How do I create custom labels for use with Redtail?

While Redtail offers a large number of Label choices which you can print out after merging with selected clients, there may be times when you need information to display on a label that is not available on the default label choices. The good news is that you can create custom labels using Redtail’s mail merge fields that will then be available to merge with your client data. If you have determined you need to create a custom label, your first step should be to look at Redtail's list of available Mail Merge fields to make sure that the fields you want to use can be incorporated.  This list is available here. Once you’ve verified your desired fields are available, you can then open up Microsoft Word to begin building your new custom template for labels.  We’ll take a look here at how to create a custom template for labels that you want to include the client’s name and their employer’s name. Note: depending upon your version of Microsoft Word, your steps/screenshots may not look exactly the same as what is outlined below.

Your first step would be to click on the Labels option in your Mailings menu in Word:


Then, in the resulting Envelopes and Labels dialog, you have several things to decide upon prior to entering the merge fields for your document: First, you need to indicate whether this document will be used for multiple contacts or for a single label.  In our example we’re preparing a document to use for multiple clients, so we’ve chosen Full page of the same label:


Next, you can click the Label area shown above to choose from some of the common Label types available:


Finally, you should click on the New Document button to view the document in a table format, which will allow you to then set up your Merge fields:


Below is a sample section from your blank Labels document:


You can now begin setting up the Merge fields to include on your custom labels.  As we mentioned above, for this Labels template we are going to include the client’s name and their employer’s name.  Let’s take a look at how you would insert each of these fields on the first label as well as on subsequent labels.

First label: Click inside the first label.  When adding Merge Fields to your template, the process is similar regardless of your version of Word. The one difference is how you go about getting to the dialog box which allows you to add fields. In older versions of Word, under the Insert menu choose Field. This will bring up the dialog box below. If you’re using newer versions of Word, the Field option is available in a dropdown menu under Quick Parts on the Insert menu. Either way, the dialog box below is what you’ll be working with. Instructions for completing it are below the dialog box:


Categories: Choose “Mail Merge” from the dropdown box.
Field Names: Choose “MergeField” from the choices available. Options under Field Properties do not become available until you have performed this step.
Field Properties: In the Field name text box, type in the Merge Field name you want to use (pick from the list of acceptable Field names on Redtail’s Mail Merge Fields document.) In this example, we are using “Name” as our Merge Field.
Format: Leave this as “(none).” Click OK and the dialogue box will disappear.

In your first Label box, you’ll then see your Name merge field:


Now you can go through the same steps used above to enter the Employer Name merge field beneath the Name merge field.  Your first label box will then look like this:


Second label: Hit the Tab key on your keyboard to place your cursor in the second label.  There is one additional step here which you’ll need to include on this and all subsequent labels on the page.  As we did above, under the Insert menu choose Field.  This time, however, choose Next from the Field Names menu and then click OK.  The Next field code will not display in your document, but it is necessary to instruct Microsoft Word to merge the next data record when you actually run a merge for these labels:


After inserting the Next field code, you can go through the steps above for inserting the Name and Company Name merge fields.  When complete, your second label will look just like your first label, but it will contain the necessary Next field code as well.  To place this data in all subsequent labels on the page, probably the easiest method is to click within your first label, then click the Tab key to highlight everything in the second label.  You can then click Ctrl-C on your keyboard to copy everything from the second label and Tab through the rest of your labels, with the exception of the last label, pasting the data you copied.  When complete, save your document (note: change the type to Word 97-2003 when saving) and then upload it under Manage Your Account --> Mail Merge Templates.  Your custom labels will then be available in the future whenever you need them.

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