Template Tuesday Presents...how to fix problems that could be causing trouble with your label templates.
Troubleshooting Label Templates: How To Fix The Problem With Troublesome Label Templates
Generally speaking, troubleshooting label templates is quite easy – although some fixes will be trickier than others. Once you’ve worked out what the (potential) cause of your trouble is, you can apply one of the following fixes:
Troubleshooting Label Templates: Starting Print Positions Or Off-Centre Self Adhesive Labels
If all of your designs are misaligned in the SAME direction by the SAME amount, you simply need to adjust the page margins of your label template to force your printer to starting printing in the correct position.
In Word, click on the Layout tab at the top of the page. Select Margins and then Custom Margins. Adjust the page margins as required – usually, you only need to adjust the top and/or left margins.
- Increase the top page margin if your designs print out too high.
- Decrease the top page margin if your designs print out too low.
- Increase the left page margin if your designs print too far left (you may also decrease the right page margin).
- Decrease the left page margin if your designs print too far right (you may also increase the right page margin).
You can measure your printed label templates to determine how much you need to adjust your page margins. However, the measurements required to match your label template to your sheet labels won’t necessarily be the same, so sometimes it’s best to rely on a trial and error to get things just right. Adjust your page margins to a rough estimate and then test print your template onto paper. Compare this with a sheet of your sticky labels to see if your designs are now aligned. If not, adjust your page margins and test print your template again. Repeat until your alignment is perfect!
Troubleshooting Label Templates: Print Settings
If your designs get gradually more misaligned as you move away from a specific point on the sheet, the first thing to check is that your printer is using the correct print settings. Before printing, go into Printer Properties / Printing Preferences / Print Settings and make sure you are following these guidelines:
- The page size is set to A4
- No scaling options are applied; these include a percentage less than 100% and “Fit To” options. If you have an option called “Actual Size” – use it!
- No options such as “Ignore Printer Settings” or “Use Driver/Default Settings” are applied.
You may also want to run your computer’s software updater (e.g. Windows Updates, Apple’s App Store etc) to ensure that your printer has the most up to date print driver installed.
We also recommend checking your printer’s manual to see if the manufacturer has provided guidance for printing self adhesive labels.
Test print your label template to see if this has resolved the problem.
Troubleshooting Label Templates: Label Template Measurements
Next, check that your label template is set up with the correct measurements. You should do this even if you are sure that the measurements were correct when you began designing your template. This is because some label templates (especially Word label templates) may automatically adjust in size as you add content.
Check that the label width and height is correct for EVERY blank label on your sheet. Make sure any gaps between the rows and/or columns of blank labels are also correct. We’d also recommend double checking that the page margins are correct.
In Word, you can use the Table Properties tool to verify the width and height of all of the rows and columns of blank labels in your label template (as well as any gaps between them). To find this tool, move your cursor to the top left of your label template until the four headed arrow appears. Alternatively, left click once somewhere in the middle of your label template. This will bring up a Table Tools Format Tab at the top of your screen. Select the Table Tools Layout tab and the Table Properties tool should be displayed on the left hand side of the ribbon. Use the Row and Column tabs to check the measurements of each row and column.
If any of the measurements are incorrect, you simply need to apply the correct measurements to adjust your label template back to the right size and layout. As always, we recommend test printing your template to ensure that the issue is resolved.
In Word, you can adjust measurements either by changing the sizes displayed in the Table Properties tool OR by using the height and width boxes displayed on the right hand side of the ribbon under the Table Tools Layout tab.
Troubleshooting Label Templates: The Wrong Label Templates
If your designs are all misaligned by different amounts in different directions, it is worth taking a moment to double check that you are using the correct label template.
If you have downloaded a label template from the Label Planet website, you simply need to check the file name. This will be displayed at the top of the screen (unless you have renamed the file). All of our label templates have file names that contain the label size code of the sticky labels that they can be used to print. For example, if you are printing LP21/63 GTP or LP21/63 GWPQ, you need to use a label template that has “LP21/63” in the file name.
If you are using a compatible template code, you should double check you have the right number.
Next Week On Template Tuesday: A Guide To Label Planet’s Label Templates