Archive for May, 2017

How To Make Your Own Label Template

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

This Template Tuesday, we’re all about making your own label template; if you can’t find a suitable built in or standalone template for your labels, you can always make your own.

As a general rule, if your software contains design tools or template tools you should be able to create your own template; you can either go freeform and use the design tools available to recreate the layout of your labels OR you can use a built in template tool to set up a new template document that matches the layout of your labels.

FREEFORM DIY TEMPLATES
To create a freeform template, you simply need to make use of any design tools in your software to recreate the layout of your labels; for example, in Word, you can use Table Tools to recreate the shape and layout of your labels, while in a graphics package (e.g. InDesign, Photoshop etc) you can set up a single label design and then replicate it to create the layout of your labels.

The problem with creating a freeform template is that you may find that your software is limited in how accurate it can be when positioning the elements you are using to accurately create the layout of your labels. You need to make sure that every single element representing one of your labels is correctly positioned, which can be a difficult and time consuming task.

BUILT IN DIY TEMPLATES
Some software has built in tools to allow you to create a new document that meets a specific set of requirements, which you can use to create your own label template.

For example, in Word you can use the “Create Labels” tool to create a new document that contains a template for your labels – simply by filling in the measurements of the labels you need to print.

When creating a template for a sheet of labels, you need to know the following:

  • Number of labels across – the number of labels in each row.
  • Number of labels down – the number of labels in each column.
  • Label width – the width of each label.
  • Label height – the height of each label.
  • Horizontal pitch – the measurement from the left hand edge of the top left label to the left hand edge of the label next to it (i.e. the width of the label plus the width of the gap between the columns). If there is no gap, the horizontal pitch is the width of each label.
  • Vertical pitch – the measurement from the top edge of the top left label to the top edge of the label below it (i.e. the height of the label plus the height of the gap between the rows). If there is no gap, the vertical pitch is the height of each label.
  • Top margin – the gap from the top edge of the sheet to the top edge of the top row of labels.
  • Side margin – the gap from the left edge of the sheet to the left edge of the first column of labels (you may also need to provide the right margin, which is the gap from the right edge of the sheet to the right edge of the last column of labels).

If you need to print labels you have bought from Label Planet and you want (or need) to make your own template you can measure your labels yourself or you can visit the template information page for your labels – each template information page contains detailed measurements for you to use as a guide when creating your own template.

To find the template information page for your Label Planet labels:

  1. Visit our Template Section and select the label shape and size you need to print
  2. OR visit the product page for your labels and click on the “Label Templates & Printing Information” link below the product image.

To create your own template in Word (for example) you then need to follow these steps:

1. Open Word, create a new blank document, and click on the MAILINGS tab
2. Click on create LABELS
3. Click on the OPTIONS… button
4. Click on the NEW LABEL… button

5. Fill in the Label Details as required (make sure that the page size is set to A4)
6. Click on OK, click on OK again, and then click on NEW DOCUMENT to create a new document that contains your label template.

Remember, if you can’t see the layout of your template you probably have Table Gridlines turned off; visit our Troubleshooting Guide to find out how to turn them on.

Next week on Template Tuesday: Avery Templates 101

How To Find & Open A Label Template

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

This week, we’re looking at finding and opening a label template. As we mentioned in last week’s post, you can use an existing template that is built into your software or you can download a standalone template file and open it in your software.

FINDING A BUILT IN TEMPLATE
Depending on the type of software you are using, you may first need to select the type of document you need a template for – in this case, you are looking for LABEL templates. Next you may need to select the manufacturer of the label size and layout you wish to print and then you will need to select the code of the label template you wish to use.

Unfortunately, Label Planet is not one of the manufacturers who feature in the list of built in templates that will be available to you BUT we do supply a range of labels that are made using the same label size and layout as those made by Avery – in other words, they are compatible with Avery labels (and therefore Avery templates). Where one of our labels is compatible with an Avery size, we will list the Avery template code(s) that can be used to print our labels on the product page, product packaging, and template information page for that label size.

Opening A Built In Template in Word

  • Open Word and create a new blank document.
  • Click on the MAILINGS tab at the top of the ribbon and then click on LABELS, which is on the left hand side of the ribbon.

  • Click on OPTIONS and make sure that “Page Printers” is selected and that the “Label Vendor” is set to AVERY A4/A5.
  • Next scroll to the Avery template you want to use; there are a LOT of Avery templates included in Word, so you may find it quicker to left click once on one of the codes in the list (it doesn’t matter which) and then start typing the code for the template you want – this should cause Word to jump down the list either directly to that code or closer to the code so you don’t have to scroll as far.
    NB: Avery uses the same code for a product and the template that can be used to print that product – as Avery supplies some label sizes in a range of different materials, each material will have its own code, meaning that there may be a number of Avery templates that can be used to print a particular label size.
    For example, our product LP18/100 features 18 labels per sheet each measuring 100mm wide by 30mm high and we list TWO compatible Avery codes: J8172 refers to inkjet paper labels and L7172 refers to laser paper labels but both are made with exactly the same label size and layout (meaning that templates J8172 and L7172 are exactly the same).

  • Once you have selected your code, click OK, then click “New Document”; this opens a copy of the template in a new document and you should be able to see the layout of your labels (if you can’t, table gridlines are turned off; see our Troubleshooting Guide to learn how to turn table gridlines on).

FINDING A STANDALONE TEMPLATE
Some label manufacturers and suppliers will have created templates for their customers to use and these are usually available to download from the company’s website. If the company you have bought your labels from does not supply templates (and there isn’t a compatible built in template available) you will need to source a suitable template from another company (or create your own – see next week’s post for more information on how to do this).

At Label Planet, we have created Word templates and PDF templates for our customers to download and use completely free of charge. All of these templates are available in our TEMPLATE SECTION; simply select your label shape and locate your label size in the options available. This will take you to the template information page for that size, which contains detailed measurements, any compatible Avery codes, our Word templates and PDF templates, tips about printing that particular label size, and a list of the label products we supply in that label size.

You need to make sure that you choose a template that is in a file format that your software can read AND edit; some software may be able to read a particular file format but not edit it – which would mean that you could open a file but not make changes to it. You should be able to find out what file formats your software can edit by using any in built help tools that are available or by visiting the website of the manufacturer/supplier.

Our Word templates can be edited by Word 2007 and onwards or by any Word Processing software that can edit the .docx file format (e.g. Pages, LibreOffice etc), while our PDF templates can be edited by any graphics package that can edit the .pdf file format (e.g. Indesign, Photoshop etc).

To download a template you will usually need to click on a download link (on our site, these are the purple links in the centre of each template information page). Depending on the browser you are using (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Windows Edge, or Internet Explorer), you may be given the choice of saving or opening the template or the file will simply be saved to your Downloads folder.

If you are given the option to save or open a template, we recommend choosing save and then using your software to open the saved file – this allows your software to check that it can actually read and edit the template correctly (or convert it if necessary) before you start adding your design.

You can simply double click on the saved template to open it automatically in the default software that your device uses to open that kind of file but we feel that using your software to open your template is a better way to go.

To open a saved template, you simply open your software, click on “File” > “Open” to locate your downloaded template (you may need to select “Computer” > “Browse” first). Most devices list the Downloads folder as a “Favourite” location in your device’s file manager, although you can also use the “Search” bar to locate the Downloads folder or your downloaded template (provided that you first tell the file manager to search your Computer (Windows) or All My Files (macOS) and not just the Downloads folder).

If you are using Windows, the file manager is referred to as “Windows Explorer” and looks like this:

If you are using macOS, the file manager is the”Finder” and looks like this: 

It should be noted that almost any file you download from the internet will automatically be put into a protective locked state; when you open a file in your software it is likely that you will be presented with some sort of notice identifying that the file has been downloaded from the internet and asking if you want to proceed.

For example, if you download and open a template in Word, there will be a yellow banner across the top of the page entitled “PROTECTED VIEW” with a button labelled “Enable Editing” – you will need to click on the “Enable Editing” button to be able to work with the template (instead of just viewing it).

Next week on Template Tuesday: How To Make Your Own Label Template

The Different Types Of Templates (& How To Choose The Right One For You)

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

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. Avery 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. One of the most popular sets of built in templates is those designed for Avery labels and many label suppliers sell labels that are compatible with Avery labels – i.e. they use the same label size and layout – which means you can print those labels using a built in Avery template.

Many of our labels are compatible with Avery sizes; we list any compatible Avery codes on the product page and template information page for each label size we supply so you can print your labels using a built in Avery template or download a standalone template from our website.

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

The TEN Things You Need To Print Your Own Labels

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

We’re kicking off the first ever TEMPLATE TUESDAY with our list of TEN things that you need to print your own labels, starting with:

NUMBER ONE: LABELS (!)

Whether your project is underway or you’re creating a few samples on a trial basis, you’ll need labels (or a sample) that you can print.
You can request a sample of our labels by contacting our Customer Service Team or filling in our online Sample Request Form.

You must make sure that your labels are compatible with the printer you intend to use – i.e. you need A4 sheets of laser labels if you have a laser printer and A4 sheets of inkjet labels if you have an inkjet printer.
We identify the printer compatibility of our self-adhesive labels on the relevant range and product pages and on the product packaging.

NUMBER TWO: PAPER

You should always test print your completed template onto blank paper BEFORE you print onto your labels proper, so you can correct any issues with your template or printer without wasting any of your label sheets.

NUMBER THREE: COMPUTER / LAPTOP / TABLET

You’ll need a computer/laptop/tablet that is connected to a …

NUMBER FOUR: PRINTER

All of our self-adhesive labels are supplied on A4 sheets so you can print your own labels using a standard desktop printer, whether that’s an inkjet printer, laser printer, or even a photocopier.

We’ll visit the topic of printers in more detail later on but for now we recommend using a printer with a media bypass tray and checking the printer’s manual to make sure it is suitable for printing labels and to see if the manufacturer has provided any specific guidelines for printing labels to ensure you get the best possible print alignment and quality.

NUMBER FIVE: SOFTWARE

You can use a wide range of software to design labels, from specialised label design packages to general design packages, or even non-design software that contains tools that can be used to design labels. Most people use whatever software is already installed on their device but you may want to invest in a package that is better suited to the task of designing labels.

We don’t recommend any particular software for designing labels; it is up to you to decide what software you are comfortable with and if you want to make the choice of sourcing (and learning to use) a more specialised design package.

If you are using non-design software, you need to be aware of its limitations – design tools included in non-design software tend to be less sophisticated than those contained in design software so you should tailor your label design to the tools available in your software and don’t expect it to perform beyond its capabilities.

Common examples of software used to design labels include: Microsoft Word (a word processor that contains some tools suitable for designing labels), Adobe InDesign (a graphics package that can be used to design labels), and Avery’s “Design and Print” (a label design package available as an online service, a download for desktop computers and laptops, and an app for tablet devices).

NUMBER SIX: TEMPLATE

A template is simply a file that contains a representation of the labels you wish to print, so that you can “fill in” the template with your design and it will then be printed onto your labels in the correct position and layout. When printing labels you can use either a “built-in” or a “standalone” template; a built-in template is a template that is available as part of your software (such as the Avery templates that are available in Word) and a standalone template is a template that is available as an individual file that you open (and edit) using your software (such as the Word templates that you can download from our website).

If you want to use a standalone template you must make sure that it is compatible with your software – i.e. that your software can open and edit that file – see next week’s post for more information about the different types of templates available.

NUMBER SEVEN: IDEAS

It always helps to have an idea of what you want to include on your labels. If you’re creating simple text-only labels, then you basically need to make sure your text fits and choose a suitable font BUT if you’re creating something more complicated (e.g. product labels) you’ll need to know what content you want to include on your labels (e.g. logo, company details, product details etc) and how it will all fit together.

If you are creating labels with a more complicated design, we recommend getting your content together (e.g. typing out your text and selecting your images) and/or creating a basic sketch of what you want so that you can see how well (or not) your design will fit onto your labels.

NUMBER EIGHT: TIME

While you CAN set up a template and print your own labels in a matter of minutes, we always recommend setting aside plenty of time to design and print your labels – just in case something goes wrong. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, it’s always possible that your template or your printer simply won’t play ball and you’ll end up needing a bit of time to sort things out – which, if you’ve left your labels to the last minute, can become a bit of a stressful nightmare!

NUMBER NINE: PATIENCE

Taking on the challenge of DIY labels means that you are totally responsible for setting up your template, your software, and your printer. It is extremely easy for one small setting to cause big problems BUT it’s also really easy to correct these issues – as long as you have a bit of patience and check things over carefully at each step of the process when designing and printing (and correcting) your own label template.

NUMBER TEN: THE LABEL PLANET HELP PAGES!

We’ve been working with labels and label templates for years and years (and years) and we’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way –  we’ve used this information to create our help pages so our customers have all the help and advice they might need to hand in one useful (and completely free) resource.

The Label Planet help section includes step-by-step guides, FAQs, hints and tips, a handy troubleshooting guide (just in case), and our template section, which includes Word templates and PDF templates for all of the label sizes we supply.

Next week on Template Tuesday: The Different Types Of Templates (& How To Choose The Right One For You)

Introducing Template Tuesdays With Label Planet!

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Yes, we know today is Thursday but this post is simply here to announce the arrival of a brand new blog from Label Planet, which we’ve craftily named “Template Tuesdays”!

Each Tuesday, we’ll be adding a new post all about label templates – including posts about what label templates actually are and how they work, how to find the right template for your labels, how to add and edit a label design, how to print a template, and a few helpful hints (and troubleshooting tips) to help you out when things aren’t quite going to plan.

Here at Label Planet, we’ve spent years working with labels and label templates, which means that we’ve picked up plenty of tricks and shortcuts to make the whole process of designing and printing your labels that much easier – and we’re always looking for new ways to share our knowledge with our customers.

While our existing blog will continue to provide information about our self-adhesive labels and answer customer questions about ordering labels from Label Planet, this new blog will be focused solely on templates – so if you’ve got any questions or queries about templates, hopefully you’ll find the answer here!

Remember, if you do have any problems finding or using a template to print your own labels you can always visit our Help & Advice Pages or contact our Customer Service Team, who will be happy to offer one-to-one advice for the particular issue that you’ve encountered!

Our first Template Tuesday blog will be posted next Tuesday (9th May) and will feature the TEN things you need to print your own labels.