Click-N-Ship process still requires Adobe Reader. (Similar postage purchase and label printing from PayPal does not.) Even with Reader installed and open, the downloaded file (com.usps.cns.web.pdf.LabelGenerationServelet) will not automatically begin label printing.

You do not need Adobe Reader. The downloaded file has two .pdf extensions (the second one after "Servlet"). Simply chop off the redundant ".LabelGenerationServlet.pdf" and double-click on the remainder. It will open in Preview and can be printed. Earlier versions of Preview choked on the bar codes, but at least v.3.09 does a perfect job."

I set-up Click-N-Ship for the first time two days ago. The downloaded servelet file had NO extension (not the doubled extension you described). I added ".pdf" and tried to open the servelet in Preview, but I got an error message that it was the wrong file type. I didn't have time to finangle things, so I downloaded Reader.

It appears that people who set-up Click-N-Ship in the past are getting better results. My points are that new set-ups are a problem, and they seem to require Adobe Reader.


Ron LaPedis

I had no problems with Click'n'Ship until Snow Leopard. I have not been able to get it running with Safari (the file doesn't download) but Firefox will download the servlet which I rename and open in preview.


Peter Goodman

I used to have a terrible problem with Safari, Firefox, and Camino, still cannot use Firefox or Safari (I run 10.4.11 OS). But the latest release of Camino now works OK, coupled with instructions for setting up Adobe Acrobat internet defaults, courtesy of the USPS webtech support; they seemed to know exactly what the problem was and how to fix it. I don't remember the details, but it involved the default for opening downloaded files. I suspect I was lucky enough to get a tech person who knew my setup and the solution. Other experiences I've had calling USPS tech support have not gone so well.

Oct. 23, 2009


William Luckie

I cannot print Click n Ship labels using either Safari 4.0.3 or Firefox 3.5.4. I can print these labels from Google Chrome

Nov. 2, 2009


MacInTouch Reader

The label may be downloaded with an extension - LabelGenerationServlet - which Mac doesn't recognize. If, after agreeing to the USPS terms and clicking 'print and pay', you get the error message that the document couldn't be opened, the next USPS window asks if the label printed. DON'T click 'no' as this will void the transaction. INSTEAD, open your 'Download' folder, find the document (probably the most recent one) and rename it 'com.usps.web.pdf-4'. Open the label and print it. THEN, go back the the USPS window asking if the label printed and click 'yes' to complete the transaction. If you has checked 'no' earlier and then printed the label, the USPS will reject the package when it is scanned at the Post Office as a voided transaction.

Dec. 4, 2009


William Staman

I've been using Firefox to print postage & Customs forms to send packages to my son in Afghanistan, but the Customs forms quit working yesterday. Totally frustrated, I tried Safari. Lo & behold, it just printed without even opening the downloaded form.
Go figure. Next time I'll try to print postage from Safari.

Feb. 5, 2010


Peter Goodman

I've got my new iMac with Snow Leopard and cannot use Click 'n' Ship at tech support says Safari will not work because Safari does not support Cold Fusion. He said I could google Safari and Cold Fusion to read an article about the problem. I did, but couldn't find the article.

Firefox does work fine, however. I was hoping not to have to use 2 browsers, but looks like I'm going to have to.

I initially tried to do a live chat with USPS about this issue, but the Submit button in both Safari and Firefox is nonfunctional. The tech person confirmed this by phone, and suggested I use Windows on the Mac instead (I already do, but as little as possible).

So USPS programmers will not write for Safari for label printing, and will not support the Mac at all for tech chat.

No idea whether this tech guy knows what he's talking about. He did say that USPS was working on the problem, but we've all heard THAT before, haven't we?

Feb. 6, 2010


Ed Savage

Re: Peter Goodman's note:

Firefox does work fine, however. I was hoping not to have to use 2 browsers, but looks like I'm going to have to.

I'd like to use/have one browser too, but I think of having Firefox as a "spare key" to try when the main key (Safari) won't work on a marginally coded website.

Feb. 12, 2010


Daniel R Killoran

Just got in the mail a CD from US Post Office. Says I can use it to buy downloadable postage. Also says "Valuable $100 Offer Inside". Contents of CD all .exe files or another extention that I don't recognize. Evidently it is just for Windows, or for all I know, DOS! And the package does not even have the decency to mention that it is only for Windows!

I really don't think our taxes should be used to give $100 bonuses to Windows users!!!


Steven Klein

Daniel R Killoran writes:

"I really don't think our taxes should be used to give $100 bonuses to Windows users!!!"

Actually, the Post Office is entirely self-funded; they don't receive any tax dollars.


Larry Rosenblum

The US Postal Service is not supported by taxes.

If it was, maybe they could afford to hire competent web programmers.

Feb. 13, 2010


Alice Faber

I have a Macbook Pro running fully-up-to-date OS 10.6.whatever. I haven't been able to print click-and-ship labels using Firefox (3.5?), but have had no trouble doing so using Safari, at least once I updated Acrobat Reader, so that the Acrobat plug-in would be installed in Safari.

Feb. 24, 2010


Sheldon Furst

USPS Click & Ship will work in Safari under 10.6 if you run Safari in 32-bit mode. This is because the Adobe Reader plug-in is still not 64-bit native and 64-bit applications cannot access 32-bit plug-ins. Get Info on Safari, check the box, "Open in 32 bit mode", and as long as you have Adobe Reader installed, you should be good to go.

(So this really is an Adobe issue, not a USPS issue)

Mar. 15, 2010


MacInTouch Reader

Great note about 32-bit mode. That explains a lot in regards to why Acrobat is not playing nice with Safari in 64-bit mode.

I also hear you can "Disable Safari PDF Viewing" and force PDF files to open in Preview. There are Terminal commands for this and some applications that will also do this for you. I have not tested this myself.

However, if you don't want to roll Safari back to 32-bit mode, nor do you want to deal with disabling Safari PDF viewing, you can use Firefox and Acrobat. Here's what I did:

If Firefox prompts you to download a file when you try to print, just choose Acrobat Reader or Pro (whichever you have installed) as the viewer and you should be good to go. The file name will be something like "com.usps.cns.web.pdf.LabelGenerationServlet." You can also tell FF to always open files of this type in Acrobat if you like.

This worked for me on using Snow Leopard, FF 3.6 and Acrobat Pro 9.3.1.


MacInTouch Reader

I can confirm that using "Secrets," a Pref Pane plugin, you can disable "Load PDFs in Browser", causing PDFs to download instead of opening. You can then open them in your program of choice. I tested this with the USPS web site and it worked fine. However, I prefer the method I previously described for FF and will likely use that until a fix is developed for use with Safari.

Mar. 16, 2010


Don Andrachuk

Regarding readers' difficulties with inline viewing of PDFs in Safari: This capability has been natively supported for 5 years since Safari 2 was released in April 2005. Native PDF viewing is 64-bit compatible and does not require messing with third-party utilities, Terminal commands, etc.

On the other hand, third-party applications and utilities like Adobe Reader can interfere with this built-in capability. I avoid the necessity for work-arounds and band-aid fixes by avoiding such software altogether. It's no hardship--I consider Preview to be a superior PDF reader anyway.

PDFs can be readily downloaded for viewing in an external reader by accessing the PDF link's contextual menu.


Brian Winslow

Better choices for disabling the opening of PDFs in browsers are tools like Onxy and Cocktail, which are applications rather than Pref Pane plugins. These tools will also allow changes to numerous other 'hidden' preferences.

Aug. 18, 2011


Peter Goodman

Mac marginalization?

Printing labels on USPS via Click 'n' Ship is once again messed up. Safari and Firefox used to work, and now they don't. Google Chrome does work, however. I don't know if this has to do with recent upgrade of USPS site or with new Firefox 6 browser, or both. A surly customer support representative at said I needed to use Acrobat Reader 9, which is almost a year out of date, and offered no other reason or explanation. My Windows machine performs the task with no difficulties, although haven't tried Firefox for Windows.

Aug. 19, 2011


Art Majerus

RE: Peter Goodman's problem with USPS:

Just tried click and ship from USPS, and it worked as always on my Mac Pro running all the latest software. Label opened as always and the print window came up etc. This was on the current Safari browser with all upgrades. I use this service almost daily and haven't had a problem in a few years now. Don't know what is different on my end.


David Andrews

Whilst not a free solution, there is a Mac application that fills this void and does away with the web site entirely.


Tm Smith

Use PayPal multi-unit shipping.
Works good there.


Peter Goodman

Am answering my own comment.

Solved, for now.

I was using ClicktoPlugin to disable Flash, and by adjusting preferences in that, enabled the Schubert pdf browser plugin, which is able to grab the USPS labels and print them. This is a greasy workaround that shouldn't be necessary.

Acrobat has a note on [Adobe's] site that its PDF plugin is not compatible with latest Safari and promises a fix by end of year 2011. I don't run Lion, and can't wait to see what struggles await me there!


MacInTouch Reader

When it became clear that Lion/Safari 5.1 no longer had an existing hack to disable in-browser PDF rendering, my first concern was with Click-N-Ship. I prefer to maintain file copies of my labels, to allow for easy Spotlight searching or label reprinting.

I can happily report that when you purchase a label, Safari files the file into the (awful new) Downloads pop-out window, and Preview opens it fine.


MacInTouch Reader

I use this all the time with Snow Leopard and Safari 5.1. The problem is in the revision to Safari 5.1, and it's also a problem with as well.

The workaround with USPS is simple enough. I agree to print the document which causes it to download first, then I click on the downloaded item in the Downloads column, which has popped up, and I then am printing my label from a Preview document... just fine. This way you get another shot at the label without having to put it back into your shopping basket at However, the process takes extra steps and more time and is kludgier than before Safari 5.1.

In the same way, the revisions to has gummed up that process and added several extra steps that were unnecessary before. I can imagine that Safari 5.1 adds to the issues, but am not certain. I can print and utilize the app online, except with more steps. Why? What mental midget needed to mess with a working, unflappable app?

Back to the drawing board for UPS then...


Shourya Ray

Actually, printing USPS priority mail labels works perfectly with Safari on Lion. They have, however, changed how they print labels. Labels are now downloaded as a PDF, and you can print them immediately or at any later time. Look in your download folder for a document with a name such as "com.usps.cns.web.pdf.LabelGenerationServlet.pdf".


Pete Masterson

I had some trouble with the USPS Click & Ship when I used it last week. I forget exactly what I did, but I had to retrieve the PDF from my download folder generated by the USPS software, then open it manually in Acrobat Pro. (I suppose Acrobat Reader would work, too.) Then I printed it out with no problem.

Something appears to have broken to trigger the automatic 'print' dialog that used to come up. I recall that there was a similar situation with the USPS web site a couple of years back, as I recall doing something similar some time ago.

I'm not so sure it's USPS Mac marginalization as simply buggy programming.


Charles Reeves, Jr.

Peter Goodman reports:

"Printing labels on USPS via Click 'n' Ship is once again messed up. Safari and Firefox used to work, and now they don't. Google Chrome does work, however. I don't know if this has to do with recent upgrade of USPS site or with new Firefox 6 browser, or both. A surly customer support representative at said I needed to use Acrobat Reader 9, which is almost a year out of date, and offered no other reason or explanation. My Windows machine performs the task with no difficulties, although haven't tried Firefox for Windows."

While Click-n-Ship printing did change when I upgraded to Safari 5.1, I'm still able to print under Snow Leopard (10.6.8). Previously the label would automatically open in Preview, my default PDF viewer. Now a file downloads and I have to open it in Preview. The info about Reader is *wrong* as far as I'm concerned. I had all kinds of problems with it, which went away when I switched to Preview.


MacInTouch Reader

When the Click and Ship print dialog came up, I always used to use "print to PDF" which worked beautifully both as a record of shipping as well as for printing out the label.

Haven't tried it lately, but this tip should still work. Or, you can use Chrome...


Pete Kockritz

Peter Goodman writes:

Printing labels on USPS via Click 'n' Ship is once again messed up. Safari and Firefox used to work, and now they don't

I recently used the Click 'n' Ship with Safari 5.1 on Snow Leopard. When I printed the label, it downloaded a file with an .aspx extension; I renamed it to .pdf and then it opened and printed in Preview.

I've had that happen recently on another site, too. I don't think that it used to do that.


Bruce Levin

You can still use the Click n' ship application. When you download the file it will be listed as a ....pdf.webservelet. Erase everything after the .pdf and you can open in the Mac and then print your postage.

Aug. 20, 2011


MacInTouch Reader

Yup. The US Postal Service is allergic to Mac OS X .

I've been doing a lot of eBay trading in the past two years. Having PayPal to handle the money and expedite the shipping by pre-printing the label is fantastic... when it works.

Last week I attempted to make my first International Priority Mail Flat Rate shipment, to Japan. All was well up until the point where you actually print the label itself. No label ever appeared. White space. Grrrr...

Turns out that International labels are generated fully as PDF's and require some very specific plug-ins for the browser (Firefox 5 in this case ). A combination of Java and Adobe Acrobat Reader version 9.x or later was needed. The difference between this International transaction and a normal Domestic US label op was the Customs Form. That customs form appeared normally and I was able to fill it out with no apprent issues, but no label appeared.

Tech support at both eBay and PayPal determined it was a technical issue with the Postal Service, not them. PayPal said it would work if I used Google Chrome , and only Google Chrome, on the Mac, since Firefox and Safari were not supported by USPS and/or the Customs Bureau.

I attempted to print the labels twice. Each effort docked my PayPal account $ 43.00 without creating a label at all, so I am awaiting an $86.00 refund from the US Postal Service, which requires approval by a postal inspector and takes 3 weeks or more.

Still waiting... on the bureaucracy.

Maybe after the Postal Service hits their head on this wall a few more times, they will undertake the slight modernization required, streamline the workflow and quit marginalizing/penalizing Mac users.

The issue apparently does not exist on the Windows side of the Universe. At least they didn't insist I use Internet Explorer to do my online transaction.

The eBay and PayPal customer service reps were both excellent and competent, but the issue was out of their hands and squarely in the lap of US Postal Service incompetency.

Aug. 22, 2011


Peter Goodman

I can't get Safari to download anything with Click n Ship. My download window just stays blank. So there is nothing whose name I can change. If there's a consistent workaround I haven't been able to discover it. Maybe it's fixed in Lion?


Peter Goodman

This is getting a bit too techie for me. I happened to open the Activity window and was able to click on one of the line items, and to my surprise the 'downloaded' label popped open in Preview. So the data for the file is there (where the Activity stuff actually is I don't know), but it is not exactly accessible in a user-friendly form. So something is not being completed with the Safari download. And that's as much as I know. Perhaps someone who understands Safari guts will explain what' might be going on.

Aug. 23, 2011


David Charlap

Peter Goodman wrote:

"This is getting a bit too techie for me. I happened to open the Activity window and was able to click on one of the line items, and to my surprise the 'downloaded' label popped open in Preview."

Interesting. This sounds like Safari downloaded the file, but didn't try to open it (probably because the option to auto-open files was, correctly, disabled.)

In which case, perhaps you'll find the file in your default download folder.

I don't have my Mac in front of me right now, but I think you can configure it to always prompt you for the location to save downloads, which will cause Safari to pop up a save-as dialog when these downloads start, which you can use to specify the location.

You might also want to set the default download location to the Desktop, so you'll see new files as they are downloaded. Once you're done with them, you can delete or move them elsewhere.

Oct. 14, 2011


Steven Sharpe

It seems that the USPS is at it again. I attempted to set up a hold mail request via their website ( but could not get the Submit button to work at all using Safari in MacOSX 10.7.2. I also tried changing the user agent to IE 9 with no luck. Had to resort to IE in a virtualized Windows 7 install to complete my request.

This has changed in just the last month since I had no issues back in the middle of September.

Oct. 15, 2011


MacInTouch Reader

I got into a software snafu with USPS in August when printing pre-paid shipping labels via the eBay/PayPal system. The problem was with the Post Office system, not playing well with Mac and Firefox.

Ebay and PayPal support both acknowledged the "technical issue" with OS-X/Firefox and USPS clunkiness, and both told me that the issue would not present itself if I used had Chrome instead. I bailed from the online label thing altogether and never finished the transactions. The Post Office has never been efficient with Macs, IMO.

I'm merely suggesting Chrome might a viable solution for Mac users when doing battle with USPS .


MacInTouch Reader

Add Chrome to the list of Mac browsers that are unable to submit the USPS Hold Mail online form. The Mac version of Firefox does work however.


Dean Suhr

I set up a hold last week using Firefox 7.0.1/Mac, and it worked fine. They did some sort of site redesign in the last couple of weeks but it still worked. Didn't stick around to see what else might have changed.


MacInTouch Reader

I talked with USPS tech support yesterday. She told me that the Hold Mail "SUBMIT" problem is a known issue and that they are working to resolve it.

Oct. 17, 2011


Bill Martin

Safari works fine with USPS labels. I don't use PayPal, though. Just a debit card. Haven't had a problem since the snafu of about 2004.


MacInTouch Reader

Another recent experience with the USPS and their mail hold page "submit" button not working in Safari, either 5.1.1 on OS10.6.8 (early 2011 iMac), nor Safari 4.1.3 on an old Powerbook G4 OS10.4.11.

Worked fine on Firefox 6 in OS10.6.8.

Dec. 1, 2011


Colin Lamb

I just finished preparing a Mac PCI card I sold on ebay to ship to Canada. I have been purchasing postage within ebay and printing it on my Mac with no problems for quite some time. This is the first time I think I have used the online customs form. It would not print from my Mac (even with Adobe Reader 10.1.1 installed). My thinking is it has something to do with the customs form PDF generation from the USPS. Fortunately, I have a couple of old, cheap Dell laptops around - it printed fine from a Windows 7 (all current Adobe software) Dell D620. Very odd...

May. 18, 2013


Ed Stockly

Just signed up for Their web page indicated an intel-based processor was required on Mac computers. But it only runs in Windows and the only way to run it on your Mac is through a Windows emulator. Now I have to go through the process of canceling my new account. They do have web page access, but that seems pretty crufty and slow.

[Endicia has a similar sounding service with a Mac client for Mac OS X 10.5 through 10.8, although we have no idea how costs or quality compare to -MacInTouch]

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