How Do I Make Index Cards in Microsoft Word

"How do I make index cards in Microsoft Word?" is a relatively easy question to answer. Utilizing pre-set templates, you can easily make your own index cards in Word.

Buy the right index card template.
You don't need to take Microsoft Word classes or get special Microsoft Word training to make your own custom index cards. The easiest way to make index cards is to buy the right index card template from your local office supply store. Avery makes index card templates that you can use in Word with very little setup. Look for index cards that work with your printer; if you have a laser printer, you'll want index cards specifically designed for your setup. You can choose index cards in the 3" by 5" size, or the larger index card and postcard size of 5.5" by 4.25".

Set up to print index cards.
Load your index cards into your printer. If your printer has a manual feed bypass tray, it's a good idea to use this tray for two reasons: index cards are a thicker stock than regular paper, and if you use the bypass tray you're less likely to forget and leave the cards in the printer.

Open the index card template in Word 2003 or Word 2007.
With Microsoft Word open:

  • Go to the Tools menu at the top of the toolbar.
  • Scroll down to the Letters and Envelopes option.
  • Select Envelopes and Labels.
  • Click the Label tab.
  • Go to the Options button.
  • If it isn't already selected, click on the Label Products drop-down menu and select Avery standard.
  • Under the Product Number menu, scroll down until you find the appropriate product number. You can find the product number on your packaging.
  • Click OK.
  • Click the option that says Full Page of the Same Label.
  • Press the New Document button, and a new document opens that is formatted for your index cards.

If you are using Word 2007, start by going to the Mailings tab. Go to the Create box on the left side of the screen, and choose the Labels button. Then follow the same instructions you would use in Word 2003.

Create a custom index card.
If you don't have an index card template, but instead want to create a custom index card paper size to use with your printer, you can do it with the page setup settings. With Microsoft Word 2003 open:

  • Go to the File menu.
  • Select Page Setup.
  • Under Paper Size, scroll down till you see your index card size listed.
  • If your index card size is not listed, select the Custom option.
  • Adjust the Width and the Height to get the size you want.
  • Click OK.
  • You may need to adjust margins. Go back to the File menu.
  • Select Page Setup again.
  • Click the Margins tab.
  • Adjust the Top, Bottom, Right and Left to get the margins you want.

In Word 2007, go to the Page Layout tab, and go to the Page Setup button toward the left-hand side of your screen. Then choose the Size dropdown menu to adjust the Custom settings for your index cards.

Keep in mind that many printers won't handle index card-sized stock, so you probably won't be able to feed actual index cards through your printer. Consult your printer's manual to determine what kind of stock to use. If your printer can't handle index card stock, you may still want to use the Avery template to print on regular stock and cut the cards out yourself. 

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