Mail Merge for Dummies: Creating Address Labels in Word 2007

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The Mail Merge function in Word 2007 can be a huge time saver, whether you're creating address labels, letters or other documents that require the input of data from a spreadsheet.

>> You may also be interested in: Mail Merge for Dummies: Creating Address Labels using Word and Excel 2010

Consider this scenario: You're creating invitations for a wedding or another big event, and you think it's no big deal; it's only a few hundred labels and you can knock that out in a couple of hours right? Type them up in Word, print them out and you're done!

A couple of months later, you've got another job ahead of you. The thank you cards. Hopefully you saved the Word doc that you slaved over last time ... formatting it and making it look just right.

But even if you did save your doc, you've still got plenty of work ahead of you, going through all of the names one by one, checking them off, making changes; it takes some time.

Word Mail Merge

The solution? An Excel spreadsheet that allows you to very easily sort the list, make any necessary changes quickly and have your labels ready in no time.

Working with an Excel spreadsheet makes the whole process of creating address labels -- as well as other documents, such as personalized letters, thank you cards, etc. -- less time consuming and very easy.

Knowing how to merge Excel and Word documents can come in very handy in many situations. So today I'm going to show you a very easy but very useful time saver -- how to create address labels in Word 2007 using the Mail Merge function in Word and an Excel spreadsheet.

Here's what a simple Excel spreadsheet will look like:

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Save this baby to your hard drive, call it something obvious like AddressList and all you need to do now is a quick merge between Excel and Word and your address labels are done in less than 10 minutes.

Here's a step-by-step that shows you how easy it is to create address labels in Word 2007!

Creating Address Labels in Word 2007

1. Before you start make sure you have your Excel spreadsheet ready. Now open up Microsoft Word 2007 and click on the Merge tab.

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2. Next, click on the Start Mail Merge button and select Labels.

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3. Now it's time for you to select the Label Vendor. In my case I am going to use Avery US Letter.

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4. I have the 8662 labels so I am going to scroll down and select that. You should find the label number that's appropriate for your labels, it's usually on the box.

When you find your label number, select it and click OK.

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5. You might get the following message. What this means is that if you typed something in this document and you did not save it, it will be lost. If you do not want that, hit Cancel, save the document and then repeat the steps from 1-5.

If you have a blank screen behind this message then go ahead and click OK to continue.

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6. Next, click on the Select Recipients button on the ribbon and select Use Existing List.

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7. Browse to the location where your Address List file is and select it. I have mine on the Desktop. I will click on it once, and then select Open.

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8. In this window, select the sheet you have your list on. Mine is on the first sheet as this is all I have there. If you didn't do anything special in Excel, your address list should be on the first sheet as well.

Also notice the check box next to First row of data contains column headers. You should have that checked if your columns have headers such as: First name, Last name, Address, etc.

If you don't have the column headers, I would recommend going back to the excel file and adding them in. It's going to make your life a lot easier while going through the merge. When ready, click the OK button.

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9. Once you click OK you will see the following document. It may look a bit scary but don't worry, all is good.

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10. Since you are creating address labels, you will have two choices here. The first choice is to click on the Address Block button on the ribbon.

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This option will automatically select all your columns and create an address for you.

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The address looks good, but notice that we are missing the state. It's not listed here but when we check back in our Excel document, it's there.

Well this is ok, we can fix it. Go ahead and click on the Match Fields button.

11. Now in the left column find State and in that row click on the arrow pointing down, then select your header name for the State column. Mine is called State, so I will select that and click OK.

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12. Now we see that the state is showing and the address looks good. Go ahead and click the OK button.

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13. You will notice that in our first address label spot we have something called << AddressBlock >>.

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If you decide to print your labels now, you will only get that first address in the first label. You need to make sure that the << AddressBlock >> appears on each label following the << NextRecord >> code. To do that you need to click on Update Labels option on the ribbon.

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14. Once you click on that button, all labels will update.

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And you are almost done! Now you have to click on the Finish & Merge button and select Edit Individual Documents to see what your labels will look like.

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15. Make sure All is selected and click OK.

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16. TA DA!!! Now all you need to do is print your labels.

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Another Way to Merge with Word and Excel 2007

1. Another way to do the merge is to pick the fields manually. To do that you will need to select the Insert Merge Field option on the ribbon and select one field at a time.

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2. To start out, insert First Name, hit the space bar and then insert Last Name. After that, hit the enter key and insert Address.

Hit the enter key again, insert City, hit the comma key, and the space bar, insert State, hit the space bar again, and insert Zip Code.

This way all of your spacing and punctuation will be correct and your first label should look something like this.

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3. You can also format the first label any way you want it. For example, you can change the font, you can center the text, make it bold, etc.

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4. Once you are done making edits to the text and formatting, don't forget to go back to your Mailings tab on your ribbon and select the Update Labels button. This will make sure that all your formatting and changes that you made to the first label are copied over to all the other labels.

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5. Now you're ready to view and print your labels. Click on the Finish & Merge option on your ribbon and select Edit Individual Documents.

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Now isn't this much easier than typing the names and addresses on the labels, over and over, and over again? And merging works just as well with letters, invitations, thank you notes, or anything else you do in Word. Try it out!


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Gosia Grabowska

Gosia Grabowska is an experienced Network Support Specialist and an expert in Windows Server support. She graduated from DePaul University, Chicago with a Bachelor degree in Network Technologies with highest honors. Gosia has over 8 years of technical and support experience and has worked as Systems Administrator for a high profile law firm, where she managed the Backup and Disaster Recovery plan. Gosia has been a part of the Train Signal team since 2006 as the Product Manager and has written many articles on a variety of topics, including Exchange Server 2007, Windows Vista, Small Business Server, and more. (MCTS Active Directory, MCTS Vista, Network+, Linux+, Project+, PMP)