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- Choosing or creating a data source
- Using Mail Merge with Outlook contacts
- Merging data from an Excel spreadsheet
- Inserting address blocks and greetings
- Matching fields from a data source
- Previewing merge results
- Using rules for customized merges
Skill Level Intermediate
If you want to use address labels to send a mass mailing, you can use Microsoft Word mail merge to create a sheet or sheets of address labels. Every label will contain an address from your data source but you'll use this same process for far more than just address labels because you can create CD labels, folder labels name tags, and anything else you would print on a label like product. Before you can print labels, you actually have to have some labels. You need to buy them from Avery or another label provider at your local office supply store.
Labels come in different sizes and dimensions and each label or label like product has its own number. You will want to make sure you know what that number is. It's usually found on the end of the box. On the Mailings tab down in a blank document, let's go ahead and choose Mailings > Start Mail Merge > Labels. Now you might wonder why I didn't simply choose Labels here. This is made to print one label or a sheet of labels that are the same, like return address labels but merge labels we choose Start Mail Merge and then choose Labels.
I told you need would need that Label number and you're going to need it right away. First choose the vendor for your label, the manufacturer. There's an entire list here of different labels. If you by chance have a box of labels that are not from one of these vendors, I'd encourage you to go to their website and find a table that says that their label is like this Avery label or their label is like this Formtec label. These are two of the larger label suppliers and usually there's a comparison chart just like you'd have for something like spark plugs that will let you know that this is a stand-in for this Avery or Formtec label.
Once you've chosen your label vendor then you need to choose your label number and you'll find them here in order and if you click in this list, you don't have to simply scroll, I'm looking for the 5260 label which is an address label. So if I type 5 it'll skip that far down the list for me and I'm going to scroll and go find that 5260 address label. It's been a commonly used return address label for a very long time. Notice that they are called Easy Peel Mailing Labels and Fill Across. They come on a sheet that's the same size as a sheet of regular paper 8.5 X 11 and if I want to find more details about this label, I can click and it will show me exactly the specifications for this label, including that these are 10 down and 3 across.
So they print 30 to a page. What the vertical and horizontal pitch is. The space around the label and how they are spaced precisely. If the label that I want doesn't exist and I can't find a comparison I can always choose New Label, take out a ruler and start entering all of this information then I can save that new label, my own label. I should start with one that's close if I'm going to do this because this is painstaking work and often isn't used for labels but is used for something that you're going to have custom cut later at a print shop, where there really is no label.
There's a piece of paper that has for example 4 across and 6 down and there is no set up that you can find that's similar. Find the closest you can, based on page size, number across, and number down and then simply get out a ruler and customize these and save this for example as Our One-off Brochure Add-in. Whatever it is, save it, because you won't want to have to go through this process of laying out the details of a label more than once.
If you never have to do it, you will be an even happier user. So choose your source but customize it if you absolutely need to and now having said here is our label and clicked OK, we are ready to add merge fields, whether it was a custom label that I was forced to create or a label that I selected. Let's go ahead and grab our recipients. We are going to use an existing list we have used previously and go out to our Exercises Folder and in Chapter 2 we are going to choose our Vendors - Merge workbook from Microsoft Excel, and go ahead and choose our Vendor Applications.
Now don't let this concern you. Remember that we chose a label. It was 3 across and 10 up and down. So here's what we have is we have 30 labels on the page. 29 of them say Next Record, okay, and one of them is waiting for you. So we're going to insert an address block right here. I like this address block the way it is and I am going to click OK. There's my address block. If I preview the results, I have one result. Notice that the spacing needs a little help. We will work on that in a second. Here's the magic.
If I click this Update Labels button, now I have an address block in every single label because it updated the 29 that were waiting to match the one that I had entered. So now let's go take care of our spacing problem. This isn't a mail merge issues. This is a formatting issue. Let's click on the Home tab, select the address block, and say No Spacing. Now, if I go back to Mailings and preview the results, notice how tight that one is? I need to tighten all the other ones up.
I am going to click Update Labels. There they all go. Okay so now I have now I have number of pages of labels. This is what the first one will look like and I can use all the same tools that I would use in my mail merge to determine that I'd like to filter this and only have the addresses that are in California for example. If I would like this to be all uppercase because they really are Mailing Labels. Let's go back to the Home tab. Let's select this text. Let's choose Uppercase. Or another choice is to open the Font dialog box and choose All caps, either one will work, and then return to the Mailings tab and choose Update Labels and now they're all uppercase.
The trick was labels is to make sure that you don't touch the other 29 labels directly or the other labels. You're really driving by formatting and modifying the fields in one label only, the very first one. Now that we got our labels all set, we would be ready to print. I could choose Finish & Merge and choose Print Documents. Remember when you're printing here, it's a little interesting because all records is all pages. If I say current record, I will only get this one label to Meredith Alvarado.
This isn't pages; this is records. So if I want to print just the first page, that would be records 1 to 30, not simply record one, note what you are being asked about here. If I want to use these labels again then I can turn around and save these labels for later use, the same way that I'd save anything else. It's a merge document. I could go to Save and I could say that this is not Meredith but Merge and I would put the label number in, okay 5260 labels, o that I'm really clear what the setup is.
So it's Merge - 5260 labels and that kind of a name to save this document when I'm all done. Again if I only want to create one label or a sheet of labels, I will use the Label command here in the Create group on the Mailings tab but when I want to create a group of labels to send out for a mail merge or if I wanted to use a name tag blank and create name tags or if I wanted to create CD labels, any kind of label that I can create on a label- like product, then I'm going to simply choose Start Mail Merge and I'm going to choose Labels and follow the steps we just followed to create our primary merge document connected to a data source and print our labels.