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8. Preparing Envelopes and Labels with Mail Merge
Learn how to address envelopes or labels to a large list of recipients using Mail Merge.
Use Mail Merge to add addresses to envelopes and mailing labels.
Alternatives to mail merging for letters
In the previous lesson, we focused on how to set up a mail merge for letters. Word supports mail merging for lots of other types of documents, such as emails, directories, envelopes and address labels.
In this lesson we cover mail merging for envelopes and address labels.
Mail merge for envelopes
Unless you have windowed envelopes, you’ll likely need to become familiar with printing addresses on envelopes any time you plan on sending out mass letters.
We can do this with the mail merge wizard, but before we start, it’s important to check a few things. We need to know our envelope size and we need to understand how our printed feeds envelopes.
In the 1st step of the wizard, choose envelope. In the 2nd step, we’ll need to set the page size to match our envelope size. We can do this by clicking the Envelope Options.
Here we can choose from a range of preset envelope sizes. If our envelope size is not listed, we can choose a custom size by selecting the Custom Size at the bottom of the list.
In the Printing Options tab, we’ll need to select the feeding method. There are 6 different positions to choose from and we need to specify the direction the envelope will face.
Following this, the mail merge wizard is most the same. Note that there is a special text box in the envelope where we need to insert the address block
Mail merge for address labels
Not all envelopes can be fed into a printer. For example, rigid envelopes that don’t bend or padded envelopes lined with bubble wrap are not printer friendly.
One way of using mail merge with these types of envelopes is to use address labels. These are sheets of paper containing rows of adhesive-backed labels that can be removed and placed on an envelope.
Before starting, we need to take note of the label paper we’re using. We should have the name of the brand and the product number. The dimensions of the page and individual labels are also useful for verification.
To set these up, start the mail merge wizard and for the 1st step, choose Labels. In the 2nd step, we need to set up the page by clicking Label Options.
Here we need to identify the exact type of labeled paper we’ll be printing on. First, we need to select the brand. Then below we need to find the matching product number.
The label information box to the right will provide a preview of the page and label dimensions which we can check against our own measurements.
When we select our recipients in the 3rd step, we can see that each label except the first one contains the stand-in text «Next Record».
In the 4th step, we’ll add the address block to the first label. To add the address block to all labels, we’ll need to click the Update all labels button. This will add the address block next to «Next Record». This tells the address block to use the record after the record used in the previous label. Otherwise, every label would display the same address.
Following this, the mail merge wizard is most the same as before.
In the previous lesson, we learned how to use Mail Merge to quickly address letters for a large mailing list. In this lesson, we'll use Mail Merge to add addresses to envelopes and mailing labels. We'll start this lesson in a new document.
We finished the mail merge for the letter, but now we need to add the addresses to an envelope.
We'll open up the Mail Merge wizard again, and in step one we'll select envelopes.
In step two, we'll select envelope options.
In the drop down, we can choose an envelope size.
Fetch Cuisine uses size nine envelopes, so we'll choose that size.
We can adjust the placement of the delivery and return addresses, but we'll keep the default settings.
Next, we'll click on the printing options tab.
We'll need to know how our printer feeds in envelopes for the printing to work correctly. Fetch Cuisine printers feed in envelopes face up.
They use the positioning shown in the fourth option.
We'll click okay to accept the changes.
We now have an envelope layout.
Note that there's a text box in the bottom center.
This is where we'll place the address block.
Moving on to step three, we'll connect to the same address data set that we did in the previous lesson.
Once again, we'll remove duplicate records.
In step four, we'll place the cursor in the text box and insert the address block.
We already configured the address block in the previous lesson, so we'll click okay to use the same settings.
We'll then advance to step five and preview a few recipients.
Finally, in step six, we'll save the envelopes in a new document.
Word offers a lot of preset envelope types, but the padded or rigid envelopes cannot be fed through a printer. In these cases, it's best to use address labels. These can be printed on sheets of paper that contain adhesive-backed labels that we manually apply to the envelopes.
Let's look at an example by opening a new document.
We'll then open up the Mail Merge wizard and choose labels in step one.
In step two, we'll click label options.
Here, we'll need to track down the type that Fetch Cuisine uses, A4 sheets of Avery labels with the product code J8159.
Under label vendors we'll select Avery A4/A5 to narrow down the number of products in the box below.
Next to this box we can see the information for each product, including the label type, height, width, and the dimensions of the paper.
There's still many product numbers listed. To narrow down our search, we'll click anywhere inside this box and type J to jump straight to the Js.
We'll then scroll down until we reach J8159.
We'll press okay to select it. As with the envelope, this has changed the page layout.
The page size is still A4, but if we select all, we can see there's some hidden spacings here. We'll show formatting marks to see that there are a series of marks being used to separate the labels.
What we're seeing is an invisible table whose dimensions exactly match the dimensions of our labels.
Moving on to step three, we'll select the same address data as before.
Again, we'll remove the duplicates from this data set.
When we complete this, we see that all but the first label has been filled with next record.
This tells each label to search for the next sequential record. This is very useful as it means we only need to enter the address block in the first label, not in every label.
In step four, we'll add the address block and click update labels to add the address block to the other labels.
In step five, we'll preview the results.
The addresses all look very close together, but we can be confident that they will fit on the label.
Any text from the address block that would not fit would be removed from the preview.
For step six, we'll save the labels to a new file to be printed at another time.
This concludes the lesson and our course on Macros, Add-ins, and Mail Merge.
In this course, we learned about three distinct types of advanced tools in Word.
We learned how to use macros to create our own custom keyboard shortcuts and quick access commands.
We then installed third-party add-ins which added to or replaced existing Word functionality.
We saw how the Consistency Checker builds on Word's existing proofing tools, while Symbol Search and Pexels are better alternatives to Word's symbols window and online picture search.
Finally, we used Mail Merge to quickly address letters, envelopes, and labels to a database of recipients.
With these advanced skills, we're prepared for many edge case scenarios while using Word.