Printing labels can save you a lot of time and energy IF you approach the job correctly. Since Microsoft Word is still the leading word processor, I will discuss how to print labels with it.
This tip will help you print a single label or a full sheet of labels with the same address or text.
- Start Microsoft Word.
- Click Tools —> Envelopes and Labels from the menus (in the newest version of Word, you will find it in the Letters and Mailings section of the Tools menu).
- Click the Labels tab in the box that pops up.
- Type the address you want to print on the label (see #1 in the illustration).
- Click the Options button (see #2 in the illustration) to choose the type of label you are printing (try to purchase Avery labels or labels that have Avery compatible numbers on them).
- Click whether you want a full sheet of labels or just a single label (see #3 in the illustration).
- If you are printing a single label, you can reuse a sheet of labels over and over by choosing the appropriate row and column that is next to print on your sheet.
- Before clicking Print, check to see if the address has spilled over onto the next line (in #1). If so, that indicates that the font size is too large for the chose label type. To correct this, highlight the entire address with your mouse, the RIGHT click it and choose font to make adjustments.
- Click New Document to see how the labels will look.
- Now print the labels on a regular sheet of paper and hold them up to a blank sheet of labels to make sure they will print appropriately. If it does, then load your labels in the printer tray (remember to load them the proper direction).
When finished printing, you can close and save the document if it is a sheet that you will use again in the future. Otherwise, just close and don’t save the document.
Tip within a tip (Word 2002 or newer):
If you want to add pictures or other elements to your Word labels, follow this procedure instead:
- Start Word.
- Click View —> Toolbars —> Mail Merge.
- Click the left most tool from the new toolbar (see picture).
- Click Labels from the list.
- Choose your particular label and the click OK.
- Type and format the first label to specifications…complete with pictures if you like.
- When finished, click the Propagate button (again, see picture…it’s the right most circled button).
Today’s tip did not discuss Mail Merge, as that is another can of worms for another day.
However, if you have a copy of Microsoft Works or almost any card publishing program, you have the ability to create an electronic address book and produce mail merge style labels. Check out the help sections of these programs to learn how.
I like the Microsoft Works approach to labels. In Microsoft Works, use the Task Wizard to build an address book, then use the Task Wizard again to print your mailing labels.
If you would like some stand alone solutions, here are the top address book / mailing label downloads. All are free to download and try, but cost between $20-50 to keep.