Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Saving Money on Printing Labels.

Saving Money on Printing Labels

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 24, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016


If you have purchased labels for your laser printer, you already know that they can be a bit expensive. It can be frustrating to print your labels and not have them lined up just right. Each bad sheet you print is effectively money down the drain.

To overcome this problem, make sure you print a test sheet before you actually print on the labels themselves. Simply put a blank sheet of paper in the manual feed of your laser printer, instead of your label sheet. When the information is printed on the blank sheet, place that sheet behind a blank sheet of labels and hold it up to the light. The print on the paper will show through the label sheet, and you can see how the text lines up with the labels.

The benefit of this is that you save money—the blank paper is much cheaper than the label sheets. Continue printing your test sheets, adjusting the print parameters as necessary in Word. When you are satisfied with how your test sheet prints, go ahead and print on the labels themselves.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11594) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Saving Money on Printing Labels.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is seven more than 4?

2022-05-24 12:04:07


Thought I would share a related tip. If you only need to print a partial sheet of labels, work from the bottom of the label template up to the top. This will allow you to re-use partial label sheets and avoid exposed edges from labels removed from the top of the page catching/sticking in the printer mechanisms.

Thanks for all the useful tips, Allen!

2017-01-20 11:20:00

Malcolm Lloyd

Think this tip can be improved by advising readers that many of the providers of 'labels' also have software applications that can be downloaded from their websites and used to custom design labels and integrate with databases. They usually have pre-print viewing to enable user to check that labels are correctly formatted.

2017-01-16 17:08:50


If the box of labels doesn't come with a grid-guide, make one. If you're using a Word Table (rather than a label form in Word) get your table set up but without any text in the labels. Turn on all gridlines -- you may want to make them a bit thick. Print this. Then hold it up to a lamp with a label sheet in front of it.

This will let you see if your table lines up with the actual labels so when you print, your text evenly falls withing the label borders.

2017-01-14 10:37:37

Pat S.

I often use your suggestion when printing labels, but I will also print on the reverse side of the label sheet and then put it up to a light source to see how it matches (or not).

2017-01-14 06:14:19

Jim Boyle

One worthwhile technique is to set the word options to "Print all cell boundaries" before you print a plain-paper test sheet. That will enable a check of your definition of the table cells that represent individual labels, and the content of each cell.
Frequently a problem may show in definition of the cell boundaries that is difficult to understand and resolve unless you can see the boundaries.
Remember to also check for overflows of cell contents - on each line of text, and on teh maximum number of lines that are used.

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