Tutorial: How to print Christmas labels

Dave WalterHow to1 Comment

At this time of year, I seem to help at least one person with this problem every day: how to take a list of addresses, and print them out onto labels. So as an early Christmas present I will show you the easiest way to get the job done. It might seem a bit complicated, but if you follow each step then I promise it will work. The good news is that once you have the labels saved on your computer, it becomes really easy year on year to change a few names on the list and print off the labels.

What you will need

  • A printer.
  • A computer with Microsoft Office. I will be using Office 2016 for Windows, but this guide works just as well in Office for Mac, and in earlier versions of Office for Windows.
  • A supply of A4 printer labels. It’s worth spending extra to get a well-known brand such as Avery, and I’ll explain why later.

What we’ll be doing

We’re going to use Excel to make a list of your friends’ names and addresses. We’ll save this as a spreadsheet called Christmas Addresses. Then we’re going to use Word to turn that list into pages of labels. We’ll save that as a document called Christmas Labels.

Xmas files

Each year, you can then update the people in Christmas Addresses, and print out new Christmas Labels.

Part 1 – Excel

  1. Open Excel, and click on Blank Workbook.
  2. Click in the first cell, A1. Type in “Line 1” (without the quotes) and press Enter (Return) on your keyboard.
  3. Now enter “Line 2” in the next cell along, B1.
  4. Carry on entering “Line 3”, “Line 4”, “Line 5”, and “Line 6”. Most addresses, including those abroad, should fit into 6 lines. Your spreadsheet should look like this:

Xmas column headings

5. Now we need to make our columns a bit wider so we have enough room to enter the addresses. To make column A wider, place your cursor between A and B. The cursor will change to a double arrow. Click and drag the cursor to the right, and the A column will become wider. Repeat for all the columns.

Xmas wider columns

6. Now we can enter the addresses. Starting in Row 2, enter the first line of the first address in A2.

Xmas A2

7. Fill the rest of row 2 with the remaining lines of the first address.

Xmas row 2

8. Continue to enter all the addresses into the spreadsheet.

Xmas addresses

9. Click File, and Save. Save the spreadsheet as “Christmas Addresses”. Now close Excel.

Part 2 – Word

  1. Now open Word, and click on Blank Document.
  2. Click on the Mailings tab at the top of the window. We will be working along the Mailings ribbon from left to right, and using several of these buttons.

Xmas mailings

3. Click on Start Mail Merge, then click Labels.

Xmas start labels

4. Ensure that Page Printers is selected. Then click the drop-down menu next to Label Vendors, and choose your brand of labels. If you are using a popular brand such as Avery, you should have no problem finding the vendor here.

Label options

5. Choose the Product Number from the list. This should be printed on the packaging for your labels. Click Ok.

6. OPTIONAL: If your labels are not listed, you will need to help the computer understand the size of your labels. Click on New Label, then fill in the dimensions of your labels. Click OK.

Xmas dimensions

7. Click Select Recipients, then Use an Existing List.

Xmas select recipients

8. Locate where the Christmas Addresses file is stored on your computer, and open it.

9. Leave everything selected, and click OK:

Xmas sheet

10. You should now see your page laid out with “Next Record” where the labels will go:

Xmas next record

11. Now click Insert Merge Field, and click Line_1. You will see <<Line_1>> added to your first label.

Xmas insert merge field

12. Now we want to go down to the next line, and insert Line_2. If you were to press Enter, you would find that the line height would be too large. Instead, you should hold down Shift while you press Enter.

13. Insert each line, and press Shift-Enter to add a new line after each. Your first label should look as follows:

Xmas 6 lines

14. Now click Update Labels, and the 6 lines should be added to each label.

Xmas Update Labels

15. Click Preview Results, to see how your labels will look.

Xmas labels result

16. Click File, then Save. Save your labels as Christmas Labels.

17. To print the labels, click Finish & Merge, then Print Documents. Try printing out onto plain paper first. If everything looks alright, then print out onto the label paper.

Xmas print


Image © Mosman Library on Flickr – CC License.

Dave WalterTutorial: How to print Christmas labels

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