Template Tuesday Presents...our quick fire guide to using Word’s Mail Merge Wizard to create Christmas labels.
It’s Label Planet’s annual Christmas Mail Merge Post!
Before You Start – Things You’ll Need To Create Christmas Address Labels
If you are ordering labels online, order early to avoid postal delays.
Get your address list typed up and saved so it’s ready to merge! A spreadsheet is simplest but you can also use a contact list from Outlook, address list from Office, Word data file, Access database, or text file.
- A Label Template!
It’s easiest to use a built in template; check with your label supplier for the code you need to use. Alternatively, download and save a suitable Word label template or make a list of your label’s measurements so you can make a template yourself. You will need to know: page size, page margins, labels per row and column, label width and height, and the vertical and horizontal pitches (which account for gaps between the rows and columns as follows: label width + gap width = HP / label height + gap height = VP).
These three things will allow you to create Christmas address labels by setting up a design in a label template, merging that template with your address list, and printing your merged designs onto your labels – so that each recipient on your list ends up with an address label of their own.
Christmas Address Labels – Why The Mail Merge Wizard Works Wonders
We recommend the wizard because it guides you through the six steps of a mail merge in a simple and clear manner. This makes it simpler to identify any issues that occur and prevents you from accidentally missing a step out.
To start the Mail Merge Wizard, open Word and create a new blank document. Click on the Mailings tab at the top of the page; click on Start Mail Merge and select Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard. This opens the Mail Merge panel on the right hand side of your screen. Simply follow the instructions in the panel to complete your mail merge.
The Six Steps Of Creating Christmas Address Labels With Word’s Mail Merge Wizard
For The First Step Of Mail Merge, Here’s What You Need To Do…
SELECT YOUR DOCUMENT TYPE
To create Christmas address labels, you need to select Labels from the list of options.
For The Second Step Of Mail Merge, Here’s What You Need To Do…
PICK YOUR TEMPLATE
Your starting document is your label template…
- Built-in Label Templates: select “Change document layout” and click on “Label options”. Set printer information to “Page printers” and choose the correct label information/vendor (e.g. A4/A5). Find your compatible code and click OK. Tip: click on any code and type the first letter/number of your code to jump down the list.
- Create Label Templates: select “Change document layout” and click on “Label options”. Select “New Label” to bring up the “Label Details” box; enter your measurements and click OK. Tip: use this order; page size, no. of labels, label width and height, vertical and horizontal pitch, and page margins. If Word rejects your measurements, set the page margins to 0mm and then follow the order above, finishing with the correct page margins.
- Saved Label Templates: select “Start from existing document”, browse to your saved template, and click Open.
For The Third Step Of Mail Merge, Here’s What You Need To Do…
PICK YOUR LIST (Of addresses)
Click on “Use an existing list”, find your saved file, and click Open.
If your file has multiple sections (e.g. a spreadsheet with multiple sheets), you will need to indicate which section holds your addresses. You will also need to indicate if your file contains column headers (e.g. “Name”, “Postcode” etc).
You will then be shown a list of the addresses pulled from your file. You can sort, filter, and exclude these addresses as needed. Once you are happy with your list, click “OK”. A Next Record rule placeholder will be added to every label in your template EXCEPT the first one – unless you have used a saved label template.
With saved label templates, you have to add the Next Record Rule manually. Click inside the second label in your template. Find the “Rules” option in the Mailings tab and select “Next Record”. To add the rule to the rest of your template, repeat this process or copy the first rule and paste it into the remaining labels (but NOT the first one!).
For The Fourth Step Of Mail Merge, Here’s What You Need To Do…
ADD YOUR DESIGN
Use placeholders to add information from your address list into your design. These can be added individually using “Insert Merge Field” in the Mailings tab or in predefined groups using the Wizard panel options.
Address Block is ideal for Christmas address labels; use “Match Fields” to match your addresses to the address block correctly.
In addition to your placeholders, you can also add festive greetings, images, photos, background, and/or borders. To use the same design for every label, add it to the first label only and then use the “Update All Labels” button in the Wizard panel to add it to the rest of your labels.
This button is not available for saved label templates and you will need to use copy and paste to manually complete your template. Make sure the Next Record rule is included in all but the first label; you will either need to add this rule after completing your template OR include it in the first label, use copy and paste to complete your template, and then delete the rule from the first label.
- The Next Record rule must come BEFORE/ABOVE all of the placeholders in your design to ensure that each label is populated with the right information.
- Your design must account for the fact that your placeholders may take up MORE or LESS room than the information they represent.
For The Fifth Step Of Mail Merge, Here’s What You Need To Do…
CHECK THE PREVIEW
Review how well (or not) your addresses merge with your template. The preview shows one page of merged addresses but you can scroll through as many of your addresses as you like. We recommend finding the LONGEST address in your list and checking how this address fits into your label design.
If your design doesn’t work, go back a step and adjust it. Remember, you only need to change the first label as the “Update All Labels” button will apply your changes to the rest of your template for you (unless you are using a saved template).
Alternatively, if you’re only having trouble with a couple of really long (or really short) addresses, you can always go back to step three to edit the addresses themselves, rather than spending time adjusting your design for the sake of a handful of troublesome addresses.
For The Sixth Step Of Mail Merge, Here’s What You Need To Do…
COMPLETE THE MAIL MERGE
The sixth step completes the merge of your template and your addresses to create a complete set of Christmas address labels.
How To Print Your Christmas Address Labels
Once you’ve completed the mail merge, the best thing to do is a quick test print of one page of your Christmas address labels.
Click on “Print” and select “From / To”; enter values that represent the number of addresses that will fit on one page of your labels. For example, if you have 21 address labels per sheet, set “From” as 1 and “To” as 21.
Load a sheet of paper into the media bypass tray of your printer (if it has one). Go into “Printer Properties” or “Printing Preferences” and select a “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” print setting, make sure the page size is A4, and check that no scaling options are applied (e.g. less than 100% or anything starting “Fit to…”). Print out your test print and then hold it against a sheet of your address labels and carefully hold both up to a light source to check the alignment.
This allows you to check for any alignment issues (and make any necessary adjustments) before you print your full set of Christmas address labels – so you don’t end up wasting any of your label sheets.
Next week on Template Tuesday: Troubleshooting Tips To Take The Chaos Out Of Creating Christmas Labels