Mail Merge for Labels

Who wants to write out a long list of addresses on holiday cards or really any other mailings?  We are all busy, especially this time of year. Make life easier for yourself now and in the future by creating a mail merge that will do the work for you.  It’s like having your own little elf now and all year long!

We’ll Start with the Recipient List

There are several different ways to store contact information and link it to your mail merge.  You can use Excel spreadsheets, Outlook contacts, an Access database, Word tables, or even create a new list on the fly using Word’s Mail Merge New Address List tools. We’ll discuss using both an Excel spreadsheet and creating your list using the New Address List in Word.

If using Excel

Excel sample list

Excel sample list

  1. Using the above example as a model, create/use and save a spreadsheet where your contact information is broken down by the following example fields:
  • Company
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Street Address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip

***Make sure to not include any blank rows or columns in your data range. It’s also a good idea to bold your column headings.

If using Word’s New Address List

  1. Create a blank document.

    Mail Merge buttons

    Mail Merge buttons found on the Mailing tab

  2. Select the Mailings tab and in the Start Mail Merge group, click Select Recipients and choose Type New List. The screenshot above shows the Mail Merge tools.

    Customize Address List

    Customize Address List dialog box

  3. In the New Address List dialog box, click Customize Columns and move or delete any fields you wish. The Customize Address List is shown above.

    New Address dialog

    New Address dialog box

  4. In the New Address List dialog box (shown above), enter your first contact’s information.
  5. Click New Entry to complete the first address-list entry and add a new row for the next entry.
  6. Once finished with your list, click OK, type in a name for the list, select a location to save it and click Save.

Now to Create the Labels!

  1. Create a new blank document in Word.

    Mail Merge buttons

    Mail Merge buttons found on the Mailing tab

  2. Click on the Mailings tab and choose Start Mail Merge and click Labels. The screenshot above shows the Mail Merge tools.
  3. In the Label products list, select the label information that matches your label’s size and use and click OK.
  4. In the Start Mail Merge group, click Select Recipients and choose Use Existing List.
  5. Locate your recipient list (whether it be the Excel spreadsheet or Word’s Address List saved as an Access file), select it and click Open.
  6. Your document will appear with the first label blank and the field “Next Record” appearing in the rest of the labels.
  7. Click Address Block in the Write & Insert Fields group. You can accept the default settings or change them as you see fit and click OK.
  8. In the Write and Insert Fields group, click Update Labels.
  9. Click Preview Results. The screenshot below shows the previewed results.

    Finished merge

    The preview results of the mail merge.

  10. In the Finish group, click Finish & Merge and choose Print Documents.
  11. Choose what you would like to print and click OK.

That’s it; your labels are now complete!  Your contacts list may need to be updated as the years go by but at least you won’t need to handwrite those addresses anymore.  Unfortunately… you’ll still need to seal the envelopes yourself.

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