Template Tuesday Presents...a guide to the different types of label templates.
There are a number of different types of templates, which can make it tricky to make sure that you’ve got the right one for your requirements. This post will give you a brief guide to each type of template you could use and advice about which type of template you should use.
Standalone Versus Built In
As mentioned in our previous post, templates can be either standalone (an individual file that you open using the software of your choice, e.g. Word, InDesign etc) or built in (they exist as a part of the software you are using, e.g. built-in templates in Word).
If you are printing a common label size you should be able to choose whether you want to use a standalone or a built in template. There are a number of "standard" label sizes, which are commonly manufactured throughout the labelling industry. These standard sizes use the same label sizes and layouts, which means that you can use built-in templates for these standard sizes to print labels from a range of label suppliers (including us!).
There shouldn’t be any great difference between using a built in template or a standalone template so it’s up to you to decide which you prefer. Built in templates may work more smoothly with your software (because they are part of the software itself) but you will need to double check that they are definitely using the same label size and layout as the labels you need to print.
Obviously, if your software doesn’t contain a built in template that is compatible with your labels you will need to download a standalone template or create your own. Some software will include template design tools that you can use to create your own template – we’ll talk about this in a later blog post.
Single Design Versus Multiple Design
You may also come across “single design” and “multiple design” templates; a single design template will create a set of labels that are all exactly the same, while a multiple design template can be used to create labels that are all the same, all different, or that feature sets of multiple designs or variations upon one design. Single design templates tend to be built in templates – your software will provide you with a blank space to enter your design and it will automatically replicate that design onto all of your labels.
Label Planet Templates – Word Templates Versus PDF Templates
We have created a set of templates for each label size that we supply; each set includes Word templates and PDF templates. We chose these two types of files because the majority of our customers will have access to software that can read (display) and edit (change) these files.
Word templates replicate the layout of a sheet of labels in the form of a table, which you then “fill in” with your design. This means that Word templates are quite basic and they cannot accurately reproduce the layout of shaped labels, such as round labels and oval labels (or even rectangular or square labels with rounded corners); most Word templates compromise by creating a grid of squares or rectangles so that each round or oval label will sit inside one of the squares or rectangles with its outermost points touching each of the four sides.
Our Word templates use the .docx file format and can be used in Word 2007 and later or in any Word Processing software that can edit this file format (e.g. Pages, LibreOffice etc).
(Earlier versions of Word will open these templates in “Compatibility Mode”; this mode converts files into a form that can be used by the earlier version of the software. While you should be able to use our templates in this way, there may be some features that are not supported so you should always take extra care to confirm that your template will produce the correct alignment before printing onto your labels.)
PDF templates replicate the layout of a sheet of labels in the form of a background layer that shows the outline of each label on the sheet. You then add your design onto another layer (using the background layer as a guide) to create your finished label design. This means that PDF templates offer a much more detailed and accurate guide than Word templates, although not everyone will have access to (and knowledge of) the graphics packages that can be used to edit these files.
Our PDF templates have a file format of .pdf and can be used with any graphics package that is capable of reading and editing these files (e.g. InDesign, Photoshop etc).
Label Planet Templates – Template Options: Orientation / Text Box / Mirror / Bleed / Alternative
If you use our templates, you will find a number of options are available for each label size. We created these options so that we could provide our customers with templates that not only suit the label size and layout that they wish to print but also suit the label design they wish to create:
- Portrait/Landscape: we offer portrait and landscape options (where possible) so you can create your label design in the orientation of your choice.
Best For: any kind of label design
- Text Box: these Word templates have a text box in each label so you can simply type in the text you want.
Best For: text only label designs
- Mirrored: these are Word templates designed to create mirrored labels, which can be applied onto one side of a glass object (e.g. a window) and read from the other side. Each label contains a mirrored text box; click inside a box, type in your text, and click out of the box and your text will be automatically reversed.
Best For: mirrored label designs (e.g. for window stickers)
- Bleed: these templates contain oversized labels (Word) or a “bleed” area (PDF) so that your label design will be larger than your actual labels – this prevents white edges appearing on your labels when you print your template.
Best For: label designs with coloured backgrounds or borders
- Alternative: as with all products, labels are made to a tolerance (an allowable deviation from the stated measurements), which can lead to variations in the size and layout of a sheet of labels. We provide “Alternative” and “Extra” templates for label sizes that are most likely to see small variations.
Best For: use these templates if the standard templates aren’t quite producing the best alignment for your label sheets (AND you have already ruled out other causes for the misalignment – such as incorrect printer settings).
Next week on Template Tuesday: How To Find & Open A Label Template