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Export an Address Spreadsheet to Avery Labels with LibreOffice

This is meant to be a straightforward and clear description of the process of exporting a spreadsheet of contacts out to the proper format for pre-cut address label sheets using LibreOffice. Sometimes this process is called “mail merge”.

1. Create a Spreadsheet of Addresses

You may already have your spreadsheet ready to go, but I am trying to avoid making assumptions about whoever is reading this. You gotta have your information saved in a spreadsheet.

Generally, for mailing addresses in the USA, this involves using the first row of the spreadsheet to identify the column headers such as:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Address 1
  • Address 2
  • City
  • State
  • Zipcode

You can even have additional columns for data that you might not be using on the labels – such as email addresses and phone numbers. You will be able to specify which fields of data will be included on the labels later in the process.

Save this spreadsheet in a location that is easy to find.

2. Tell LibreOffice That Your Spreadsheet is a Data Source

  1. With LibreOffice open, go to FILE > NEW > TEXT DOCUMENT
  2. With the new Text Document active, go to EDIT > EXCHANGE DATABASE…
  3. From the resulting “Exchange Databases” dialog window, click the BROWSE… button.
  4. Navigate to the spreadsheet of addresses that you just saved and click OPEN.
  5. Click CLOSE.

3. Create a Label Template

  1. With LibreOffice open, go to FILE > NEW > LABELS
    The resulting dialog window has 3 tabs/sections: Labels, Format, Options
  2. Under LABELS, set DATABASE to your  spreadsheet file.
  3. Under LABELS, set TABLE to your spreadsheet file or the specific table in your file.
  4. Under LABELS, set DATABASE FIELD to FIRST NAME and click the LEFT-POINTING ARROW BUTTON to place that field into the label template.
  5. Repeat STEP 4 with all desired DATABASE FIELDS.
  6. Under LABELS, set FORMAT to SHEET.
  7. Under LABELS, set BRAND to the brand of your pre-cut paper label stock.
  8. Under LABELS, set TYPE to the label type of your pre-cut paper label stock.
  9. Under FORMAT, do nothing.
  10. Under OPTIONS, set DISTRIBUTE to ENTIRE PAGE.
  11. Under OPTIONS, set SYNCHRONIZE CONTENTS to CHECKED.
  12. Click NEW DOCUMENT.

4. Customize Text Characteristics and Formatting of Label Template

  1. If you would like to change the typeface, font size or rearrange any of the data variables in your new label template, MAKE THE CHANGES TO THE TOP-LEFT LABEL ONLY.
  2. When you are done making changes, click the SYNCHRONIZE LABELS button in the SYNCHRONIZE palette-window. You should see all of the labels on the template update to match your changes.

5. Print Labels or Save Labels to New Document

  1. With the new Label Template Document open, go to FILE > PRINT.
  2. The resulting dialog window will ask “Your document contains address database fields. Do you want to print a form letter?” Click YES.

In the resulting MAIL MERGE dialog window:

  1. Under RECORDS select ALL.
  2. Under OUTPUT select PRINTER or FILE – I recommend FILE so that you can review the output and go back, make adjustments and repeat the previous steps without wasting paper.
  3. Click OK. Name and save the document in the usual way.

6. Congratulations, You Did It

Most likely you will have to repeat the process a few times to get everything just right. However, this should get you through the basic process. Let me know if anything needs to be more clearly described or explained.