Posts Tagged ‘PDF Templates’

Template Tuesday: How To? – How To View The File Format Of A Label Template

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

This week, we’ll explain how to view the file format of individual files to find out if a particular label template is in a file format that is compatible with your software.

Generally speaking, most companies will indicate the file format used for their label templates (as we do) BUT if you have a label template file and don’t know its file format, the easiest way to determine the file format is to look at the file extension.

The file extension is a set of (usually three) letters that follow the last full stop in the FULL file name. File extensions are usually hidden by default, so the file name you see is actually only part of the full file name.

The left hand column below shows the file name that appears when file extensions are hidden; the right hand column shows the full file name of those same files when file extensions are set to display.

Label Templates Definition File Format File Extension

There are a number of ways to view file extensions but the easiest is to bring up the file information for an individual file.

How To View File Extensions: Windows

Step 1: Open the file manager; originally known as “Windows Explorer”, the file manager was renamed in Windows 8 as “File Explorer” by clicking on this icon:

Label Templates Icon Windows File Explorer

Step 2: Navigate to the folder where you have saved your label template (downloaded files are usually saved to the “Downloads” folder in Favourites).

Step 3: Right click once on your label template file and select “Properties” from the list.

Near the top of the General tab you will see “Type of file” – next to this will be the file extension of your label template.

How To View File Extensions: Mac

Step 1: Open the file manager (“Finder”) by clicking on this icon:

Label Templates Icon Mac Finder

Step 2: Navigate to the folder where you have saved your label template (downloaded files are usually saved to the “Downloads” folder in Favourites).

Step 3: Right click (hold down the Control key as you click) once on your label template file and select “Get Info” from the list.

About halfway down the Information Window you will see a section called “Name & Extension”, which will contain the full file name for your label template (including the file extension) – if the section is not expanded, click on the section title to open it up. If the “Hide extension” box is checked, uncheck it to reveal the file extension.


It is always best to view the file extension via file information – especially when downloading files from the internet. Malicious files may be given a file name that makes it LOOK like the full file name is showing – tricking a user into thinking that it has a particular file format – when the true file format is actually hidden.

For example, a file might be named “FileName.docx” to make it look like a normal Word document BUT looking at the file information would reveal that the full file name is actually  “FileName.docx.exe” – meaning that the file is actually an executable program and should NOT be opened.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Downloading Label Templates 101

Template Tuesday: Definitions – What Does “File Format” Mean?

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

To use a standalone label template file you need to make sure that the file format of that label template is compatible with the software you want to use to design your self adhesive labels – in other words, your software needs to be able to read (display) and write (change) the label template.

File Format – A Definition

A “file format” is a technical standard used to encode information so that it can be stored in a computer file. File formats may be designed to store one particular type of data (e.g. just images) or a number of different types of data (e.g. sound and video). Different types of data can also be stored using a number of different file formats; for example, text may be stored in a .docx or a .txt file format, images may be stored in a .jpg or .png file format, and sound may be stored in a .mp3 or .aac file format.

Most software only supports a small selection of file formats. This is because most software is designed to perform a specific type of task (e.g. word processing) and so only file formats that can encode the information involved in that type of task (e.g. text) will be supported.

While computers and software can use a range of factors to determine the file format used to encode a particular file, for human users the easiest way to identify the file format is to look at the “file extension” – this is the set of letters that comes at the very end of the FULL name of a file, after the last full stop. File extensions are usually three letters but can actually be anything between one and four characters long; they’re also usually hidden by default – we’ll explain how to view file extensions for individual files next week. Label Templates Definition File Format File Extension
The left hand column shows the file names of our label templates as they appear in the Windows File Explorer with file extensions hidden; the right hand column shows the FULL names of those same files as they appear when file extensions are displayed.

Reading Versus Writing – What Is The Difference & Why Does It Matter?

Without going into unnecessarily complicated definitions, all these two terms mean is:

  • READ: your software can open and display the contents of a file
  • WRITE: your software can change the contents of a file

Some software may offer limited support for specific file formats, which means that it only has SOME of the features required to display (and change) certain content within a file. In this case, your software will usually replicate the file as closely as possible (for example, Word opens such files in its “Compatibility Mode”).

If your software can only read a label template file you will not be able to add your design and if it only offers limited support you may find that the replicated version of your label template isn’t as accurate as the original (producing the wrong alignment) or that you can’t change specific elements within the label template.

The key thing to remember is: just because your software opens a label template this does not mean that you can edit it. Reading a file format is a much simpler task than editing a file format, which means that a lot of software will allow you to open files without the ability to make changes.

Converting Label Templates Into “Native File Formats”

If your software can read but not edit a particular file format, you may be given the option to convert your file into a “native” file format – i.e. the default file format used by your software.

This CAN be a useful workaround but ONLY if the conversion process doesn’t interfere with the sizing and layout of the label template.

For example, Word can create table rows as small as 0.4mm BUT Pages only allows rows as small as 3.2mm; if your Word template has gaps of less than 3.2mm between each row of labels and you convert it to a Pages document, Pages will automatically expand the gaps to 3.2mm – destroying the alignment of your label template.

If you do convert a label template into a different file format, always double check the measurements to make sure they are correct for your label size.

You can find detailed measurements for all of our label sizes on our Template Information Pages.

Label Planet’s Label Templates

All of our label templates are supplied in a .docx file format (our Word Templates) and a .pdf file format (our PDF Templates). You can use our Word label templates with any word processing software that can edit the .docx file format (such as Word, Word For Mac, Pages, and LibreOffice etc) and you can use our PDF label templates with any graphics software that can edit the .pdf file format (such as InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop etc).

When you download one of our label templates, you may be given the option to save the file or to open it; we recommend saving the template to your device before opening your software and using the “File > Open” menu options to locate and open that saved template.

You can find all of our label templates by visiting our Label Templates Home Page; alternatively, navigate to the product page of the label size you have bought from us and click on the purple “Label Templates And Printing Information” link below the product image.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: How To? – How To View The File Format Of A Label Template

Designing A Label Template – When & How To Use A Bleed Template

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

This week, we’re taking a look at Bleed Templates – which are definitely not as gruesome as they sound!

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, if you’re creating a label design that uses a full colour background you can sometimes end up with white edging around the edges of your labels where your printer hasn’t quite managed to line up your template perfectly with your labels. While you COULD try to fix this by manually adjusting your template, it’s more than likely that this is actually a near-impossible task, which makes it much quicker and easier to produce your labels by oversizing your design slightly to prevent any white edges from appearing at all.

This means that the outer edges of your design will sit outside the edges of your labels – in other words, your design “bleeds over” into the non-label areas of your label sheets. While you CAN achieve this effect using a standard template (and simply oversizing your design as needed), you can also use a purposely designed “Bleed Template”, which will have a “bleed area” included around each label in the template.

There are a few different ways that this bleed area can be created but to keep things simple, we’ll take a look at the ways WE have created bleed areas in our bleed templates.

In our PDF templates, each label is represented by a solid black outline and the bleed area around each label is outlined by a dotted grey line (meaning that the “bleed area” is the area between the solid black line outlining the label and the dotted grey line outlining the extent of the bleed area).

In our Word templates, we have merged the bleed area with the area that represents each label on a sheet; in some cases, where the gap between each column of labels is larger than the gap between each row of labels, there will still be a blank column representing the gap between the labels (and their respective bleed areas), but most of our bleed templates will not show any gaps between the labels. Generally speaking, therefore, the areas that are outlined in these templates show the labels themselves COMBINED with their respective bleed areas.

You should use a bleed template if you want to create a label design with a coloured background (e.g. with a coloured background, full size image, or a border) AND the label size you are using has gaps between and around each label.

It is possible to use bleed with labels that don’t have gaps between and around each label BUT only if your design is consistent around its edges; you can simply oversize your design in a standard template to avoid white edging BUT if your design changes colour and the edges do not match then you may end up with inconsistencies in your printed labels. For example, if you oversize a photo of a landscape (where the background shifts from blue sky at the top to green fields at the bottom), you may end up with the bottom edge of the landscape printing onto the top of the label below it (so you have a green edge where it should be blue).

This also means that you can’t create specific bleed templates for these label sizes and layouts; you would end up placing bleed areas within areas that represent actual labels on your sheet, which would obviously cause problems when you try to add your design to these overlapping areas.

For each of our label sizes where it is possible to create a bleed template, we have tried to include as much bleed area as is physically possible on that particular label size and layout. This is determined by taking the size of the gaps between the rows and/or columns of labels and halving this measurement. As shown above in our LP15/51R Word Bleed Template, the gaps between the rows and columns is 2mm, which allows for a bleed area of 1mm all the way around each label. Where the gaps between the rows and columns differ in size, we take the smaller measurement; for example, in our LP24/45R label size, the gap between the rows of labels is 3mm and the gap between the columns is 4mm – in order to create a CONSISTENT bleed area all the way around each label, we take the smaller measurement (3mm) to determine that the bleed area available for this label size is 1.5mm.

When using a bleed template, you simply need to add your label design to the template so that the outermost points of your design fall into the bleed area provided. While you DON’T have to fill the bleed area, you DO need to make sure that your design doesn’t extend beyond the limits of the bleed area (otherwise it may end up creeping onto another label) AND that any important elements within your design don’t fall into the bleed area (otherwise they will be cut off).

In other words, if your design contains important elements at the very edges of your labels you will need to extend your design so that these elements remain within the labels themselves, while the extended area falls into the bleed area and can be safely discarded.

When using Word Bleed Templates, you will need to take additional care because they only show the combination of each label and its bleed area (i.e. they do not show where a label finishes and the bleed area starts); this means that you will need to CENTRE your design (so that its edges fall into the bleed area) and – as always – we strongly recommend doing a test print of your template onto paper so that you can double check if your design will be printed correctly (and make amendments if necessary).

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Designing A Label Template – Top Tips For…Rectangular Labels

Designing A Label Template – Finding Word’s Design Tools & Features

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

For many people, Word is a simple way to create the documents they need on a day to day basis, and they use the same tools and features over and over again with few, if any, difficulties. When, however, they need to use Word for something a little different – say, to design and print their own labels – it can become quite a frustrating territory to navigate, especially when they need to find tools that they have never needed to use before.

Over the years, Word has been adapted and updated to make it easier to use and sleeker in design; unfortunately, some people struggle with the layout and navigation of Word, which can make it difficult for them to find the tools they need (and make simple tasks much harder and more time consuming to complete).

While Word has added functions to help overcome these issues (such as the introduction in Word 2016 of the “Tell me what you want to do” tool, which provides a shortlist of options based on the information you enter), there are a few basic tips that can help save you plenty of time when it comes to designing a label template in Word.

  • All the tools that you can use to make changes to your Word document (and any items that you add to it) are contained in the “RIBBON” at the top of the page.
  • The tools are grouped into “TABS”, which are displayed above the ribbon.
  • There are two types of tabs:
    “DEFAULT TABS”: these tabs are always visible and include the Home, Insert, Design, Layout, References, Mailings, Review, and View tabs.
    “FORMAT TABS”: these tabs contain formatting tools that relate to different objects (e.g. images, text boxes, shapes, tables etc) and are only visible when you have selected an object or objects. They include the Drawing Tools, Picture Tools, Table Tools Design, and Table Tools Layout tabs.
  • The Picture Tools tab contains tools to edit images and the Drawing Tools tab can be used to edit WordArt, text boxes, and shapes.
  • Built-in Avery templates are accessed through the “Labels” tool in the “Mailings” tab.
  • You can amend the page margins of your template using the “Custom Margins” tool, listed under “Margins” in the “Layout” tab.
  • To add an item to your template you can either use the options listed under the “Insert” tab or use the copy and paste tools listed under the “Home” tab to import items from an external source.
  • Word templates are basically tables where the cells in the table represent the layout of a set of labels on an A4 sheet (including any gaps around or between the labels); to make any amendments to the table, you can use the tools listed under the “Table Tools Design” and “Table Tools Layout” tab.
  • If you cannot see the outline of the table (meaning your Word template appears blank) you have Table Gridlines turned OFF; to turn them on, left click in the centre of the page to bring up the Table Tools Layout tab and then click on the “View Gridlines” button on the left hand side of the ribbon.

Next week on Template Tuesday: Designing A Label Template – Using Word’s Arrange Toolbar To Create A Perfectly Arranged Template

Troubleshooting Tips For Choosing The Right Label Template

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Over the last five weeks, we’ve been looking at defining what label templates are, how to find the right template for you, and how to open a template so that you can get busy designing your own labels.

This week, we’re looking at a few troubleshooting hints and tips for finding the right label template based on some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our own customers.

Where Do I Get A Template To Print The Labels I’ve Bought From You?
All of our label sizes have their own template information page, which contains free Word templates and PDF templates for you to download and use. To get to the template information page for your labels you need to:

  • Go to our TEMPLATE HOME PAGE; select your label shape and label size
  • OR go to the product page for your labels and click on “Label Templates And Printing Information For this Label”

The template download links are listed in the middle of the template page and are purple in colour; we offer a range of different template formats to suit a variety of label designs, including options for Portrait or Landscape templates, Text Box and Mirrored Word templates, and Bleed templates. Simply click on the link for the template you want to download!

Alternatively, if your labels have a compatible Avery code (these are listed on the product page, product packaging, and template information pages for each product), you can use an Avery template that is built in to your software.

What Software Should I Use To Design My Labels?
It’s up to you. Most people use whatever software they already have installed on their computer but you may want to source new software that is designed for designing and printing labels if you don’t have anything suitable already on your computer.

We don’t recommend any particular software because it’s up to you to decide what you are comfortable with (particularly if you would need to purchase and learn how to use your new software).

Should I Download A Word Template Or A PDF Template?
You should download a template that is compatible with the software that you intend to use to design and print your labels (i.e. that is in a file format that your software can edit). Our Word templates use the .docx file format and can be edited by a variety of word processing software including Word, Pages, LibreOffice etc. Our PDF templates can be used with any graphics package that is capable of editing the .pdf file format (e.g. InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop etc).

When I Download A Template, I Am Asked If I Want To Open Or Save The File – What Should I Do?
We recommend choosing save – you can then use your software to open the saved file so that it can check that it can read and edit the file correctly (and convert the file if necessary) before you start adding your design.

How Do I Open A Word Template On My Mac?
Word templates can be used in Pages, the word processor included with Apple devices. You simply download and save the Word template you need onto your device. You then open Pages, click on File and then Open and browse to the folder where your template is saved (when downloading files from the internet, they are usually saved to the Downloads folder).

Why Can’t I See The Outlines Of My Word Template?
If you open a Word template and you cannot see the outline of the labels, Table Gridlines are turned off. To turn them on, you should left click somewhere in the middle of the page to bring up the Table Tools “Layout” tab at the top of the page. Click on this tab and then click on the “View Gridlines” button on the left hand side of the ribbon at the top of the page.
Please note, Word also contains a tool called Page Gridlines (which adds a grid to your page to help you accurately line up different elements), which is listed under the “View” tab at the top of the page.

Why Don’t Your Word Templates Show Circles/Ovals For Round Labels/Oval Labels?
Word templates are basically a table that represents the layout of a sheet of labels; each cell in the table represents either a label or a blank gap between two labels. This means that Word templates can only represent square or rectangular areas and so – to create Word templates for round labels or ovals labels – a compromise is used. Each label will be represented by a square or rectangular cell in the table whereby the outermost points of the label touches the four sides of the cell.

Why Can’t I Make Changes To My Template?
There are two main reasons why you might not be able to make changes to your template:

  • You have downloaded a template from the internet and your software has temporarily put it into a locked protective state for security reasons. Usually there will be a message on your screen to warn you that the file might not be safe (such as the yellow “PROTECTED VIEW” banner that appears at the top of Word documents) and a button for you to press to acknowledge that you want to open and use the file (e.g. “Enable Editing”).
  • You may have opened a template in software that can READ the file but not EDIT it – in other words, your software can display what the file looks like but cannot make any changes to it. For example, the free PDF viewer Adobe Reader can display PDF files but you cannot make changes to those files.

Why Has My Word Template Split Onto 2 Pages?
There are a few reasons why a Word template might split across two pages:

  • You have accidentally added content above the template. Move your cursor to the top of the page and left click once – if this creates a flashing text cursor, you can use the “Delete” key on your keyboard to move your template back up into place.
  • If you have added content to your template, Word may have “helpfully” resized your template to allow your content to fit; double check the size of each label (and gap) in your template to make sure they are still correct.
    [Left click once inside a label (or gap), select the Table Tools “Layout” tab at the top of the page, and look for the width and height boxes to see the size of that label (or gap).]
  • Your software has automatically adjusted the template to suit its own rules and requirements, which may differ from those of Word. For example, Apple’s Pages has a minimum table row height of 3.2mm, which means that any template that uses a smaller row height will automatically be resized to suit the default minimum. You will need to delete the rows that represent the gaps between your labels and increase the height of the labels to accommodate for the gaps.

Why Can’t I Find My Avery Code On Your Website/In My Software?
There are a couple of reasons why you might not be able to find an Avery template on our website or in your software:

  • We may not supply that particular size; while we supply a lot of label sizes that are the same as those supplied by Avery, we do not match Avery’s list of products.
  • We may not supply that particular size – because it is an American size. America uses a different page size to the UK, which is known as “Letter” (or American Letter), and labels designed for use in the US are supplied on Letter sheets and in measurements of inches – in contrast to UK labels, which are supplied on A4 sheets and in measurements of cm/mm.
  • The Avery template code may be for a product that Avery has discontinued or that wasn’t considered “popular” enough for inclusion in the set of built in Avery templates supplied with your software.

You can find complete lists of all of the Avery template codes that are compatible with our label sizes in our LIST OF AVERY CODES (with compatible Label Planet sizes) and our LIST OF LABEL PLANET CODES (with compatible Avery sizes).

Can You Send Me A Template?
If you are struggling to find, download, or open a template, you can always get in touch with us to let us know and we will email you a copy of the template you need as an attachment.

Next week on Template Tuesday: Designing A Label Template – Always Start With A Plan

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