How to Print Customized Business Cards

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Ordering business cards from a professional printer entails meeting a minimum order volume, dealing with limited design options, and then waiting for the vendor to print and deliver the cards. If you print business cards yourself, you can bypass these restrictions and print exactly what you need at your home or office. This article will describe how to use Microsoft Word and popular Avery templates made by Avery Dennison to print your own business cards.

You'll be working with a blank template or with a template that has a predefined style. You may need to download templates from Avery Dennison's Website, but you won't have to install any additional software. The proper way to use Avery templates differs slightly depending on the version of Word you are running. Since Avery templates are designed to work with Avery paper products, we'll assume here that you're using Avery-brand card stock for printing.

Working With Blank Templates

Blank templates for printing on several varieties of Avery cards (called products) are included in all versions of Word. The following instructions explain how to open a template in Word 2007 and Word 2010. (Notes for working in Word 97 through Word 2003 appear in parentheses.)

1. Word treats business cards as a type of label, so you must open the Labels window. Click Mailings, Labels. (In Word 97 through Word 2003, click Tools, Letters and Mailings, Envelopes and Labels or Tools, Envelopes and Labels.)

2. In the Labels tab, click Options and select Avery US Letter under Label Vendors. (In Word 97 through Word 2003, click Avery Standard under Label products.)

3. You'll see a list of all available Avery label products, including business cards, organized by product number and description. Select your card stock from the list of Product Numbers and click OK. Your product number should appear on the product package.

4. Return to the Labels tab, insert text for the card, and either press Print immediately or create a new document to preview and edit what you've done so far. To do the latter (which we recommend), select New Document in the Labels tab. In that document you'll be able to preview different fonts and add graphics. Print when you're satisfied with the results of your tinkering.

If your card-stock product doesn't appear in Word, you can download a blank template for it on Avery's Website (instructions below).

Downloading Blank and Predesigned Templates

You can download additional blank templates from Avery's template gallery. For design help with the specific fonts, colors, and graphics on your business card, you can download predesigned templates and tweak them to your liking. (Avery's site will prompt you for your name and e-mail address in order to download templates.)

1. Navigate to Avery's template gallery.

2. Use the search box to search for your product number (found on the product package). Alternatively, click Templates for Business Cards, and then on the next page under 'Template Types', click Blank (to browse blank templates) or Pre-Designed (to browse predesigned templates).

3. When you find a template you like, save it to a familiar location (such as your desktop or your Documents folder); then open the template to begin editing in Word. Some Avery templates include macros (.docm files). Opening such templates in Word 2007 and 2010 will activate the Avery Template tab in the Ribbon. This tab provides useful shortcuts and features.

Design Tips

1. Editing and formatting business cards in Word is much like editing and formatting other documents in Word. Use Word's Ribbon tabs or toolbars to experiment with different fonts, colors, sizing, and spacing.

2. Business cards typically include your name, your organization's name, your contact information, and your company's logo. To insert a logo or graphic in Word 2007 or Word 2010, click Insert. In the Illustrations group, click Picture and browse to the file you'd like to open. In Word 97-2003, click Insert, Picture, From File... and browse to the file you'd like to open. You can move and resize the inserted picture, and you can right-click it to gain access to advanced formatting options.

3. To see the boundaries of the cards in Word, make sure that you've made gridlines visible. In Word 2007 or Word 2010, click inside one of the business cards, and then click Layout under Table Tools. Select View Gridlines to toggle gridlines on or off. In Word 97 through 2003, click Table, Show Gridlines. Gridlines are strictly visual guides; they will not print.

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