Mail merge envelopes in MS Word


When using the envelope printing function in MS Word (2007), how do you utilize the specific "print envelope" settings in combination with the mail merge function?

I just attempted to do this as follows:  In MS Word, I clicked on the Envelopes option (under the Mailings tab) which opened the Envelopes and Labels box (Fig. 1): Fig. 1
In that box I clicked the Options button which led to the Envelope Options box (Fig. 2): Fig. 2
Next, I specified the position for the delivery address (the return address was already on the back of the envelope) and clicked OK which took me back to the Envelopes and Labels box (Fig. 1) where I clicked the Print button.  Doing so, immediately activated the printer and an envelope was successfully printed.

Once that portion of the task was completed, I began creating the mail merge by defining an Excel spreadsheet as the data source (selecting recipients), editing the recipient list, and inserting the merge fields (Fig. 3): Fig. 3
I then used the Preview Results button to verify the printing format was correct, double checked the number of envelopes to be printed, and clicked the Finish & Merge button (Fig. 4):Fig. 4
This resulted in the appearance of the small (and familiar) Merge to Printer box (Fig. 5) where I initially chose to print only the current record so as to double check the positioning, etc., on a test envelope.  Fig. 5
Clicking OK here resulted in a Print box which I have not seen since upgrading MS Office (Fig. 6). Fig. 6
Assuming everything was as it should be, I clicked the OK button to send the print command. However, to my surprise, the resulting printed envelope came out with only half of the address printed on the edge of the envelope and turned 90° from where it was supposed to be.

After trying a few different things, I realized, or rather I suspect, that I am somehow ending up in a different print signal place than where I want to be.  This is because, with the single envelope printing described above, the print command was sent from the box shown in Fig. 1, whereas now it was going from the box shown in Fig. 6.

Finally, noticing that clicking the Print button in the box in Fig. 1, sends the print command immediately -- without the intermediary Merge to Printer box (Fig. 5) -- causes me to wonder if doing a mail merge with envelopes is even possible.


1)  Is it even possible to do a mail merge when printing envelopes? If not, then the only other option seems to be to use the Envelope box print command.  However, that is extremely cumbersome and time-consuming since I can find no way to save the custom positioning settings in the Envelope Options box (Fig. 2).

2)  If it is possible to print envelopes using mail merge, then are the settings and positioning, etc., defined through a typical mail merge process (i.e. no different than printing a standard document)?

3)  If yes (to #2), what is the point of having the Envelope printing option?

4)  If I've just got this all screwed up, please indicate the correct steps for getting envelopes printed in the most effective way.



FYI, the envelope printing is for my son who is getting married soon.  

He keeps telling his fiancée:
          "Don't worry, Dad will have this figured out soon."

I keep telling him:
          "Don't worry, I will have this figured out soon."

and I keep telling myself:
          "Don't worry, the experts at EE will have this figured out soon."

So consider this one to be for the beautiful bride!  :)

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE)Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:
Hello Steve,

I try to keep away from envelopes, since I feel they're a pain in the patoot, but a few things spring to mind:

1. in the dialog in Fig. 6, use the properties button and make sure that the correct paper size and orientation is set

2. alternatively, do the mail merge not directly to the printer, but to a document. Check the document's paper size and orientation. If this does not match, you need to set the merge document to have the correct envelope size and orientation, then repeat the merge.

With expensive stationery like envelopes, I always merge to a document, then print the document. It's easier to control the parameters, and I can quickly re-print an individual page (or envelope, in this case).

Best wishes to the bride and groom.

cheers, teylyn

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Steve_BradyAuthor Commented:
Thanks teylyn,

So in other words, if I follow your thinking, you feel like all the envelope formatting schtuff is hooey and you prefer to just stick with the regular document printing system. Is that correct?  If so, that's pretty much what I had concluded.  :)
Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE)Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:
I find sticking with the regular printing stuff is cheaper ... :), at least when I'm involved. But then again, I have not worked much with the envelope functions.

Others may come up with the three step, foolproof approach. I'll keep watching.
Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
How about printing labels to stick on aforementioned envelopes?

Rob H
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft Word

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.