Long Lines on an Address Label

If you’ve ever done mail merges on address labels, you certainly have come across all kinds of data. When some folks do data entry, they don’t abbreviate. This might actually be a requirement for high end mailings. For some reason, abbreviating does not equal high class. Sometimes these lists with their abbreviated names and addresses find their way to ML-3000 mailing address labels.
A quick and dirty solution to clean up these long names or address, would be to do the merge and search the merged document for soft returns (srt) or hard return soft pages (hrtspg) or soft return soft page (srtspg), but alas, this is Microsoft Word. Word does not automatically insert any code for soft pages or soft returns. You can do it in Word Perfect, but not in Microsoft Word. So what to do?
Here is an excellent article on what to do to take control of long address lines. Be brave though, it could involve some Visual Basic Scripting.
Here is an excellent article on what to do to take control of long address lines. Be brave though, it could involve some Visual Basic Scripting.

Butt-Cut Address Label

Instead of using our ML-3000 Address labels, which have 30 labels per page, you can use our M-5351 address labels. They have an extra row of labels. They are Butt Cut which means that each of the address labels butt up against each other, and there is no space above or on the sides of each of the address labels. And, there is no margin area on the top, bottom, right or left sides of the page.
This is why they call these labels copier labels. Don’t get me wrong, you can still use the M-5351 address labels with Microsoft Word to do your mail merge. But….your printer might be limited. Most Laser and Inkjet printers have physical page margin limitations. It’s usually the top margin that’s problematic.

Thanks to Jenna, who was just on chat for bringing up this issue.

For instance on the Brother HL-5250DL, a very popular budget laser printer, you can find what’s called the printable area. As with any peice of machinery, there exists a manual for it somewhere. For the HL-5250DL, you’ll find the manual here. If you download the manual, you’ll find a section called “Printable Area”. The illustration below shows what the printable area is for the HL-5250DL
You’ll see it’s only 1/16″ on the top and bottom, and 1/4″ on the right and left of a portrait 8-1/2″ X 11″ page. So remember, if you’re having printing problems near the edge of your paper, check your printer’s physical print capabilities.
Printable Area

Controlling Address Label Field Length in Excel

When using an Excel file to complete a mail merge, keep your field lengths from getting out of hand, even if you’re using a 4″ wide address label like the ML-1000, ML-1400, ML-2000. If you’re using a database such as Microsoft Access, OpenOffice Base, LibreOffice Base, dBase, FoxPro, MySql, it’s pretty straight forward to control field lengths by just setting the field length to a fixed value. If you’re using Excel, it’s not as straight forward as that.
Although Microsoft Excel is not a database program, it does provide some functionality to control the length of your input fields. The Document shown, which you can download, named address-label-field-length.xlsx an Excel 10 spreadsheet contains a worksheet which has typical fields that would be used for a mail merge.
To prevent field lengths that are too long from being entered, you can place a limit on the field lengths for anyone who is entering the data.
Click on the Data tab shown highlighted in yellow.
Excel Data tab
Now select the entire column by clicking on the column marker. Here we selected FirstName, which has the letter A as the column marker.
Click on the Data tab. then select the Icon labeled Data Validation.
Click on the upper half of this icon that is circled in red.
Data Validation Icon
When the Data Validation window pops up, choose the Setting tab. From the drop down Menu titled Allow, choose Text Length. Then move down to the next drop down menu titled Data. Choose less than or equal to.
Then move down to the next drop down menu titled Maximum. Here we input a maximum of of 20 characters for the First name field.
Data Validation Icon
Now move to the Input Message tab. If you like, you may enter a message that will appear when you are entering data. Here we chose to enter a title and message that would remind the user of the maximum field length.
In the Title field, we put Firstname field Length , for the Input message field, we entered the words maximum of 20 characters.
Data Validation Icon
Next we clicked on the Error Alert tab. Since we do not want the user to enter a first name with more than twenty characters, in the Title field we entered the word Error, and in the Error message field, we entered the words Maximum field length exceeded.
Data Validation Icon
So now when a user enters a first name with more than 20 characters, an error dialog box will popup.
Note that now when a user clicks inside any first name field, a floating message box will appear with the data we input into the Input Message tab in the Data validation window.
Also note that now, when a user enters data that is greater than 20 characters in the first name field, the error dialoge box containing the data that we entered into the error alert tab in the data validation window.

Address Label Mail Merge

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do a mail merge using a Microsoft Word 10 primary merge document and Microsoft Excel 10 Table containing a list of names and addresses.
It’s a concise tutorial. Download the sample primary merge document which is just an Address Label template and the Excel document that contains all the names and addresses so you can follow along with the mail merge. If you need to create a mailing list, the sample Excel document is a great template to use. You’ll see that once you’ve created your Address list in Excel, it takes literally just over 2 minutes to do a mail merge.

Address label mail merge tutorial

Be Fulfilled With Our Address Labels

Many of our customers are fulfillment houses. They use our labels because they can rely on Maco labels , the reason being, that they are a quality product. Our products won’t jam in the printer. They won’t come off of the envelope or package (unless, of course you order our removable products). Not only that, our address labels are not costly like Avery labels, and the prices you see at Maco labels include shipping.

Messy Envelope, messy Address Label

Maybe you’ve spilled some coffee on the envelope you were just about to mail. Well, don’t throw that messy envelope out, make it look like you meant to do it. Show the world you are an Artiste! Give it a messy address label to go with it. The Gimp has just the right function. It’s actually a filter. It’s called Coffee Stain. It’s under Filters, and Decor. I’ve made up a little messy address label with some stains for the ML-3000, and here it is, Bam!:

ML-3000 with a coffee stain, same as Avery 5160 labels layout

Address Label Mail merge issues

Doing a mail merge on address labels successfully can be a real project sometimes. Some mailing lists are nice and clean. You know, the kind that are residential addresses like:
John Smith
1 Space Way
Akron, OH 42808

Don’t try getting in touch with John, he’s a fig newton of my imagination, and is used strictly as an example to show what a nice clean simple address is. Oops, there I go again ending my sentence in a preposition. I like to live dangerously. Then, you come across lists which are not so neat, with names like:

Quentin Farrington Popoudoupoulous, III
Popoudoupoulous, Popoudoupoulous, & Popoudoupoulous
2547 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Highway
Hastings on the Hudson, NY 11082

Quentin is also a fig newton. These kinds of names need a little “massaging” to get the aches and pains out. If you’re printing on a 30 up label like the ML-3000 in Microsoft Word, depending on the font and font size you’re using, you’ll need to go through the list and find out if there are “Soft Returns” in your finished merged document. Soft returns occur when a line is too long to fit on a line, and the point at which the line wraps to the next line is a “Soft Return”. You can find these Soft Returns by doing a cntrl-f. Then once the Find and Replace dialog box pops up, select the “More” button if it isn’t already selected. If it’s already selected, then you should only see the “Less” button. Then hit the “Special” button.
Fail.
There’s no soft return that you can search for in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice, but you can search for the soft return character in WordPerfect. Why has WordPerfect fallen off the face of the earth as a word processor. I attribute it to propaganda. WordPerfect is a great word processing program that has features that Microsoft Word doesn’t, and if you’re in the market for a word processor, give serious consideration to WordPerfect.

CD Labels with OpenOffice

One of the many things that OpenOffice is just great for is making layouts for CD Labels. Of course it’s great for address and shipping labels and many other things, but it’s also easy to set up a CD or DVD label in OpenOffice Draw. Keep in mind, you can’t open this document in Microsoft Word. But if you’re in OpenOffice, you can open a Microsoft Word Document. Huh. Eh, what does Microsoft care about OpenOffice. Microsoft Word is a monster. It used to be that WordPerfect had a big market share. It was actually a better program in DOS. Remember DOS? Sweet and simple. And a lot of people hated it. Remember WordPerfect 5.1? At least the WordPerfect 6 screen was a little bit more helpful:

DOS 6.0 Bluescreen

Now that was a good program. Fast sleek feature rich. Those were the days.

These day’s there are so many formats in which you can create a CD or DVD. You can create a regular audio CD, or you can create a Jukebox CD. With the Jukebox CD, you can fit a lot more songs on the CD. Just select a bunch of mp3’s and try it, it’s great.

So I put a bunch of songs on the CD, and made up a nice CD template for our ML-7560 CD label.

ML-7560 Template, CD DVD Template

Address Labels and Lawfirm Names

If you’ve ever had to do mass mailings like I have, you come across all kinds of data input lists. Some lists are nice and neat. But there are others that require either some creative editing or using an address label that accommodates a really long address or name line. While Dewey Cheatem & Howe is not such a long name, there are some law firms whose names can get a little out of hand, and some can be really funny. The Wall Street Journal called Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca, Fischer, Gilbert-Lurie, Stiffelman, Cook, Johnson, Lande & Wolf the longest law firm name ever.

The ML-2000 does a good job of being long enough to contain some of the crazy long firm names that these firms can think up.

ML-2000, same layout as Avery  5162