Review of TeXy methods for making labels 

Newsgroups: comp.text.tex
Date: 1991-11-21 03:12:10 PST

This is a review of alternative methods available for making address labels in a TeX frame of mind.

Table of Contents 

  1. Using vanilla LaTeX (with demo)

  2. Using the Midnight Macros (with demo)

  3. Using

  4. Using a style sheet by R. Bharat Rao

1. Using vanilla LaTeX 

Consider a document like this:

Example: File l.tex:
\address{Joe Hacker\\
         Department of Economics \\
         University of Soutnern California \\
         Los Angeles, CA - 90089-0253 \\

\signature{Joe Hacker}


               Tuscon, AZ 85721}

\begin{letter} {Name2\\
               LA, CA 90007}

% As many more labels as you like


Then when you pump this file through LaTeX, you will get a document with atmost 10 labels per page. You can ask for [11pt] or [12pt] at the "documentstyle", it does not change the page formatting of this page.

These generated pages are decently setup for printing on mailing labels which are 2" x 4". You don't get a lot of control, but "it works".

I used Dennison PRESAPLY labels, product code 37-131. This is a box of 100 sheets, it costs roughly $22. It claims to be "for copiers" but I'm sure it'll work with laser printers too.

There are products out there which clearly state "for electric typewriter". These don't work in a copier or a laser printer.

2. Using the Midnight Macros 

Pick these up from in pub/tex. There is a style sheet named labels.tex and it comes with a labels.doc.

This feels like a _very_ nice way to do the job. You get to control it in fine detail. It will work with any labels you might have.

You get to tell it what your labels-sheet looks like (number, placement and size of labels). You will have to carefully measure the dimensions of your labels-sheet and put the numbers into your TeX document.

Here is a production demo:

Example: File demo-ml.tex:
\input labels

 % there are 5 labels/page vertically
 % there are 2 labels/page horizantally

 % whitespace between top of page and top of 1st label
 % whitespace between left edge of page and left edge of leftmost label

 % whitespace between two labels, vertically
 % whitespace between two labels, horizantally

 % height of each label
 % width of each label

 % on each label, vertical space between top of label and
 % baseline of 1st line
 % on each label, horizantal space between left edge of
 % label and left edge of text of label

% OPTIONAL: always useful while previewing and useful with some labels
 % this gives a half point thick outline around the labels.

% OPTIONAL: string put before each label:

% OPTIONAL: Center the label text
 % Horizantal centering:
  % \hindent=0pt plus1fil
 % Vertical centering:
  % \count255=\baselineskip
  % \vindent=\count255sp plus1fil

% End of incantations
% Now we put label text, seperated by newlines:

Subrata Sarkar
Department of Economics
University of Soutnern California
Los Angeles, CA - 90089-0253

Prof. Mira Wilkins
Chair, Dept. of Economics
Florida International University
Miami, FL 33199

Dr. Roy Bhal
Director, Policy Research Center
College of Business Administration
Georgia State University, University Plaza
Atlanta, GA 30303

 % Alternatively, you could have said
 % \labelfile{filename} where the file just contains
 % names and addresses seperated by blank lines.

Note that you put this through TeX, not LaTeX. (Well, it might work with LaTeX, but I didn't try it).

In all, a great job. Thanks to Marcel van der Goot ( for it.

The incantations above are all you need to make it work for 2" x 4" labels. If you setup a similar file for other standard label-sizes, please post your work (or mail it to Marcel (?)).

3. Using 

This is said to work with plain TeX. I have not tried it.

4. Using a style sheet by R. Bharat Rao 

This was posted on comp.text.tex on 11 Oct 1991. It is supposed to produce labels 1" x 2 5/8" for the Avery 5160 labels. I have not tried it.

ajayshah at

Comments on "Review of TeXy methods for making labels" 

You could use stickers.sty in LaTeX by Mark Overmans, giving you a good control over labels. It is available from (also anonymous ftp). It gives you control over the numebr of rows/cols/size/offset etc. The only disadvantage is that is uses 1mm as unitlength so you cannot have finer control. (8 labels with a certain size below each other sometimes need better control than 1mm per label, but only if you want to be able to stuff them completely with info).

Gerben Wierda

Comments on "Review of TeXy methods for making labels" 

>... The only disadvantage is that is uses 1mm as unitlength so you cannot
>have finer control...

Whereas 1mm is the unitlength, this does not mean that you do not have finer control. You can use floating point numbers like 1.35 in TeX. Internally, TeX converts all lengths to one unit (I don't know which, but you don't need to know).

Look in the LaTeX book on page 101 (section 5.5) and you'll see what I mean.

Nico Verwer

Mailing Labels? 

Newsgroups: comp.text.tex
Date: 1996/12/24
>I would like to know if it's possable (meaning you know how to do it and
>will assist me) to print out mailing labels using (La)TeX (or whatever)
>under Linux.

Try Envlab package. It is availablae on CTAN (in macsos/latex/contrib/supported/envlab) or on my home page.


Mailing Labels? 

> I tackled the mailing-labels problem in TeX just a few days ago.
> My labels are Avery 5160 1" x 2-5/8".  My TeX solution is given
> below.  This prints a sheet containing thirty copies of the same
> address label.  It should be adequate to get you thinking about a
> solution to your particular problem.
> Note:  I am NOT a TeXnician, but rather an amateur.  If anyone out
>        there has a more general or more elegant solution to this
>        problem, please post it!

There is an excellently documented package 'labels' for doing this…check out your local CTAN. I needed a bit of trial and error though to make the Latex millimetre match up with the Laser Printer millimetre.

Bob Vickers

[ANNOUNCE] Envelopes and Labels, Version 1.2 

Newsgroups: comp.text.tex
Date: 1997/07/16


I've uploaded to CTAN the new version of my package Envelopes and Labels. In due course it should be installed on macros/latex/contrib/supported/envlab (check readme to see the version number: the current is readme.v12). Now it is available from my home page.

The readme file is appended below


Need help with envlab (labels) 

Newsgroups: comp.text.tex
Date: 2003-05-12 20:00:17 PST

I'm trying to create mailing labels using envlab, but the top margin keeps getting cut out. Here's an example:

\mlabel{}{John Doe\\100 Main St.\\Springfield, IL 12345}

When I view it as a .dvi, it looks fine. But when I convert it to a pdf file with dvipdf, the top margin disappears, and everything shifts up, with disasterous results.

Alternately, if no one can figure out that problem, maybe you can help me with labels.sty, which has likewise been giving me grief. Since it doesn't seem as though it supports Avery 5160 out of the box, I had to use the [newdimens] option, but it too crops out the top margin. For reference, here's the measurements I came up with for a sheet of 5160 labels:


Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Peter Clark

Need help with envlab (labels) 

dvipdf think it's generating an A4 page when you're using letter paper or vice versa.

George McBane

help with envlab 

Newsgroups: comp.text.tex
Date: 2002-08-18 18:12:41 PST
> I'm trying to use envlab to print a set of mailing labels.  The problem
> is that the labels I'm using (Avery 8160) is not part of the built-ins in
> envlab, so I have to make my own measurements


labels.sty for Christmas mailing labels? 

Newsgroups: comp.text.tex
Date: 2003-12-15 08:02:07 PST
> Anyone have an example of how labels.sty is used?  I'd like to put some
> cute Christmas icon to the left of each address for mailing.

Please ignore my previous question. CTAN had some example files that weren't in the debian tetex-extra package, and it became clear how easy labels.sty is to use.

Mass mailing with latex 

Newsgroups: comp.text.tex
Date: 1997/01/16
>Is there a simple method for mass mailing a la ``mail merge'' of MS
>word in latex under Linux?  I know it should not be very difficult to
>write your own scripts in sed/awk/perl but I am not a programmer.

There are several packages that perform this task. I like and highly recommend mailing package. You can find it on CTAN (finger for the closest mirror to you) in the directory macsros/latex/contrib/supported/mailing. If you want to print envelopes for your letters, take a look at my envlab package (supported/envlab).


Printing envelopes in Linux 

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Date: 2002-01-25 18:30:06 PST
> > Just wondering:  have you guys been successful at using any software to
> > print addresses on envelopes (Linux software, of course)?
> > I was looking
> > for some LaTeX macros, but damn, I don't know if teTeX includes them.
> > This is one area that's important to me.
>No macros needed. Just set the top, bottom, left and right margins as you
>need, and stich the envelope in the printer.

Lets give the readers a demo Ed ?

\setlength{\parindent}{0pt} % Sets no indentation for paragraphs

\Huge  %Huge fonts!

Freds Candy Store\\
233 Sugar Lane\\
Perth, 6001\\
Western Australia\\


Or they can use ready built envelope printing styles, some of which automatically print the relevant *barcode* as well.


Changing \makelabels in letter.sty (summary) 

Newsgroups: comp.text.tex
Date: 1993-04-15 14:24:18 PST

the question was:

> When LaTeX generates labels in the {\tt letter} document style using
> the {\tt \makelabels} command, it chooses a rather small font.
> I would like to increase the size of the lettering used in this label.
> What is the easiest way of doing this?
> (Can it be done at all?)

i think the best summary was provided by timothy murphy, who stated:

The font-size is determined in letter.sty (in \startlabels). You could just copy letter.sty to your own directory, and change the font-size in \startlabels .

\topmargin -50\p@
\headsep \z@
\oddsidemargin -35\p@
\evensidemargin -35\p@
\textheight 10in
\@colht\textheight  \@colroom\textheight \vsize\textheight
\textwidth 550\p@
\columnsep 25\p@
\ifcase \@ptsize\relax
  \normalsize % change this to \large
  \small % change this to \normalsize
  \footnotesize % change this to \small
\baselineskip \z@
\lineskip \z@
\boxmaxdepth \z@
\parindent \z@

The 3 cases correspond to 10pt, 11pt or 12pt in the \documentstyle heading.

thank you very much everyone that answered my call! for everyone that was also curious as to how to make this change, here it is!

thomas beuthe