With the world moving paperless, I find myself hand-writing things less and less every day. However, one place that I still do find myself writing all the time is when creating labels, whether it be a shipping label, inventory label, or an address on a letter. Recently, I decided to purchase a label printer, only to find that the included label printing software was less than stellar.
Luckily, most productivity apps allow you to print labels, saving you time and making for a more professional looking package or letter. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to print labels in Word, Pages, and Google Docs. We’ll cover two kinds of labels: name labels and address labels.
Printing Labels With Word
Printing labels using Word can be done in two ways: via your Contacts or via an applet called Mail Merge that pulls information out of an Excel spreadsheet. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to do both.
First, open Word and open the Word Document Gallery. If the gallery doesn’t open automatically, go File > New from Template… from the Apple toolbar to open it. Look towards the left-hand side of the gallery and click on the button called Labels. Then, look towards the center of the screen and select the Label Wizard button and press Continue.
Using Contacts To Make Labels
Look towards the top of the menu under the Address header. Next to the address textbox, you will see a purple address book icon. Click on this to be brought to a screen where you can select contacts to make address labels for. Click on your contact’s name to add it to the list that can be viewed inside the address book textbox.
Note: If you’re making return address labels, check the box for Use my address to make all of the labels on the page have your name and address. That's the easiest way to quickly make a sheet of your own return address labels.
Now that you’ve selected your contacts, you can customize your label using the Font button located to the right of the contacts button. Once you’re done customizing, look under the Label header, choose which type of label you’re printing to, and then use the Number of Labels box to choose how many labels you’d like to print. When you’re done, press the OK button to create your labels.
Using Mail Merge To Create Labels
To start, create a new Excel file and use the first row to name the columns that you’re using to collect information. For instance, if you’re creating address labels, name your columns “name”, “street”, etc. Under these label headings, input the information you’d like printed on your label. Make sure to keep all labels pertaining to one record on the same row.
Now, look towards the bottom left-hand corner of the Label Wizard and click on the button labeled Mail Merge. The Mail Merge popup window will now appear.
Under the first option in Mail Merge, click on the button labeled Create New. From the drop down menu, you’ll want to select the option labeled Labels. You will then be prompted to choose which type of label paper you’ll be printing to as well as the type of printer you’ll be printing to. If you can’t find your label on the list, look towards the bottom of the Label Options window and click on the button labeled New Label… and input your label’s dimensions. Once you’ve selected your label, click the OK button located towards the lower, right-hand corner of the screen.
Look under option two in the Mail Merge window and click on the button labeled Get List. From the drop-down menu, click on the option labeled Open Data Source. You will now be prompted to open an Excel file. Choose the one you just created.
A pop-up window will now appear, asking you to arrange your column names as to how you’d like them printed on your labels. You can arrange these labels by clicking on their names from the Insert Merge Field drop-down menu. Select the field you’d like to have on the top first and stack the rest in their respective order. When you’re done inputting these fields, click the OK button to be brought back to the Mail Merge window.
The fourth option in the Mail Merge window allows you to filter recipients. This comes in handy if your Excel document has, say, addresses from multiple states. If you only want to print labels for Illinois, you can filter the state field of your Excel document to only pull information equal to “IL”. You can do this by setting the Comparison to the “Equal to” option and then typing in “IL” into the Compare to box. When you’re done choosing your filters, press OK.
Now, use step five to preview your labels. Once you’re done previewing, click into step six. From here, you can choose to print your new labels by clicking on the printer icon or you can choose to view your new labels in Word by clicking on the paper icon.
Printing Labels With Pages
While Pages has a bunch of excellent built-in templates for business cards and letters, Apple didn’t include any templates for printing labels with the software. However, Apple does allow Pages users to install third-party templates, and the folks at Avery have developed some pretty awesome label templates that are available for free.
If you’d like to make a simple name-tag, or a tag to label boxes, I often find myself using the ID Label ID Label template. When I print address labels for shipping packages or sending letters, I usually use the Square Labels template that is also available for free.
Unfortunately, there currently isn’t a way to directly import information from Numbers to Pages for label creation, so you’ll have to type in label information by hand. However, if you’re creating single address labels or name tags, this likely won’t be too big of an issue.
Installing Templates To Pages
After you’ve downloaded the template you’d like to use for printing labels, you can simply open the downloaded file, modify the template, and print your labels. However, when you close Pages or want to create a new set of labels, you’ll have to reopen the blank Pages file you downloaded from your Downloads folder as they’re not accessible via the Pages start menu.
Adding an Avery template to iWork is surprisingly simple. All you need to do is open the downloaded template and look towards the Apple toolbar. From here, go to File > Save As Template… > Add To Template Chooser. You’ll now be prompted to rename your template.
Now, whenever you’d like to create a label in Pages, just select your template from the My templates option in the Pages Template chooser.
Printing Labels With Google Docs
Google Docs recently added the ability to print labels with the addition of Add-ons. Add-ons for Google Docs are made by third-party developers in order to make Google Docs do more. Think of it as an App Store of sorts for the web based productivity suite.
To print labels within Google Docs, first you’ll have to add the Avery Label Merge add-on to Google Docs. To do this, create a new document in Google Docs and look towards top of the window. You should see a button labeled Add-ons towards the top of the window. From the drop-down menu, click on the button labeled Get add-ons...
From the add-on window, use the search bar located towards the upper right-hand corner of the window to search for the Avery Label Merge add-on. Once you find the add-on, install it by clicking on the add button that is located towards the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
Now, use Google Docs to create a new spreadsheet using Google Sheets. This spreadsheet is where you’ll be putting all of the information you’d like to use in your labels. Use the first row of each spreadsheet as labels for the columns. So, if you’re making address labels, you’d want to label one column “name”, “street”, etc. After labeling these columns, enter the corresponding information that you’d like printed on labels below each label. Keep in mind that each row is it’s own label, so skip to a new row for each new label.
Now, go back to your new Document and click on the Add-ons label. Hover over the option labeled Avery Label Merge and click on New Merge. From the popup window, select which type of label you’d like to make: an address label or a name label. You’ll then be prompted to select which type of Avery label you’ll be printing on, and then you’ll be told to select which spreadsheet you’d like the Avery add-on to pull information from. Choose the spreadsheet you just created and press the Select button located towards the lower, left-hand corner of the window.
Look towards the right-hand corner of your Google Document under the Avery label manage box. From here, you’ll see a list of the names of your columns in the sheet you just created. Select the columns you’d like to include in your document by clicking on them. Then, look towards the bottom of the window next to the header labeled Rows and make sure you’re merging information from the correct rows from the sheet.
After you’ve ensured all of the information that you’ve input is correct, look towards the center of your Google Document. You should see a textbox shaped like a square label with the names of your columns in double brackets. Arrange these names around the label like you’d like to have them printed.
Now, you’re ready to create your labels. Look to the bottom of the Avery label manage box and click on the button labeled Merge. You will then be prompted to view your labels in a new Google Document where you can print your labels.
That’s it! Have Fun Printing Labels.
And that’s all there is to it, you can now print labels in most major productivity suites. That should cover most standard labels, since even non-Avery brand labels typically use the same sizes, so you can use these same tools to print on them as well. If you hit any snags in making labels, or have other tips to share, we'd love to hear them in the comments below!