How to Print Labels on a Mac

By Christopher Capelle

Creating labels of any type using a computer is one of the many timesaving benefits of the personal computer era. AppleWorks, a software package that is no longer produced but came preinstalled on previous Macs, comes with standard label templates included, so it's reasonably easy for the average user to print labels of any type on a Mac.

Things You'll Need

  • AppleWorks software
  • Standard labels
  • Printer

Step 1

Buy the appropriately sized labels. Office supply stores and websites are your best bet for labels for every practical (and often impractical) purpose. Every label has a number that universally indicates the size of the label and the number per page. The Avery 5160, for example, is 2.75-by-1 inch and come 30 per page (three across, 10 down).

Step 2

Launch the AppleWorks software from inside your Applications folder and select "Database" from the list of different components. You will be prompted to create the fields; give the fields names that will easily identify them. For example, if you're creating a mailing label, you will name the fields First Name, Last Name, Address 1, Address 2, City, State and Zip. Click "Create" after entering the field name, and click "Done" when you're finished creating all of your fields.

Step 3

Click "Save" from under "File" to save and name your database file. Pull down the "Layout" menu and select "Browse" to start entering data in the fields. To enter data, you will need to create a new record (Command-R) for every label you want to print. To create a new record, select "New Record" (or Command-R) from under "Edit."

Step 4

Define your label layout by selecting "New Label Layout" from under the "Layout" menu, which launches the Create Labels wizard. In the first window of the wizard, you can opt to create either custom-sized labels or use a standard size. Because you're going to print standard sized labels, select "Choose from a List of Avery Labels."

Step 5

Click on the appropriate label size in the second step of the wizard. Note that every label format is not represented in the list; the specs for the Avery 5160 are identical to those of the Avery 5520, but the 5520 template isn't represented in AppleWorks. Click "Next" to define how many lines of text are going to be printed on the label (for example, a residential address label would contain three lines). Step 4 allows you to map which field is included in each line. If you are printing an address label, for example, the First Name and Last Name fields would both be included in the same line.

Step 6

Select your font, size and style for your label by using the pull-down menus in Step 5. In Step 6, name your layout (this is a different name than the file itself) and click "Next." Click "Create" in the final step to view your new layout.

Step 7

Pull down the "Window" menu and select "Page View" for a print preview of your labels. Then load your labels into your printer and print them by selecting "Print" from under "File."

Tips & Warnings

  • Laser printers usually handle labels better than inkjet printer do.
  • Print one test page on paper to ensure your page setup is correct.
  • You can always add (and delete) fields and create new layouts later on.
  • Download the latest AppleWorks updater (see Resources).
  • The font, size, style and color can be changed in Layout mode.
  • Having too many fields may require your text to be extremely small.
  • Be careful to make sure your labels feed correctly in your printer and don't cause a paper jam.