Mail merge is a brilliant way to merge the data from a database with your label design and it’s generally a quick and easy tool to use.
The easiest way to complete a mail merge is to follow the Step by Step Wizard and use one of the Avery templates that are built in to Word. So what do you do if your labels don’t have a compatible Avery code?
Here are our simple guides to TWO methods you can use to complete a mail merge without an Avery template.
1. Create Your Own Template
When you reach Step 2 of the Step By Step Wizard (Select Starting Document/Change Document Layout) click on “Label options” then choose “New Label”.
Next, fill in the fields in the “Label Details” box that appears. You will need to measure the height and width of the labels, the top and left margins (from the top of the sheet to the top of the first label and from the left edge of the sheet to the left edge of the first label), the horizontal and vertical pitches (the horizontal pitch is the distance from the left edge of the first label in a row to the left edge of the second label in that row and the vertical pitch is the distance from the top of the first label in a column to the top of the second label in that column), and note the number of labels in each row and column.
When you click okay, you will be able to see a grid that represents your label template. You can then follow the rest of the steps in the Step By Step Wizard as usual.
2. Use A Label Planet Template Or An Existing Template You Have Created
If you don’t feel confident setting up your own template, then you can use an existing template that someone else has set up for you or you can visit our website to download one of our free templates (NB: if you want to use a Label Planet template you will need to save it to your computer first).
When you reach Step 2, you should select “Start From Existing Document” and then select “Open” and navigate to the folder where your template is saved. Select the template and click “Open”.
In Step 3, you should select your database as usual.
Step 4 is a little bit different than usual; as you are working with a template that hasn’t automatically been generated by Word, it is unlikely to recognise your table or grid as being a table or grid that works with the mail merge system. This means that you need to add a “Next Record” rule to EACH CELL that represents a label on your sheet of labels – apart from the top left cell, which should be left blank.
To insert a rule, you should left click within a cell, select “Rules” from the top of the page and select “Next Record” from the drop down list. Unfortunately, you can only add a rule to one cell at a time so you may want to copy the first rule that you have inserted and then paste it into the other cells (this is most effective if your template doesn’t have blank rows and columns to account for the gaps between labels – you can select entire rows or columns and paste into them in one go).
Now you can add the text that you want to use; usually this is done by using the “Address block” item. Click in the top left cell and then click “Address Block” – you will need to use the “Match Fields” button to match the columns in your database with the options in the Address Block and make sure your information is printed in the correct order.
Next you will need to copy this address block and paste it into the other cells; again this goes faster if you can copy and paste into entire rows and/or columns. Please note that the address block needs to go AFTER the next record rule.
Now you can continue with the Step By Step Wizard as usual.
For more tips and advice, please take a look through our Help pages.