Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Printable numbered raffle tickets on your own computer

(These instructions are for Microsoft Publisher. Instructions for printing raffle tickets using Microsoft Word are here. Or use this special online raffle ticket program which is much easier than Word or Publisher!)

Update: new instructions for printing from Word 2016 are here

This post will show you how to create printable numbered raffle tickets at home.

You've found this post, so you already know creating raffle tickets to print out yourself is harder than it sounds.

A few days ago my wife asked me if I could help her print out raffle tickets for our local kindergarten quiz night. She had this Word document, with the raffle tickets neatly arranged on the page and was about to start typing a unique ticket number on every ticket. All 500 of them.

My first thought: "Stop! Just do a quick mail merge, and Word will produce 500 tickets each with a unique ticket number."

"Honey, step aside, it'll take me about 10 minutes. Watch and learn."

Turns out it took the best part of an afternoon.

Getting Word to put a unique number on each raffle ticket is easy enough, but persuading Word to print out several uniquely-numbered raffle tickets per sheet of paper is very hard (I think it is impossible, actually. At least I couldn't figure it out. UPDATE: I did figure it out. Instructions for printing raffle tickets using Microsoft Word are here.). And you don't really want to have every raffle ticket use up a whole sheet of paper.

But you can do it with Microsoft Publisher. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

(Or read on to learn how to do it manually in Publisher!)

1. Create your raffle ticket in Publisher

Open Publisher and click on File... > New to create a new blank document. Depending on your settings, you'll get a bunch of options here with different templates and sizes. You just need to create a new blank document, it doesn't matter what size because you are going to change the size in a minute.

Once you have your new blank document, go to File... > Page Setup... to set the correct size. You want to set this to the size of your raffle ticket, not the size of paper you are printing on. You probably want 4 raffle tickets per page, so if you are printing on A4 then set the size to 20cm wide x 7cm high, with 1cm margins:

If you are printing on Letter size paper, then use 7.5" wide, 2.5" high and margins of 0.5":

Now add text and maybe a logo to create your raffle ticket. Remember to:

 - Include a ticket stub which you can tear off
 - Leave space for the raffle ticket number (we'll be adding that in a moment)
 - Include any legal wording your local regulations require (in the UK, you'll probably need a license from your local council, and include details of that on the raffle ticket. More about that here.)

Too much like hard work? Try this online tool to design and print your own raffle tickets without battling with Excel and Publisher!

2. Create a list of raffle ticket numbers in Excel (or another spreadsheet program).

Open Excel and create a new workbook. In cell A1, type the number "1" (without quotes) (or another number, if you want to start your numbering from a different number):

In the cell below, type "=A1+1" (without quotes) and hit enter/return:

That'll put a 2 in that cell, like this:

Now click the tiny black square in the bottom right of that cell, keep your mouse button clicked and drag down for as many rows as you need raffle tickets:

... all the way down to (say) 500 rows (to give you 500 unique ticket numbers):

(If you prefer using the keyboard, rather than the mouse, then do this instead of dragging down: select cell A2, hit CTRL+C to copy, then select cell A3 and use SHIFT+PgDn to select all the way down to row 500. Then hit CTRL+V to paste.)

Now save your spreadsheet somewhere you can find it again, and close Excel.

3. Add the numbers to your raffle tickets in Publisher

Return to Publisher and click on Tools > Mailings and Catalogs > Mail Merge...

A big panel should appear on the left hand side of the screen.

Check that "Use an existing list" is selected, then click "Next: Create or connect to an existing list":

Navigate to where you earlier saved your raffle ticket numbers spreadsheet and click Open:

On the next screen, be sure to uncheck the box "First row of data contains column headers", then click OK:

Just click OK on the next screen:

C'mon, this is crazy-complicated! Save yourself a few hours and try this tool which lets you to design and print your own raffle tickets online. Print them at home, as many as you need.
Or, read on for the rest of the do-it-yourself-the-hard-way instructions. ;-)

Now you need to put a ticket number placeholder on your raffle ticket. Click where you need the raffle ticket number to appear, then click "F1" in the left hand panel:

Repeat for the stub, to print the ticket number there also:

Now, down the bottom of the lefthand panel, click "Next: Create merged publications":

Then, click "Print...":

Now, pay attention for this last step. Check all of the following:

1. Select "Multiple Pages per sheet" (not Multiple Copies per sheet)
2. Choose the correct paper size for the paper you are actually printing on (A4 or Letter)
3. Select "Portrait"
4. Under "Page Range", click "Entries:" and type "1-4" (without quotes) (so you just print first four tickets for now, to check things over)
5. Click "Print"

Something like this should pop out of your printer. Four raffle tickets on a page, each with a different number:

If you are happy with the results, click "Print..." again in the left hand panel:

But this time set Page Range to "All entries":

... and click the Print button, then all your raffle tickets will come out of the printer, each with a unique ticket number.


If you got to the end of these instructions, then well done you! If skipped to bottom, then maybe consider trying this online tool to design and print your own raffle tickets without battling with Excel and Publisher! You can design awesome tickets and print them at home, just with a few clicks, all in your web browser:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. oh M gee....thank you thank you thank you!!
    It was the paper size and multiple pages that was stumping me. However I do have a tip for those wanting a short cut to raffle books of 10. It is a little more fidgety so Im sure someone who is experienced with excel (Im not) but it will make the cutting perfect. Print out in sheets of ten and you just need to staple, cut and perforate...then you have 4-5 ready made raffle books.
    This was driving me insane :-)

  3. Mate you are a genius! I was going to buy a simple raffle ticket book but this was so easy to follow. I'm using Office 2010 so a few of the menu options are different but I figured it out.

  4. Awesome...Thanks it is really great help... :)

  5. You just saved me from a lot of work! And money! Haha. Thank youuu!

    1. Great! Glad this was helpful for you! Hope your raffle goes well.

  6. Brilliant! I followed your instructions to the end, though I had to Google how to do a mail merge in Publisher 2010. But, with your help, I now have gorgeous raffle tickets of my own design! Thank you :)

    1. Excellent. Hope your raffle goes well. When I get a moment I'll update the screenshots and instructions for Publisher 2010!

  7. Thank you for this easy to follow step by step instructions. So helpful!

  8. Thank you for this easy to follow step by step instructions. So helpful!

    1. Great, pleased to hear that they worked for you. Hope your raffle goes well!

  9. Thank you thank you thank you so much for the tips dear! Oh, and here's another tip in case you want to add leading zeroes to your ticket numbers:

  10. My tickets only printed two per page, in the first and third spits of the letter sized page. They did print properly/sequentially ordered however. Any suggestions as to how to get four tickets per page?

    1. Nicole - I'm not sure. Are the page and margin settings (from step 1) definitely correct? If each ticket was a little too big, so that only two tickets could be fitted on each sheet of paper, that might create the problem you've experienced. Other than that, I'm baffled ...

  11. This happened to me the first time I tried to print. You have to move the margins.