Template Tuesday Presents...our guide to software and applications you can use to print self adhesive labels.
Can I Use Any Software To Print Self Adhesive Labels?
There are plenty of applications / software that you could probably use to print your own self adhesive labels. All you really need is the ability to position a design in the correct place.
However, for practicality, it’s best to use software suitable for design-based tasks. This could be general design tasks or the specific task of designing labels. The two key things you need are design tools (to add designs) and layout tools (to accurately position your designs).
This doesn’t mean that you need to go out and purchase label design software; there are plenty of suitable alternatives – you may even have suitable software already installed on your computer.
So What Software Can I Use To Print Self Adhesive Labels?
We would recommend THREE kinds of software for designing and printing your own label templates.
LABEL DESIGN SOFTWARE: obviously, software developed for the purpose of designing and printing labels is ideal. However, not everyone has label design software – or the time / resources to buy (and learn how to use) a label design package. There are cheaper – and free – alternatives, although there may be restrictions that you have to work around. For example, the software may only offer built-in template options for a selection of label sizes and layouts.
DESIGN SOFTWARE: general design software is an ideal alternative – especially for image-heavy designs. This software tends to contain more complex design tools and offers great control, precision, and flexibility when positioning your designs. Design software can be more expensive (although cheaper / free options are available) and may require more time to familiarise yourself with the tools available.
Examples include InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.
PAGE LAYOUT SOFTWARE / WORD PROCESSING SOFTWARE: another alternative is page layout software or word processing software with page layout tools. These tools allow you to arrange items within a particular layout (such as an A4 sheet). This software usually contains some design tools, which should allow you to add and position your design(s). Many people are familiar with these types of software (and have access to them). The main drawback is that this type of software may have more basic design tools and limited control, precision, and flexibility when positioning your designs.
Examples include Publisher, Word / Word For Mac, and Pages.
So What Software Should I Choose To Print Self Adhesive Labels?
When choosing software to design and print your own self adhesive labels, we recommend following this quick checklist:
What Software Do You Have Available?
If you already have software that you are familiar with, that can do a decent job of design based tasks, there may be little point in looking any further.
What Design Tools & Page Layout Tools Are Available?
Check what tools are available to you – and how much control, precision, and flexibility they offer. If you only have access to basic tools, you may need to simplify your design to make it achievable. Software intended for design / page layout tasks is likely to offer more advanced tools that allow you to create more complex designs.
Are There Label Templates Available For That Software?
Some software may have been developed with the specific task of designing and printing labels in mind. This won’t necessarily be exclusive to label design software as many applications contain label design tools. A common example is Microsoft Word, which contains a variety of tools for designing and printing labels. Software intended for designing and printing labels may also contain built-in label templates. Alternatively, if you can find standalone label templates intended for use with a particular application / software, it is probably a good bet that that software is a good choice for the task in hand. At Label Planet, we supply label templates for all of our label sizes, suitable for use with Word (and other word processors) and graphics packages.
How Familiar Are You With The Software?
Never underestimate how important it is to be familiar and confident with software when it comes to completing a specific task. If you’ve never used a particular application / software to design and print labels before, you may be surprised at how long it can take to familiarise yourself with the tools you need to use to create your label design. Choosing more advanced software simply because it offers more advanced tools won’t do you any good if you have to spend hours learning how to use it – especially if you have simpler software that can do a good enough job and that you are confident using.
Do You Have A Budget For Additional Software?
Of course, if you do have a budget available for sourcing new software (and the time to learn how to use it) – and you expect to use it on a regular basis – then it may well be worth investing in more advanced software. Check the specifications of any software you are considering to ensure that it is appropriate for the task of designing and printing your own labels. Many companies also offer free trial versions so you can give their software a go before you buy.
Next Week On Template Tuesday: Template Tuesday FAQs – What Is A Label Template?