Waste not, want not - database & labels
trickery concocted by Cindy O'Hora
I received this query for assistance...
"i use avery 5267(4 x 20) return address. would like
to know how to start on label 27, instead of turning the sheet around
or starting a new sheet and wasting those in the middle..."
I hate to waste those expensive labels, too. I have devised a
process to "trick" the computer into cooperating.
Before I explain my plan, let me point out that the easiest
solution is to load the partially used sheet of labels in the reverse
so that the end with labels is now the starting point for the
printer. If you are lucky, there will be exactly as many labels left
on the sheet as you need.
Usually this is not the case. This leaves some number of unused
labels in the middle of the sheet. I have discovered that these can
be very handy for labeling books, video tapes, CDs, or other items my
kids take to school. I write on them by hand, but at least I don't
waste a good label!
Please note that any time I tweak my
database - I do it to a copy. Highlight the icon of the database
Go File ... Duplicate or command ... d. Once I've printed my
labels, I delete the obsolete file.
Let the trickery begin:
1. Open your copy file of the database.
2. Switch to List view. Go Layout ... List
3. Highlight the records you do want to print.
4. Go Organize ... Hide the unselected.
5. Count the number of "label less" slots on your partially used
label sheet. For the purposes of this lesson I'm going to say 9 slots
on the sheet were already used. You fill in your number as you work
along this plan.
6. Add 9 new blank records to the database Edit ... New Record.
Fast fingers go ...r . DO NOT add any data to these
new records. Leave them blank. You'll note that these all appear at
the bottom or end of the list of records.
7. We want them to move to the top of the list so that they will
occupy those first 9 empty label slots. To achieve this I'll use the
Sort command. Go Organize ... Sort. Select any
empty field as the priority. Be sure the Ascending Order bullet is
clicked. (Blank comes before "a" in an ascending order sorting.)
8. All 9 blank records are now at the top of the list.
By the way, if you have an auto entry
field like a date field, that data will print in the empty slots
of your label sheet unless you remove the data from that field in
each blank record.
9. Switch to the desired label layout. Layout ... Your label
10. Carefully load the label sheet so that the blank labels will
come through first. It is entirely possible to load the labels
incorrectly. Not that I've ever done that!
12. To make all the records in your database visible again go
Organize ... Show all records.
One last little detail...
Before you get too excited about using all those left over labels
there is one challenge left to this exercise - you have a bunch of
blank records in your database.
Plan A: If you did this to a copy of your database then just pitch
that copy. No harm - no foul. You can go
blissfully on using the original database.
Plan B: Don't Save. If you did not save at any step in this
exercise you can simply close the database without
saving. When you open it again you'll be right back
where you were when you started this project.
Plan C: You could highlight each blank record and go Edit ...
Delete Record. Depending on the number of
blanks you added, this will be an increasingly tedious
Plan D: How exciting! You can harness another feature of database
to save time.
1. Read my tip on Finding
2. Find all the blank records.
3. Highlight them using Edit ... Select All. Be sure before you
delete that you have not inadvertently included a "good" record.
Visually scan down all the selected records. OR double check the
Selected: number in the status bar. If it does not match the number
of blank records you added as a part of this project - something may
4. Go Edit ... Delete Record. The blank records should now be
eliminated from your database.
5. Go Organize ... Show All to see all the existing records again.
My Grandfather was a master of
reuse long before it became a theme of the "three R's".
dedicate this tip to him. I know he would be proud of
In loving memory of Francis "Jim" Hunter.
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© 2001 Cindy O'Hora All Rights
Reserved. posted 9/12/2001 by Cindy O'Hora