BOOT CAMP ARCHIVE 2000

  

 

BOOT CAMP 129

ADDRESSING ENVELOPES

If the number of letters and emails we get on the subject are anything to go by, printing addresses on envelopes using Microsoft Word is something of a black art, and that’s for those who are aware that the facility even exists! Envelope and label printing can be incredibly useful but for some reason Microsoft has buried it away inside recent editions of Word (versions 97 and 2000) but before we go any further your first job is to make sure your printer can handle envelope and label printing. Most inkjets can but there may be problems with some laser printers, which use a heating process to ‘fix’ the toner. The heating element can cause the adhesive strips on self-sealing envelopes and label sheets to melt and make a bit of a mess, so read the instructions, if in doubt use stationery that has been specially designed for your type of printer.

The next step is to make the Envelope and Label printing facility more accessible by putting an icon onto one of the toolbars. Right click your mouse into an empty area next to the toolbars to display the Toolbar menu and select Customize at the bottom. Choose the Commands tab and click on Tools in the Categories window, now move over to the Commands windows and scroll down the list until you come to Envelopes and Labels, click and hold on the enveloped icon, drag it onto one of the toolbars, release the mouse button and close the Customize dialogue box.

Printing direct to an envelope is usually the simplest option for one-off and occasional letters but if you correspond regularly with one or a number of addresses or use a variety of different shaped envelopes and packages then it may be easier to produce a sheet of labels, and that’s where we’ll begin. It’s a good idea to obtain your labels first, all stationery suppliers stock them and they’re not expensive, shop around, you can find packs containing 100 sheets, with between 8 to 21 labels per sheet, selling for less than £10. Incidentally there are also lots of specialist label designs available, including floppy discs, audio and video cassettes, 35mm transparencies, ring binders and filing cabinet folder tabs. Most address labels conform to a standard ‘Avery’ layout but Word can accommodate non-standard designs, so choose the type that best suits your needs. Click on the Envelope icon, select the Labels tab and then the Options button, choose you label type from the Product Number list, or if it’s not shown, click the New Label button and enter the dimensions manually. Click OK to return to the Label window.

Now this is where it can become a bit confusing. If your intention is to produce a label sheet containing lots of different addresses click the item ‘Full page of the same label’, and no it doesn’t make sense but click on it anyway and then the New Document button. The screen will then change to a label sheet and you can set about keying in your addresses. If you want to repeat an address several times simply highlight the text and use copy and paste, or better still, hold down the Ctrl key and drag a copy of the highlighted text into a new label position. Since this is still basically a Word document you can change the font, style and layout to your liking. When you have finished use Save As on the File menu to name and file the sheet. Print it as you would any other Word document. If you want to repeat a single address on the whole sheet just enter it into Address window. In both cases it’s a good idea to do a test print first, on plain paper, to the check alignment against a label sheet.

Printing to envelopes is even easier, select the Envelope tab and click the Options button to select the envelope size and use the ‘From Left’ and ‘From Top’ boxes to position the text, the changes are shown in the Preview screen to the right, you can also change the typeface and style by clicking on the Font button. When you are happy with it click OK, return to the label tab and type in the address, and return address if you want that to appear as well. By the way, you can specify a default address, to save you typing it every time and you can include a graphic or logo; both procedures are covered in Word Help, type ‘envelope’ in the search field on the Index tab. Check with your printer manual about the feed options, most models show where and which way around envelopes go on the paper tray or hopper. On some models you can change the orientation and position, if so there should be a ‘Feed’ icon next to the Preview display, click on it and the available options will appear. All that remains is to carry out a test print on an old envelope, or a sheet of paper folded to the size of your envelope, to check orientation and layout.

In Word 2000 there is an additional option for importing addresses from a Contacts list, created in Word or Outlook, to use this click on the address book icon above the Delivery Address window. A similar facility is available in Word 97 (and Word 2000) using the Mail Merge facility on the Tools menu and you can find out more from Word Help or by looking at Boot Camps 95 and 95 (October 14th and 21st 1999), which dealt with Mail Merge in some detail. You’ll find them both in the Electronic Telegraph archive at: www.telegraph.co.uk/connected

Next week – Shareware and freeware

 

JARGON FILTER

AVERY LABELS

A range of standardised label styles and formats, developed by the office equipment company of the same name

DEFAULT ADDRESS

You can automatically print your return address on all envelopes by going to Options on the Tools menu, select the User Information tab and type in the details

MAIL MERGE

Word facility to help automate the process of printing form letters, envelopes and address labels

 

TOP TIP

It can be incredibly frustrating waiting for Internet pages to appear, especially at peak times, you may even start wondering if you are still connected, or maybe your browser program has frozen?  Here’s a quick and simple test; whilst on-line with your browser open go to Start > Programs > MS-DOS Prompt, to open up a DOS window. At the flashing prompt type ‘ping’ (without the inverted commas), followed by the Internet site’s address, This will call up the web site four times and measure how long it takes to reply, in milliseconds (ms), showing minimum, maximum and average times. Anything under 200 ms is normal, any longer, or there’s no response then your ISP connection could be slow or the site/Internet is very busy and you should try again later.

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