Mail-merged party invitations with gLabels

Dinner Is Served!

The invitations have been sent out, and now it's time to turn to the place cards. gLabels does not let you manage multiple templates in a project, even if they are on the same sheet of paper. Thus, you need to select File | New to open a new template. To create a folding card, you can use the generic A6 template again and rework it, or you can opt for a smaller template (e.g., a business card). The standard format results in a visible area of approximately 3.5x1 inches (85x24mm) when folded and positioned next to the place setting. In the design phase you should mark the center of the template with a line, which is used as an edge for folding and can be deleted from the finished layout.

You again need a CSV file as a data source, although it is simpler than the one for the invitations; this time, you only need to write the names themselves in a text file. You could even rehash the design from the invitations to impress your guests, who will suspect that you called in a professional service provider.

Now embed the objects for text and images as described before. People are inquisitive by nature; often guests furtively check the silverware for authenticity or try to discover where you sourced the place cards. You could add a copyright note on the back of the card to make your product look even more professional – and satisfy your guests' curiosity without them having to be intrusive about it.

To create the copyright line, open a text object in the drawing area. To avoid the text being printed upside down, rotate it in 90-degree increments with the appropriate function in the Objects | Rotate/Flip menu. After rotating twice clockwise or counterclockwise, the text – now standing on its head – will regain its feet when you fold and place the card.

Figure 7 shows the finished place card, as shown in the gLabels drawing area. It's time for another detailed check in the print preview. In the print dialog, you will want to enable the option Print borders (to test print alignment) in the Labels tab. This is recommended, especially if you have no frame around the layout, to show the borders of each card.

Figure 7: gLabels shows you the place card with the variable instead of names.

The preview shows that expanding the variables to real names worked (Figure 8). You now only need to delete all the guidelines and print the place cards.

Figure 8: The print preview lets you know whether your design works.

Conclusions

Comparing the use of gLabels with the use of pliers for knocking in nails turned out to be pretty unfair; after all, gLabels mastered the task with flying colors. It is only one example of many; you can coax much more out of the software with a little creativity and surprisingly little effort.

gLabels lets you print invitations and place cards with a made-to-order layout and professional design. The software provides less functionality than a desktop publishing program but features mail merge. Creativity is still needed, but with an invitation of your own design and matching place cards, at least you will be unlikely to hear your guests saying: "Seen that, done that."

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