Top Tips For Creating Christmas Labels, Address Labels, and Gift Tags

December 11th, 2018

There are many different ways to use sticky labels at Christmas. Here’s our Template Tuesday top tips for creating chaos-free Christmas label templates

Keep It Simple, Stupid

The KISS principle should ALWAYS be followed when creating label designs. Don’t go overboard with your designs and make it harder for yourself. Make sure your design is suitable for the capabilities of your software AND for your own design experience.

Just because you CAN add text and images and borders and backgrounds onto your Christmas labels – doesn’t mean you should. The old saying “less is more” can help save you time, keep your stress levels down, and help you create a beautifully professional set of Christmas labels that are the perfect finishing touch for your items, rather than a bit of a muddled mess.

Use A Mail Merge For Address Labels

Mail merges make printing Christmas address labels quicker, easier, and a lot more accurate than typing/pasting addresses one by one. While the mail merge process can seem quite daunting, it only involves six simple steps. If you use the Mail Merge Wizard, Word will guide you through each step.

We regularly feature mail merge advice on both our A4 Labels and Label Templates blogs (especially around Christmas); simply enter “Mail Merge” in the search box and you’ll find plenty of hints and tips to guide you through the process – and get you out of trouble if things start to go wrong.

Centralise Your Designs

Christmas labels tend to be more decorative and more complicated than other designs. To keep control of your design and make it easier to print your template accurately, we recommend using a centralised design. This means that all of your elements expand out from the centre of each label. Centralising designs is especially useful for different label shapes – especially round labels / circular labels and oval labels.

Beware & Take Care With Coloured Background & Borders

Many customers want to add decorative features such as coloured background and/or borders to their Christmas labels. While you CAN do this, you may find white edging appearing when you print your template. White edging (perhaps more accurately “blank edging”) describes a printing problem whereby your designs don’t quite fully align with your sticky labels – leaving some of your edges unprinted.

You can avoid this issue by oversizing background and borders. This works best if there are gaps all the way around your labels; the oversized background and border will overlap each label – falling into the blank (or “bleed”) area around the labels. You can usually accomplish this with standard label templates but we do also supply bleed templates (where possible), which indicate the bleed area available for you to use to oversize your background and/or border.

If your labels butt up (touch) against other labels on your sheet, you can only use this method if your background or border uses a consistent colour. Alternatively, you will need to select a different design that does not require the use of a coloured background and/or border – or, more specifically, that does not require printing at the very edges of your labels.

Next Week On Template Tuesday – Label Planet Presents Our Template Tuesday Round Up For 2018

Take The Chaos Out Of Your Christmas Card List With Word’s Mail Merge Tool

December 4th, 2018

As it is the first Template Tuesday of December, we thought we’d kick things off with a revisit to an old favourite for this time of year; using a mail merge to create Christmas address labels.

Christmas labels using Word Mail Merge

Christmas Address Labels – Getting Started

Before you start, there are three steps to follow:

  • If there is a compatible built-in Avery template, use it. A number of standard label sizes (especially address labels) are compatible as those supplied by Avery – this simply means they use the same label size and layout, so you can print non-Avery labels with an Avery template.
    If there isn’t a compatible Avery template code, you will need to have a copy of a suitable Word label template saved to your device OR the measurements and layout details of your sheet labels. You can find compatible Avery codes (where applicable), Word label templates, and measurement/layout details in our Label Templates section; select your label shape and then label size.
  • Have your list of addresses ready to go; ideally, they should be saved in an Excel Spreadsheet, Outlook Contact List, Office Address List, Word Data File, Access Database, or Text File.
  • When using Word’s Mail Merge tool, we recommend using the Step By Step Wizard, as this will guide you through the process in six easy steps. To do this, click on the Mailings tab at the top of the page, select Start Mail Merge, and then Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard.

Christmas Address Labels – Step One: Select Document Type

The first step is selecting the type of document you want to create; to create Christmas address labels, you need to select “Labels” from the list of options.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Two: Select Starting Document

The second step is selecting the specific document you want to use to create your Christmas address labels. In other words, this is where you select the specific template you want to use. You have THREE options; use a built-in Avery template (best option), create a label template, or use a saved label template.

  • Built in Avery template: select “Change Document Layout” and click on “Label Options”. Set Printer Information to “Page Printers” and Label Vendor to “Avery A4/A5”. Find your Avery code in the list and click OK.
  • Create a template: follow the steps above but instead of choosing an Avery code, you need to click on “New Label”. Enter the measurements and layout details of your sheet labels in the fields provided and click OK.
  • Use a saved template: select “Start From Existing Document” and click on “Open”. Browse to your saved template and open it.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Three: Select Recipients

The third step is selecting your list of addresses. You can opt to enter your addresses manually at this point but its generally quicker and more accurate to use a saved list. Click on “Use an existing list” and browse to your saved list and open it.

If your data source has multiple sections (for example, a spreadsheet with multiple sheets), you will need to indicate which section contains your addresses. You also need to indicate if your list includes column headers (e.g. Name, Postcode etc).

Word then lists the addresses it has found in your data source. You can sort and filter your addresses at this point to exclude any you don’t want to use. Once you confirm you are happy with your list of addresses, Word will add a Next Record rule placeholder (<<NextRecord>>) in all of the blank labels in your template – apart from the top left label.

If you have used a saved label template, you will need to enter these rules yourself. Click inside the second label, then click on the Rules tool in the Mailings tab at the top of the page. Select Next Record from the list to add the rule. You can repeat this process for each blank label in your template (but NOT the top left label) OR use copy and paste. 

Christmas Address Labels – Step Four: Arrange Your Labels

The fourth step is adding your design AND placeholders to your Christmas address labels.

Add your design to the first label and use the “Update all labels” button in the Wizard Panel to copy it into the rest of your blank labels. You can also use this button to replicate any changes you make to the first label across the rest of the template.

This option is not available if you are using a saved template; you will need to use copy and paste to fill in the rest of your template. You must leave the Next Record rule in place – and it must come BEFORE any placeholders in your design (otherwise the label will repeat the address information from the previous label).

Placeholders indicate where information from your address list should go. These placeholders look the same as the Next Record rule BUT instead of “Next Record” they will use the column headers from your list or the title of a preformatted option available from the Wizard Panel (e.g. Address Block, Greeting Line).

To add individual placeholders, click on More Items in the Panel and select your column. Alternatively, click on one of the preformatted options.

For example, the Address Block is a great way to add addresses. If your addresses don’t show up correctly in the preview box, use the Match Fields option to match the elements in the Address Block with the correct columns from your list. Scroll through a few addresses to make sure they will be picked up correctly when you complete the merge.

REMEMBER: the information represented by each placeholder will probably take up more space than the placeholder itself. Make sure your design includes space for the your information in its entirety.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Five: Preview Your Labels

The fifth step allows you to preview your completed Christmas address labels. Use this step to scroll through (at least) a few records to ensure that your design works properly – so that all of your addresses will fit neatly onto each address label. In particular, if you know one address in your list is particularly long, scroll to this record to check how this label turns out.

If you find any problems you can either go back a step to adjust your design OR use the “Edit Recipient List” to manually edit troublesome addresses and make them fit.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Six: Complete The Merge

The sixth step completes your merge and allows you to print your completed Christmas address labels.

We recommend test printing one sheet so you can check the alignment is correct. Click on “Print” and select the “From” option. Set the From/To values to reflect the number of blank labels on your sheet. For example, to print a sheet with 14 labels per sheet, enter 1 and 14.

You also need to review your print settings. Select a “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” setting, set the Page Size to A4, and ensure no scaling options are applied (e.g. less than 100% or “Fit to…” options). Use the media bypass tray of your printer (if it has one).

If your address labels are misaligned, adjust your design/template and do another test print to confirm the problem is fixed:

  • If all of your address labels misalign in the SAME direction by the SAME amount, adjust the page margins. Increase or decrease the top page margin to move your designs down or up. Increase or decrease the left page margin to move your designs right or left.
  • If the misalignment gets gradually worse down/across/out from the centre of your sheet, you probably have a scaling issue with your print settings. This can be corrected by checking the print settings as described above. You should also ensure you don’t have options like “Ignore Printer Settings” or “Use Default/Driver Settings” selected. You can run your device’s main software update tool to ensure you have the latest print driver installed. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, there may be a problem with your template; you will need to check that the template is using the correct measurements and layout.

Next Week On Template Tuesday – Top Tips For Creating Christmas Labels, Address Labels, and Gift Tags

Don’t Leave Label Templates To The Night Before Christmas (Or All Through The House Will Be Very Loud Shouts)

November 27th, 2018

For this week’s Template Tuesday we simply want to say: if you want to reduce your Christmas chaos, DON’T LEAVE YOUR LABEL TEMPLATES TO THE LAST MINUTE.

christmas label templates

Template Tuesday’s Top Reasons To Avoid Last Minute Label Templates

While there are MANY reasons not to leave label templates to the last minute at ANY time of the year, it really isn’t a good idea to put off getting your Christmas templates sorted.

Designing and printing your own labels is a simple (and often cheaper) way to personalise items – making it seem like a very good idea (at the time). However, label templates can quickly spiral out of control, even if you’ve printed labels before. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong – especially when you’re in a rush to get things done for Christmas.

There are a LOT of steps involved – far more than people realise. Each step takes time and must be done correctly to avoid a complete disaster. You need time to:

  • Make sure you have suitable software AND know how to use it.
  • Make sure your software includes suitable built-in label templates – or to source a suitable template elsewhere.
  • Add your design to your template (which can take longer than you think).
  • Test print your template to make sure you will get the perfect alignment. This step also includes figuring out the cause of any misalignment and applying a suitable fix.
  • Print your sticky labels – rememebr, your printer can only print one sheet at a time.
  • Stick your sticky labels onto your stuff!
  • Account for despatch and delivery; your Christmas labels need to be delivered to you AND your labelled items need to be despatched and delivered in time for Christmas.

If you know what label size and layout you intend to use, you can get your label templates ready to go BEFORE you order your Christmas labels OR WHILE you’re waiting for your order to arrive. If you’ve got your template set up, you’re ready to get printing as soon as your order arrives.

Template Tuesday’s Top Tips To Avoid Last Minute Template Troubles

  • Follow the KISS principle – keep it simple, stupid – and don’t make things more complicated than they need to be. Make sure your design isn’t too complicated – for your software OR for you. For a decorative and professional looking finish, avoid cluttering your design with too many elements.
  • To create a set of identical labels, add your design to the top left label first and then use COPY and PASTE to replicate it across the rest of your template.
  • To create a set of Christmas address labels, try using a tool like Word’s Mail Merge to merge a label design with your list of contacts.
  • Check that your printer is using the correct print settings before you start printing. This includes making sure that the page size is set to A4, no scaling options are applied (e.g. less than 100% or any “Fit To…” options), and that you’ve chosen suitable media type/weight print settings (e.g. “Labels” or “Heavy Paper”). You also need to use the media bypass tray – if your printer has one.
  • Always, always, ALWAYS test print your template onto blank paper FIRST before printing onto your label sheets proper.

Get Free Label Templates & Advice On Designing And Printing Self Adhesive Labels From The Label Planet Website

Our Label Templates section contains all the resources you could possibly need to print your own self adhesive labels.

This includes Template Information Pages for each of our label sizes; each page contains measurements and layout details, along with compatible Avery codes (where applicable) and printing tips, as well as download links for our label templates. We have created a set of Word and PDF label templates for each label size; these sets include portrait and landscape orientations, along with bleed label templates (for printing coloured backgrounds and/or borders).

You’ll also find links to our various Help Pages, including guides to designing and printing self adhesive labels, top tips, and our troubleshooting guide.

You can also contact our Customer Service Team for advice about specific questions, queries, or problems that you may encounter. Send us an email at any time or give us a call during office hours; Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Take The Chaos Out Of Your Christmas Card List With Word’s Mail Merge Tool

How To? – How To Create Your Own Label Templates

November 20th, 2018

If you can’t find any label templates suitable for your software, here’s a few Template Tuesday tips and tricks to help you to create your own.

Step One: Work Out The Best Way To Create A Label Template In Your Software

The software used to create label templates often determines the form those templates take. Templates created in graphics packages use a background layer, which replicates the outline of each label. Word templates use a table, where each cell represents a label on the sheet (or a gap between two labels).

Templates should represent the layout of a sheet of labels and guide the placement of your designs. This way only your designs will print out onto your labels (and not the template itself).

For example, the background layer used in PDF templates does not print. The tables used in Word templates do not have borders, which means they do not print.

The simplest solution is to use tools in your software designed to create new documents based on specified measurements. For example, in Word, the Mailings > Labels tool allows you to create a label template simply by entering the various measurements of your labels.

Click on Mailings > Labels > Options > New Label and then fill in the measurement fields to create your label template.

If your software doesn’t offer this function, you could use the available design tools to recreate your label layout. For example, some templates use shapes and text boxes to indicate the position of each label on the sheet.

Step Two: Understand The Measurements Of Your Label Layout

Whether you use a tool that automatically creates a label template for you or construct one yourself, you will need to know the relevant measurements for your label size and layout.

measurements of label templates

These are the details that you will need to know:

  • Page Orientation: most label templates are portrait because label manufacturers and suppliers use the portrait orientation. This means that layout measurements tend to refer to a portrait orientation. To create a landscape template you need to switch the label width and height, the number of labels per column and per row, the horizontal and vertical pitches, AND the top/bottom and left/right page margins.
  • Page Size: don’t forget to specify a page size of A4 or your template will NEVER align correct. Use 210mm wide by 297mm high for portrait templates and 297mm wide by 210 high for landscape templates.
  • Label Width: the measurement from the left edge to the right edge of each label. This is the diameter of round labels. For oval labels, this is the measurement between the widest points of the oval.
  • Label Height: the measurement from the top edge to the bottom edge of each label. Again, this is the diameter of round labels. For oval labels it is the measurement between the deepest points of the oval.
  • (Corner Radius): rectangular and square labels may have curved or pointed corners. If they are curved, you may need to indicate the degree or curvature. This is the corner radius, which refers to the radius of the circle that is created by extending the corner arc to form a complete circle. Measure from where the corner starts to curve to the point that the corner would form if it wasn’t curved – see diagram below.

label templates and the corner radius

  • Number of Labels Per Column: how many labels are in each column.
  • Number of Labels Per Row: how many labels are in each row.
  • Horizontal Pitch: the horizontal pitch accounts for any gaps between the columns; it measures from the left edge of the first label in the first column to the left edge of the first label in the second column. You can also measure the width of the gap between two columns and add this to the label width.
  • Vertical Pitch: the vertical pitch, therefore, accounts for any gaps between the rows. It measures from the top edge of the first label in the first row to the top edge of the first label in the second row. Again, you can measure the height of the gap between two rows and add this to the label height.
  • Page Margins: the page margins indicate the blank space (if any) around the edges of your sheet – i.e. the gap between the edges of your sheet and the start of each column / row of labels. So, the top margin goes from the top edge of the sheet to the top edge of the first row of labels. The bottom margin from the bottom edge of the sheet to the bottom edge of the last row of labels. The left margin measures from the left edge of the sheet to the left edge of the first column of labels. The right margin from the right edge of the sheet to the right edge of the last column of labels. The left and right margins may be collectively referred to as the side margins.

We supply these measurements for all of our label sizes and layouts. Visit our template home page and select your label shape and size to view the measurements for your A4 labels.

NB: these pages also feature our Word and PDF templates, which are free to download and use.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Don’t Leave Label Templates To The Night Before Christmas (Or All Through The House Will Be Very Loud Shouts)

FAQs About Label Templates & Microsoft Office

November 13th, 2018

Many people choose to use Microsoft Office software to design and print their own labels. Here are our answers to the FIVE most frequently asked questions we receive about label templates and Microsoft software.

microsoft office and label templates

Is Microsoft Office Software Suitable For Designing & Printing Label Templates?

Yes! You can create a pretty good set of sticky labels using Microsoft software.

The Office Suite doesn’t include “graphics software”, which is software designed for the specific purpose of creating, editing, and displaying computer graphics – making it ideal for design-based tasks. Publisher, desktop publishing software, probably comes closest but is really intended for the purpose of creating and editing documents by arranging different elements (including graphics) within a specific page layout.

This means that the design tools available in Microsoft software won’t be as advanced as those provided in graphics package. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean that you can’t create a brilliant set of designs using Office software. You simply need to acknowledge the limitations of the software you are using, use the available tools as efficiently as you can, and make sure you don’t make your design too complex for your software to replicate.

Which Software Is Best Suited To Designing & Printing Label Templates?

Word and Publisher are the best options – although we have some customers who use Excel!

  • Both Word and Publisher contain built-in label templates. In Word, a table represents the layout of a sheet of labels. Each cell in the table represents a label (or a gap between two labels). Word templates, therefore, can only represent sheet labels as a grid of rectangles and/or squares. It cannot show elements of shaping, such as rounded corners, or the outline of round labels and oval labels. In Publisher, templates may be full page templates (made using a table or a combination of tables, shapes, and text boxes) or a single label template (where you add your design to the one label and it is replicated across the entire sheet during the printing process).
  • Word and Publisher also contain basic design tools. These allow you to construct label designs using text, images, and shapes. Publisher has the edge in terms of the control and accuracy of positioning it offers when arranging elements within your design. Word, as a word processor, prioritises text over everything else, which can make it difficult to position images and shapes accurately. Word, however, does contain additional tools intended for designing and printing labels, which are not available in Publisher.

It is up to you to decide which package you use. We tend to recommend Word over Publisher simply because more people are familiar with Word. Being confident using a particular piece of software might not seem like an important factor but it can make designing and printing your own labels a lot quicker and less stressful than trying to use software that you’re less familiar with.

Publisher is a brilliant option if you are familiar with it AND if it contains a compatible built-in label template for your labels.

Do You Supply Label Templates For Microsoft Office?

Yes! We supply Word templates for all of our label sizes free of charge. Simply visit our Label Templates section and select your label shape and then your label size. Alternatively, you can visit the product page of your sticky labels and click on the purple “Label Templates And Printing Information” link.

Our Word templates are available in both portrait and landscape orientations. We also provide bleed templates (ideal if your design includes a coloured background and/or border), text box templates (ideal for text-only designs), and mirrored text box templates (ideal for creating window stickers that need to be read from the reverse side).

Our individual template pages contain all of the download links for our label templates as well as detailed measurement and layout information and compatible Avery codes (if applicable).

We often get asked if we supply Publisher templates; unfortunately, we are only able to offer Word templates at this time. If you are familiar with Publisher, however, you should be able to create your own template relatively easily using the tools available in Publisher and the measurement and layout information provided on our website.

Does Microsoft Office Include Label Templates (& How Do I Find Them)?

As we’ve mentioned both Word and Publisher contain built-in label templates. These include Avery templates; many of our label sizes are compatible with (the same as) Avery labels, which means you can print Label Planet labels with an Avery template.

In Word, you need to open a blank document. Next click on the Mailings tab at the top of the page and select “Labels” from the left hand side of the ribbon. Click on Options, set Printer information to “Page Printers” and Label information to “Avery A4/A5”. Locate your code in the list and click ok, click New Document, and Word will open a new document containing your label template.

In Publisher, you can choose between blank label templates or pre-designed label templates.

To find the former, open Publisher, click on “Built-In”, select Labels, and then scroll down to the Avery A4/A5 option. Select your Avery code and click CREATE. To find the latter, open Publisher, use the search bar to search for “Labels”. Find a design that you like, left click on it once, and click on Create.

The pre-designed options tend to feature the full sheet of labels, while the built-in options feature a single label that is then replicated across the whole sheet during the printing process.

Why Don’t Microsoft Word Label Templates Show The Outline Of My Labels?

As we mentioned above, Word label templates cannot show shaping or the outlines of round labels and oval labels. This is because they are created using tables; each cell within the table represents a label or a gap between two labels. This means that Word can only represent the layout of a sheet of labels in the form of rectangles and squares constructed using straight lines.

In templates for round labels and oval labels, each label will fit within one of the squares or rectangles in the table with its outermost points touching each of the four sides.

Can I Use Your Microsoft Word Label Templates With My Apple Device?

Yes. Our Word templates use the .docx file format, which can be edited by a variety of software used by Apple devices. This includes Word For Mac and Apple’s own word processor – Pages.

When using Label Planet templates with Pages, we recommend following these steps:

  • Download the template to your device. If you have the option to open or save the file, select save.
  • Open Pages and use the “File” > “Open” menu options to locate your saved template.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: How To? – How To Create Your Own Label Templates

Choosing The Right Software / Application To Design & Print Your Own Label Templates

November 6th, 2018

Choosing the right software / application to design your own label templates can make the whole process a lot easier. So here are our top tips for choosing the right program for the job.

software to design and print label templates


Top Tip 1: What Software Do You Have Available To You?

The best place to start is to look the software already installed on your computer. Using existing software means you:

  • Don’t have to pay for new software
  • Will be familiar with that software – so you don’t need to spend time learning how to use new software.

Software is usually created with a specific task (or tasks) in mind; designing label templates is a design-based task so it’s generally best to use design software where possible. If you have label design software installed, all the better, but graphics packages (such as InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop) are also great options – especially if you want to create intricate or complex artwork.

Non-design software, however, shouldn’t be ruled out – especially as it may contain some (basic) design tools. For example, Word is extremely popular for designing and printing label templates. It is not design software (it’s a word processor designed to add, edit, and arrange text) BUT it does contain basic design tools and – more importantly – label design tools.

If you don’t have any suitable software / applications installed, you will need to source something appropriate. Try to find something that contains label design tools. Design software is best for more complex design work, although it tends to be more expensive (free options are available). You will need to bear in mind that both free software and non-design software will tend to offer limited design tools, which may limit the level of accuracy and detail you can include in your label design. You should also try to pick software that is suitable to your own level of experience; buying the most complex, expensive label design software isn’t going to do any good if you don’t feel confident enough to use it to design your own label templates.

Top Tip 2: Is Your Software Suitable For Designing Label Templates?

You can use a wide variety of software to design labels – including software not intended for design purposes at all.

Software with (label) design tools and functions will obviously be suitable for designing and printing label templates – but it might not be so easy to work out if other software is suitable.

Generally speaking, if software mentions (label) design tools then it should be perfectly suitable for designing label templates. If it doesn’t, you may wish look at the tools available to see if they are suitable for this purpose.

If you aren’t sure, it may be best to choose an alternative. While you might be able to use the available tools to design labels, this could involve using them in ways they were not intended to be used. This may make it more difficult and time consuming to design your label templates; not only because you’ll need to figure out how to use non-design tools for design purposes but also because this process will probably take more time (and be less accurate) compared to using design tools as they were intended to be used.

You also need to consider the level of accuracy and detail you can achieve with the tools available. Design tools in non-design software (like Word) are always going to be less accurate that those in a design package (such as Illustrator or InDesign). Likewise, freeware might feature less options and less accurate tools. If you want to use non-design software, you may simply need to give it a go and see how far you get – bearing in mind that you may need to adapt your intended design to suit the capabilities of your software.

Essentially, you need to balance what your software can do with the level of detail you want to achieve.

Top Tip 3: How Confident Are You With The Software Available To You?

This last top tip is one that people often overlook. Customers often ask us to recommend the best possible label design software – without realising that this tends to be the most expensive and time-consuming option.

Sometimes using basic software that you are familiar with (and therefore more confident in using) is actually a better option than investing in expensive design software that you have absolutely no idea how to use. One of the biggest hurdles in achieving a detailed AND accurate label design is actually knowing how to use the tools available to you in the most efficient way. This is one of the reasons that Word is such a popular choice. Most people know how to use Word and can create a range of label designs fairly easily and quickly.

This means you actually need to balance what your software can do and the complexity of design you want to achieve, against your own level of experience of performing design-based tasks with a computer.

Top Tips – A Summary

  • If you have suitable software already available – use it! Generally speaking, if your software includes (label) design tools, chances are you’re good to go!
  • Design software is best for design-based tasks BUT not a necessity. Non-design software may do the job just as well.
  • Find a balance between your design complexity, software capability, and your own  knowledge / experience. You don’t need complex design software to create a perfectly good set of labels. Especially if you are creating simpler text-based designs (e.g. address labels, product labels, bottle labels, jar labels etc).

Next Week On Template Tuesday – FAQs About Label Templates & Microsoft Office

How To? – How To Avoid The Nightmare Of Troublesome Label Templates

October 30th, 2018

In honour of Halloween, Label Planet hereby presents three top tips for avoiding the terrifying nightmare that is troublesome label templates.

Troublesome Label Templates – TOP TIP No. 1: ALWAYS Do A Test Print First

It doesn’t matter how precise you think your label template is – troublesome labels templates can and will go wrong, usually when you least expect it.

Take just two minutes to do a test print onto paper first and avoid the heartache and misery of a badly printed set of self adhesive labels that have nowhere else to go but straight into the rubbish bin.

HOW TO: Simply place a blank sheet of paper into your printer (using the media bypass tray if it has one). Print your template as you would onto your blank labels. Hold your test print against a sheet of your sticky labels. Hold both up to a light source to check for any misalignment.

Troublesome Label Templates – TOP TIP No. 2: CHECK Your Printer’s Print Settings

Incorrect print settings are the main cause of troublesome label templates. To get the perfect print you must make sure your printer is using the correct size and media settings. Print settings control MANY different factors and can influence the print alignment, quality, and resolution of your printed designs.

HOW TO: Before printing your label templates, go into “Print Settings” / “Printer Properties” / “Printing Preferences” (etc) and confirm your printer is set up as follows:

  • The Page Size must be A4.
  • There should be no scaling options applied (e.g. less than 100% or any “Fit To…” options); if you have an “Actual Size” option – use it!
  • Options such as “Ignore Printer Settings” or “Use Default/Driver Settings” should not be selected.
  • Set the media type/weight to a specific “Labels” setting – or “Heavy Paper” as an alternative.
  • If you need to print high resolution artwork, make sure your printer’s print resolution is set to a higher setting.

Troublesome Label Templates – TOP TIP No. 3: GET IN TOUCH!

If you encounter a problem and get stuck – DON’T spend hours fighting your troublesome label templates.

Here at Label Planet, we’ve spent YEARS working with label templates and self adhesive labels. We’ve faced a lot of troublesome label templates AND we’ve picked up a lot of top tips to help you untangle whatever nightmare of a printing problem you’ve encountered.

Our website features an extensive Help Section, with guides, top tips, and our troubleshooting guide.

If none of this helps – GET IN TOUCH! You can give our Customer Service Team a call during office hours (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday). Alternatively, email a description of what is going wrong and we’ll do what we can to provide a solution. You can also send a copy of your troublesome label templates to us so we can see what’s happening and give you some guidance on how to put things right.

HOW TO: give us a call on 01270 668076 or send an email to – if you are emailing, please try to provide as much detail about your troublesome label templates and what is going wrong (you can also send us the template itself), as this will help us to pinpoint the problem and provide a solution as quickly is possible.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Choosing The Right Software / Application To Design & Print Your Own Label Templates

Definitions – Standalone Label Templates Versus Design Software

October 23rd, 2018

In this week’s Template Tuesday, we’ll explain the difference between the two types of label templates: standalone and built-in.

standalone versus built in label templates

Label Templates – What Is A Standalone Template & What Is A Built-In Template?

A standalone template is an individual FILE, while a built-in template is part of a piece of SOFTWARE.

STANDALONE LABEL TEMPLATES: these individual files must be opened using software / an application. They are commonly used for A4 sheets of self adhesive labels, although they can be used for other formats, including roll labels. The A4 format represents the layout of all of the blank labels on a single A4 sheet.

Word label templates use a table to represent the layout of a sheet of blank labels; the cells of the table represent the blank labels and any gaps between the rows and/or columns of blank labels. This means that they can only represent label sheets in the form of a grid of rectangles or squares. They cannot show the outline of different shapes, such as round labels / circular labels or oval labels. PDF label templates use a background layer, which shows the outline of each blank label on an A4 sheet.

BUILT-IN LABEL TEMPLATES: these are built-in to a piece of software / application. They may show the layout of an A4 sheet of blank labels OR they may show the outline of a single label, which is then printed onto all of the blank labels on a sheet or roll (this is most commonly seen in design software / label design software).

Built-in label templates are also present in non-design software. A common example is Microsoft Word, which contains label templates compatible with a range of brand name label products – including Avery labels. These, like standalone Word label templates, use a table to represent an A4 sheet of sticky labels.

Label Templates – What Are The Benefits & Drawbacks Of The Two Types Of Label Templates?

Generally speaking, there are two key differences between the two types of label templates: compatibility and availability.

Compatibility of Label Templates

Built-in label templates are part of your software, which means you won’t run into compatibility problems. Software often fails to detect that standalone files are actually templates and may not recognise all of the elements within these files. Most software will attempt to recreate standalone files as closely as possible using the tools available. This can result in inaccurate measurements and may prevent you from changing specific elements within the template. Alternatively, it may attempt a conversion process – changing your template from its original file format into a native file format. Again, this may not convert the measurements or features of your template accurately.

A file format is the technical standard used to encode information so it can be stored in a computer file. Word files use .docx and PDF files use .pdf file, while image files use a variety of formats including .jpg and .png. The “native” file format is the default format used by your software. Most software can open and/or edit – and convert to/from – a number of formats).

Built-in label templates will also work perfectly with the tools and functions available within your chosen software. This may include specific label design tools, which allow you to create designs quickly using preformatted options, tools, and menus. With a standalone label template, some features may not be available / work properly – because your software doesn’t recognise your file as a template and so doesn’t know how to apply those tools to specific elements within your template.

This may limit the accuracy and detail you can produce in a standalone label template. You may also be limited by standalone templates if non-design software is being used for design purposes – because non-design software is unlikely to have advanced design features like those found in design software / applications.

Availability of Label Templates

Standalone label templates, however, have the edge when it comes to availability. With built-in label templates, you are limited to the options available within your chosen software. This might not be an issue if your software contains a vast list of label sizes and layouts (or gives you the opportunity to create templates based on custom measurements). However, a limited list of options might just make your built-in templates useless.

Many built-in templates use product lists from companies such as Avery, which actually offer far fewer label sizes and layouts than are commonly available elsewhere. This means that you might not be able to find a suitable label template amongst the built-in options. Another issue is that some software will only feature templates based on US standards, including measurements given in inches and a page size of American Letter.

Standalone label templates are often available in a much larger range of label sizes and layouts – AND may be available in a range of file formats and template formats. For example, at Label Planet, we provide standalone label templates in both Word and PDF file formats, as well as a range of template formats including portrait and landscape orientations, text boxes and mirrored text boxes, and bleed templates.

Label Templates – Which One Should I Use?

Ultimately, it is up to you to choose a suitable label template. If you can find a suitable built-in label template in software that you are familiar with and comfortable using, then a built-in template is a good place to start.

If your software doesn’t offer a compatible template then you will need to source a standalone alternative. Remember, here at Label Planet, we supply free standalone label templates for all of our label sizes. Visit our Label Templates Section; select your label shape and label size to view all of the template options and download links.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: How To – How To Avoid The Nightmare Of Troublesome Label Templates

How To? – How To Download Label Templates From Label Planet

October 16th, 2018

This week’s Template Tuesday will explain – step by step – how to download label templates from the Label Planet website.

Step One: Find Your Label Templates On The Relevant Label Printing Information Page

There are two ways to visit the correct label printing information page for your self adhesive labels.

  1. Enter your product code into the product search (this begins “LP”). This will direct you straight to the correct product page OR bring up a link to the correct page. Click on the purple “Label Templates And Printing Information For this Label” link on the product page to reach the label printing information page.
  2. Visit our Label Templates home page. Select your label shape and then your label size to reach the correct label printing information page.

The download links for our label templates can be found in the middle of the label printing information page. They are purple links, listed in two (or four columns) – Word templates // Word templates (extra/alternative) // PDF templates // PDF templates (extra/alternative).

download label templates from label planet

Most customers will simply need to choose whether they want a Word label template or PDF labels template. They can then choose the orientation that best suits their design – portrait or landscape. Customers adding a full colour background and/or border may wish to opt for a bleed label template.

Step Two: Download The Label Templates That Are Best Suited To Your Software & Design

Once you have chosen the label template that you prefer to use, simply left click on the purple link once to start the download process.


Some browsers will automatically download the file, while others may ask if you want to save or open the file. We recommend choosing save as this can help to prevent compatibility issues or file corruption.

Most browsers will automatically save your label templates to the Downloads folder on your device – unless you have selected another folder for this purpose.

Chrome displays a “Downloads” bar at the bottom on the browser window, while Firefox and Safari display a Download icon at the top right of the browser menu bar. Click on the bar or icon to view and open your downloaded file.


Our PDF label templates will be displayed in your browser, not downloaded straightaway. To save a copy of the template to your device, you need to click on the download button provided by your browser.

Chrome and Firefox have a bar at the top of the PDF with a number of icons; the download icon contains a downward facing arrow. Alternatively, right click within the PDF and select “Save Page”/“Save Page As” from the list.

Safari has a pop-up bar that appears when you move your cursor to the bottom of the browser window. The download icon features a computer with a downward facing arrow above it. Alternatively, hold down the Control Key () as you click on the download link and select “Download Linked File”.

Label Templates Download PDF Safari

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Definitions – Standalone Label Templates Versus Design Software

How To? – How To Pick The Right Label Templates From Label Planet

October 9th, 2018

Our label templates come in all kinds of formats; so this Template Tuesday explains how to download the right template for your self adhesive labels.

label templates made by label

Step One: Find The Right Label Templates For Your Label Size

We have created a set of label templates for each label size that we supply. Each label size has its own “label printing template information” page, which includes template download links.

There are two ways to reach the relevant information page for your label size:

  • Visit the product page of your self adhesive labels (type the LP product code into the product search bar). Click on the purple “Label Templates And Printing Information For This Label” link to reach the information page.
  • Visit our Label Templates home page; click on your label shape and then select your label size from the list.

Step Two: Choose The Right File Format For Your Software

We supply label templates in two file formats; Word templates (using the .docx file format) and PDF templates (using the .pdf file format).

You need to download a file format that your software can edit. If you have a graphics package that can edit the .pdf file format (such as Illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop), you can download a PDF template. Alternatively, you can download one of our Word templates, providing you have word processing software that can edit the .docx file format (such as Word, Word For Mac, or Pages).

If you have both a word processor and a graphics package, you can choose which software (and template) to use. Graphics packages and PDF label templates tend to be more precise and give you greater control over the level of detail in your design. However, many people are more familiar with word processors and may be more comfortable (and confident) using a Word template. It’s up to you to decide which option is best for you.

Step Three: Choose A Format That Suits Your Label Design

As we mentioned last week, we supply a few different formats to suit different designs. These include options for a portrait or landscape orientation, along with text box templates, mirrored templates, and bleed templates.

Most customers should stick with the basic portrait or landscape label templates. These can be adapted to create simple or more complex designs.

If you intend to include a full colour background and/or a border, we recommend using one of our bleed label templates. These add a “bleed area” around your blank labels, which allows you to oversize your design so it overlaps the edges of each label to prevent and white edging (or unprinted areas) appearing on your sticky labels.

We also provide “text box” and “mirrored” text box templates for beginners who wish to create text-only designs. In these Word templates, a text box has been added to each label. In the mirrored version, each text box is reversed or “mirrored” in order to create window stickers that can be applied onto one side of a window and viewed from the other side.

Next Week On Template Tuesday – How To? – How To Download Label Templates From Label Planet