Template Tuesday Presents...how to diagnose what’s going wrong with label templates.
Troubleshooting Label Templates: How To Diagnose The Problem
Troubleshooting label templates is generally quite simple. First, you need to detemine what sort of misalignment you get after printing your label template. To do this, you simply need to take four simple measurements and check for any patterns in the misalignment.
The four measurements you need to take are the amount AND direction of misalignment for:
- The FIRST and LAST sticky labels in the TOP row of your A4 sheet.
- The FIRST and LAST sticky labels in the BOTTOM row of your A4 sheet.
In other words, when troubleshooting label templates, first you need to know how far your design is misaligned (e.g. 2mm, 5mm, 10mm etc) and in what direction (e.g. too high/low/left/right).
Next, you need to establish if there is a pattern in the misalignment. There are TWO patterns to look out for:
- All of your designs are misaligned in the SAME direction by the SAME amount.
- Your designs get gradually more misaligned as you move away from a specific point on the sheet. This could be a particular row or column, a particular corner, or the centre of the sheet.
Troubleshooting Label Templates: What Your Diagnosis Means
When troubleshooting label templates, the type of misalignment you get usually points to a specific cause for your printing problems.
If all of your designs are misaligned in the SAME direction by the SAME amount…
…your printer’s starting print position means it doesn’t start printing in the correct position OR your self adhesive labels aren’t quite centred on each A4 sheet. To fix this, you will need to adjust the page margins of your label template.
If your designs get gradually more misaligned as you move away from a specific point on the sheet…
…the most likely cause of the problem is your printer’s print settings. Basically, your printer is trying to print onto a page size that is larger or smaller than A4. If your printer is centralising your label template on your sheets, the misalignment will get worse as you move out from the centre of your sheet. If your printer is starting from the top left corner, the misalignment will get worse as you move across and down from this corner.
You can confirm if this is the problem by checking through your printer’s print settings (usually called Printer Properties or Printing Preferences) to double check that you are using the correct settings. You may also want to run your computer’s update tool to ensure your printer driver is up to date. You could also try using a different printer.
…the alternative explanation is that the measurements of your label template aren’t quite right. If the measurements are consistently wrong, the misalignment will get worse as you move down or across the sheet, because the incorrect measurements have an accumulative effect.
If (some of) the measurements are smaller than they should be, your designs will finish too high or too far left. If (some of) the measurements are larger than they should be, your designs will finish too low or too far right. Remember that the measurements of the blank labels themselves AND any gaps between them all have to be correct.
To fix this you need to double check that all of the measurements in your label template are correct.
If your designs are all misaligned by different amounts in different directions…
…it’s possible that you have accidentally used the wrong label template OR that you have multiple things going wrong at the same time.
First double check that you have the correct label template. Label Planet’s label templates all have file names that include the code of the label size being printed. So if you are printing LP40/45 GREM, for example, you simply need to make sure that your label template file name include the size code LP40/45.
If you have the correct label template, you will simply need to work through the fixes for each of the potential problems that could be causing the misalignment until you have applied the right combination that fixes the issue.
Next Week On Template Tuesday: Troubleshooting Label Templates Part 2 – Fixing The Problem