MacMost Now 726: Printing Labels and Envelopes From Address Book

You can print both labels and envelopes from Address Book without needing to do a mail merge or use another app. You can choose from many different standard label templates or create your own. You can also choose different envelope sizes. You can print them in bulk, or just use this feature to print a single envelope.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look how to print out envelopes and labels using Address Book.

So the Address Book app is about to get a name change. In Mountain Lion is will be called Contacts. But either way it has functionality to allow you to print envelopes and labels right from Address Book. A lot of people know how to do this from Pages using a mail merge. But you can do this right from Address Book. Let me show you how.

So here I've got my Address Book. I have some sample names in it. Make sure you are viewing both pages here. You can do that by viewing and list and card. I have a list of all my addresses. I can also click up here and go to my Groups. It has all contacts, friends in iCloud and I would have any other groups I'd want here. Whichever one you choose will be the one you send to the printer. So I'm going to choose all contacts and I'm going to go to my print dialogue box. File Print. Now we have a ton of options.

We don't see these options. Notice this "Hide Detail" button. Click on it and it becomes Show Details. It gives you all this good stuff. Now you have a ton of different options in here. You can choose of course your printer. Different settings for your printer. Number of copies and things like that. But if you choose in here Address Book, then all the stuff down here will relate the that app. It will be App specific including the style. There is four different styles with which you can print your addresses. We are going to focus on the first two; mailing labels and envelopes.

So with mailing labels you can see here little labels printed here on the sample sheet. I can go in here and do some changes. For instance I can change which addresses to print, I can change what order to print them whether alphabetical or postal code order. You can add country and/or company to them if I want. You can change the color of the address. You can set an image. Let's go here and set an image to a jpeg image and you can see it is going to place it to the left of the address. So if you have a company logo or something kind of fun to put there say for an invitation. You can change the font as well. You can see a preview here on the left.

Now, how is that going to match the labels that you have bought for your printer. Well, if you go to layout your can see here you can choose all sorts of different things here. For instance I can choose Avery Standard and choose the exact label that I'm printing from. So if I am printing something you can see how it changes on the left. You can also define your own if you wish and change it with margins and labels rows, columns, and gutters. So you can make sure something fits what you've got. But chances are you are going to use something standard. It will show Avery 5161 and if that is the label you are printing on it will align up perfectly with that.

So you can send that to the printer. You can also create a pdf which is handy if say you want to print the labels out somewhere else. You can save it as a pdf and then take that pdf to whatever computer is hooked up to the printer with the labels and print them out from the pdf without having Address Book there.

Now your other option is to go to envelopes. Switch to envelopes, you can see the little envelope preview on the left, and you can click on layout and select all sorts of different types of envelopes. So there is tons of different ones and you can get one to match what you've got. You can even choose orientation. For instance as how they go into your printer this way versus that way. You can choose what goes in, which addresses go in. You can see here it says seven addresses will be going out. What order they are printed in. Other stuff to include. You can also add an image and change the font as well.

Note that you can see seven addresses here. I have more than seven addresses in my Address Book. The reason it is not printing more is that a lot of those didn't have addresses, they were just phone numbers or email addresses. Not physical addresses so of course it is going to skip them automatically.

This functionality can come in real handy. For instance even if you want to print just one quick envelope. If you have it in your address book and you have your printer handy, pull out the envelope, stick it in, print out that single address to an envelope. You can do it quicker than writing on the envelope in some cases.

I hope you found this useful. This is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 41 Responses to “MacMost Now 726: Printing Labels and Envelopes From Address Book”

    Andy Suhaka
    6/25/12 @ 2:00 pm

    This was a brilliant tutorial! But, what if I only want to print names (as in, name tags)? I don’t see if just printing one line of those people’s information is possible. Is it?

      6/26/12 @ 3:23 am

      Yes, definitely. You can just select the name as the only merge field. You may need to alter the template — like just by removing the parts you don’t want.

    6/25/12 @ 2:18 pm

    hello gary,
    how do i print labels that are not to be used for addresses? for instance a label for a product, for a box, a label that i can put a part number on, code, etc… I’m still using word because i just can’t find it in pages! Thanks!

      6/26/12 @ 3:23 am

      A video on that is coming up next week. You can use merge fields for all sorts of things. You’ll see.

    6/26/12 @ 6:59 pm

    Really appreciate your tutorials. Always a big help..
    Can you print return labels for envelopes? In other words, can I print a sheet of just my address on every label?

      6/27/12 @ 1:57 am

      Not really. Not with Address Book anyway. You can make a custom layout in something like Pages to fit your labels. Or fake it with a Numbers spreadsheet filled with just your address in all rows and mail merge with Pages using the a template meant for the labels you own.

      7/29/12 @ 3:39 am

      I found a way to do this. Add your address to Address Book, copy and paste it the amount of times you have labels on your sheet. I have 21 labels on my sheet, so I created 21 addresses. Select all these and print following Gary’s tutorial. Afterwards delete the duplicate addresses.

    6/28/12 @ 11:24 am

    How can I import a spreadsheet from Excel to Address Book so I don’t have to re-enter all that data manually?

      6/28/12 @ 11:30 am

      Try the File, Import function. Not sure how well it will work — I’m sure it depends on how your spreadsheet is set up.

    6/28/12 @ 1:38 pm

    Thank you seems such a miserly thing to say for such a gift. I appreciate your very good, succinct tutorials!

    6/28/12 @ 2:45 pm

    Always great tutorials! Thank you so much!

    6/28/12 @ 4:00 pm

    How do you stop addresses from creeping down the envelope. Using DL Envelope the names and addresses gradually move down envelope,on multiple Contacts until disappearing on about 6-7 envelopes – Names and Addresses will not set in centre of each envelope.

      6/29/12 @ 12:15 am

      That’s odd. I’ve never heard of that problem. Perhaps you need to select a different envelope size? Or, maybe it is a printer setting.

    6/28/12 @ 9:54 pm

    I have come to look forward to the content you are generating and it has been very useful. Thank you Macmost! On a separate note I have the same as issue as Alan – the address lines tend to creep in DL envelope mode.

    Piet van 't Zelfde
    6/29/12 @ 11:06 am

    Hi Gary, Thanks for this tutorial, I tried to print on envelopes but had that done in Word, but now this is extremely faster. Will your next week lesson have the Master Laser Labels Code 7647100 templates in it as well? Thanks again I hope there will be many more tutorials from you. Best regards, Piet van ‘t Zelfde, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

      6/29/12 @ 1:09 pm

      I don’t talk about any specific templates, sorry.

    6/29/12 @ 11:40 am

    Wow, terrific tutorial. I had no idea this was possible. I also find myself looking forward to your newsletters & take the time to read every one. Thank you!

    6/29/12 @ 1:45 pm

    I would appreciate if you speak a little slower so that hard of hearing people are able to understand what you are saying in your videos. I find it very hard to understand your whole explanation at times.

      6/29/12 @ 1:53 pm

      I know I speak quickly. I apologize. Slowing down my speech was something I considered early on. But the speed comes from my enthusiasm for what I am talking about. I thought it would be a bad idea to force myself to speak at a different pace. I thought that I should just “be myself” and let my enthusiasm show through. I think otherwise, I would not have made it to episode 726. I know that I can’t please everyone.

    Lance Jensen
    7/1/12 @ 8:29 am

    Thanks for a great tutorial! Never knew I could do that in Address Book. In the Labels area, does the selected name always print out in column 1, label 1 – or can you specify where to start printing on a standard Avery template. Let’s say labels 1,2 & 3 have been used – can you print #4? How?

      7/1/12 @ 12:53 pm

      I don’t think there is a way to do that, no.

    Paddy Zoller
    7/1/12 @ 11:45 am

    Again “Thanks for your great content”. I wish Apple would create an easier way to make RETURN address labels, but in the meantime I found this link has helped a little

    the negative is that adding the names in (i.e. 30 times) creates that many more (repetitive) entries in one’s address book. But, it does get the job done. Hope this will help someone.

    I have also used the Pages Templates and that does work also and gives a lot of area for creativity.

    Thanks again, Gary. and, I don’t mind you talking fast. You give us more content that way plus I can always pause you and repeat the video. Sometimes don’t you also have printed text of the video. Can’t remember if your site is where I saw that.

      Alan Wilson
      7/2/12 @ 6:01 pm

      Great tip Paddy – this was really annoying not being able to print return address labels on the mac – this did the job – thanks !

    7/2/12 @ 8:22 am

    Glad to learn this, but my address book is sorted by last name, so the envelope printed with last name followed by first name. How do I remedy this without having to resort my address book just to print an envelope? Thanks for sharing your tips.

      7/2/12 @ 12:21 pm

      Try switching the “show first name / show last name” preference. Print. Then switch back (if you want).

    Justin Lee
    8/2/12 @ 2:26 pm

    Hey Gary,

    I played around with Address book, and I found I can also change the font. Do you if we can also change the “justification”? Currently all addresses are justified left. Can I justify them center?

    P.S. I started playing Swords & Sworcery… THE GAME IS SICK. Its a completely different dimension

      8/2/12 @ 3:37 pm

      I don’t think you can. Probably need to export and bring it into Pages or TextEdit for that level of control.

    bonnie wixson
    10/1/12 @ 2:37 pm

    I have a very old mailing list software I exported to a word 2004 doc. 1300+ names.
    Will I be able to import data into contacts on os mountain lion and print out the labels.

      10/1/12 @ 3:52 pm

      Hard to say — you’ve just got to try it. Why not create a new user account on your Mac and try it in that. Then you don’t mess up your existing Contacts.

    11/12/12 @ 12:31 pm

    Is there a way to add bar codes to the envelopes?
    Thanks for the tutorial. Loved addressix; but lost it with Mountain Lion.

      11/12/12 @ 3:08 pm

      You can drag and drop any image you want into the document or template. Not sure what you mean by bar codes — something special that is different for each address? I’d assume you’d need some specialized postal software for that.

    11/21/12 @ 9:02 am

    I am frustrated with this. I want to print company and first last name and address.
    My labels arent showing first/last. Where is this “preference” you speak of?

      11/21/12 @ 9:41 am

      While running Contacts app, go to File, Preferences. Go to “General” preferences.

    11/21/12 @ 10:12 am

    I found that, but its no help, am I the only person using a mac that wants to print:
    First name, Last Name
    Company Name
    Address ???
    on a label? It seems impossible with out using another company like avery, and exporting files etc.
    Why doesnt Apple have a select fields to print for a label?
    It seems so simple, but I am relatively new to Mac.
    Any help would be appreciated, I have to send my customers a mailing, and I need the First and Last name to be on the label with the company name and address, and am about to give up, and just mail them without the persons name.

      11/21/12 @ 4:05 pm

      So why not go with another piece of software like you suggest? That’s why there is a variety of software — because different people need different things and want different options. So if Address Book doesn’t do what you want, then find software that will. See if the software from Avery does it. Nothing wrong with using that.

        11/23/12 @ 6:31 pm

        Thanks for your help, appreciate it!

    12/16/12 @ 6:55 pm

    how do you remove the image from the envelope once you’ve added it?

      12/16/12 @ 7:26 pm

      Not sure what you mean. In the print dialog you choose an image. If you don’t want the image, then cancel and print again.

        3/11/13 @ 5:27 am

        When printing envelopes am not able to remove an image in the return address box once it has been set. It stays there no matter what I do. There is no “remove” or “none” option.

    1/20/13 @ 3:44 pm

    I have a pre printed envelope with my address already on it. I want to omit the sender’s address from my mail merge from apple contacts to envelope. In your video a sender’s address doesn’t show up but on mine my address is populated and I cannot find where to delete it.

      1/20/13 @ 5:57 pm

      You can just remove that field from the document. Select the field and delete it.

Comments Closed.