Posts Tagged ‘Templates’

Template Tuesday: Downloading Label Templates 101

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

There are THREE ways to get a label template for your self adhesive labels:

  1. Make your own label template
  2. Use an existing label template that is built into your software
  3. Download a standalone label template

Most people won’t want to create their own label template (either because they aren’t sure how to do this or they’d prefer to save time by using an existing label template) and many don’t have access to a built-in template (because their software doesn’t offer built-in label templates OR it doesn’t have a label template that is compatible with their label size) – which means that they will need to download a standalone template.

Some label manufacturers and suppliers provide label templates on their website (like Label Planet!), others direct customers to resources where they can find label templates, and the rest leave customers to find their own label templates.

Downloading Label Templates

Generally speaking, the process of downloading label templates follows these basic steps:

  1. Visit the website of your label manufacturer / supplier to find a suitable label template download.
    Most websites have dedicated label template sections OR include a label template download on the product page for your self adhesive labels.
    To download a Label Planet label template, you can either visit our Template Section or visit the product page of your self adhesive labels and click on the purple “Label Templates And Printing Information” link to reach the template information page for your label size.
  1. Select the correct label template for your software / label design.
    At Label Planet, we supply label templates in a .docx file format (for use with word processors such as Word and Pages) and a .pdf file format (for use with graphics software such as Photoshop and InDesign). We also provide different template formats including Portrait and Landscape orientations, Text Box and Mirrored Text Box Templates (if you are adding just text or need to create mirrored – reversed – text), and Bleed Templates (for designs with full colour backgrounds). If you aren’t sure about using different formats, it’s best to stick to the basic Portrait or Landscape options.
  1. (Left) click once on the text link or icon to begin downloading your label template.
    Our label template downloads can be found halfway down each template information page; they are purple text links listed under the headings “Word Templates” and “PDF Templates”.
  1. If you are asked whether you want to SAVE or OPEN your label template, select SAVE.
    Usually, downloaded files will be saved to a specific “Downloads” folder (unless you have previously specified that downloaded files are to be saved elsewhere). To open your label template, we recommend first opening the software you intend to use to design your self adhesive labels and using the “File” > “Open” menu options to locate and open your saved label template.

Next Week On Template Tuesday – How To? – How To Download A Label Template

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.

TOP TIP

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

Definitions – What Does “Compatible” Mean?

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

If you’ve been looking at designing and printing your own self adhesive labels, you’ve probably seen the word “compatible” being thrown around with alarming regularity – with regards to inkjet labels and laser labels, label templates, and software.

This week, we’ll talk you through what “compatible” actually means (in the context of designing and printing label templates) and why it is so important to printing A4 labels.

Compatible – A Definition

When two (different) items are compatible, they can be used together without the need to adapt or modify one or both of those items.

In the context of label templates and blank labels, in order to create a set of perfectly printed sticky labels you need to use a label template that is compatible with your label size, a label template that is compatible with your software, and printer labels that are compatible with your printer.

Compatible – Label Sizes & Label Templates

To print your required design onto your blank labels in the correct position, you need to use a label template that is compatible with your label size – that is, your label template needs to use the same label size AND layout as your sheet labels.

It is important to remember that, while some manufacturers and suppliers supply the SAME LABEL SIZES, they may use DIFFERENT LABEL LAYOUTS (so the same size of label is laid out differently on each A4 sheet – meaning that they may use different page margins and/or different gaps between the blank labels).

All of our label templates have been set up using measurements taken from the cutters used to make our self adhesive labels to ensure that the label size and layout in each template exactly matches those of the relevant sheet of blank labels. Where we list “compatible” Avery templates, we have checked the Avery measurements to ensure that they match the label size and layout of our adhesive label products.

Compatible – Label Templates & Software

If you are using a standalone label template (i.e. an individual file or document that you open using a software application on your computer), you must make sure that the FILE FORMAT of your label template is compatible with your software – in other words, that your software can both READ and EDIT your label template.

“File format” simply refers to the way that information in a file is encoded; your software will be able to read and/or edit specific file formats – but not others. This is why it is important to make sure that the label template you download uses a file format that your software can both read* and write* – otherwise you will not be able to add your required design to your label template.

*READ: your software can open and display the contents of a file.

*EDIT: your software can open, display, and change the contents of a file.

See next week’s Template Tuesday for a more detailed guide to file formats.

At Label Planet, we supply Word templates (with a .docx file format) and PDF templates (with a .pdf file format).

Compatible – Laser Labels & Laser Printers / Inkjet Labels & Inkjet Printers

Finally, you need to make sure that you are using printer labels that are compatible with your printer; this means that the materials used to make your sticky labels are suitable for the printing process used by your printer.

Laser printers use a dry printing process (applying heat and pressure) to bond a dry powder (toner) onto surfaces; this means that laser labels are made with materials that offer a smooth surface and resistance to (short term) exposure to high temperatures.

Inkjet printers, however, direct droplets of ink onto surfaces where they dry in place to form a final printed image; this means that inkjet labels are made with materials that are slightly porous in order to allow printing inks to dry more quickly and effectively in the correct position.

At Label Planet, we list the printer compatibility of all of our adhesive labels on range pages, product pages, and product packaging.

Next Week On Template Tuesday – How To? – How To Find Out If A Label Template Is Compatible With Your Software

How To? – How To Find & Open A Built-In Template In Word

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

To find and open a built-in label template in Word, simply follow these simple steps:

1. Open Word and create a new BLANK DOCUMENT

2. Click on the MAILINGS tab at the top of the page and then click on LABELS. This will bring up a “Envelopes and Labels” box; to access the list of built-in templates, click on the OPTIONS button.

3. Ensure that the LABEL VENDOR is set to AVERY A4/A5 and locate your Avery template in the list. Click OK, and then click on the NEW DOCUMENT button in the “Envelopes and Labels” box.

TOP TIPS:

Some of our label sizes are compatible with Avery’s Zweckform range; this will be noted on the template information page and you will need to set the label vendor to Avery Zweckform).

There are a LOT of built-in Avery templates in this list; left click once on ANY of the codes and type the first character(s) of your code to jump down the list.

A new Word document will open, containing the label template you have chosen. You should be able to see the layout of your labels in the form of a table with a light grey dotted outline (see right).

If you can’t see the outlines, you have Table Gridlines turned off; to turn them on, left click once anywhere in the middle of the page to bring up two “Table Tools” tabs at the top of the ribbon. Click on the LAYOUT tab and then click on the VIEW GRIDLINES button.


To find out what Avery template code you need to use to print the self adhesive labels you have bought from Label Planet, simply visit the product page for your sticky labels and click on the purple “Label Templates And Printing Information” link – this will take you to the Template Information page for that label size, where any compatible Avery codes will be listed just below the measurements of that label size.

Alternatively, you can start from our TEMPLATE HOME PAGE; select your label shape and then locate your label size in the list.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Definitions – What Does “Compatible” Mean?

Definitions – What Is A Built-In Label Template?

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

You may have been advised that you can either download a label template or use a built-in label template to design and print your own self adhesive labels.

While you might be familiar with the concept of label templates that you download from a supplier’s website – such as the label templates available to download from the Label Planet website – you might not be familiar with “built-in” templates (or at least with that particular term).

What are built-in templates?

Basically built-in templates are simply label templates that are part of (are built into) application software. You don’t need to download a standalone file to use them – they’re ready and available for you to use simply by starting up your software.

Perhaps the most common example is Word’s built-in label templates; to access these, you simply open Word, create a blank document, click on the “Mailings” tab and select the “Labels” option in the Create section on the left hand side of the ribbon – before using the “Options” button to select the built-in template you want to use.

See next week’s Template Tuesday for a more detailed guide to using Word’s built-in label templates.

How many built-in label templates are available?

It depends on the specific software (and version of that software) you are using. Generally speaking, software designers will try to include a range of label sizes that are “standard” or popular label sizes – and the options available may be revised and updated when a new version of a particular piece of software is released.

Are Label Planet’s label templates available as built-in label templates?

Unfortunately not. Built-in label templates tend to be based on the label sizes supplied by global manufacturers and suppliers (such as Avery Labels).

You may, however, be able to find a built-in Avery label template that is compatible with our label sizes and layouts – i.e. that is designed for sheet labels with same label size and layout as our products. This is because we supply a number of label sizes that are exactly the same as those supplied by Avery – so you can print Label Planet labels with a compatible Avery template (or print Avery labels with a compatible Label Planet template).

How do I find out if there is a built-in template I can use to print my Label Planet labels?

Visit the template information page for your Label Planet labels; this can be found by clicking on the “Label Templates & Printing Information” link on the product page of your Label Planet labels OR you can head on over to our Template Home Page and follow the links to find your label size.

Just below the measurements for each label size there will be a box with the heading “Avery Codes”; if your label size is compatible with any Avery labels/templates, the relevant codes will be listed here.

If the box displays N/A, this means that Avery do not supply that particular label size and you will need to use the purple links to download one of our standalone templates.

Why can’t I find the label template I need in my software?

If you’ve got a label template code (Avery or otherwise) that you’d like to use BUT you can’t find it in the list of built-in templates in your software, it is possible that:

  • You are looking under the wrong Label Vendor; built-in label templates tend to be grouped by manufacturer – to find an Avery label template for A4 labels you need to make sure the Label Vendor/Manufacturer is set to “Avery A4/A5”.
    Some A4 labels are compatible with Avery’s Zweckform range, in which case you must set the Label Vendor to “Avery Zweckform”.
  • You are looking for a label template for self adhesive labels that have been discontinued (or weren’t popular enough to be included in the standard list of label templates). It is possible that Avery still supply that label size in another product range – which means you simply need to find out the template code of that new product.
    For example, Avery used to supply a range of shipping labels that all had product codes beginning “DPS”; these blank labels have now been discontinued but new products with the same label sizes have been created. Therefore if you were to look for Avery template DPS04, you would be unlikely to find it listed in current software HOWEVER you should be able to find the compatible version – 3483.

Are there any benefits to using built-in label templates rather than standalone label templates?

Ideally, there shouldn’t be any difference between a built-in template and a standalone template; in practice, however, there are of couple of things you might want to bear in mind:

  • Label manufacturers and suppliers don’t have any control over the built-in templates; while a built-in template SHOULD match their relevant label products, you are relying on manufacturers and suppliers to ensure that built-in templates are actually the same as your sticky labels AND on there having been no changes to the measurements used either by your software or the supplier of your self adhesive labels.
    At Label Planet, we periodically review our label templates (and the built-in label templates we list as being compatible with our products) to make sure they still produce the best possible alignment for our customers. While it is unlikely that software designers will alter the measurements of built-in templates, we do not have any control over these templates – whereas the standalone templates provided on our website have been set up by us using the measurements from the cutters used to create our self adhesive labels.
  • Sometimes application software works more smoothly with built-in label templates; this is because built-in label templates are actually part of your software, while standalone templates come from external sources – and may possibly have been set up using an entirely different piece of software. This means that your software may not automatically identify features of your standalone label template (or even the fact that it IS a label template) and may need to make small conversions to the file to make it compatible with the software you are using.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: How To? – How To Find & Open A Built In Template In Word

Definitions – A Short Glossary Of Label Template Terms

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

When designing and printing your own self adhesive labels, you might come across a few terms that you haven’t heard before – which is why we thought we’d put together a short glossary of terms associated with designing and printing label templates.

Alignment

Generally speaking, alignment describes the arrangement of items along an actual or imaginary line (or lines), in positions relative to each other or to other items, or that have the same positioning within a shared space or on two separate surfaces. When designing and printing label templates, alignment can refer to the positioning of a design (and individual design elements) within a single label, the positioning of blank labels within the area of an A4 sheet, and the positioning of a label template that has been printed onto sheet labels.

All In One Printer

A printer designed to perform multiple tasks to a reasonable standard; e.g. printing, copying, scanning, faxing etc.

Avery

A manufacturer of pressure sensitive adhesive materials best known for their self adhesive labels (and label templates).

Bleed Template

A label template that provides a blank space (bleed area) around each label so that a design can overlap (bleed over) the edges to avoid white edging.

(Web) Browser

Application software used to connect to the World Wide Web via the internet. Common examples include Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and Edge.

Built-in Template

A label template that exists within (as part of) application software; for example, Word includes built-in label templates that can be accessed via the “Mailings” tab.

Centralised

A type of alignment whereby content is centred in the middle of a page, text box, table cell etc so that it “begins” in the centre of the item and expands outwards.

Clipboard

A temporary storage tool that stores items that have been removed using the “cut” tool or duplicated using the “copy” tool.

Compatible

When two (different) items are compatible, they can be used together without the need to adapt or modify one or both of those items. When designing and printing self-adhesive labels, you need to use a label template that is compatible with your label size (i.e. uses the same label size and layout), a label template that is saved in a file format that is compatible with your application software (i.e. use a Word template in Word etc), and printer labels that are compatible with your printer (i.e. laser labels for a laser printer and inkjet labels for an inkjet printer).

Copy

A tool that creates a duplicate of an item (e.g. an image or piece of text) and adds it to a temporary storage tool called the “clipboard”.

Copy and Paste

The process of using the “copy” function and then the “paste” function to duplicate an item and insert that duplicate elsewhere.

Cut

A tool that removes an item (e.g. an image or piece of text) from its original location and adds it to a temporary storage tool called the “clipboard”.

Cut and Paste

The process of using the “cut” function and then the “paste” function to remove an item from its original location and insert it elsewhere.

Dedicated Printer

A printer designed to perform a single task (printing) to a high standard; printers designed to print a specific type of print media (e.g. self adhesive labels, photos etc) are known as “dedicated application printers”.

Default Print Settings

The print settings stored in the printer driver; these settings will be used if you don’t select your own print settings.

Default Tabs

In Word, the default tabs appear at the top of the page at all times. They contain basic tools that can be used to edit any type of document and are usually listed as follows: “File”, “Home”, “Insert”, “Design”, “Layout”, “References”, “Mailings”, “Reviews”, and “View”.

Drag And Drop

A method for performing the “cut and paste” or “copy and paste” functions; this method involves clicking on an item and holding the (left) button of your mouse down as you move your cursor to the place you want to insert your item (this usually performs the “cut and paste” function – to perform the “copy and paste” function, you need to hold down the Control Key (Windows) or Option Key (Mac)).

File Format

File formats specify how information is encoded for storage in a computer file. Label templates are often available in a range of file formats so that users can find one that is compatible with the application software they want to use to design their blank labels; at Label Planet, we supply label templates in the Word file format (.docx) and the PDF file format (.pdf).

Format Tabs

In Word, the format tabs are additional tabs that appear when you click on a certain type of item -e.g. tables, text boxes, images etc. They contain formatting tools that can be used to alter the design and arrangement of those items; the Table Tools tabs (Design and Format) alter tables, the Picture Tools tab alters images, and the Drawing Tools tab alters shapes and text boxes.

Format Tools

In Word, these are tools that allow you to change the design (appearance) and arrangement (layout) of items in Word documents (e.g. tables, images, shapes, text boxes etc).

Graphics Package

Application software used to create and edit images; graphics packages can be used to create or add designs to label templates. Common examples include InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop etc.

Highlighting Content

Selecting an item (or items) is often referred to as “highlighting” because most application software will “highlight” selected items using colour (e.g. by adding a coloured background, reversing the text colour, or by adding dots or lines around the selected item).

Inkjet Labels

Self adhesive labels made with materials that are well-suited to the inkjet printing process; inkjet labels should only be printed with a inkjet printer.

Inkjet Printer

A printer that distributes printing inks onto a surface (substrate) where the inks dry in place to form the final printed image.

Landscape Template

A label template that shows the layout of sheet labels when the sheet is in the landscape orientation.

Laser Labels

Self adhesive labels made with materials that are well-suited to the laser printing process; laser labels should only be printed with a laser printer.

Laser Printer

A printer that uses heat and pressure to bond a dry powder (toner) onto a surface (substrate).

(American) Letter

The default page size used in the US; this page size measures 215.9mm wide by 279.4mm high – compared to the A4 page size used in the UK, which is 210mm by 297mm.

Mail Merge

A design tool that allows you to merge a single template document (e.g. a letter or label template) with a data source (e.g. a spreadsheet of addresses or database of product information) to create bespoke documents for each row or record in the data source.

(Page) Margin

The measurement from the edge of a page to the beginning of the content on that page; there are four page margins (top, bottom, left, and right), which determine where content starts and ends on a page. In label templates, the margins indicate the gap between the edge of a sheet and the first/last row or column of labels.

Media Bypass Tray

A secondary tray usually located just above or below the main paper tray in a printer; this tray is designed specifically for processing thicker print media (like self-adhesive labels) and allows these sheets to bypass at least one set of rollers, creating a straighter path through the printer.

Media Weight

The weight of item(s) that are to be printed is usually expressed as grammage – the mass per unit area, symbolised as g/m2 or gsm. Heavier print media usually require different print settings to achieve the same print quality as on light print media.

Mirrored Template

A label template designed to create transparent labels that can be applied onto a transparent surface and read correctly from the opposite site (for example, window stickers applied to the inside of a window that are intended to be viewed from outside); these label templates reverse (or mirror) the design so that it can be viewed correctly from the opposite side.

Multiple Design Template

A label template that allows you to add different designs onto each label (as opposed to having the same design on every label).

Narrow Edge Leading

A feed direction whereby the narrowest edge of a sheet (for A4 labels this is the 210mm wide edge) enters the printer first.

Operating System

System software that manages your computer’s hardware (e.g. monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, graphics cards, sound cards etc) and software – and allows the two to communicate. Common examples include Windows, MacOS, Linux, Unix, Android, and iOS.

Paste

A tool that takes an item stored in the “clipboard” (by using the cut or copy tool) and inserts it into the new location of your choosing.

PDF Template

A label template that uses the .pdf file format and can be edited using any graphics package that is capable of editing .pdf files (e.g. InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop etc).

Pitch

The measurement from the leading edge of one label and the label next to it – including any gap between the two. The vertical pitch is the distance from the top of the first label on a sheet to the top of the label below it, while the horizontal pitch is the distance from the left edge of the first label to the left edge of the label next to it. Pitch measurements are required when constructing label templates for sheet labels.

Point And Click

A method for performing the “cut and paste” or “copy and paste” functions; this method involves using your mouse to click on items and the “cut”, “copy”, and “paste” menu options or icons. These tools are usually listed under the “Edit” menu (in Word, they are listed under the “Home” tab) or can be accessed by right clicking on an item.

Portrait Template

A label template that shows the layout of sheet labels when the sheet is in the portrait orientation.

Print Media / Media Type

Any item that can be put into a printer for printing. Common examples include sheets of paper, sheet labels, envelopes, photo papers, card, and films/transparencies.

Printable Area / Unprintable Area

Most desktop printers cannot print the full area of an A4 sheet; the area that they can print is called the “printable area”, while the areas around the edges of the sheet that they cannot print form the “unprintable area”.

Printer Driver

A device driver is system software that allows the software on a computer to interact with a particular piece of hardware; a printer driver translates instructions from the operating system or application software into a form that the printer can “understand” and carry out.

Printer Resolution

Printer resolution refers to the amount of detail that a printer can produce, which is measured in terms of how many dots of toner or ink a printer can apply within a given measurement (usually an inch). Printer resolution is expressed as dpi (or dots per inch), although print settings usually use descriptions such as “Fine”, “Best”, “Normal”, “Good”, and “Draft”. 300×300 dpi is considered “normal” resolution (for general text-based documents), 600×600 dpi is “good resolution” (for documents with some design work and/or images), and 1200×1200 dpi is “photo resolution” (for reproducing digital photographs).

Radius Corners

Corners that are made with a curved or rounded shape as opposed to the sharp pointed corners that form naturally where two lines meet.

Ribbon

In Word, the ribbon is the strip at the top of the page that contains the tools for inserting and editing text (and other items). The content of the ribbon is determined by selecting one of the “tabs” that sit just above the ribbon; each tab contains a selection of related tools, such as those related to adding items to a document (gathered under the “Insert” tab).

Scaling

A printing defect caused by incorrect printer settings; these settings cause a printer to scale a label template to a (page) size that is larger or smaller than the actual labels.

Self-Adhesive Labels

Adhesive labels made with pressure sensitive adhesives; this type of adhesive is tacky (sticky) under “normal” conditions and requires only the pressure of a hand or finger to be applied.

Selvedges

Blank strips at the edges(s) of sheet labels that are added to account for the unprintable area of most desktop printers; selvedges mean that most (if not all) of the blank labels are positioned in the centre of each sheet and therefore fall within the printable area of most desktop printers.

Sheet Labels

Self adhesive labels supplied on individual sheets (as opposed to rolls etc) – in the UK, most self adhesive labels are supplied on A4 sheets, although they are also available in other sizes, such as A5, A3, SRA3 etc.

Single Design Template

A label template that allows you to add the same design onto each label.

Software / Application

A set of computer instructions that allow users to interact with a computer, its hardware, or to perform specific tasks. There are a variety of different types of computer software, including system software (e.g. operating systems, device drivers etc) and application software (individual programs that allow users to perform specific tasks, such as word processors, web browsers, media players, graphics packages, spreadsheets, and databases). Label templates can be created and designed in a range of application software (including word processors, graphics packages, and specific label design applications).

Standalone Template

A label template that exists as an individual file or document that is opened using application software; label templates are usually available in different file formats because application software is usually only able to edit specific types of file formats (for example, a PDF template can only be edited by graphics package).

Template

A document or file that contains a pre-determined page layout and style, which can be edited to produce a finished document. Label templates show the layout of blank labels on a sheet so that the required design can be added to the spaces that represent each blank label (and printed onto those labels in the correct alignment).

Test Print

Printing a label template onto a blank sheet of paper so that the test print can be compared to your blank labels to determine if the label template and printer have been correctly set up to create the correct alignment.

Text Box Template

A label template designed to create text-based label designs; these label templates contain blank text boxes that can be filled in with the required text.

Tolerance

An allowable deviation from the stated measurements of manufactured goods. For self adhesive labels, this can apply to the materials used to produce the sticky labels as well as their dimensions and quantities produced.

White Edging

A printing defect caused by a slight misalignment between blank labels and a label template where the design includes a coloured background and/or border. The misalignment leaves the edge(s) of the blank labels unprinted creating “white edging” (on white labels; a better term for this defect is “blank edging”).

Word Processor

Application software used to insert, edit, and arrange text on a page; Word processors can be used to create or add designs to label templates. Common examples include Word, Pages, LibreOffice etc.

Word Template

A label template that uses the .docx file format and can be edited using any word processor that is capable of editing .docx files (e.g. Word, Pages, LibreOffice etc).

Wrap Text

A formatting tool in Word that allows you to select how text is arranged around an image; to get better control over the positioning of images in Word, this should be changed to “Tight”.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Definitions – What Is A Built In Label Template?

Label Templates; Designing & Printing Labels – A Summary

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Over the last 31(!) weeks we’ve looked at the process of designing and printing your own self adhesive labels; from sourcing a label template, adding a design to your label template, and finally printing your label template onto your blank labels (including a few troubleshooting tips to help you out at each stage).

While printing your own A4 labels can be a quick, easy, and cost effective way to create a set of sticky labels that are just perfect for whatever project you’ve got in mind, there are plenty of small things that can make a big difference to how well (or otherwise) your blank labels turn out.

While some small things ruin the alignment of your label template, others can help to create the perfect print on your A4 labels – the trick is knowing how to avoid potential problems and how to use certain tools effectively, which isn’t always easy (or obvious) if you don’t have much experience designing and printing your own adhesive labels.

Our hope is that this label template blog will be a useful resource for anyone to use when they need to design and print their own A4 labels, so for our last post of the year we’ve created a summary of all the topics we’ve covered so far (before we return next year to examine even more template troubles, tricks, and troubleshooting tips!)…

The TEN Things You Need To Print Your Own Labels

A brief list of the things you’ll need when printing A4 labels.

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

An explanation of the difference between standalone and built-in label templates, single design and multiple design label templates, and Word templates and PDF templates, along with definitions of Portrait, Landscape, Text Box, Mirrored, Bleed, and “Alternative” templates.

How To Find & Open A Label Template

Step by step instructions for how to find and open built-in templates and standalone templates.

How To Make Your Own Label Template

A guide to creating your own label template with step by step instructions for Word.

Label Templates – Avery Templates 101

A guide to Avery templates, including advice on finding a compatible Avery code for your Label Planet labels.

Troubleshooting Tips For Choosing The Right Label Template

If you’re having trouble (or have questions about) finding the right label template for your label size, our troubleshooting tips are a good place to start!

Always Start With A Plan

A brief bit of advice on how to start designing a label template.

Build From The Background Forward

Top tips for creating label designs that are made up of multiple layers.

Copy & Paste 101

A beginner’s guide to what “copy and paste” actually means and how to use these tools.

How To Select (Highlight) Content In Word

A beginner’s guide to selecting different items in Word (and how to this as effectively as possible).

Copy & Paste 102

A guide to using copy and paste when designing a label template.

Getting Things In Line With The Perfect Alignment

A brief definition of what the term “alignment” actually means with regards to label templates.

Choosing Suitable Shapes & Logical Layouts

Top tips for creating the perfect label design for the specific label shape and layout of your blank labels.

Tackling Text-Only Templates

Top tips for designing label templates that only contain text.

Getting Inventive With Image-Only Templates

Top tips for designing label templates that only contain images.

Tops Tips For Combining Text & Images In Word

Top tips for designing label templates that contain text and images.

Finding Word’s Design Tools & Features

A guide to the design tools available in Word, along with instructions on how to find and use them effectively.

Using Word’s Arrange Toolbar To Create A Perfectly Arranged Template

A more detailed guide to the “Arrange” set of design tools in Word and how they can help to create a perfect design in your label template.

Labels & Mail Merges 101

A guide to Mail Merge tools and a step by step guide to using Word’s “Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard” to create address labels or product labels from a single label template and a data source.

How To Create Window Stickers Using A Mirrored Template In Word

A guide to using Mirrored templates in Word to create window stickers that can be applied onto one side of a window and read from the other side.

When & How To Use A Bleed Template

A guide to what Bleed templates are and how they can be used to create perfectly printed self adhesive labels.

Top Tips For…Rectangular Labels

Top tips for designing a label template for rectangular labels.

Top Tips For…Round Labels & Oval Labels

Top tips for designing a label template for round labels, circular labels, and oval labels.

Why The Kiss Principle Creates Perfectly Practical Labels

A brief bit of advice about how keeping things simple can help to create the perfect label template (without driving yourself crazy in the process).

Troubleshooting Tips For Trouble-Free Label Designs

If you’re having trouble (or have questions about) designing a label template, these troubleshooting tips should help you pull off your design with a minimal amount of fuss!

Printing Templates 101

A brief guide to what happens when you “press print”.

Choosing The Right Printer To Print Your Labels

Top tips for choosing the “right” printer to print your own A4 labels, including information about laser printers, inkjet printers, dedicated printers, all-in-one printers, photo printers, print media, media types and media weights, media bypass trays, printer resolution, and “extra” features that are ideal for printing adhesive labels.

Choosing The Right Print Settings To Print Your Labels

A guide to choosing the right print settings to get the best possible alignment and print quality on self adhesive labels.

Top Tips For Loading Your Labels To Align Your Design Perfectly

Top tips for loading your printer labels correctly to avoid alignment issues.

The First Rule Of Printing Labels: ALWAYS DO A TEST PRINT FIRST

THE ONE TIP THAT EVERYONE SHOULD ALWAYS FOLLOW!

Troubleshooting Tips For Trouble-Free Printing

If you’re having trouble (or have questions about) printing a label template accurately, these troubleshooting tips should help you to fix any alignment or print quality issues that you encounter when printing laser labels or inkjet labels.


And that’s all folks!

We’ll be back in January with more tips and tricks to designing and printing your own label templates; if you have any suggestions or questions that you’d like us to feature in the Label Planet Template Blog, simply send us an email and we’ll do our best to provide a suitable solution!

Remember, if you need any advice or tips you can always visit our Help Pages for Guides and Troubleshooting Tips – and you’ll find label templates for all of our label sizes on our dedicated Label Templates pages.

Printing A Label Template – Printing Templates 101

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

So far on Template Tuesday, we’ve taken a closer look at what label templates actually are and how to add your label design to a template quickly and accurately. This week, we move on to the next step in the process of creating your own labels – printing your label template!

While you might be tempted at this stage to think “well, I’ve set up my template, now all I need to do is press print”, the fact is YOU SHOULD NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER JUST PRESS PRINT. EVER.

What most people don’t stop to think about is just how many different elements are involved in the process of printing a document. While it might seem like a simply one step process (you press print and a printer prints your document), there are actually a LOT of different elements involved and all of them have to interact in just the right way to create a perfectly printed template.

The Printing Process
Your software (the application you are using to design your label template) sends your template to another piece of software called a printer driver; the driver converts your template into a Page Description Language (which basically describes the content of a page and how that page is arranged or constructed as a series of geometric lines and shapes defined by mathematical equations) that can be understood by your printer – this vector-based language is then converted by a Raster Image Processor into a bitmap image (a rectangular grid of pixels) that your printer then recreates on your labels (using, of course, the print settings that you have selected – or a default set of print settings stored in your printer driver, if you haven’t indicated any printing preferences for your template).

Elements Involved In The Printing Process
Looking through the printing process, therefore, you can see that your software has to communicate properly with your printer driver, and you have to select the correct print settings to get the best possible print alignment and print quality on your labels – which doesn’t take into account the fact that your printed template can also be affected by the print tray you use and how you load your labels into that print tray, the starting print position of your particular printer model, the fact that all labels are made to a tolerance (i.e. an allowable deviation from the stated measurements), and that some labels are designed specifically for ONE printing process (i.e. they are “laser labels” or “inkjet labels”).

Of course, this isn’t to say that you won’t get lucky if you do just press print – it may be that your software, hardware, and labels are all set up in a way that allows you to achieve a decent print alignment and quality without making any adjustments at all.

The problem, of course, is that there is no guarantee that “just pressing print” will work and taking that risk can result in a massive waste of time and money (not to mention a waste of labels, toner or ink, as well as your own patience/sanity).

It is far, far wiser to take the time to load your labels correctly and to set up your printer with the optimum print settings so you KNOW that you will achieve the best possible print alignment and quality.

Over the next few Template Tuesdays, we’ll take you through the different elements involved to help you make sure that YOUR unique combination of hardware and software is correctly set up to print YOUR template onto YOUR labels as accurately and professionally as possible.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Printing A Label Template – Choosing The Right Printer To Print Your Labels

Designing A Label Template – Troubleshooting Tips For Trouble-Free Label Designs

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Over the last sixteen weeks, we’ve been taking a closer look at the process of adding a label design to a label template, including advice on implementing a design that works for you, for your labels, and for the limitations of your software (along with specific guides on how to find and use Word’s design tools and features).

This week’s post gathers together all of the content from the last few months to create a hitlist of top tips to make the process of designing your labels as trouble-free as possible.

Presenting Label Planet’s Top Ten Top Tips For Designing Your Own Label Template!

1. Keep Things Simple

Most people print their own labels because it is a quick and easy way for them to create bespoke or personalise labels without having to spend time and money paying a designer and printer to do the job for them. Choosing an overly complex design is a sure-fire way to find yourself wasting time and money trying to replicate a design that far exceeds the limitations of your software, your hardware, and/or your own abilities when it comes to digital design.

2. Plan Your Design Before You Start

Taking a moment to sketch out your design (and type out the contents of your label) is a quick way to double check that:

  • Your design fits onto your labels without looking cluttered or messy
  • Your label design accomplishes what you need it to do AND looks professional

Making changes to a hand-drawn sketch is MUCH quicker and easier than getting partway through your design and realising that it isn’t going to work.

3. Start With The Background & Work Forward

If you’re creating a design with a lot of different elements (that need to be layered or that overlap to create your completed design) then it is always best to start with the “background” layer and work your way forward.

4. Use Cut, Copy, & Paste (Carefully) To Make The Design Process Quicker & More Accurate

Cut, copy, and paste are easy to use functions that can speed up the entire process of designing a label template; you can use these functions to add different elements to your template from an external source AND you can also use them to replicate your design in order to add it to all of the labels within your template. Using copy and paste is a much more accurate way to adjust and/or replicate your design by duplicating one item rather than inserting multiple items and attempting to adjust them one by one AND it can be used to duplicate both content and the formatting options you have applied to your content.

5. Remember That Formatting Matters

If you don’t bother to change certain formatting options from their defaults, you may find that you are limited in the tools that are available to you AND in how accurate you can be with the changes that you make to the various elements within your design – especially when it comes to positioning and layering different elements together.

6. Centralise Your Design

Using a centralised layout makes it easier to make sure that ALL of your design fits neatly onto ALL of your labels – and can avoid problems around the edges of your labels (see tip 7).

7. Take Care At The Edges

If your label design goes all the way to the edge of each label, you need to make sure that you aren’t setting yourself up for alignment nightmares when you come to print your labels; avoid narrow borders (which are nearly impossible to align perfectly) and only use a full colour background if you have space to overlap your design slightly (without creating a mismatch on labels that “butt up” against one another).

8. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Bleed

While you might be preoccupied with making sure that your design fits INSIDE each label, if you want to add a coloured background or a border you may be better off deliberately oversizing your design so that it overlaps (bleeds over) the edges of your labels to prevent any white edging appearing on your labels.

9. Be Aware Of The Unprintable Area

Most desktop printers cannot print all the way to the edge of an A4 sheet, creating an “unprintable area” around the edges of a label sheet; if any part of any of your labels falls into the unprintable area of your particular printer then you need to make sure that your design doesn’t involve adding any print to those parts of your labels.

10. Put Your Text In Text Boxes

If you are creating multiple sections of text, it may be worth putting each section into its own text box so that you have greater control over where the different elements in your design sit on each label. Adding your text as one block and then trying to manually space out your text to create your required design layout is unlikely to give you anything like the precision you need to replicate your design as accurately as you’d like.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Printing A Label Template – Printing Templates 101