How to Set Up Variable Guest Addresses for Envelope Printing

August 12, 2018 4 Comments

How to Set Up Variable Guest Addresses for Envelope Printing

Setting up my client’s envelopes for wedding guest addressing always seemed like the hardest task, and at the beginning of my biz, I honestly thought I would rather hand-calligraph each one than figure it out. Lucky for me (and my poor fingers), setting up data merge for variable guest address printing is a breeze and well worth the extra few clicks. Here’s how you can set up data merge in Adobe InDesign for your wedding clients’ guest addresses.

Step 1: Create a spreadsheet with the addresses and download it as a .csv file.

Excel may be the obvious choice here, but I use Google Sheets. (That way my bride can easily edit it and no back-and-forth-files that leave room for error.) Make sure each column is clearly named. I keep it simple: Name, Address Line 1, Address Line 2, City, State, and Zip, but feel free to add whatever you want! Then download it as .csv file for the next step.

Tip: I also use this add-on (shown below) to format the addresses to all caps or all lowercase if my design calls for it.

Step 2: Create a new document that’s the size of your envelope in Adobe InDesign.

Once you have your “envelope,” go ahead and open up a text box and type in an address the way you’d like the rest to be formatted. This is where you’ll set up your font, color, spacing, placement, etc.

Step 3: Add in your addresses.

This is where the magic happens!

  • Go to Window > Utilities > Data Merge.
  • Click on the little hamburger menu in the top right corner of the panel that pops up.
  • Click “select data source” and select your .csv file. The column names from your .csv file (Name, Address Line 1, etc.) will show up. (Oh, and you also get a little handy-dandy "how to" right in the panel!)

  • Place them on the document by clicking on them where you would like them to appear. I like to this by highlighting the text and replacing it with the corresponding column name. These column titles become “placeholders” for your addresses.

When you’re finished, it will look a little something like this.

Tip: Some addresses only have one address line instead of two? To get rid of that pesky extra space when there is no entry in the optional Address Line 2, click on the little hamburger menu in the panel (the same one where you found ‘select data source’) and hit Content placement options > remove lines that are blank. Boom! Problem solved.

Mail Merge in InDesign | Setting up Variable Guest Addresses for Envelope Printing

Step 4: Get ready to print.

Check ‘preview’ to see how it looks. You can scroll through the addresses using the arrows for a quick peek.

And for the grand finale, select ‘create merged document.’ Now you have all the addresses in one document, you creative genius, you!

For printing, you’ll want to export your new PDF. Select File > Export to save it as a multi-page PDF. I print directly from the PDF instead of InDesign because I find the color matching and setup to be better, but you can print from inDesign as well! Experiment to find what works for you!

Step 5: Load up your envelopes and print those bad boys!

You’ve officially set up your mail merge, and you can conquer the (wedding stationery) world! Any questions or hang ups? Leave me a comment below!




4 Responses

Joanie
Joanie

August 27, 2018

Great tutorial! Thanks for your time explaining it!

Magen
Magen

August 26, 2018

Cami, thank you so much for this awesome tutorial! I truly appreciate you taking the time to share your insight and workflow :)

Alekandra
Alekandra

August 15, 2018

Awesome tips, this will make someone very happy!

Natalie Franke
Natalie Franke

August 15, 2018

This is an absolutely incredible tutorial!

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