How to Use Avery 5160 Labels on Excel

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How to Use Avery 5160 Labels on Excel
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Avery labels are a well-known standard office product, and the 5160 labels (among other sizes) are compatible with Microsoft products. You can print Avery labels from Excel, but the process ultimately requires a mail merge to categorize the label fields and import them to a label format.


During the mail merge process, you set up columns of data in Excel and then match those with the formatting fields in Microsoft Word. The process is not complicated, but it does require time to set up the formatting correctly. Large contact lists or other forms of data in Excel require more time to complete as well.


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The alternative to using Excel with Word is to manually type out each label or to run a mail merge through another compatible program such as Microsoft Outlook. The Microsoft Outlook option is attractive only if you already use the service as your mail manager.

Avery labels are standard in Microsoft Word label formatting, and the sizing is already stored in a preset, making them an excellent choice for the labeling process. Other common label brands and layouts are also stored in the label formatting for Microsoft.


Ways to Use Excel for Labels

Before you jump into Excel and use the program to host your data, consider if Excel is the best use for your particular situation. If you are making a small number of labels – under 100 with minimal information, for example – typing the information directly into a label-formatted Word document is a better option. This is especially true for a single use list.


Excel is ideal for hosting a large amount of information such as a contact list with name, address and other information for hundreds or even thousands of people. Lists that are perpetually growing and evolving are easy to manage in Excel.

The Excel workbook is not a good choice for printing labels for the managed list, but the formatting makes it easy to move the data to other programs and formats. For example, you can upload a contact list to an email manager from Excel easily.


Use Excel if the information is important and will see continual use. Otherwise, consider manually typing the information directly to a Word document.

Formatting to Print Avery Labels

In Excel, format the label fields using column headings. For example, head each column with a specific field such as first name, last name, address, city, state, ZIP code, email address and any other information you retain on the contacts. Setting up a column for each specific set of data is important when it comes time to format the labels.


Each row corresponds to a single contact or data set. Using a column heading for each piece of information maximizes your ability to position where the information sits on the labels later when you use the mail merge process. At this point, save the Excel worksheet and exit the program. Then, open Microsoft Word to run the mail merge and ultimately print the labels.


Format the Labels in Word

Head to the Mailings tab in the new Word document and select the Start Mail Merge option. Select Labels and click Label Options. This is where you format the Word document for the Avery 5160 labels.


Choose continuous feed printer or page printer based on the model you use. Below the printer options are the label options. Select the drop-down menu to view the suppliers and select Avery from this list.

Another list generates with all the Avery label styles. Click the 5160 model labels and select OK. The Word document sizes the labels to match the exact spacing and design necessary.


Now, click File and select the Advanced option to connect Excel to Word. Mark the Confirm file format conversion check box and select OK. Return to Mailings and click Select Recipients to locate your Excel file. Select the file to merge the information with Word.

Format the way your data should look on the labels in the Mailings settings as well. Use the <> styling to lay out the information. This correlates with the columns you created earlier in Excel. You can configure this information in any way you want.


An address label typically hosts the name, street address, city, state and ZIP code. You can also add a company name or any custom field as long as it exists in an Excel column. Format each column heading in the exact manner you want it to appear. This includes the spacing between words and the line on which it exists.

Adjust the font settings in this area as well. Using the default font as mapped from Excel works fine, but custom styling is an easy option for labels. Just run a print preview after merging to make sure the font and text size fit on the label.

Mail Merge Labels and Print

Now the Avery labels are formatted, and the information is connected. Click Match Fields under Mailings and make sure the column headings from Excel match the <> formatting you used earlier. If everything matches, move forward. If not, use the drop-down menus to adjust until all the fields match. This maps the Excel columns to the labels.

Click Finish and Merge under the Mailings tab to complete the process. Click Print to send the job to your printer. Place the Avery labels in the printer tray before executing the print function.

Also, do a print preview to double-check alignment and spacing and to locate any errors. Labels and printer ink are costly, and double-checking the file ensures you do not need to print more than one time.

Microsoft Outlook Shortcut

An alternative exists to running a mail merge between Excel and Word. The Outlook option is specific to contact lists, but it offers an easy method for loading contacts from Excel into the Outlook contact manager.

If you maintain email contact with anyone on the list, this feature is especially useful. Enter Outlook and choose Add contacts and select From file. You can use Excel or a standard CSV file to achieve the same result. Select the file and import everything into the Outlook manager.

Now, running a mail merge in Word is a much shorter process. Select all the desired contacts using the Shift+Control keyboard command to highlight multiple contacts.

Go to the Home tab in Outlook and choose Mail Merge followed by Only Selected Contacts. Choose the contact fields you want on the labels or click All Contact Fields to transfer everything. Choose New Document and select the type of document. Mailing Labels is the most obvious selection on the list.

This action triggers a Word document to open, and all the contact information is mapped and ready. You still need to use Word to select the Avery label style, but the process is the same as listed above.

If you are prudent, enter the Write and Insert Fields section in Word to double-check the mapping. You can also run a print preview to ensure everything is laid out correctly and ready to print. Otherwise, you are all set and can print out the labels quickly using the Outlook mail merge process.