Microsoft Publisher is a versatile program with many useful features. One of these is the ability to create a mail merge, merging information from a mailing list and formatting it into labels for mailing. Another features allows you to create one label and then print many of them. But if you want a sheet of labels that are not all the same, you can do that, too. It just takes a bit of extra preparation.
Select the mailing list. Select the "Mailings" tab in Publisher. Click on "Select Recipients" and select "Use Existing List." Navigate to the list you plan to use on your computer and click on the "Open" button. The mailing list should be a spreadsheet or a database with a separate labelled field for each part of the mailing label (name, street address, city, state, zip).
Measure your label sheets. Measure the margins on all sides of the sheet, from the edge of the sheet to where you want the outside edges of the label text to appear. Also, measure the width of each label.
Create a text box for the label text. Using the text box tool, draw a box that covers the area where the label text will be located. Format the text block to have a column for each column of labels on your sheet, and specify an amount of spacing between the columns to give enough boundary so the text doesn't print too close to the edges of the labels.
Set up the address fields. Click in the text block to place your text cursor in the upper left corner. Select the "Mailings" tab. Click on the "Insert Merge Field" icon in the "Write and Insert Fields" section. A drop-down menu will appear that lists the various fields of data from your mailing list. In order, select the fields one by one to place them in your text box. You can also type in any extra text or characters needed, or insert a logo. For instance, if the entire list is from the same town, maybe the database list does not contain the state name, since it is the same for all entries. You can add a comma and the state name after the "city" field.
Format your labels. Change the font, size and alignment of the text in your labels.
Click on the "Finish & Merge" icon on the right-hand side of the "Mailings" tab icon bar. Preview your labels and print them.
Measure your label sheet. Measure the margins and the width of each column of labels. Also, count the number of rows of labels.
Create a Publisher file that is the same size as the entire sheet of labels. Select "Layout Guides" from the "Arrange" menu. Specify the same number of columns and rows as your label sheet. Specify margins that match your label sheet. Publisher will put non-printing guidelines on your page that show the edges of each label.
Create each label. Draw a text block or shape, place a picture, or use a combination of the two. For example, create a text block and type "Happy Birthday," and put a picture frame next to it containing a picture of a birthday cake. Make each label separately. Speed up the process by copying similar items and pasting them again to make labels with similar formats. For example, copy the"Happy Birthday" text block, paste it in a new label and change the text to "Happy Valentine's Day." This saves you from having to format the font and size again, if they are the same.
Print the labels once the entire sheet is full.
Things you need
- Sheet(s) of computer printer labels
- List of addresses