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Quick Tip: Print a single envelope in Word

Printing a single envelope in Word is an easy task but there are lots of options, so make sure you get exactly what you expect.

You might think printing a single envelope is overkill-unless you're like me and have illegible handwriting. It's not that I'm lazy, but it's difficult for me to grasp a pen tightly. I can type, I can knit, but I can't hold a pen, so I usually go to the extra trouble of printing an envelope. In the business world, you'll probably do so because that's the professional expectation. Whatever your reason, printing a single envelope in Word is simple, but getting everything just right requires a bit of knowledge because there are so many options.

The first step is to check your printer for envelope placement. If you're lucky, you have a special drawer for envelopes. Lacking a drawer, you'll probably find placement instructions on the manual feed. Check carefully; you should find a small embossed indicator that specifies the feed position for envelopes. They're all different, so be sure to check your printer. For example, this Lexmark Z32 feeds an envelope face up and the bottom flush with the right side of the feed tray.

Once you have an envelope correctly positioned, you're ready to enter the return and delivery addresses as follows:

  1. Click the Mailings tab and then click Envelopes in the Create group. In Word 2003, choose Letters and Mailings from the Tools menu. Then, choose Envelopes and Labels. Options are available in all versions, but the dialogs aren't arranged exactly the same.
  2. On the Envelopes tab, enter the delivery and return address. (The return address may already be present, but you can change it.)

At this point, you have a few options you can apply:

  • If Outlook is your default mail client, you can click the book icon to grab an existing address from Outlook to fill-in your delivery and/or return address.
  • Check the Omit option if you do not want to print the return address.
  • The Add Electronic Postage and E-Postage Property options are available, but work only if you have installed the appropriate software beforehand. We won't cover those options today.
  • Be sure to check the preview regularly, to make sure your choices match your needs.

After entering your addresses, check the feed options. This option confuses some users and you can't depend on Word to configure things correctly. To get started, click the Feed option, and set the following options, as required:

  • First, choose Face Up or Face Down, accordingly. If the envelope goes through the manual feeder print side up, choose Face Up.
  • If the Feed Method options aren't showing the print facing the right direction, uncheck the Clockwise Rotation option.
  • Use the Feed From dropdown if you have a special envelop drawer or feed.

Once you've set the feed options correctly, click OK to return to the first dialog box. Check the Feed option; the picture should update according to your choices.

You might want to change the font and address positions on the envelope. To do so, click the Preview option or the Options button. On the Envelope Options tab, you can change the envelope size by choosing an option from the Envelope Size dropdown. Changing the font is easy; click the appropriate Font button and change the options as you normally would. To reset the position of the return or delivery address use the From Left and From Top options and watch the preview envelope update accordingly.  When you're done, click OK to return to the original dialog.

At this point, you're ready to print-click Print and you're done!

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

14 comments
tjsan42
tjsan42

...otherwise it will try to print to the default printer. You can't change it in mailings. Before going into the envelop feature, go to "print..." and choose the printer. @xoomxoom: the process is simpler that this guide would suggest - because it deals with different printer configurations. Once you have setup your printer it is easy-peasey and you would need to put the recipient's address on the page anyway so by preselecting it as greyer says, it really can be quite fast.

jlabossiere
jlabossiere

Image is everything especially for a small business. No reputable business will hand write address on envelopes.

XoomXoom
XoomXoom

I could have written the address, stamped my return address and been on my way to the post office before ya'll quit messing with loading the envelope in the printer. :-)

greywer
greywer

If you are writing a letter which needs an envelope, select the address in the letter before going to the Envelopes tab and you will find that the address has been entered automatically.

jarlid
jarlid

I would love to print out the instructions. Could you please tell me how to do that?

sweeney07
sweeney07

I miss the ability of putting the bar code address under the typed address.

LMHinWEHO
LMHinWEHO

My goodness, that is a good five minutes to print one envelope! Have you tried some of the addins for Outlook that let you click a contact card and click print and print any custom envelope in about 10 seconds? I have used Aladdins Envelopes & Labels (www.software-solutions.co.nz) for years. It does labels too. I even print 500 holiday envelopes in as long as it takes the printer to print them.

Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson

This is a lot more clunky to do in Word 2007 or 2010. I did this frequently enough in Word 2003 that I found the command and put it in my Quick Access Toolbar.

CorporateLackie
CorporateLackie

Thanks for writing this ... I just gave it a whirl.... I have Outlook set to "file as" Last Name, First Name this appears to make the "TO" address in Word come out as: Smith, Tom 123 Anystreet Dullville, NC 12345 Is there a way to tell Word to "flip" it? In the "Full Name" field of Outlook the name is displayed as "Tom Smith" I have two printers, the other thing I ran into is that it would be helpful to be able to print the envelopes to the non-defaulted printer. I don't see anything right off that would let me indicate that (I've been adding the envelopes to the document and then printing them ....) Thanks for any pointers if you have time!

LMHinWEHO
LMHinWEHO

Oh, I forgot to mention Envelopes & Labels does both bar codes & postal net codes. Works great when you want to do a zip sort and do bulk mailings.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I think the one-envelope printing in Word will probably be used for one-time addresses, and those usually aren't in Outlook. At least, that's how I use it. It seems time-consuming, but it only writes up that way. :) In practice, it goes pretty fast.

LMHinWEHO
LMHinWEHO

Forgot to mention this as well about OL Envelopes & Labels--when you create your own envelope or label template (the possibilities are infinite), you design your Delivery Address so it can include the fields you want, including Middle Name, Department, Country, etc. I have envelopes templates for 2 different companies I own (complete with logos in the return address) and personal envelopes of different sizes and a half a dozen different label templates depending on the entity and what size envelope I want to use. Saves me tons of time and looks very professional. I print sheets of labels all of the same thing for clients that I mail to regularly and then just pick the single label I want to pick for one-off labels. Hope this helps!

LMHinWEHO
LMHinWEHO

Ah, but Envelopes & Labels let's you do that too. Just click on the custom envelope template you want to use, type in the address & print. Done.