USPS-Specific Instructions on Constructing Your Address Block

For items sent to the USA:

Letter size paper (8 1/2"x11"):

Effective size for recipient's postal address:
Due to use of a #10 envelope (9 1/2" x 4 1/8"), letter size paper tri-folded (8 1/2" x 3 5/8") and the USPS Multi Line Optical Character Recognition systems, the effective area on the letter page which insures that all address parts will be visible through the envelope window is 2 6/8" wide and 1 5/8" tall.

Location of the effective address size on a Letter size paper:

Download a Microsoft Office Word template showing the effective address area

Selecting a font, style and size for the address block:

  • Punctuation should be omitted, although period [.], slashes [/] and hyphens [-] are acceptable
  • Sans-serif font preferred (Common sans serif fonts on Windows, Mac and Unix systems - October 2007)
  • Capitalization preferred, especially with fonts size 10 and smaller
  • No fonts with bold, extended, condensed, italic, highly stylized, or script-like attributes are allowed
  • No "Flat-Top" characters (where numbers 3, 6 and 9 may be misread)
  • Supported font size is 8-18 (A point is a printing unit equal to about 1/72 inch). Recommended: 10-12; minimum of 2 points between lines