I teach some Advanced Word online courses, one of which is a Document
Design course. In that course, I teach intermediate Microsoft Word users how to advance their skills by mastering some of the serious stuff like learning typography to insure professional looking
documents, as well as how to create newsletters, books, mailing lists and business
cardsall that boring business stuff. But we also have fun learning some of
the more frivolous stuff, such as creating your own holiday labels and decorating
And as you can see from the Halloween envelope sample below, with the doggy
witch and scary fonts, it's a fun way to waste a little time! <smile>
As my holiday present to you, I'll toss out a few ideas about how you can create
your own holiday labels.
Finding Printer Labels
First you'll want to set up a label template that will serve as the master format
for all your labels. But before you can set up the template, you'll need to
know the size and alignment of the labels you'll be using. If you don't already
have some printer labels, run out to your favorite office supply store and you'll
find that they now carry a pile of fun labels and return address stickers for
your color printer. There are also lots of places online where you can find
these items, and most all big office supply stores have an online store, which
will save you time from running around and parking your car.
To find a URL, you can go to an Internet search engine, such as my favorite,
www.google.com, type a search
name into the input box such as "office supply" and hit the Search
In a second, Google will return a list of online stores where you can find
and purchase lots of fun mailing and package labels you can use with your printer
to design up and make your own, customized labels.
Just click any of the links that are returned, such as OfficeMax or Staples
and do a little online shopping.
Setting Up a Label Template
Once you have your labels, there's usually a number on the side of the box telling
you either the style brand and number or at least giving you the size of the
labels. If you're lucky enough to have one of the ton of labels that are listed
in Microsoft Word already, you can just go into the Tools menu, dig into the
Mailing menu (depending on your version) to locate the Envelope and Label dialog. Click on the Label
tab and Label Options button and you'll see all kinds of predefined
templates for everything from post cards and business cards, to return labels
and larger package mailing labels.
If you purchase one of the many less expensive label packages available, that
doesn't already have a predefined size listed in Word, it'll be time to break
out your trusty ruler and jot down a few measurements. But Word makes it pretty
easy for you to figure out what you need to know by providing a sizing template
that shows you how you'll need to calculate your measurements.
You might get lucky and find a predefined label template for the same size
you have. Click the Details button to see the exact measurements of any
label you think might work. Or click the New Label button and set up
your own sizing chart.
With this easy visual aid, you can understand what measurements are required
in each input box so you can match your template to your label size.
Once you have your label sizes defined, choose to create the template into
a New Document.
Note! Be sure you have clicked Tools/Options/View and checked
the Text Border option so you'll see tiny dotted lines around the label
size. This is a great visual guide so you'll see the borders of your labels.
Realize that a label template is simply a complex Word table! The rows and
columns have been set up so the cells are in the exact location to print onto
the labels in your printer.
Now you can drop in a picture or add text that you want to appear on each label.
Start with one label and get it to look the way you want. Drop in an image and
set the font style and size to fit into one label. Then you can easily select
the contents of that cell and copy/paste it into all the cells to get a full
sheet of labels, as you can see from my Halloween labels below. Note that you can select a whole column or the whole table and the pasted cell will go into them all at once!
Then just drop a sheet of matching blank return labels into your color printer
and print them out.
Creating Individual Labels
If you want to create customized labels for your holiday cards and packages,
you can do it in just about the same manner. Except you'll want to create a
mail merge list of all your recipients.
Under the Tools/Mail Merge option, you'll find the ability to create
a data source.
Set up the fields you'll want to include in your data source as shown in the
And then close out of this dialog box and you'll now have the option within
the Mail Merge Helper dialog to edit the data source. Type in the names
and addresses, or choose to pull in a list from another data source, such as
your Outlook address book.
Once all the names are inserted into the data source, you can add merge fields
into your label template, as shown below.
Notice that besides the great shot of my nephew screaming on Santa's lap, I
have added a field for the First Name, Last Name, Address, City (including a
comma manually inserted), etc. Each record is closed out with the Next Record
Once the master label template is setup with a page full of labels and fields
inserted, it's just a matter of performing the merge. All of the names in my
data source will be pulled as per the fields I've requested and an individual
label will be created for each. The ending result is page after page of fun
holiday labels not only individually addressed, but allowing me to further embarrass
my nephew by sharing his screaming picture with the world!
And if you prefer not to spend the extra money and effort on labels, you can
create an envelope template. Design up one master envelope template, add the
merge fields in this template and then just run the merge to create a printout
for each envelope, as shown below on these Halloween envelopes.
Have fun with it! With a little imagination, time, a scanner and color printer,
you can have fun embarrassing the whole family! <wink>
Need further help getting your complex Word docs formatted? Join our free
Word Doc Design support group! See this link for details: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Word_DocDesign/ .