Packing Slip Size In Magento Too Big

I’ve heard some people complain about the size of the stock Magento Packing Slip. Many times, the file size exceeds 600k, which is pretty ridiculous, especially for a simple PDF file. So we’ve often seen the question “How to reduce the file size of a Magento Packing Slip

Here’s our “cheat” for getting around this issue:

  1. When you receive an order, go to your Admin section of Magento and go to Sales > Orders.
  2. Select the order you want to create the packing slip for. I know I saw a comment on our website that said Magento only creates a packing slip when the order is “Complete”, but that is not true. Magento creates a packing slip when you ship the product(s).
  3. Select the “Ship” button from the “Order Information” panel. This takes you to the “Shipments” page. Select the “Submit Shipment” button near the bottom of the page.
  4. Under the “Shipments” section, select the “Print” button near the top.
  5. Magento automatically creates the packing slip for you in PDF format. This is the file we are referring to in the beginning of this article.
  6. By default, at least on our computers (we are die hard Mac users and will never change), Magento opens that PDF file for your viewing.
  7. Now here is our “cheat”. When you have the Magento PDF open, select print, however you might do that on your computer, but instead of printing it out with your printer, save it as a PDF. We like to save ours with a name in this format: storename-todays date-customername. We then save that in our “packingslips” folder on our local drive and voila, you have an easy to find packing slip for your Magento order, and on our computer, the file is only around 40-60k!
  8. On a Mac, the original Magento packing slip is saved to our downloads folder, so we simply go in later and trash all of our original packing slips, freeing up over 600k per file

That’s it, our easy to use and understand fix to reduce Magento packing slip size along with making an easy way to manage the processing of our orders, and we never had to touch a single Varien / Magento file!

A Valuable Way To Promote Your Magento Store

This really doesn’t relate to a Magento problem, but thought we might mention it any way. Most everybody probably knows, but Wordpress is a great open source blog software that can double as a great website CMS. Quite flexible and easy to use, Wordpress is great for creating a blog related to your Magento site or even a supplemental site to help feed traffic to your Magento site or osCommerce site. We’re still working on ours for our sites, but we did just complete a customer website and news blog. The site is for ALMS race team, Genoa Racing. They haven’t had a website in years, so it’s been a bit of a challenge getting Google to find them, but we’re now making great progress. Without Wordpress, it would have been a much more tedious job.

Thought we’d throw that out there for anyone that wants an easy solution to promoting their Magento site or osCommerce site or any other site for that matter.

Show Additional Information and Product Description In Magento

We really like the Modern template in Magento, but we feel there are a few shortcomings in the layout when it comes to converting visitors into buyers.

One of the problems we feel with the Modern template is the tabs view only shows either “Product Description” or “Additional Information” by default, and the viewer has to click on the other tab to see more information on your product. The problem is, we believe at least, is that many visitors may never click on the other tab, therefore, they miss what may be valuable information for them, which could have resulted in a sale.

So what we did was to combine the “Additional Information” section with the “Product Description” data and then delete the other tab. This may seem easy, but Magento and Varien like to make their code confusing, so making this work was not that simple. We ended up taking a bit of the description.phtml code and inserting it into the attributes.phtml file and then deleting the line of code in catalog.xml that called the “Product Description” section of code. We tried doing it the other way around, but due to the architecture of the code, it was much more difficult.

Basically, we added this line of code:

<?php echo $this->helper(’catalog/output’)->productAttribute($this->getProduct(), nl2br($this->getProduct()->getDescription()), ‘description’) ?>

into the /product/view/attributes.phtml file.

In /layout/catalog.xml we changed this section of code:

<block type=”catalog/product_view_tabs” name=”product.info.tabs” as=”info_tabs” template=”catalog/product/view/tabs.phtml” >

<action method=”addTab” translate=”title” module=”catalog”><alias>description</alias><title>Product Description</title><block>catalog/product_view_description</block><template>catalog/product/view/description.phtml</template></action>

<action method=”addTab” translate=”title” module=”catalog”><alias>additional</alias><title>Additional Information</title><block>catalog/product_view_attributes</block><template>catalog/product/view/attributes.phtml</template></action>

<action method=”addTab” translate=”title” module=”catalog”><alias>upsell_products</alias><title>Related Products</title><block>catalog/product_list_upsell</block><template>catalog/product/list/upsell.phtml</template></action>

</block>

to read like this:

<block type=”catalog/product_view_tabs” name=”product.info.tabs” as=”info_tabs” template=”catalog/product/view/tabs.phtml” >

<action method=”addTab” translate=”title” module=”catalog”><alias>additional</alias><title>Additional Information</title><block>catalog/product_view_attributes</block><template>catalog/product/view/attributes.phtml</template></action>

<action method=”addTab” translate=”title” module=”catalog”><alias>upsell_products</alias><title>Related Products</title><block>catalog/product_list_upsell</block><template>catalog/product/list/upsell.phtml</template></action>

</block>

You may want to also change the wording “Additional Information” to “Product Description” if you like that better.

If you want to see the results of the code change, have a look at our Body Shop Tools and Automotive Tools website or our Work Truck Equipment website. Go to the product view page of any of the products and you will see how we combined “Additional Information” with “Product Description” in Magento.

Change Terminology On Packing Slip In Magento

I had a problem with the fact that the stock Magento terminology for Fedex ground delivery is termed as Fedex -Home Delivery. For years, Fedex only delivered overnight, so I think most people still associate Fedex with overnight. This can be a problem I can see in Magento from two standpoints. When your customer see’s Fedex Home Delivery as an option, they may select that assuming it means next day air. Big problem! Next, even if they are selecting Fedex Home Delivery because it my be cheap, when we print our packing slips, we use those as our purchase order with our vendors. When we email the Magento packing slip over and they see shipping method as Fedex Home Delivery, once again, they assume Fedex Overnight. So we end up eating a big shipping bill when they send it overnight instead of Fedex Ground.

Here’s what we did to solve that problem.

On your server, navigate to app/code/core/Mage/Usa/Model/Shipping/Carrier/Fedex.php in your Magento folder.

Open the file in a proper text editor and change the line that reads “Home Delivery” to something like “Home Delivery – Ground

Save the file. You may or may not need to clear your cache in the Magento Admin after that.

Now, your customer choices for Fedex shipping on your Magento website includes “Home Delivery – Ground” instead of “Home Delivery”

There you go. Hope that saves you some money and frustration in the future.