How To Print Envelopes at Home – Step By Step Instructions

How To Print An Address On Envelopes

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Printing envelopes at home can be a real time saver over hand addressing, but more setup is involved than printing standard 8 ½ x 11 copy paper.

In this video, using easy to follow steps, we'll show you how to print a name and address on the front of an envelope using a computer with Microsoft Word and an inkjet or laser printer. But don't overlook the article, as we'll also point out some important considerations to think about before and during the process.

 

 

Step 1: Load Envelope in Printer

  • With the envelope aligned on its side (short edge first), the flap closed and pointing right, load a single envelope into your printer's paper input tray. The envelope's right edge should rest flush against the right edge of the paper tray.
  • Move the sliding paper guide from left to right, resting flush against the envelope's left edge.
A7 envelope loading into printer

Loading envelope

Looking behind A7 envelope in printer

Looking behind envelope to show closed flap pointing right

A7 envelope adjusting paper guide

Adjusting paper guide

 

Lightbulb tip iconCheck your printer manual to learn how envelopes are to be loaded in your printer. If your printer has more than one paper input try, the manufacturer may designate that envelopes be loaded into one particular tray over another.

Lightbulb tip iconCheck to see how envelopes should be positioned in the tray. Often, envelopes are loaded short edge first (tall rather than wide), but your manual will have the specifics.

Lightbulb tip iconIf you can't find your printer manual, your manufacturer may have a downloadable manual online.

Lightbulb tip iconFor printers with 2 paper guides that move dependently in the paper input tray, the envelope should be placed in the middle of the tray and the guides adjusted inward so they rest flush against both envelope edges.

 

Step 2: In Word, Set Up Your Document

Create a new document sized to the exact dimensions of your envelope. For example, if your envelope is 5 ¼ inches high by 7 ¼ inches wide, your document should be the same measurements but in decimals--5.25 inches high by 7.25 inches wide.

PC Instructions Mac Instructions
  • Click File > Page Setup
  • Click Paper tab
  • Under Paper Size, enter Width & Height dimensions in inches
  • Click Margins tab
  • In Orientation section, click Landscape
PC Word landscape mode
  • Click File > Page Setup
  • Click dropdown to the right of Paper Size
  • If your envelope size is shown, click it
  • If your envelope size is not shown, click Manage Custom Sizes
  • In the Paper Size area, enter Width & Height dimensions in inches
  • In Orientation area, click Landscape icon (shown right)
  • Mac Word Landscape mode
 

Word envelope address

 

  • Type name(s) & address
  • Customize text using your choice of font & font size
  • Center text horizontally using paragraph center alignment button
  • Center text vertically by placing cursor in front of text and repeatedly hitting Enter key until text is centered. If text is too low, use Backspace key.

Landscape printing envelope graphic

Step 3: Access Printer Driver - Enter Width, Height & Alignment

When you power on your printer, it is programmed to print 8 1/2 x 11 size paper. Even though you loaded your envelope correctly in Step 1, you still need to communicate the envelope's size in the printer's software or "driver." Otherwise your address will not print correctly on the envelope.

Since you loaded your envelope on its side (short edge first), the short side is referred to as the width measurement and the long side is the height measurement in the print driver.

You will also need to select Landscape printing as opposed to Portrait.

All this is communicated in the print driver. Here's how to access it from within Word and make adjustments:

 
PC Instructions Mac Instructions
  • Click File > Print > Properties
  • Look for Paper Size, Page Size or similar
  • Click Custom or User Defined Size
  • Enter custom paper size width & height
  • Assign the new size a name & save it so you can call it up later
  • Look for Orientation & select Landscape

custom paper dimensions PC

  • Click File > Print > Page Setup
  • Click Paper Size dropdown
  • Click "Manage Custom Sizes"
  • Click "+" to add size
  • Enter custom paper size width & height
  • Assign the new size a name & save it so you can call it up later
  • In Orientation area, click Landscape icon

custom paper dimensions Mac

 

Lightbulb tip iconIn Windows, the print driver interface is dependent on your printer manufacturer's software, so specific instructions may vary.

Lightbulb tip iconIf you cannot enter custom dimensions that reflect your envelope size, you may try installing an updated printer driver from your manufacturer's web site.

Lightbulb tip iconSince envelopes are folded paper, they are thicker than a sheet of standard paper. Check to see if your print driver has an envelopes setting that will allow the envelopes to more easily travel through the printer. If your printer is older, there may be a physical lever to switch to the envelopes setting.

Lightbulb tip iconAdjusting the print quality to the highest setting may give you better printing results.

Lightbulb tip iconTurn off all scaling and resizing options. You will not need to stretch or squeeze your printed text.


Step 4: Print One Envelope To Test

Printed A7 Tangy Orange Pop-Tone envelope
  • Click OK to save your print driver settings and close the driver
  • Click OK to complete the print job
    Your envelope will start printing.

What To Look For

In Step 1, the reason we instructed you to load just one envelope into your printer is because we wanted to make sure you'd print a test. Why do we so strongly suggest that you test print? Because you want to be sure the printed envelope meets your expectations.

After running through your printer, is the envelope still in excellent condition?

How is the quality of the printing itself? Depending on the type of paper used to make your envelopes--matte finish, metallic finish, vellum finish, textured finish--your particular printer may or may not be the best choice.

Only by test printing on the actual envelope in your particular printer can you confirm the result.

Lightbulb tip iconA printer with a paper path that makes a tight turn is more likely to bend envelopes than one with a straighter path.


Step 5: Print Your Envelopes

There are 2 ways to print envelopes that are going to different addresses:

  1. Change the name(s) and address in your software and print 1 envelope, Repeat
  2. Use Word's Mail Merge feature to print your envelopes all at once. For help with this advanced envelope printing technique, watch our video, Print Envelope Addresses with Microsoft Word Mail Merge.

Lightbulb tip iconWe recommend loading 10 envelopes into your printer's input tray at a time, but check your printer manual for the definitive recommendation.


Do you have any other tips for printing envelopes? Let us know! And if you need envelope printing advice, get in touch with us. We'd be glad to help.

Are you ready to try envelope printing at home? Shop our extensive collection of specialty envelopes.

 
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7 Comments

  1. traceygamper@verizon.net says:

    Hi
    Your video was very helpful! Thank you! I have a question about our lined envelopes. The test envelope was damaged by our printer. Can you suggest a printer that would be great for thick lined envelopes or any other tips for our problem?
    Thanks,
    Tracey

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Tracey,

      Lined envelopes are quite heavy, and as you experienced, are not suitable for all home printers. Although we unfortunately can not recommend one particular printer that is great for lined envelopes, we do have a few tips for printing lined envelopes – hopefully one will work for you!

      1. Use the Envelopes Setting in Your Print Driver
      If your printer has an envelope setting, take advantage! All print drivers are different, but this setting is usually found in paper type, paper handling, or media. The envelope setting allows your print driver to recognize that a thicker piece of paper with a loose flap is being run through it, so it “opens up” a bit to accommodate. This setting helps prevent the flap from being caught, and may also allow your heavier envelope to feed through easier. If you printer doesn’t have an envelope setting, try setting the paper type to heavy (or a similar setting in your print driver).

      2. Try Loading Envelopes into Your Printer in a Different Direction
      Again, not all printers are created equally. Try loading your envelopes in different directions to see what works best for your printer – portrait or landscape. For more information on loading envelopes, please view the following article:
      How to Load Envelopes in Your Printer

      3. Try Printing Envelopes Open Flap
      If none of the suggestions above work, try running envelopes through your printer with an open flap; this way, they are half as thick. If you do this, be sure you account for the length of the flap when setting up your document.

  2. DIY Invitations says:

    Thanks for your very thorough article on printing envelopes. I have a suggestion for lined envelopes. Sometimes when the envelope does not go through the printer because it is too thick, I open the flap and print with the flap open. You need to change the size of the envelope, but it does work.

  3. Lake0z says:

    Can you run a gummed flap envelope closed through the printer? Wouldn’t the pressure seal the envelope? Thank you.

    • Kristen says:

      In most cases, you should have no sealing issued when running a closed, gummed flap envelope through a printer – even laser printers, which get very hot after extended use.

      However, if you do start to see a problem after extended use, just give you printer a break and do another batch later/

  4. custom printed envelopes says:

    Thanks a lot, Video is very helpful.

  5. Mr. J. Soria says:

    I have a HP Photosmart C4480, and I can print envelopes. Why?