How To Print An Address On Envelopes
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.
Looking behind envelope to show closed flap pointing right
Adjusting paper guide
Check 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.
Check 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.
If you can't find your printer manual, your manufacturer may have a downloadable manual online.
For 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.
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- 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.
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:
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In Windows, the print driver interface is dependent on your printer manufacturer's software, so specific instructions may vary.
If you cannot enter custom dimensions that reflect your envelope size, you may try installing an updated printer driver from your manufacturer's web site.
Since 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.
Adjusting the print quality to the highest setting may give you better printing results.
Turn off all scaling and resizing options. You will not need to stretch or squeeze your printed text.
Step 4: Print One Envelope To Test
- 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.
A 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:
- Change the name(s) and address in your software and print 1 envelope, Repeat
- 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.
We 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.