Get Your Christmas List Organised With Address Labels & Mail Merge

Yup, it’s Label Planet’s annual Christmas mail merge post; whether you’re a pro or a beginner, here’s how to use a mail merge to print a perfect set of Christmas address labels.

Christmas labels using Word Mail Merge

Christmas Address Labels – The Items You Need To Get Started

To perform a Mail Merge you will need:

  • A4 sheets of sticky labels.
  • A saved label template, compatible Avery template code, or layout and measurement information.
  • A saved list of addresses.

A compatible Avery template is one that has the same label size and layout as your A4 labels. If a label size has any compatible Avery codes, we will list them on the relevant product pages, product packaging, and template information pages.

Using a built-in template is simplest; if you can’t find a compatible code because Avery don’t supply your label size, you will need to save a suitable template to your device OR have detailed layout and measurement information for your label size to hand. We supply label templates AND measurements for all of our label sizes; visit our Label Templates home page and select your label shape and label size.

Your list of addresses should be saved in an Excel Spreadsheet, Outlook Contact List, Office Address List, Word Data File, Access Database, or Text File.

Christmas Address Labels – The Mail Merge Process

We recommend using the Mail Merge Wizard. Select the Mailing tab, click on Start Mail Merge, and select Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard. This opens a Mail Merge Panel on the right hand side of your screen, which guides you through these SIX STEPS:

ONE: Select Document Type – select labels.

TWO: Select Starting Document – select your template.

You have three options: select “Change Document Layout” and “Label Options” to use a built in Avery template (set Label Vendor to Avery A4/A5 and select your code) OR create your own label template (click on New Label and fill in the measurements). Alternatively, select “Start From Existing Document” to open a saved label template.

THREE: Select Recipients – select your list of addresses.

This adds the Next Record rule placeholder to all of your blank labels (except the first one). If you are using a saved label template, you must add these placeholders yourself using the “Rules” tool in the Mailings tab. 

FOUR: Arrange Your Labels – add your design (including placeholders for information from your address list).

You can add placeholders individually (use the “More items” option) or use preformatted options, such as Address Block. Add your design (and placeholders) in the first label before using the “Update all labels” button to complete your template. This button is not available if you are using a saved template so you will need to copy and paste your design into the remaining labels.

FIVE: Preview Your Labels – check that your information and design fit together on each label.

SIX: Complete The Merge – finish the merge and print your address labels.

ALWAYS TEST PRINT ONE SHEET FIRST BEFORE PRINTING YOUR WHOLE LIST OF ADDRESSES.

You must use the media bypass tray (if your printer has one) and check your printer is using the correct settings.

Christmas Address Labels – Top Tips

For a chaos-free Christmas mail merge, we recommend following these top tips:

  • Use a built-in label template or create a label template if you can because this allows you to take advantage of several automated tools that are not available if you use a saved copy of a label template.
  • Keep your design simple and try to avoid elements that will complicate the printing process (such as multicoloured backgrounds and/or coloured borders around the edges of each label).
  • Remember that your address information will take up a lot more space on your address labels that the placeholders used to represent them.
  • Remember that some addresses are longer than others; make a note of the longest address in your list and make sure that you check how this address appears when you preview your address labels in step five.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY TEST PRINT THE FIRST SHEET BEFORE PRINTING ALL YOUR ADDRESS LABELS.

Use the “From” option under Print to select enough addresses to fill one sheet of blank labels.

Christmas Address Labels – Troubleshooting Tips

If things start to go wrong, try these troubleshooting tips to avoid a label template nightmare before Christmas:

  • Can’t Find Your Avery Code: “Printer information” must be set to Page printers and “Label Vendor” to Avery A4/A5. If your Avery code is a Zweckform code, set Vendor to Avery Zweckform. If your code isn’t listed, it may refer to a discontinued product. Check for an alternative compatible Avery code.
  • Two (Or More) Labels Show The SAME Address Information: the Next Record rule must be in EVERY label EXCEPT the first one. It must come BEFORE any other placeholder in your design. Remember, if you use a saved template you need to add this rule yourself.
  • Address Block Doesn’t Show Full Addresses: Word might not have matched sections from your address list to the address block properly. The Match Fields tool allows you to indicate where each part of the address block is stored in your address list.
  • Some Addresses Don’t Fit: some addresses are longer than others. You can either adjust your deign to accommodate the longest address in your list OR edit the longer addresses to make them fit.
  • Your Address Labels Are Misaligned: there are TWO common patterns of misalignment, which you can fix as follows:

Misaligned in the SAME direction by the SAME amount: adjust the page margins of your template to correct the alignment. Click on the Layout tab, select Margins, and choose “Custom Margins”. Increase/decrease the top page margin to move your designs down/up and increase/decrease the left page margin to move them right/left.

Misalignment gets worse down/across/out from the centre: usually caused by printer settings. Check that the page size is A4, no scaling options are applied (i.e. less than 100% or “Fit to…” options), and that no options such as “Ignore Printer Settings” or “Use Default/Driver Settings” are applied. Run your device’s main software update tool to check you have the latest printer driver installed. You should also use your printer’s media bypass tray (if it has one).

If this doesn’t help, there may be a problem with your template; check that the size and layout measurements are correct.

Order Christmas Address Labels From Label Planet NOW For Pre-Christmas Despatch & Delivery

You should order Christmas address labels early because you need to leave enough time for:

  • Despatch and delivery of your order.
  • Designing and printing your address labels.
  • Sticking your address labels onto your post.
  • Posting items for delivery before Christmas.

Stocked items (those with a minimum order quantity of 25 sheets) are available for same day despatch from stock in packs of 25 sheets. Quantities of 500+ sheets of stocked items are made to order, although some paper items are stocked for same day despatch. Items with a minimum order quantity of 500 sheets are unstocked and made to order. Despatch is likely to take five working days because of the increasing demand for Christmas labels.

Small orders (fewer than 250 sheets) despatch by Royal Mail’s first class service; we recommend upgrading to our special delivery service (delivery by 1pm on the next working day) if you have a deadline to meet.

Large orders (250+ sheets) despatch by next working day carrier (once stock is available). Delivery to Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly, and the Channel Islands is via 2-working day carrier.

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