Holiday Cards: Creating Envelopes

If you are self-addressing your holiday card envelopes, you can perform a mail merge to print directly on your envelopes.

In Microsoft Word, open a New Blank Document.

  • File > New Blank Document (⌘ N)

Ensure that you are viewing your document in Print Layout.

  • View > Print Layout

print-layout

On the Tools menu, select Mail Merge Manager.

  • Tools > Mail Merge Manager

mail-merge-manager

Within the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, select your Document Type.

  • Mail Merge Manager > Select Document Type > Create New > Envelopes

select-document-type

Within the Envelope pop-up menu, in the Return address box, enter your return address information.

return-address

  • You can edit the font (including style, size, color, and effects) by selecting Font.

font

  • If you are unable to type inside the Return address box, clear the Use my address check box, and try again.

use-my-address

  • At this point, do not type anything (including spaces) in the Delivery address box.

Within the Envelope pop-up menu, under Printing Options, select the correct print settings for your envelopes; choose OK when finished.

On the Tools menu, select Mail Merge Manager.

mail-merge-manager

Within the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, select your Recipients List.

  • Mail Merge Manager > Select Recipients List > Get List > Open Data Source > Choose a File > Open
    • The Excel file you created utilizing my template will serve as your data source.

get-list

  • Because the Excel workbook contains five worksheets, you will need to select the correct worksheet, the Recipient List, to serve as your data source.
    • Open Document in Workbook: Recipient List > Cell Range: Entire Worksheet

open-workbook

Within the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, insert Placeholders into the document.

  • Mail Merge Manager > Insert Placeholders > Drag placeholders into document (repeat for each field that you want to appear on your envelopes) > Edit the envelope’s address box to reflect your preferred formatting, or to add spaces, commas, etc. where you want them
    • Example:

<<Recipients>>

<<Street_Address>>

<<Secondary_Unit_Designators>>

<<City>>, <<State>> <<Zip_Code>>

Placeholders.png

If you prefer to sort the print order of your envelopes, select Filter Recipients.

  • Mail Merge Manager > 4. Filter Recipients > Options > Query Options: Filter Records (and/or Sort Records) > OK
    • I prefer to sort my records first by Recipients (ascending), then by State (ascending), then by City (ascending), for easier post office drop off.

query-options

Preview your results, to ensure your envelopes appear how you have intended.

  • Mail Merge Manager > 5. Preview Results > View Merged Data (<<ABC>> icon)

preview-results

To finish your envelopes, select to either print your envelopes immediately, or create a document that contains your merged envelopes (allowing you to save).

  • Mail Merge Manager > 6. Complete Merge > Merge to Printer (printer icon)

merge-to-printer

Or,

  • Mail Merge Manager > 6. Complete Merge > Merge to New Document (paper icon)

merge-to-new-document

 

To create mailing labels, visit my Holiday Cards: Creating Mailing Labels post.

Happy Holidays, Collocaters!

Holiday Cards: Creating Mailing Labels

If you are self-addressing your holiday card envelopes, you can perform a mail merge to create mailing labels.

In Microsoft Word, open a New Blank Document.

  • File > New Blank Document (⌘ N)

Ensure that you are viewing your document in Print Layout.

  • View > Print Layout

print-layout

On the Tools menu, select Mail Merge Manager.

  • Tools > Mail Merge Manager

mail-merge-manager

Within the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, select your Document Type.

  • Mail Merge Manager > Select Document Type > Create New > Labels

select-document-type

Within the Label Options pop-up menu, select your Printer information.

  • Label Options > Printer information > Laser and ink jet (or Dot matrix)

printer-information

Within the Label Options pop-up menu, select your Label products (manufacturer or your labels). I prefer Avery Standard Address Labels (5160) [product link].

  • Label Options > Printer information > Label products > Avery standard (or whichever label you are using)
    • For more label products, select Other.

label-products

Within the Label Options pop-up menu, select your Product number, and then select OK.

  • Label Options > Printer information > Product number > 5160 – Address (or whichever product number you are using) > OK

label-options

  • For more information about the margins and other characteristics of your label, select Details.

details

Within the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, select your Recipients List.

  • Mail Merge Manager > Select Recipients List > Get List > Open Data Source > Choose a File > Open
    • The Excel file you created utilizing my template will serve as your data source.

get-list

  • You may be notified that “This file needs to be opened by the Excel Workbook text converter, which may pose a security risk if the file you are opening is a malicious file. Choose OK to open this file only if you are sure it is from a trusted source.” As you created the Excel file, this is a trusted source. Thus, select OK.

notification

  • Because the Excel workbook contains five worksheets, you will need to select the correct worksheet, the Recipient List, to serve as your data source.
    • Open Document in Workbook: Recipient List > Cell Range: Entire Worksheet > OK

open-workbook

Either within the Edit Labels pop-up menu, or the Mail Merge Manager pop-up menu, insert Placeholders into the document.

  • Edit Labels > Insert Merge Field (repeat for each field that you want to appear on your labels) > Edit the Sample label to reflect your preferred formatting, or to add spaces, commas, etc. where you want them > OK
    • Example:

<<Recipients>>

<<Street_Address>>

<<Secondary_Unit_Designators>>

<<City>>, <<State>> <<Zip_Code>>

edit-labels

Or,

  • Mail Merge Manager > Insert Placeholders > Drag placeholders into document (Label 1; repeat for each field that you want to appear on your labels) > Edit Label 1 to reflect your preferred formatting, or to add spaces, commas, etc. where you want them
    • Example:

<<Recipients>>

<<Street_Address>>

<<Secondary_Unit_Designators>>

<<City>>, <<State>> <<Zip_Code>>

placeholders

If you prefer to sort your labels, select Filter Recipients.

  • Mail Merge Manager > 4. Filter Recipients > Options > Query Options: Filter Records (and/or Sort Records) > OK
    • I prefer to sort my records first by Recipients (ascending), then by State (ascending), then by City (ascending), for easier post office drop off.

query-options

Preview your results, to ensure your labels appear how you have intended.

  • Mail Merge Manager > 5. Preview Results > View Merged Data (<<ABC>> icon)

preview-results

To finish your labels, select to either print your labels immediately, or create a document that contains your merged labels (allowing you to save).

  • Mail Merge Manager > 6. Complete Merge > Merge to Printer (printer icon)

merge-to-printer

Or,

  • Mail Merge Manager > 6. Complete Merge > Merge to New Document (paper icon)

merge-to-new-document

  • You can then select the entire document and edit the font style, size, color, etc.

 

To print directly on your envelopes, visit my Holiday Cards: Creating Envelopes post.

Happy Holidays, Collocaters!

Holiday Cards: Creating Your Recipient List

 

 

img_1124-2

I awoke today, thinking of all that needs to be done, writing my mental “To Do” list. Despite our best efforts, with the holidays comes holiday stress. What is the first item on my list? Our holiday card! Though it is relatively easy selecting a design and photo of my husband and I (ok, maybe not the photo), it is the list of recipients that was always such a daunting task for me.

In 2015, I vowed to have a more organized approach to our holiday card mailing process. I made a list (and checked it twice). Luckily, we got married in 2015, so I used our invitee list as a starting point. If you don’t have a list started, pick a place to start: address book, phone contacts, family tree, etc.

Step 1

I prefer to create my recipient list in Microsoft Excel, as most websites allow you to import your list (download my free template). Beginning in cell A:2, add your holiday card recipients in any order, as you can sort later (another reason why Excel is a great tool). Enter the names how you’d like each to appear on the envelope. Each US address line must be 40 characters or less in order to meet US Postal Service regulations (don’t worry, this rule is built into my template, notifying you if you exceed this 40 character regulation). Because of this, I opted for more informal wording (omitting Mr., Mrs., Ms., etc.):

  • For an individual without children: Stephanie Peirce
  • For an individual with children: Stephanie Peirce and Family (or, The Peirce Family)
  • For a non-married couple without children: Ryan Peirce and Stephanie Keller
  • For a non-married couple with children: Ryan Peirce, Stephanie Keller, and Family (or, The Peirce Keller Family)
  • For a married couple (same last name) without children: Ryan and Stephanie Peirce
  • For a married couple (same last name) with children: The Peirce Family
  • For a married couple (different last names) without children: Ryan Peirce and Stephanie Keller
  • For a married couple (different last names) with children: Ryan Peirce, Stephanie Keller, and Family (or, The Peirce Keller Family)

Step 2

Beginning in cell B:2, add the mailing address for each recipient added in Step 1. I prefer to enter the full street suffix name. However, abbreviations are acceptable and will not result in undeliverable mail. Common abbreviations include:

Primary Street Suffix Name Postal Service Standard Abbreviation
Avenue AVE or Ave.
Boulevard BLVD or Blvd.
Center CTR or Ctr.
Circle CIR or Cir.
Court CT or Ct.
Drive DR or Dr.
Highway HWY or Hwy.
Lane LN or Ln.
Road RD or Rd.
Street ST or St.
Way WAY or Way

View the complete list of Street Suffix abbreviations here.

Geographical Directional Postal Service Standard Abbreviation
North N or N.
East E or E.
South S or S.
West W or W.
Northeast NE or N.E.
Southeast SE or S.E.
Northwest NW or N.W.
Southwest SW or S.W.

Step 3

If your recipient has an apartment or unit number (or something of the like), indicate this beginning in cell C:2. If your recipient does not have an apartment or unit number, cell C:2 will remain empty. Again, I prefer to enter the full secondary unit designator description. However, abbreviations are acceptable and will not result in undeliverable mail. Common abbreviations include:

Secondary Unit Designator Description Postal Service Standard Abbreviation
Apartment APT or Apt.
Basement BSMT or Bsmt.
Building BLDG or Bldg.
Department DEPT or Dept.
Floor FL or Fl.
Room RM or Rm.
Suite STE or Ste.
Unit UNIT or Unit

View the complete list of Secondary Unit Designator abbreviations here.

Step 4

Beginning in cell D:2, add the city of the mailing address for each recipient added in Step 1.

Step 5

Beginning in cell E:2, add the state of the mailing address for each recipient added in Step 1. As in Step 2, I prefer to enter the full state name. Again, abbreviations are acceptable and will not result in undeliverable mail.

View the complete list of state abbreviations here.

Step 6

Beginning in cell F:2, add the zip code of the mailing address for each recipient added in Step 1. Each US zip code must be at least five digits in order to meet US Postal Service regulations (don’t worry, this rule is built into my template, notifying you if you don’t meet this five digit regulation).

Step 7

Beginning in cell G:2, add the country of the mailing address for each recipient added in Step 1. This step is not necessary if all of your recipients reside within the United States.

Organizational Tips

 I’ve developed a few tried and true tips for keeping our holiday card recipient list and mailing process organized:

  • As we receive mail throughout the year, I either check to ensure we have the correct address of the sender on our spreadsheet, or, I save the envelope (or just the return address) and double-check before sending out our holiday cards each year.

 

  • I utilize Excel’s Conditional Formatting tool, to ensure that I have not indicated the same recipient name twice (don’t worry, this formatting is built into my template, notifying you if you have entered a duplicate recipient name).
  • I order five additional holiday cards, beyond what is needed to send to my recipient list, in the event that I unintentionally forgot to include someone on our list.
  • If you are choosing to have your envelopes addressed for you, you can complete the template, save in the format specified (usually Excel or CSV), and import.

 

I love the selection of Holiday Photo Cards from Minted. Below are my favorites for 2016:

Praise · Joyfully Simple · Pure Happy · Glaze · Festive · Brushed Holiday · The Most Wonderful · It Really is a Wonderful Life

Happy Holidays, Collocaters!