Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Setting the Return Address Used in Word.

Setting the Return Address Used in Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 3, 2017)


Every time Vicki opens Word to make an envelope, her return address is empty even though she asks Word to save the return address every time. The return address is retained for the current session, but as soon as Vicki exits Word it goes away and is blank the next time she starts the program.

The proper way to set the return address and make it stick is to follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the User Information tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The User Information tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. In the Mailing Address area, enter your return address.
  5. Click OK.

Whenever you want to print an envelope, your return address (the one you entered will appear as the default. If this does not work, it could be that you have a corrupted document template. Outside of Word (in Windows) locate and rename to something else, such as Restart Word, follow the steps outlined above, and try to print your envelopes.

If this still doesn't work for you, then it could be that you have a more serious corruption problem. You can find a good description of how to track down and fix any corruption problems here:

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5888) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Setting the Return Address Used in Word.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Opening a Workbook but Disabling Macros

Macros that run automatically when you open or close a workbook are quite helpful. You may not want them to run, however, ...

Discover More

Capitalizing the First Letter after a Colon

There are many rules in English grammar (and many exceptions to those rules.) One common rule of grammar is to capitalize ...

Discover More

Positioning the Footnote Separator

The Footnote Separator, as its name implies, separates the footnotes on each page from the text on that page. If the ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Technique for Adding a Text Box to an Envelope

Text boxes can be a great design feature to use in laying out a document. You may want to add one to an envelope, ...

Discover More

Saving an Envelope for Future Use

It can take a while to get an envelope to appear just the way you need. Why throw your work away when you are done with ...

Discover More

Multiple Envelopes in One Document

Want to save a bunch of envelopes in a single document so that you can print them all out as a group? Here's how to ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 8?

2017-06-19 08:56:25


AJ - This is, indeed, for older versions of Word. For later versions, see the link at the beginning and end of the tip.


2017-06-18 21:16:26

A J Sharp

Hi . . . I presume this sequence of steps has been obviated by changes in Word since 2012. (For example, in Version 15.34, there is no Options heading under the Tools menu, as Step 1 suggests).

Since we apparently cannot persuade Microsoft to simply make Word user-friendly and intuitive (such as with a function in the Envelope template labeled "Store A Return Address" or maybe a prompt when an envelope is created asking if the return address should be stored, as Word used to have), can this be updated to reflect this new reality?

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.