Microsoft Word provides a simple tool for designing, customizing, and printing envelopes for your mailings right from your word processor. Whether you need a single envelope for special mail or bulk envelopes for mass sending, Word makes it easy.
In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to access the envelopes feature in Word and master the process of setting up, designing, and printing envelopes tailored to your needs.
Accessing the Envelopes Tool
The envelopes tool is built right into Microsoft Word, so you don’t need any additional software or add-ons.
To access it:
- Open a Word document, then click on the Mailings tab on the ribbon.
- In the Start Mail Merge group, click the Envelopes button. Envelopes button
- The Envelopes menu will open on the right. This is your full envelope creation workspace.
The envelopes tool consists of three sections:
- Delivery address: Enter the destination address here
- Return address: Enter your return address here
- Envelope options: Customize the envelope size, orientation, etc.
Next, let’s look at how to enter addresses.
In the envelopes tool, you’ll see fields for entering both the delivery address and return address.
The delivery address is the destination address you want to mail the envelope to.
- Start by typing the full name of the recipient on the first line
- On the next lines, enter the street address, city, state, and zip code
As you type, Word will auto-format the address according to USPS conventions.
The return address should be your mailing address. This is needed in case the mail can’t be delivered and the envelope is returned to you.
- Enter your full name on the first line
- Then type your street address, city, state, and zip code on the following lines
Pro Tip: To quickly insert your default return address, click the Insert Address button and select your address entry. This syncs with addresses saved in your Outlook contacts.
Selecting Envelope Options
Word provides presets for common envelope sizes, but you can also customize the options to fit specialized envelopes.
To view and change the envelope settings:
- Click the Options button at the bottom of the Envelopes tool
- The Envelope Options dialog box will open
Here you can adjust settings like:
- Envelope Size: Choose from standard sizes or enter custom dimensions
- Font type and size: Select the text formatting for the addresses
- Printing orientation and alignment: Set landscape or portrait mode
- Margins: Adjust the spacing around the edges of the envelope
The preview pane on the right lets you see how the envelope will look with the selected settings applied.
Pro Tip: For DL and C5 envelopes, choose the landscape orientation to prevent addresses from getting cut off.
Once your options are set, click OK.
Previewing and Printing Envelopes
Before you print, it’s smart to preview the envelope design to catch any addressing issues.
- Click the preview icon in the lower-right corner of the envelopes tool Envelope Preview
- A full-size preview will open so you can confirm the addresses are displaying properly
If everything looks good, you’re ready to print!
Important: Before clicking print, make sure you have envelopes loaded in your printer’s paper tray. Pay close attention to the feed orientation instructions from your printer manufacturer. Incorrect envelope loading is a common cause of paper jams and misfeeds.
When you’re ready, click Print and envelopes will start dispensing from your printer.
If the alignment is off or content gets cut off, go back to the Options menu to adjust envelope positioning and margins. You may need to do some trial and error testing to dial in the perfect settings.
Customizing Your Envelopes
Plain white envelopes get the job done, but if you want to design more stylish and professional envelopes, Microsoft Word makes it easy.
After entering your addresses, click Add to Document at the bottom of the envelopes tool. This will open your envelope in the Word document itself.
Now you can treat it like any other Word document and get creative with the design:
- Add images like logos, graphics, or photos
- Insert text boxes for additional text or greetings
- Change colors and fonts to match branding
- Add shape elements and visual flair
Since it’s a real document, you can use all of Word’s formatting and page layout tools to customize the envelope to your needs.
When you’re done designing, click the Print button on the Word ribbon. Don’t forget to load envelopes in your printer!
Using Mail Merge for Bulk Envelopes
Typing addresses one by one into envelopes works for small mailings, but it’s not practical for mass sending campaigns.
That’s where Word’s mail merge feature comes in handy!
Mail merge allows you to create hundreds of personalized envelopes quickly by pulling addresses from an Excel spreadsheet, CSV file, or other data source.
Here’s a quick walkthrough:
- Open the envelopes tool in Word
- Click the Select Recipients button
- Choose Use an Existing List and browse to your data file
- Map the Address fields from your data to the envelope fields
- Click OK and envelopes will populate with addresses
- Verify the preview, then click Print to produce all your envelopes!
With mail merge, you can generate dozens or even hundreds of unique envelopes in just a few clicks. It connects seamlessly with the envelopes tool to handle the repetitive tasks so you can focus on other mail marketing duties.
So if you need to mail to a large list, combine the power of mail merge with Word’s versatile envelopes creator.
Troubleshooting Common Envelope Printing Problems
Sometimes envelopes don’t turn out quite right on the first try. Here are some common envelope printing issues and how to fix them:
- Addresses getting cut off: Go back to Envelope Options and reduce the margins so text shifts away from the edges.
- Ink smudging: Let envelopes dry fully before stacking to prevent smudging. Use a thicker paper type.
- Envelopes jamming: Confirm envelopes are loaded per printer instructions. Clean out paper dust using compressed air.
- Poor print quality: Change cartridges if toner/ink is low. Use higher quality envelopes designed for laser or inkjet printers.
- Misaligned addresses: Adjust alignment and positioning settings in Envelope Options.
- Wrong envelope size printing: Make sure you have selected the correct envelope size preset before printing.
With some small adjustments to the envelope template and printer settings, you can resolve most issues that arise.
Recap and Next Steps
Now you have all the tools you need to master printing envelopes directly from Microsoft Word. Here’s a quick recap:
- Use the built-in envelopes tool to design envelopes
- Enter delivery and return addresses manually or with mail merge
- Customize the envelope size, fonts, orientation in Envelope Options
- Preview before printing to check alignments
- Troubleshoot issues like smudging and cut off text
- Custom design envelopes by adding them to documents
- Use mail merge to print bulk envelopes from data sources
With these tips, your envelopes will come out picture perfect every time. No more wasted envelopes or misprints!
Now put your skills into action. Try designing a customized envelope with graphics for special mailings like wedding invitations. Or use mail merge to quickly generate hundreds of envelopes for an advertising campaign.
As you prepare more envelopes, don’t hesitate to refer back to this guide for help addressing every envelope challenge you come across.