Print different business cards, labels, or name tags on the same sheet


Working with small-sized publications that are designed to print multiple copies per sheet can be somewhat tricky. Sometimes, your goal might be to print an entire sheet of identical publications, such as new business cards. At other times, your goal might be to print a sheet of different publications, such as unique mailing labels or name tags.

This topic explains the approach you take when you want to print different versions of small-sized publications, such as labels, postcards, name tags, or business cards, on the same sheet. For step-by-step instructions about how to do it, see the links under So how do you do it? at the bottom of the page.

How small-sized publications work

With labels, postcards, name tags, business cards, and other similar small publications, more than one publication fits on one printed page. For example, each printed label sheet might contain 30 individual labels. Or, as shown below, each printed business card sheet might contain eight individual business cards.

Printed sheet of eight business cards

The pre-designed publication wizards for small publications are set up to print a whole sheet of identical labels, postcards, name tags, or business cards. If you want to print a sheet of publications where each publication is different, you have to use mail merge to merge information into the publications from a data source (data source: A file that contains information that can be merged into a publication. For example, a list of names and addresses, or paths to pictures you want to use in a mail or catalog merge. You must connect to a data source to perform a merge.).

Start with a generic publication

When you open a pre-designed label, postcard, or business card publication wizard, you see one publication containing sample text. For example:

A business card publication looks something like this:

Business card with sample text

A label publication looks something like this:

New label publication

This single publication does not correspond to the first publication on a printed sheet of publications. Instead, it's a kind of generic publication that stands for all of the potential publications in your set.

Transform the generic publication into a set of specific ones

If your goal is to print different publications on the same sheet, it doesn't makes sense to replace the sample text in the generic publication with the information that you want to appear in a single publication. What you need to do instead is replace this sample text with placeholders. The placeholders (also called fields) correspond to categories (column headings) from the data source. When you use mail merge to set up and print your publications, these placeholders will themselves be replaced by information unique to each publication.

Label name tag publication with fields

Placeholder fields for attendee first name, attendee last name, and affiliation have been added to this generic label publication that will be used to create a set of name tags for a conference. Fields are always enclosed in chevrons (« »).

Label publication with placeholder fields

Placeholder fields for first name, last name, street number, city, state, and postal code have been added to this generic label publication that will be used to create a set of labels.

 Note   While you can add the fields that make up an address separately, as shown in the label above, you can also use the handy «AddressBlock» field. This one umbrella field is made up of subfields for all the separate address elements.

Name tag for one conference attendee

When you complete the merge, values from one row in the data source replace the placeholder fields in one publication. For example, the name tag shown here contains the name and affiliation for one conference attendee listed in your registered attendees data source.

Merged label with information from one row in the data source

The label shown here is addressed to one of the recipients listed in your mailing list data source.

So how do you do it?

For step-by-step instructions on how to print different labels, name tags, business cards, and other small publications on one sheet, click the following links:

Answer Box: Print different labels on one sheet in Publisher

Create a mail merge

Create an Address List for mail merge

Set up a Publisher publication for a specific Avery product

Add bar codes to labels or envelopes in Publisher

Applies to:
Publisher 2003