Home | Tips | Library | Other Authors | Other WP Sites | Writer's Links | Contact | Site Map | Donate

Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2021 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated May 18, 2016

WordPerfect Tips
Main tips page | Browse more tips

Creating vertically formatted (i.e., rotated) business cards or labels in WordPerfect 8 and later versions

[For a macro that performs steps 2-8 in the next column, see VERTCARD in the Library.]

Avery (and similar) label and card stock are letter-size sheets in Portrait orientation (the top of the sheet is fed into the printer's feed slot).Thus, the labels/cards will have text that is printed horizontally, parallel to the top and bottom of the sheet.

To print text vertically the text on the labels/cards will need to be rotated counter(anti)-clockwise 90 degrees.

Here are two methods:

(1) [See first section below.] You can create borderless text boxes on each Avery label/card with the contents of each box rotated 90 degrees. (You just need to create the first one; a macro on this site (LablCopy) can duplicate it as many times as required.)

  - or -

(2) [See second section below.] You can create a single borderless table "overlay" for the entire page of Avery stock, created on a normal letter-size document page in Landscape orientation. Text and/or other material will be placed in the table cells that correspond to the labels; other cells are used as "spacers" and can be locked to allow you to skip over them with the Tab key. The overlay sheet is then printed, but with Avery stock in the printer's feed slot.

Method 1. Borderless text boxes with rotated contents

1. Click on Format > Labels. In the Labels window, select the label or card format you want to use, such as Avery 5371 Business Cards.

[Tip: For a macro that performs steps 2-8 see VERTCARD in the Library. The next 7 steps are written out for those who wish to see how it is done.]

2. Your screen should now display a single, small "page" representing a single label or card on the Avery sheet. You can adjust page margins now or adjust the text box's contents later. If you are using Avery business cards, you'll duplicate this card to fill up the sheet of 10 cards later. For now, click on Insert > Text Box. A small text box with a hatched border should fill the card horizontally, between the margins. Click anywhere outside this text box to move the insertion cursor outside the box. The box's border should now be a solid black line.

3. Select the box with your mouse or Edit > Edit Graphics Box. Eight small, solid black square "handles" appear around the perimeter of the box, and a Graphics Property Bar appears on your tool bar.

4. Click on the Graphics button on the property bar. Choose In Front of (or Behind) Text. This will ensure the box fits the card and nothing underneath "spills over" to the second card. In other words, it makes the box transparent to any underlying material, and won't push anything that may be underneath onto the next page.

5. Click Graphics > Border/Fill, then in the Border tab, click on the blank icon in the upper left corner of the Available Border Styles list to remove the text box's border (unless, of course, you want a border).

6. Click Graphics > Size. Choose "Full" for the width and height. This will create a box that fills the page between all four page margins. Click OK to accept the next dialog message that informs you that the box's placement will be changed to Page.

If you see that the full-size box creates a second card or label onscreen (due to WP's insertion of a [THRt-SPg] code), you will need to reduce the size of the text box until the second card or label disappears. You can do this by selecting the box and dragging the rightmost handle on the box's edge inward a small amount. The idea is to maintain a single page (card or label) onscreen.

7. Click Graphics > Content. First choose "Rotate text...90 degrees," then choose "Horizontal position...Left." (The latter choice places the text box's contents at the top of the vertically formatted card. Choose "...Centered" if you want the contents to be centered between the top and bottom of the vertical card.)

8. Next, click on the Edit button while in this Box Content window to enter your card's text in the full-size Text Box Editor screen that appears. Note that here you can enter graphics and borderless tables (which, for example, help line things up into columns). You can also center text between the tall sides of the vertical card with Format > Justification. Click on the property bar's Close icon (or File > Close) when done.

9. Save your work with File > Save. This is your "master" business card (or label) and can be used again to create more cards (or labels).

Note that you can add normal (portrait oriented) text for unusual effects.

10. Duplicate the card "x" more times to fill up a sheet of labels or cards, either by -

(a) copying the text box to the clipboard (you can select the box by right-clicking it, then choose Select Box; then press <Ctrl+C> to copy it to the clipboard; then unselect the box by clicking elsewhere on the page) and going to the bottom of the card or label and to enter Hard Page Breaks <Ctrl+Enter> followed by Paste commands (<Ctrl+V> to create the required number of copies;

- or by -

(b) using LABLCOPY in the Library.


If you use LABLCOPY to make duplicates of the master vertical card or label created with the above "full-size text box" method, uncheck the box on LABLCOPY's main menu ("Use separate document'). This will make all copies in the same (i.e., original) document, not in a new document window. For cards that use full-size text boxes, an apparent small bug in WordPerfect (versions 8, 9, and 10 at least) causes the first copied text box to shift slightly if a new document is used for the copies of the cards or labels. This is merely irritating and easily corrected by repositioning the box, but making copies in the original WordPerfect window sidesteps the problem.

Method 2. Borderless table used as an overlay (landscape orientation)

1. With this method you start with a new letter-size document in Landscape orientation (Format > Page > Page Setup > Letter > Landscape) with minimum margins of, say, 0.25". (Minimum margins are used during the creation phase; they can be readjusted later.) You can set all 4 margins in the same Page Setup dialog or by using Format > Margins.

2. Be sure that View > Guidelines on the main menu in enabled for (at least) Tables and Margins. (Guidelines do not print.)

3. Then create a single [or see footnote] full-width WordPerfect table on the Landscape page (use Table > Create in recent versions), with the number of columns and rows required to contain the text for the labels as well as blank (and optionally lockable) cells used for the spaces between the labels.

•  The upper left corner of the table on your screen will then correspond to the upper right corner of the Avery (or similar) stock's printable area when it is in printed. (This is the "feeding edge" of the stock.) The table "overlay," being on a landscape page, effectively rotates all material 90 degrees on the labels/cards.

4. Format the table: (a) Place the cursor in the table, right click and use Table > Borders/Fill > Table (tab) to set the "Table border" and "Default cell lines" options to "X" (<None>); this will remove table borders so they will not print with the labels. (b) Right click in the table again and choose Format; then in the Table (tab) set "Table position on page" to Full.

5. Format the columns: Beginning with the first column and first row, set each column to a fixed width (just right-click in the column, choose Format on the context menu). The dimensions you use will depend on whether the column will contain labels/cards or just spacing. (Obviously, if there is no spacing you won't need a column for it: right-click and choose Delete.) For example, a 2.0" high x 3.5" wide business card would require the columns to be 2.0".

•  In the Column (tab) of the "Properties for Table Format" dialog be sure to enable (tick) the option, "Always keep width the same" for the column. If you do this one column at a time, left to right, the remaining columns should expand or contract as needed and not impact the column widths you are currently defining.

6. Format the rows: Set them to a fixed height (right-click in the row, choose Format) -- the dimensions depending on whether the row will contain labels or just spacing. (Obviously, if there is no spacing you won't need a row for it: right-click and choose Delete.)

•  Enable "Multiple lines" so that you can use more than one line of text in a label by pressing <Enter> in the cell. (Be careful not to enter too much text when you are filling out the form.)

•  Optionally, you can also set the Column's inside margins and the Row's top and bottom margins for "text area" columns/rows to allow more (or less) text in the label or card.

7. Finally, once the entire table is created (and backed up!) and has appears to have the proper dimensions to position your desired text and/or other material directly over the corresponding labels/cards on the printout, test it with some text on the labels/cards.

•  Print the test page on ordinary paper, then align it with a piece of the Avery stock and hold both up to a strong light source. You should be able to see how much the table needs to be adjusted.

•  The entire table can be -- and will almost certainly need to be -- repositioned. You can do this either by (a) dragging the upper and/or left page margin guideline (the faint dotted lines that run to the edge of the page), or by (b) using Format > Margins to precisely adjust the top and left page margins so that the table corresponds to the Avery stock. (The top page margin will let you adjust the table relative to the printer's feed slot; the left margin will let you adjust the table between the short, top and bottom edges of the Avery stock.)

•  Remember that you can lock cells -- such as blank spacing cells -- to allow you to use the Tab key to move between labels/cards. See "Locking and unlocking table cells". This might be helpful for others who are not familiar with the table's layout.

•  Strong recommendation: Save the table document as a custom template for future use.

The method has some advantages:

¤  There's no need to rotate text on each label/card as with the first method above.

¤  It makes it easy to accurately define the text area locations and dimensions, since the borders of table rows and columns can be set precisely to a tolerance of 0.001" in the "Properties for Table Format" dialog (or even just by dragging the table's internal column or row guidelines with the mouse).

Footnote 1

An alternative to a single table is to use several stacked one-row tables on a Landscape page and position each table precisely with Format > Typesetting > Advance.  Each such "row" would represent a column of labels/cards on the Avery stock.