Posts Tagged ‘Mail Merge’

Get Your Christmas List Organised With Address Labels & Mail Merge

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

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.

Quick Tips For Last Minute Address Labels & Gift Tags

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

If this is the year that you’re going to get truly creative for Christmas – but you’ve left it to the last minute – try our Quick Tips for Last Minute Christmas Labels!

Whether you’re making your own Christmas address labels, Christmas card labels, or Christmas gift tags, it’s really easy to create a set of seasonal address labels and gift tags with that extra special personal touch.

  • Personalise Christmas address labels with photographs, images, a Christmas-themed background, or a festive font!
  • Choose self-adhesive labels with a festive feel to give yourself a ready made seasonal background for your Christmas wishes or addresses.
  • Coloured labels are ideal Christmas labels and we offer pastel coloured labels (for a subtle touch of Christmas colour), fluorescent labels (for adhesive labels that are merry and bright), gold labels and silver labels (for a touch of seasonal shimmer), and brown Kraft labels (for a truly homemade feel).
  • Download label templates from our website; we have Word templates (for Word, Pages, LibreOffice etc) and PDF templates (for Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator etc).
  • Add your seasonal design to the first label in your label template and then use copy and paste to quickly AND accurately fill in the rest of the blank labels.
    Top tip: in Word, move your cursor to the bottom left corner of the first label and triple click your mouse (left button) to select the content AND the formatting options you have used.
  • Be careful with coloured backgrounds and borders; if your printer and/or label template aren’t quite accurate enough, you may end up with “white edging” where your label template is slightly misaligned with your labels. You can avoid this either by not using a coloured background or border OR by oversizing your background or border so that it overlaps the edges of each label – if possible.
    Top Tip:  centralise so your design so it always starts from the middle of each blank label and extends outwards, which helps to prevent your design getting cut off at the edges of your sheet labels.
  • In Word, use text boxes to control the positioning of text in your Christmas design (and add a festive border) and use the “Wrap Text” option in the “Picture Tools Format” tab to control the positioning of any images (use “Tight” or “In Front Of Text”).
  • Use Word’s built in Mail Merge tool to create personalised address labels. The Mail Merge Wizard (click on the “Mailings” tab, then click on the “Start Mail Merge” button, and select “Step-by-Step Mail Merge Wizard”) will guide you through the SIX steps:
  1. Select Document Type: create a set of address labels.
  2. Select Starting Document: select your label template; Mail Merge works best with a built in Avery template (click “Change document layout” then “Label options”) but you can use a label template you have downloaded (e.g. from the Label Planet website) and saved to your computer (“Start from existing document”) OR use the “New Label” option in the “Label options” box to create your own label template.
    Label templates AND measurements for all of our label sizes can be found on the template information page for each of our products; use the “Templates & Printing Information” link on the product page or navigate from our Template Home Page to find the templates and information you need.
  3. Select Recipients: connect your label template to your list of addresses using the “Use existing list” option. Once you have confirmed that you are happy with the information in your list, a <<Next Record>> rule is added to each blank label in your label template (except the first one).
    If you have downloaded a label template, you need to add this rule manually; click on the “Rules” button in the “Mailings” tab at the top of the page and select “Next Record” from the drop down list.
  4. Arrange Your Labels: add your Christmas label design; if you are using a built in template (or one you have made) you can add your design to the top left label and use the “Update All Labels” button to fill in the rest of your label template.
    Use placeholders to indicate where the information from your list should sit; add individual fields using the “More Items” option or use the “Address Block” to insert your addresses in a single placeholder.
  5. Preview Your Labels: check that your information fits into your design properly (and go back to make amends if it does not).
  6. Complete The Merge: merge your label template with your list of addresses to create one unique address label for each of the recipients on your Christmas list.
  • ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS test print your Christmas label template onto paper BEFORE loading your sheet labels proper; this allows you to check that your label template and printer are set up correctly to produce the print quality and alignment that you need to produce perfect Christmas labels.
  • Use the media bypass tray (if your printer has one) and go through your printer’s properties to make sure you are using a Page Size of A4, a Media Type/Weight of Labels (or Heavy Paper), and that no scaling options (e.g. less than 100% or “Fit to Page/Sheet”) are selected.

Remember, you can find label templates for ALL of our label sizes in our Template Section OR by clicking on the “Templates & Printing Information” link on the product page of the self adhesive labels you have bought from Label Planet.

View all of our material options on our “List Of All Materials” page, visit our Address Labels range page to find the perfect Christmas address labels, or take a look through our Help Pages for even more tips and advice (including our “Label Template Blog”).


If you need any further assistance ordering, designing, or printing your own Christmas address labels or gift tags, you can always get in touch with our Customer Service Team who will be happy to help!

FAQ – How Do I Create (Christmas) Address Labels In Word?

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

With only a month and a bit to go until Christmas, plenty of people will be turning their thoughts towards creating seasonal address labels to add a festive touch to their mail, from individuals who want to make Christmas labels for sending cards and gifts to family and friends to businesses who want the perfect finishing touch for their Christmas correspondence and seasonal packaging.

Address labels are a really easy way to add a festive flavour to anything that you need to send in the post at this time of year and the easiest way to print Christmas address labels (especially if you have a LOT of people on your “nice” list) is to use Word’s “Mail Merge” tool; this allows you to combine a single document (your label template) with a data source (e.g. a spreadsheet of addresses) to create a personalised address label for every person on your list.

The quickest (and easiest) way to complete a mail merge is to use the Mail Merge Wizard, which guides you through the six steps of a mail merge (and lets you go back and forth if you need to correct a mistake).

Label Planet’s Quickfire Guide To Using The Mail Merge Wizard

  1. Find a compatible Avery code OR download a label template OR note the measurements for your label size.
    The Wizard works best if you use a built-in Avery template; visit the template information page of your Label Planet labels to see if there is an Avery code you can use (click on the “Templates & Printing Information” link on the product page or start from our “Label Templates” home page). If your labels DON’T have a compatible Avery code, download and save a Word template from the template information page OR make a note of the measurements for your label size to create your own label template.
  1. Start the Mail Merge Wizard!
    Open Word and create a blank document. Click on the “Mailings” tab at the top of the page, select “Start Mail Merge”, and click on “Step-By-Step-Mail-Merge-Wizard”.
  1. SELECT DOCUMENT TYPE – tell Word that you want to create a set of address labels.
    In the Mail Merge panel on the right-hand side, click on “Labels” and then “Next”.
  1. SELECT STARTING DOCUMENT – select the label template you want to use for your address labels.
    If you are using a built-in Avery template: click on “Change document layout” and “Label options”; set “Avery A4/A5” as the label vendor, locate your code in the list, and select OK.
    If you are making your own label template: in the “Label options” box, click on “New Label”, and enter the measurements for your label size.
    If you are using a Label Planet template: click on “Start from existing document” and then “Open” to locate your saved label template. Delete the “LP…” text to start with a blank label template.
  1. SELECT RECIPIENTS – select the data source you want to use to personalise your address labels.
    You can enter your list manually at this point but it’s much easier to use a list that you’ve already saved. Click on “Use an existing list” and then “Browse” to locate your list; this can be an Excel spreadsheet, an Access database, an Office address list, your Outlook contact list, a Word data file, or a text file – most people use an Excel spreadsheet so we’ll talk you through the process using this type of data source.
    You will now be presented with two boxes; the first asks you to select the sheet in your spreadsheet that contains your addresses and to indicate if the top row contains column headings (e.g. Name, Address Line 1, Postcode etc). The second box asks you to indicate which addresses in your spreadsheet you want to use; by default, they are all selected but you can filter out a specific group, remove individual addresses, or check for duplicate addresses.
    If you are using a built-in Avery template or a label template you have made, a placeholder («Next Record») will appear in all of the labels in your label template except for the first one.
    If you downloaded a template you will need to enter this rule manually; click on the “Rules” button in the “Mailings” tab and select “Next Record” from the dropdown list. You can repeat this process for each label OR you can copy this first rule and paste it into the remaining labels (ideal if you have a LOT of labels on each sheet). It’s best to do this during the next step so that you don’t accidentally delete these rules while you add your design.
  1. ARRANGE YOUR LABELS – add your seasonal design to your address labels!
    To create a set of address labels with the SAME design, add your design to the top left label and use the “Update All Labels” button to copy it into the rest of your labels.
    NB: this option is NOT available if you are using a label template downloaded from an external source – you will need to use copy and paste to fill in your label template as usual.
    When creating address labels, you can use the “Address Block” tool to create a single placeholder for your addresses OR you can add individual placeholders for each of the fields in your database (a “field” is one of the columns in your spreadsheet – e.g. the “Name” field is the column that contains the name of each recipient):
    ADDRESS BLOCK: click on the “Address block” button and choose the format you want to use. If information from a particular column DOESN’T appear in the preview window you can use the “Match Field” button to tell Word to use that particular column for a specific section of each address.
    For example, Word refers to the first line of an address as “Address 1”; if your spreadsheet uses a different column heading, Word may not connect your column with that part of the address block – i.e. it won’t know where to get that bit of information from and so will leave it out of each address.
    INDIVIDUAL PLACEHOLDERS: click on the “More items” option to add a placeholder for a particular field (column).
    NB: the Next Record rule MUST come BEFORE the first placeholder in each label; this rule tells Word to move onto the next row in your spreadsheet and if it is in the wrong place you will end up with duplicate address labels or mismatched information. It is also important to note that you cannot put rules into a text box, which means that you cannot put placeholders into a text box either – they must be in the main body of the label template to allow Word to execute the Next Record rule when it completes your finished mail merge.
  1. PREVIEW YOUR LABELS – take a peek at what your address labels will look like after you complete the mail merge.
    The preview completes the mail merge for the first page of your address labels, giving you the chance to check that your addresses fit neatly into your label design (and to go back and make adjustments if they don’t). We STRONGLY recommend using the “Preview another label” and/or “Find a recipient” options to check through a selection of your addresses – especially if you know that one address is particularly long (and so might not fit even though the other, shorter, addresses do fit).
  1. COMPLETE THE MERGE – merge your label template and your data source together.
    This brings together your Christmas label template and your list of addresses to create one personalised address label for each of the recipients on your list. You can now choose to make minor adjustments to individual labels (using the “Edit individual labels” tool), to save your merged label template, or to print your address labels…
  1. Test Print Your Merged Label Template
    While you might be tempted to print all of your Christmas address labels at once, we recommend doing a TEST PRINT first; click on “Print” and then select the “From…To” option (enter a range that is smaller than the number of labels on your label sheets) OR set the “Page range” option to “Pages: 1”. This will allow you to check that your label template aligns correctly with your label sheets BEFORE you print all of your address labels at once.
  1. Print Your Address Labels
    Once you are happy that your label template will produce the correct alignment, you can print your finished set of address labels. As a final tip, we would recommend keeping an eye on your labels as they print out – just in case there are any “surprises” in some of the later addresses in your spreadsheet!

Label Planet’s Range Of Christmas Address Labels
We have massive range of address labels that are just PERFECT for Christmas – whether you want plain white labels (for a subtle background OR as the perfect starting point for a truly dazzling design), gloss labels and semi-gloss labels (for a subtle seasonal shimmer), gold labels and silver labels (for a touch of seasonal luxury), pastel coloured labels and fluorescent labels (for a background that is both merry and bright), Kraft labels (for that homemade feel), and transparent labels (choose between matt labels and gloss laser labels or gloss inkjet labels; ideal for envelopes or packages that have already been printed with a Christmas pattern or design!).

Visit Our Address Labels Section To View All Of Our Address Label Sizes & Materials
We have FIVE label sizes in our address labels range so you should be able to find one that’s a perfect fit for your envelopes and/or packages; whether you’re looking for large shipping labels for Christmas goods (LP4/99 and LP8/99), medium address labels for standard envelopes (LP14/99 and LP21/63), or small return address labels for adding company details or a short seasonal message of good cheer!

How To Print Christmas Labels Using Word’s Mail Merge Tool

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Yes, it is that time of year once again, where we revisit Word’s Mail Merge Tool to help guide you through the process of creating Christmas labels using a Word template and a database (e.g. an Excel Spreadsheet). If you’ve got a list of addresses or a product database that you’d like to turn into Christmas Address Labels or Christmas Product Labels but aren’t sure how to go about setting up a mail merge, this is the blog post for you!

We recommend using the built in “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard” and so this blog will describe how to complete a mail merge using the Wizard; if you wish, you can choose to do the steps manually.

Things you will need before you start:

  • A saved database, such as an Excel spreadsheet, that contains the information you want to include on your labels (e.g. addresses or product details)
  • The Avery template code that matches your labels, the measurements of your labels, OR a saved copy of a Word template that matches your labels (e.g. one that you have downloaded from our template section!)

GETTING STARTED – Enter the “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard”
label-planet-mail-merge-wizard
Open Word and create a blank document. Click on the “Mailings” tab at the top of the page, then click on “Start Mail Merge”, and select “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard”. This adds a Mail Merge pane to the right hand side of your screen, which will guide you through the SIX steps involved in completing a mail merge. Simply follow the instructions at the top of the pane before clicking on the “Next” link at the bottom of the pane to move on to the next step.

STEP ONE: Select document type.
Easy peasy! Select “Labels” and then click “Next: Starting document”.

STEP TWO: Select starting document.
If you are printing labels that are the same as Avery labels, you should use the built in Avery template.
For example, our LP21/63 label size is the same as Avery’s L7160 label size – as shown below.
label-planet-mail-merge-select-avery-template
Leave the top option as “Change document layout” and click on “Label options”. Make sure that the Label Vendor is set to Avery A4/A5 (or Avery Zweckform) and then click OK. This will bring up the template that you will use to design your labels.
If you cannot see the outline of the template, you have Table Gridlines turned off; click on the Table Tools “Layout” tab at the top of the page, and click “View Gridlines”.

If you do NOT have a compatible Avery code then you will either need to use the “New Label” button in the “Label Options” box to enter the measurements of your label sheets to create your own template OR you will need to use the “Start from existing document” option in the Mail Merge pane. Click “Open” to find and select your saved template file. Then click “Next: Select Recipients” in the Mail Merge pane.

STEP THREE: Select Recipients
Leave the top option as “Use existing list” and click on “Browse” to find and select your database. If your database is made up of multiple sets of data – for example, if you have an Excel spreadsheet with multiple sheets – you may be presented with a “Select Table” box; simply select the sheet that contains the information that you want to print and select OK.

If you need to make adjustments to your list, you can use the “Mail Merge Recipients” box to sort, filter, remove, or validate addresses in your list. Once you are happy with your list, or if you don’t need to make any amends, click on the OK button.
label-planet-mail-merge-select-recipients

You should now see a <<Next Record>> rule in each of your labels APART from the top left label. If you aren’t using an Avery template (or a template you set up using the “New Label” button in “Label Options”) your template will be blank. You need to manually add the <<Next Record>> rule to your labels by left clicking once inside one of your labels (NOT the top left one), clicking on “Rules” in the Mailings tab, and selecting the Next Record option from the list. You don’t have to repeat this for each label; you can simply copy the first <<Next Record>> and paste it into the rest of the labels (NOT the top left one).
Then click on “Next: Arrange Your Labels” in the Mail Merge pane.

STEP FOUR: Arrange your labels
This is the part where you design your labels! You CAN just add your information as a block of text OR you can put in some extra design features, such as a company logo or a friendly picture to personalise your labels.

The easiest way to add information from your database is to use the built in options in the Mail Merge pane (Address block or Greeting line), but you can also use the “More items…” option in the Mail Merge pane or the “Insert Merge Field” option in the Mailings tab to add a placeholder for any bit of information from your database anywhere within your label design. A placeholder takes the form of <<Information Name>> where “Information Name” is the column header from your database; once you complete your merge, each placeholder will be replaced with the relevant piece of information from your database.

You must make sure that the <<Next Record>> rule always comes BEFORE the first bit of information that is pulled from your database in each label.

Mail merge is really designed to create a set of labels that share the same basic design but are each printed with information from a different record in your database (e.g. address labels with the same design but a different address on each label); to design your labels, set up your design in the top left label and then use “Update all labels” in the Mail Merge pane to instantly add your design to the rest of your labels. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can ignore the “Update all labels” option and add different designs to your labels manually.

If you are not using an Avery template or a template you have set up using the “New Label” button in “Label Options”, the “Update all labels” option is NOT available and you will need to set up each label individually – although you can still add your design to the top left label and then use copy and paste to transfer it into the other labels.

If you are using the Address block or Greeting line options, you may need to use the “Match Fields” function to tell Word which column in your database correlates to each element of the built in option. For example, if your spreadsheet doesn’t use the exact same column headings as the different elements in Word’s built in Address block, you can use the “Match Fields” function to tell Word that you want it to use the information from your column “Customer Surname” to fill in the “Last Name” element in the Address block (and so on). This also means you can use the Address block function even if you aren’t creating address labels. Use the “Preview” box to check through a few records to make sure you’re happy with how the information will be displayed.

label-planet-mail-merge-arrange-your-labels

When you are happy with your design, click on “Next: Preview Your Labels” in the Mail Merge pane.

STEP FIVE: Preview your labels
This step shows you what your labels look like once the placeholders have been replaced with the information from your database. We recommend using the “Preview another label” or “Find a recipient” options to check through a few different records to make sure that your design and layout works for each one. For example, you have may have one or two entries that are much longer than others, which could throw out the positioning of your design (perhaps even pushing some of your design off the edges of your label). If you need to, use the “Previous: Arrange your labels” option at the bottom of the Mail Merge pane to go back and correct any problems that you’ve found.

STEP SIX: Complete the merge
At this stage you can save your mail merged template, print your completed labels, or make some final amends/add personalised finishing touches using the “Edit individual labels” option. When you come to print your labels, we STRONGLY recommend that you do a test print FIRST either by selecting the “From…To” option and selecting the first few records from your database to print ONE page of labels or by setting the Page range option in the “Print” box to “Pages: 1” (see below). You should also click on the “Properties” button to check that all of your printer settings are correct; for example, make sure that the page size is set to A4, select a specific “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” setting, make sure that no scaling options (e.g. Fit To Page) are selected, and that no options such as Ignore Printer Settings or Use Driver Settings are selected.

label-planet-mail-merge-test-print

Test print the first page of your mail merged template onto blank paper so that you can confirm that the alignment of your template is correct (and amend it if it isn’t) BEFORE you print your labels. For example, if your labels are all printing too high, you can go back and increase the top page margin to move all of your designs into the correct position.

The “Edit individual labels” option creates a new document which contains enough pages to display each of your merged labels (where the original mail merge document shows only one page with the first few entries from your database added).

We hope this guide has helped to demystify the process of completing a mail merge a little, so you can get busy creating your own seasonal labels this Christmas. If you have any queries or encounter a particular problem that isn’t explained by this guide, please take a look through our Printing Advice pages or get in touch with our Customer Service Team and we’ll do our best to help!

Need To Make Some Address Labels For Your Christmas Card List? It’s The Return Of the Christmas Mail Merge!

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

While we’ve blogged about mail merges before (including seasonal and non-seasonal varieties), it’s always good to have a refresher. Plus, it’s a chance to welcome those of you who might be entirely new to the wonderful (and sometimes slightly traumatic) world of printing your own Christmas labels.

If you’re not sure how to go about doing a Mail Merge, we highly recommend using Word’s built in Step By Step Mailing Wizard: select the “Mailings” tab, click “Start Mail Merge”, and select “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard”.

There are SIX STEPS to follow to complete your Mail Merge (and they go something like this)…

STEP 1: DOCUMENT TYPE
Select “Labels”.

STEP 2: STARTING DOCUMENT
You can use a built in Avery template (if compatible with your labels), set up your own template, or use an existing template (for example, if you’ve downloaded a template from our website or have an existing template saved on your computer).
– Avery Template: click “Label Options”, select “Avery A4/A5” as the Label vendor, and choose the correct code from the list.
– New Template: click “Label Options”, select “New Label”, and fill in the required fields with the measurements of your labels.
– Existing Template: select “Start from existing document” and click “Open” to locate the saved template you want to use.

STEP 3: SELECT RECIPIENTS
Select “Use an existing list” and click “Browse” to locate your list of addresses.
To complete a Mail Merge, your addresses must be saved in a database format (e.g. an Excel spreadsheet).

The “Select Table” box may show multiple options: these are the different tabs in your spreadsheet or tables/queries in your database, so you’ll need to select the option that contains your address list.

If you don’t want to print labels for ALL of the addresses in your list (perhaps someone is on the “Naughty Step” this year), use the Mail Merge Recipients box to select only the entries that you want to print onto your labels.

If you are using an Avery Template or a New Template you have made yourself, the placeholder “«Next Record»” will now appear in all of the cells in your template (except for the top left cell).

If you are using an Existing Template, you will need to manually add these placeholders yourself: left click once inside the second cell, click on the “Rules” button, and select “Next Record” from the list. You can repeat this for each cell OR copy this first placeholder and paste it into the remaining cells.

STEP 4: ARRANGE YOUR LABELS
Design your labels! You can choose to simply add the addresses from your list to your labels OR you can give your labels an extra special finishing touch by adding your own words and images for a truly personalised set of Christmas labels.

You should design your labels in the top left cell; once you’re happy with the layout, you can click on the “Update all labels” button, which will copy your design into all of the remaining cells.

If you are using an Existing Template you won’t see this button and you will need to copy and paste your design into the remaining cells yourself – remember to make sure that the “Next Record” placeholder is at the start of each new cell so that, when you complete the merge, each label is printed with information from the next entry in your list (rather than printing the same information on every label).

Likewise if you’re trying to create different designs on one sheet of labels, you’ll need to copy and paste the different design elements yourself, so that each label is printed with the specific design you want.

Word offers a number of tools to help design your labels, including:
Address Block
“Address Block” will match the fields in your spreadsheet with the elements usually included in an address.
Check the “preview pane” to make sure that Word has chosen the correct fields and put them in the right order. If any of the matches are wrong, click “Match Fields” to select which field should be used for which element in the address block. This will add “«Address Block»” as a placeholder, while you complete your design.

Greeting Line
“Greeting Line” will allow you to personalise labels with a name and a greeting; for example, you could add “Happy Christmas” to your design and use the “Greeting Line” tool to add each recipient’s name (e.g. Dear First Name).
Check the “preview pane” to make sure that Word has chosen the correct fields and put them in the right order. If any of the matches are wrong, click “Match Fields” to select which field should be used. This will add “«Greeting Line»” as a placeholder, while you complete your design.

More Items / Field Placeholders
If you’re writing your own text and want to be able to specify that a specific field should be added in a specific place, use the More Items or Field Placeholders options to choose which fields from your database you want to include and exactly where you want them to appear. To insert a Field Placeholder, click on “Insert Merge Fields” and select the field that you want to add.

STEP 5: PREVIEW YOUR LABELS
Double check that the right bit of information is going in the right place on your labels and that everything looks about right.

STEP 6: COMPLETE THE MERGE
Select “Print” to choose your printer and printer settings. Remember: to get the best possible print on labels you should use the media bypass tray (if your printer has one) and select a specific “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” setting (where available).

We strongly recommend doing a test print of the first page only BEFORE you go ahead and print all of your labels. This way you can double check that everything is going to print as and where it’s supposed to – without wasting a chunk of your labels (not to mention time and toner/ink).