If you’ve never created a template for printing your own labels before it can be quite a daunting process to go through on your own. At Label Planet, we try to provide our customers with as much backup as they need to get them up and running (and printing their own labels). With this in mind, this blog is all about how to get started with a brand new label template.
STEP 1: Getting Hold Of The Right Template
Obviously, the first thing to do is to get hold of (or make!) a template that is suitable for the labels you need to print. At Label Planet, we’ve put together a set of templates for each label size that we offer, so the simplest thing to do is to download a template from our website.
You can find the template you need in one of two ways:
- Visit our Template Section, select the shape of label you are printing, and then find your product in the list. You can then download either a Word or PDF template on this page or click on the “More Info” link to view ALL of the templates available for that size.
- Visit the product page of the labels that you have purchased and click on the “Label Templates And Printing Information” link.
When downloading a template from our website, you may be asked if you prefer to “Open” or to “Save” the file; we recommend that you choose “Save”. Sometimes, working on a file that you’ve simply “opened” will mean that your computer or device can’t convert or edit the file properly – but you won’t necessarily know this until you’ve already finished creating your template and you’re trying to print it. Saving the file is also useful if you want to open the file in software that needs to convert the file to a different format before you can edit it.
As an alternative to downloading a template from our site, you can also choose to set up your own template or use an existing template that is compatible with our label sizes and products (e.g. an Avery template). To set up your own template, we recommend visiting the Template Information Page for the labels you want to print (by following option 2 above) and then using the measurements there as a guide for your template.
To use a compatible Avery template that is built in to the software you want to use, you will first need to confirm that your labels have a compatible Avery code (this information is also listed on the Template Information Page for each label product), and then locate that code in the options listed in your software. Make sure you select “Avery A4/A5” as the label vendor and please note that different software (and different versions of software) will contain different lists of built in templates.
STEP 2: Start Your Design In The Top Left Corner
Unless you’re creating a set of labels where every single label is different, the best way to create a label template is to work on your design in the top left label and then (when you’re happy with your design) use copy and paste to fill in the rest of the labels.
If your design contains multiple elements (e.g. a mixture of text and images), we highly recommend starting with your background and working into the foreground. You should also take care to check the default style and formatting options that are applied to each layer or object that you add to make sure all of the elements in your design sit together in the right position (rather than jumping around your template).
If you are working with a Word template, you can find all of the style and formatting options for an item by left clicking on that item once – this will add a tab at the top of the page called “Format” (beneath a coloured tab that says “Drawing Tools” or “Picture Tools” depending on the type of item you have selected), which will contain all of the tools available for editing that item.
STEP 3: Testing Your Template
While you might think that the next step would be to go ahead and print your labels, we actually recommend adding one extra step and taking the time to do a quick test print of your template. Even if you’ve taken hours to carefully set up and check your template over, what you see onscreen won’t necessarily be what you see when you press print – which is why you should put in a blank sheet of paper first and print your template onto this sheet to test how well (or not) your template aligns with your labels. Hold the printout against a sheet of your labels and if there are any issues with the alignment you can correct these issues before printing onto your labels.
You should always do the following before you print your labels (and your test print):
- Put your blank labels or blank sheet of paper into the media bypass tray of your printer (if it has one).
- Go through your printer’s settings (click on “Printer Properties” or “Printing Preferences”) to make sure that the page size is set to A4 (and nothing else) and that no scaling options have been selected (e.g. “Fit To Page”).
All printers vary slightly in their accuracy and print positioning, so you may find that your labels are printing in the correct position relative to one another BUT they’re all sitting Xmm too high / low / left / right. To fix this issue, you simply need to increase or decrease the top and/or left margins to manually shift your design into the correct position.