Address list formatting and specifications


Commonly Asked Questions


Q. I'm trying to set up an Excel file and my zip codes are missing the leading zero. What should I do?
A. Please see East Coast Zip Codes section below for information and instructions.

Q. I have first and last names together in one column of my file. Is this OK?
A. Yes, you can upload your mailing list with either a full name in one column or first name and last name in separate columns.

Q. How do I get my address list into one of your accepted formats?
A. Addresses can be stored and exported out of many different programs available today including e-mail applications. For exporting instructions, please reference the help menu provided for the specific application you're using. If you don't already have your addresses in a digital format, please see the Acceptable List Formats section for more information.

Acceptable List Formats

  • CSV (Comma Separated Values, also called "Comma-delimited")
  • MS Excel (Multiple worksheets within a single file will need to be combined)

All lists must be saved or exported in one of the following extensions: .csv, .xls or .xlsx If you have any other type of file, please download our .xls template then copy and paste or type your addresses into it.

Extensions simply reflect the types of files you save (example: bestcustomerlist.csv or bestcustomerlist.xls). You can save list files from a number of different programs for the PC such as ACT, Microsoft Works, Excel, QuickBooks Pro, Filemaker Pro, Label Maker Pro, and Outlook. You can also save list files from a number of different programs for the Mac such as ACT, Microsoft Excel and Filemaker Pro.

Note: To see if your file is one of these types, check the file name, and look at the 3-letter or 4-letter extension at the end of the name. Files that say .txt, .tab, .asc or .dbf are unacceptable formats.

Organizing Your Database

Your database should be set up so that each record is contained in its own row. The individual elements of each record should be contained within separate fields in the same row. We do not accept lists containing addresses that are separated into multiple rows. This includes lists in mailing label format. All data for each record must be contained within the same row in a database.

Organizing Your Records

The fields below will be inkjetted in the order displayed. There is a maximum of 50 characters per line, including spaces, punctuation, etc. If any address exceeds this limit, it will be considered invalid due to space limitations on the envelopes and will not be included in your final list count.

  • Salutation - Mr, Mrs, Dr, Lt, etc.
  • First Name*
  • Middle Name
  • Last Name
  • Company
  • Title - Degree Jr, Sr, III, PhD, MD, etc
  • Address*: Deliverable address
  • Address2: Second line of address (Suite#, Apt#, etc.)
  • City*: City
  • State*: State
  • Zip*: Zip code (either 5 digit or 9 digit)

* Required field

Note: All lists will be processed and inkjetted using fields listed above. Additional information (i.e. customer codes and promotional codes) will not be inkjetted. You are required to have at least a First Name in your list; however, this can be substituted with a Company name instead.

Address Casing

Addresses will not be automatically standardized according to USPS guidelines:

  • All information will be printed as is (ie: Chad SMITH will print as Chad SMITH)

Duplicate Removal

We will not remove any duplicates in your list. Make sure to review your list thoroughly to prevent duplicate addresses.

East Coast Zip Codes

Please be aware that some Excel cell formats will remove the leading zero from numbers (ex. 04401 will become 4401). Our system will check to ensure that your zip code fields contain at least five characters, and any address with an incomplete zip code will be marked as invalid and will not be included in your mailing. Please check to make sure your mailing list contains the leading zero for all east coast addresses prior to uploading.

To format your Excel spreadsheet to ensure there are no issues with East Coast zip codes:

  1. Click in the cell that will contain the first zip code. To format multiple rows, click in the first cell, then drag your mouse down for as many lines as addresses that will be entered.
  2. Right click to receive a menu and go to Format Cells. Or hold down Ctrl and press the "1" key for a shortcut to the Format Cells menu.
  3. On the first tab titled "Number", choose "Text" under the Category and click OK
  4. Enter a zip code and you should see that the zero at the beginning of the zip code is retained.
  5. Your file will need to be saved as an Excel .xls file if not already.

Correcting Zip Codes with Missing Leading Zeros

If you already have an Excel file with zip codes that are missing the leading zero, you may use the following formula and instructions to add the zero back in. If you are unfamiliar with using formulas, you may use the instructions under East Coast Zip Codes to format your existing zip code fields, then manually add the zero to each zip code.

  1. Insert a new column next to your existing zip code column. You can do this by clicking on the column letter so the entire column is highlighted, then right-click and choose insert.
  2. In the first row that contains data (probably row number 2 if you have headers) enter the following formula: =TEXT(R2,"00000")

    "R2" in the above formula is the cell containing the zip code you want to change. It should look like the following example. Make sure the zip you want to change has the blue box around it as the example does:
  3. Copy this formula and paste it down the entire new column you've created. However, be sure not to extend it past the number of addresses that you have or you may create extra rows of information.
  4. Select the entire NEW column and copy it.
  5. Right click and choose paste special on this menu:
  6. Then choose the Values radio button.
  7. Save your file in Excel .xls format if it is not already.

Foreign Characters

We recommend using only standard lettering in your addresses. If you have included symbols or foreign characters, they may appear correctly in your preview online, but may not appear correctly when inkjetted onto your envelopes.

If you have any trouble with formatting your list please call Customer Care at 877.416.4354 for assistance.

Terms and Conditions

Modern Postcard is not responsible for verifying that the data in your list is accurate and properly formatted for mailing. All information submitted will be printed on your envelopes as is.