Label Printing Advice & Help:
TROUBLESHOOTING

Round labels advice and circular labels advice

BEFORE YOU PRINT
I can’t edit my template…
I can’t see the outlines of the labels in my Word template…
My Word template has split onto two pages…
When I add images to my Word template they disappear behind my template/are only partially visible…
My images/shapes/text boxes won’t move to where I want them to go in my Word template…

I can’t edit my template…
If you’ve downloaded a template from our website but can’t make ANY changes to it then it’s likely that your device has temporarily “locked” the file for security reasons. There should be a (yellow) banner going across the top of the page with a button that says “Enable Editing”; click this button to unlock the template and begin editing.

Alternatively, your software may not be able to edit the file format used for the template. If software cannot read or edit a particular file format, it won’t be able to open a file that is saved in that format – however, some software can READ certain formats without being able to EDIT those formats. A common example is Adobe Reader; the standard version of Adobe Reader can READ the .pdf format (so you can view a PDF template) but cannot EDIT the .pdf format (so you can’t edit a PDF template).

Our Word templates use the .docx format, which can be edited by word processing software such as Word, Pages etc, while our PDF templates use the .pdf format, which can be edited by graphics packages such as InDesign, Photoshop etc. If you aren’t sure if your software can edit a particular file format, check the HELP section to see if it lists the file formats it can edit OR visit the website of/get in touch with the supplier of the software you wish to use.

I can’t see the outlines of the labels in my Word template…
Table Gridlines are turned OFF; to turn them on, left click once somewhere in the centre of your template, select the Table Tools “Layout” tab at the top of the page, and click “View Gridlines” (Word 2007 onwards, Word For Mac 2016); alternatively, select the “Table Layout” tab, and click “Gridlines” (Word For Mac 2011).

My Word template has split onto two pages…
This is generally caused by one of the following things:
1) You have accidentally added lines of text above the template; move your cursor to the top of your page and left click once – if this creates a flashing text cursor, then you have indeed entered a blank line (or lines) and you can use the “Delete” key on your keyboard to remove this line (or lines).
2) If you have already added content, Word may have “helpfully” increased the size of your template to allow your content to fit; double check the size of each label (and gap) in your template to make sure they are still correct.
[Left click once inside a label (or gap), select the Table Tools “Layout” tab at the top of the page, and look for the width and height boxes to see the size of that label (or gap).]
3) If you are using Pages AND your labels have very small gaps between each row, the template will split onto a second page because Pages has a minimum table row height of 3.2mm – any template that uses a smaller row height will automatically be adjusted to the default minimum. You will need to delete the rows that represent the gaps between your labels and increase the height of the labels to accommodate for the gaps.

When I add images to my Word template they disappear behind my template/are only partially visible…
Word always prioritises text, which means that any item in your template that could contain text (including the template itself) may be put in front of any images that you add. To correct this, left click on your image once, select the Picture Tools “Format” tab at the top of the page, and use the “Bring Forward” options to move your image forward. If this doesn’t work, click on the “Wrap Text” option instead and select “In Front Of Text” to allow your image to sit at the front of your template. 

My images/shapes/text boxes won’t move to where I want them to go in my Word template…
If you try to move an image, shape, or text box to a different part of your template but find that it “jumps” or “snaps” to a different position (or back to its original position), you need to change the “Wrap Text” format. Left click once on your image, shape, or text box and select the Picture Tools “Format” tab (images) or Drawing Tools “Format” tab (shapes & text boxes) at the top of the page. Look for the “Wrap Text” button and select “Tight” (if this doesn’t help, try “In Front Of Text”).

AFTER YOU PRINT
My printer won’t accept my label sheets…
My label sheets are jamming in my printer…
There are white bits around the edges of my labels where there should be a coloured background…
My printer won’t print to the very edge of my labels…
When I print my template the alignment is wrong…

My printer won’t accept my label sheets…
Labels should be printed via the media bypass tray using an A4 page size BUT if your template and printer settings aren’t in agreement, your printer may throw up an error message and refuse to print your labels (this is especially common with modern “smart” printers, which try to anticipate what you want to do and do it for you – for example, by detecting that you are printing a template and automatically diverting that file to the media bypass tray). Make sure your label sheets are sitting in the bypass tray correctly and that the tray guides are set to the correct position. Check your printer’s properties to ensure that the page size is A4 and that the media bypass tray is selected (and not the paper tray or an “Auto” option).
Some printers also have specific page orientation settings; if the printer setting doesn’t match the orientation of your label sheets your printer may not accept your labels. Check if your printer offers “Narrow Edge Leading” (N.E.L.) or “Wide Edge Leading” (W.E.L) settings; if it does, select N.E.L. and ensure your sheets are feeding into your printer narrow edge first (portrait).

We will do our best to help with printer issues BUT we are not printer experts and you may find that it is more useful to consult your printer’s manual or contact the manufacturer directly if you are having particular difficulties with your printer.

My label sheets are jamming in my printer…
Our labels are designed specifically for use with desktop printers so they shouldn’t jam at all; however, we are aware of a few circumstances that can lead to this issue:
1) You have fed your labels into your printer wide edge leading (landscape) instead of narrow edge leading (portrait). This is a significant issue if you are printing paper labels, as paper has a grain (like wood) running from the top to the bottom of each sheet (when held portrait) – feeding labels against this grain is highly likely to result in your label sheets jamming. Our label layouts are also designed to be fed narrow edge leading, which is why ALL of our labels should ALWAYS be fed in this way.
2) Your printer needs a clean. Over time, the rollers in your printer can accumulate a layer of dust and ink/toner residue, which prevents them from picking up and processing sheets properly. Clean the rollers with acetone (e.g. a non-oily nail varnish remover) and, if you regularly print labels, use a label remover to get rid of any build-up of adhesive residue.
3) You are feeding your label sheets through your printer more than once. The printing process stresses the materials used to make your labels, which means they may separate from their backing sheet if you put them through a printer a second time.
4) If you are using a laser printer, there may be an issue with the print settings you have selected OR your fuser unit – if too much heat is generated during printing, your labels won’t be able to proceed through the printer as normal. Try using a different print setting (e.g. try “Medium Paper” instead of “Heavy Paper”) or, if your fuser unit seems to be running hotter than usual, it may be worth getting in touch with the manufacturer/supplier or a specialist technician for further assistance. 

There are white bits around the edges of my labels where there should be a coloured background…
“White edging” is common when printing a coloured background onto round or oval labels but can occur on any label shape; either your alignment is slightly wrong OR your printer isn’t accurate enough to print each design in exactly the right position. If your alignment is correct, you can resolve this issue by OVERSIZING your background so that it overlaps each label slightly, preventing any white edges showing through. Oversizing may not be possible for all label layouts; if your labels “butt up” against each other (i.e. there is no gap between them), you can only oversize your background if the two edges match.

My printer won’t print to the very edge of my labels…
Most desktop printers cannot print the full area of an A4 sheet, which creates “printable” and “unprintable” areas on label sheets. Most label sizes have layouts that include a selvedge (blank space) around the edges of the sheet that is large enough to account for the “unprintable” area of most desktop printers; however, some layouts do not have a selvedge and some printers have larger “unprintable” areas than others. In these cases, you may find that any labels that sit very close to or go right up to the edges of your label sheets won’t print correctly (i.e. there will be a blank strip where the labels fall into the “unprintable” area). Unless you have access to a printer that offers “borderless” or “edge-to-edge” printing, you will need to amend your template design to accommodate for the areas of your labels that your printer simply cannot print.

When I print my template the alignment is wrong…
Most of the printing problems that we help our customers with tend to involve alignment issues; usually, the template itself LOOKS to be aligned properly but the printed version doesn’t match. The easiest way to deal with alignment issues is to take a printed copy of your template and answer the following questions:

  • Is the top left hand label in the correct position vertically (is it too high/too low/just right)?
  • Is the top left hand label in the correct position horizontally (is it too far left/too far right/just right)?
  • Is the bottom right hand label in the correct position vertically (is it too high/too low/just right)?
  • Is the bottom right hand label in the correct position horizontally (is it too far left/too far right/just right)?

The HORIZONTAL measurements are out in DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS…
E.g. Top Left Label = 2mm too far left + Bottom Right Label = 2mm too far right
Your sheet has rotated during printing. You can reduce the chances of your label sheets rotating by using the media bypass tray (and checking that the tray guides are correctly positioned). Some lower-spec printers will not have a media bypass tray or may have slightly misaligned rollers, which means that your label sheets will always rotate – you will need to account for this when you are designing your labels OR get access to a higher-spec printer.

The VERTICAL/HORIZONTAL measurements are out in the SAME DIRECTION by the SAME AMOUNT…
E.g. Top Left Label = 2mm too high + Bottom Right Label = 2mm too high
Adjust your page margins to manually shift all of your labels into the correct print position. If the VERTICAL measurement is wrong then you need to increase or decrease the TOP margin, while if the HORIZONTAL measurement is wrong then you need to increase or decrease the LEFT margin.
[Word: select the “Page Layout” tab at the top of the page, click “Margins”, and “Custom Margins” (Word 2007-2013; in Word 2016/Word For Mac 2016, select the “Layout” tab) OR click on “Page Setup” on the print preview page.]

The VERTICAL/HORIZONTAL measurements are out in the SAME DIRECTION by a DIFFERENT AMOUNT or one measurement is OK and one is not OK…
E.g. Top Left Label = OK + Bottom Right Label = 10mm too high
These alignment issues can be caused by one (or more) of the following conditions:
1) Your template and/or printer is NOT set to A4; your printer is trying to print your template onto a page size that is larger or smaller than A4, causing the alignment to get progressively worse as you go down or across the page.
First, check that your template is set to an A4 page size.
[Word: select the “Page Layout” tab at the top of the page and click “Size” (Word 2007-2013; in Word 2016/Word For Mac 2016, select the “Layout” tab) OR click “Page Setup” on the print preview page and select the “Paper” tab.]
Second, check that your printer is set to A4.
You should be able to review your printer’s properties before you print your template; some software will automatically bring up your printer’s properties, while others (like Word) will have a link on the print preview screen that you need to click first (usually called “Printer Properties” or “Printing Preferences”).

2) Your printer has scaling options applied; your printer is trying to fit your template into an area that is larger or smaller than A4, causing the alignment to get progressively worse as you go down or across the page or as you move out from the centre of the sheet. Check your printer’s properties to make sure that no scaling options (such as a percentage or options like “Fit To Page”) are selected.
NB: if you are printing a PDF template and encounter this particular kind of alignment error, you may also wish to try printing your template from a standalone file reader instead of via your design software. Some graphics packages can distort the print alignment if you try to print from within the software itself, so you should save your template, close your design software, and re-open your template in a standalone reader and print it from there.

3) Your printer is using default print settings; most printers have a setting that will ignore any print settings you have selected in favour of the default settings that are stored in your printer’s driver. Usually, this setting will be listed in Printer Properties as “Ignore Printer Settings” or “Use Driver Settings” – check through your printer’s properties to make sure any such options are not selected.

4) The sheet is slipping in the printer; usually, this is because one or more of the rollers in your printer has become worn or dirty. You can identify this as the cause of your alignment issues if the error varies from sheet to sheet (other causes tend to result in the same error on each sheet). Try cleaning the rollers with acetone (e.g. a non-oily nail varnish remover) and, if you regularly print labels, a label remover (to get rid of any build-up of adhesive residue) or use another (newer) printer.

5) The template doesn’t match your labels; this could be down to an issue with your template OR the cut of your label sheets:
TEMPLATE: some software “helpfully” adjusts your template as you add content to allow that content to fit. Double check that your template is still set to the correct label size (and that any gaps are also the same).
[Word: left click once inside a label (or gap), select the Table Tools “Layout” tab at the top of the page, and look for the width and height boxes to see the size of that label (or gap).]
You should also make sure you are using the correct template for the labels you want to print; some of our label products have similar size codes, which may mean you have selected the wrong template. All of our templates have file names that include the label size code (e.g. LP4/99, LP12/64R etc) and template type (e.g. Portrait or Landscape etc).
LABEL SHEETS: labels are manufactured to a tolerance (an allowable deviation from the measurements stated on the goods), which can lead to small variations in the measurements of your sheets, which is why you should always do a test print first so that you can make sure your template matches the specific set of labels you wish to print (and adjust it if it doesn’t). 

Hopefully the tips above will solve any issues that you encounter while printing labels; if these solutions haven’t fixed your problem or if your problem wasn’t listed here, please get in touch with our Customer Service Team so that we can assist you with the particular issue you are experiencing.

You may also want to take a look at our Label Printing Guide, our list of Top Tips, and our Label Blog for more helpful hints.

Remember, you can always Request A Sample to practice printing your own labels (& resolve any potential printing problems without wasting the sheets that you buy from us).