WTFM: Printing Address Labels

Write The Manual. Creating mailing labels from the Groundhog’s Day spreadsheet is an adventure, every year. I’ll probably never do it again with Open Office, but here’s how:

  • Create the purpose-and-date specific spreadsheet
    • Download it (Google Doc becomes Downloads\groundhogs.xlsx)
    • Open with Open Office (becomes groundhogs.ods)
    • Save it somewhere (e.g. Documents\GroundHogs\2021Move)
    • Delete the Downloads version
  • Convert it to Mail-Merge-able database
    • File – New – Database
    • Copy the spreadsheet; just copy-to-clipboard. Ctrl-A tends to be excessive; use shft-ctrl-arrows.
    • Select the Tables section of the new database window and paste.
  • Invent a table name (e.g. “Addr”)
    • Add the primary key when it prompts you to
    • Save it with a unique name (“unique path, duplicate name” will be confusing).
  • Create the Labels
    • File – New – Labels
    • Delete anything that may be in the “Label text” box
    • Pick the newly created database and table
    • Add the fields using the big “<=” arrow button
    • Put in the desired format (line breaks, commas, etc…)
    • Select the Avery Brand and the 8160 type
    • On the Format tab, adjust a few settings by one “increment spinner” click: Horizontal Pitch +0.1, Left Margin +0.1, Top Margin +0.1
    • Press the “New Document” button
    • Save the document
    • Print the document
  • Remember how Print works
    • Put the label paper in “upside down” with the labels facing the bottom of the paper drawer.
    • Put a blank sheet of paper between each sheet of label paper. For whatever reason, a blank page is injected between each legitimate page.

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