How can I print custom nametags? I feel like a dummy...
August 10, 2014 2:04 PM   Subscribe

I need to print simple 4"x3" conference name badge inserts - just first name, last name, and a custom background image. I have Word, Excel, Illustrator and Access (though I've never used Access). I have the names in an Excel spreadsheet, and I've created a nice .jpg/.png image as the background. How do I pull this all together? Thanks!
posted by smelvis to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
If you open Word and go to Envelopes and Mailers you should be able to create a Mail Merge using one of the built in label templates that match your required dimensions. Sorry am on phone or would be more specific!
posted by KateViolet at 2:07 PM on August 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Not a tech answer but based on attending and running this kind of thing, couple of points:

Print a couple out to make sure they are readable. You should be aiming to get the name so that it can be read from a few feet away, the company too if you can.

Be sure to take a few blanks and a sharpie so you can add names if anyone has slipped out of the database or turns up on spec.

Have a box by the door at the end for people to drop badges into as they leave.
posted by biffa at 2:17 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pretty good step by step directions here. (PDF link)
posted by beagle at 2:21 PM on August 10, 2014

Do you have Indesign? This is exactly what Indesign's Data Merge is designed to do. Tutorial here.
posted by suedehead at 2:28 PM on August 10, 2014

Response by poster: I tried Mail Merge, but don't see how to use a custom background (e.g. Event name, logo, graphics, etc.)
posted by smelvis at 4:47 PM on August 10, 2014

I can't try this out myself (don't have the database piece) but there should be a step where you save your master document (the one with the field names - I think they are called placeholders?) You should be able to save and then open this document and edit it to add the background information that is the same for every badge. You might have to experiment to spacing/tabs/not accidentally erasing any formatting information so it all still fits. Just do lots of small tests to make sure you have it right before you try to actually print the name tags.
posted by metahawk at 4:55 PM on August 10, 2014

Here are the instructions from Microsoft Word's help site. it runs your through, step by step, how to create nametags from an Excel spreadsheet.

Under the heading 'Add and format a placeholder', it tells you how you can add images to your name tags.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:29 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would make a new document in a text editor, insert a table, set the cells to the desired size, set the image that you have as a background for each cell and copypaste the data into each cell.
Clunky? Possibly. It's always worked for me.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:31 AM on August 11, 2014

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