Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Making Use of Extra Labels.

Making Use of Extra Labels

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 30, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007 and 2010


A common use of Word is to print labels on different types of label stock. Many WordTips have focused on how you can do this. It is possible, however, to have "extra" labels left over at the end of a print run. For instance, suppose you run a mail merge for labels to 97 clients, and each sheet of labels has 30 labels on it. This means you will need four sheets of labels, and you would waste 23 labels on the last sheet.

To save those labels, don't merge directly to your printer. Merge to a new document instead. Then, scroll down to the last name in the merged document. Notice the blank cells in the table—these are the blank labels in your print run.

Position the insertion point in one of the blank cells and type your name and return address. You can then copy and paste the return address into all the other blank cells. Now when you print your label sheets you can keep the return-address labels at the end of the print job and use them when you pay your bills. This certainly is a penny-pinching alternative to wasting the last labels on the last sheet.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11781) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Making Use of Extra 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 three more than 1?

2020-12-30 10:29:48

Margaret Tassin

That is a really good idea to change the starting point for the label.

With the 30 up type labels for a mailout, I generally rotate the sheet 180 degrees so that the bottom edge is now the top edge. Then instead of having to count and figure out where to begin the merged data, I can start from the top again. That may not work for everything, but it works great for address labels.

Thanks for such a great tip sheet day after day.

Margaret Tassin

2019-04-01 11:23:29


Definitely on the "dingy" and no longer useful thing: I'm sure every printer is different, but I've used a bunch and really, a third run is the most you can hope for.

Another difficulty is feeding when the printer wheels are engaging the slick underlayment.

I print the odd batch first, and use the merging to a new document. Get rid of the extras at the "bottom" and move the remaining ones accordingly to fill in bottom up. That leaves the blank ones at the top so the feeding will work nicely as all the pulling is done against the label stock and any slipping is done at the bottom, so it doesn't push against stopped or slowed down paper., instead of the pulling being done against a slick page at the top letting the pushing from behind bunch it up.

Then remove those from the list to run, or tell it a different starting point, whatever, so I run only full sheets (and don't make a second copy of those labels).

Next time, I will run the remainder on that sheet, as above, and then, as it never "comes out right" (no surprise), run a new first sheet as above, then the full sheets. That way I always use 'em all up, with minor delay at the start. Rinse and repeat.

If I didn't feel soooooo cheated by the price of label stock (whatever the market will bear, no relation to input costs, much like selling drugs must be), I'd just laugh and throw them away. But... I do feel cheated, stolen from, so...

2017-01-17 14:40:06

Linda Lotz

I love this tip. I will use it to create return labels with our school/business address. While I agree with the other comments on how to use individual labels, my experience is that running the label sheet through the printer too often causes the print label sheet to get quite "dingy" over time. This tip allows me to create return labels that are pristine.

2017-01-16 21:57:44

Don Mattocks

I have a much better use for left-over labels. In Word 2016 just click on Mailings, Create, then Labels. Type in the label box your desired information, Choose label type (Avery #) or pick the one you need under Options. Under Number os Labels, select single label, then row & column (this determines which left-over label position you want to use.) Then Print.
It would be nice if Microsoft provided a way to print more than one label using this method, but if you need to print several additional labels, you will have to run the sheet through several times, just remember to change the row and column information each time.

2017-01-16 11:29:22

Lee Eitel

This is what I do with "extra" labels. I have set up a "label" document. When I just want to 1, 2 or 3 labels, I insert the addresses on the label document where the left over blank labels on the previously used label sheet are. I then run the previously used label sheet through the printer, printing address on the label sheet where the "extra" labels are. You can continue doing this until the extra labels are used up. I never waste labels.

2017-01-16 09:21:02

Thomas Redd

You could also keep that sheet of spare labels and print individual labels on it but doing the following:
1. Click the mailing tab
2. Click labels.
3. enter the individual address you need printed
4. Assuming you have selected the type of labels you are using, in the Print box, select single label.
5. Select the Row and Column for a blank label you wan to print on
6. press print.
That will use up the next available label. Be sure to save the sheet for the next individual label you need and follow these steps again with the next label location selected. Works for me!

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