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Badges, name tags and labels with images using Microsoft® Word Mail Merge

With OnMerge Images™ Microsoft Word Add-in, it's easy to personalize badges, name tags and labels with images. You can include one or more logos, photos, clip art items or other graphics on your project.

Applications include badges, stickers, tags and nametags for a meeting, conference, show, tradeshow, exposition, meetup, presentation, party, reunion, sale, visit or other event.

This example shows each participant's zodiac sign merged on his or her badge. These easy-to-spot symbols are sure to start more than one conversation, but there's no limit to what you can customize using similar steps:

  • person's photo
  • home country or state
  • certifications
  • company logo
  • rank...

OnMerge Images makes it as easy—many folks say it's easier—to merge photos as it is to mail-merge text fields. If you have the images, OnMerge Images and Microsoft Word can merge them into your projects.

FREE Download: Try OnMerge Images


I'm going to show you how to mail merge a batch of nametags, badges, stickers, or cards that have different graphics on each one.

In this example, I'll show you how to create these nice nametags from a simple database..

There are all kinds of uses for this. In this example, the organizer of an event is placing graphics on nametags to show people's special interests at a glance, but it could just as easily be their home state, rank, or whatever. Other people use symbols to code people's food preferences, or which parts of the event each attendee is allowed to access. And of course, let's not forget the good 'ol tradition of putting yearbook photos on high school reunion nametags.

These will be printed on Avery 5095 nametags, but you'd go through exactly the same steps to print any badges, stickers or cards where you're printing several on one page. If you need to get much fancier, look for another video in this series which shows you how to prepare much more complex ID cards.

Here, I just happen to be using a spreadsheet as the merge data source. You can use just about any type of data source that Microsoft Word supports, with the exception of tab- or comma-separated data files which can cause a problem.

These are the zodiac graphics, each in its own graphics file. Here, the files are named so that they are one-to-one match for the possible values in the zodiac field of the merge database. OnMerge also lets you set up complex relationships between the database and the filenames if you need to. The last image in this series is the one that I'll set up OnMerge to use by default when I don't know the person's zodiac sign.

If you'd like to experiment with these zodiac images, there is copy of the files in the OnMerge Images Samples subfolder that both the free evaluation and full versions of OnMerge install in your My Documents folder.

I'm starting with a blank document and I'll use the Mail Merge Wizard to make this easier, so select Tools, Letters and Mailings, Mail Merge Wizard. It shows up on the right-hand side of Word.

I'm going to select Labels, here. I'm not exactly making labels, but this is the right choice whenever you want to print more than one item per page in a grid layout. I press Next to move on to Step 2.

I'm going to select "Change document layout," and click "Label Options." I select Avery 5095 forms, click OK, then click Next to move on to Step 3.

I now need to pick the Excel file I prepared earlier as the data source. I click "use an existing list," click "Browse," and then navigate to select the Excel file.

The first sheet in the list is almost always the one you want, so make sure it's selected and press OK… then OK again. I'm done selecting the data source, so I again click Next to move on to Step Four.

I now need to lay out the first nametag. I'll just paste this in since I've already prepared it. The zodiac icon goes just below this, so I click on Insert, Picture, OnMerge Image.

The first thing I need to do is tell OnMerge what folder all of the zodiac files are in. Click "Browse," navigate to the folder and press OK. You don't need to select the individual graphics files in the folder -- just the folder.

The next six lines below let you specify six pieces of text that will be jammed together to create the file name. We only need to use the first line, since the image files are just named with the zodiac sign that's contained in the database. In the first row, I select a Type of "Merge Database," and to the right I select the "Zodiac" field.

OnMerge immediately notices that the pattern I just supplied matches a file, so it shows a preview in the top right corner. If you want to see the preview for different data records, you can use the arrow buttons to the left of the image preview.

Now, there's one more little detail. What happens if the database doesn't list the person's zodiac sign or, if there's an error in the database? I want to use the organization's logo in that case. I click on the Options tab, select "Merge this image," press Browse, and select the logo file. I'm done, so I press OK.

The graphic needs to be centered, so I center it. I also want the person's first name under the zodiac graphic, so I use the Mail Merge Wizard to pull it in, and I make it large and bold.

This is exactly the layout I want, so I press "Update all labels" to propagate this layout to the other spaces in the grid. I'm now done with the layout, so I press Next to move on to Step 5.

Word's arrow buttons in this step don't work very well on layouts where you have more than one record per page. Word doesn't display the image previews correctly when you use the arrow buttons, so I suggest you just skip this step and move on to Step 6.

If you want to check your work, you can use "Edit individual labels" to get a proper preview in a new Word document. Once you're satisfied, you can go back to the Mail Merge Wizard and use the Print function to get your labels.

This is a simple introduction to some of the things that OnMerge can do. You'll find plenty of other examples as well as a free downloadable evaluation version of OnMerge on our website at


Suggested Uses
Convention nametag
Conference name tag
Seminar nametag
Meeting nametag
Registration badge
Reunion badge
Name badge
Name label
Trade Show badge
Avery 15395
Avery 25144
Avery 4160
Avery 5095
Avery 5140
Avery 5143
Avery 5146
Avery 5147
Avery 5362
Avery 5384
Avery 5390
Avery 5392
Avery 5395
Avery 5883
Avery 6175
Avery 5895
Avery 74540
Avery 74551
Avery 74459
Avery 74460
Avery 74461
Avery 74520
Avery 74536
Avery 74541
Avery 74552
Avery 74557
Avery 74588
Avery 74651
Avery 74652
Avery 8395

This example demonstrates merging icons, but the possibilities are endless:

  • person's photo
  • home country or state
  • certifications
  • company logo
  • you name it...


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