Archive for the ‘Tips – Printing’ Category

FAQs – What’s The Difference Between “LASER LABELS” & “INKJET LABELS”

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

You may have noticed that our label products are categorised with one of THREE printer compatibility types; laser labels, inkjet labels, or laser and inkjet labels.

All this means is that the labels have been made using materials that are either well-suited to the laser printing process, the inkjet printing process, or that are suitable for use with either printing process.

So why do different printing methods need labels made of different materials?
Laser printers and inkjet printers work in two very different ways, which means that – to get the best possible print results – you need to print onto materials that suit the particular printing method in use.

LASER PRINTERS bond toner (a dry powder) onto a surface using heat and pressure; this means that laser labels are made with materials that have a consistently smooth surface and that are heat resistant (paper laser labels, for example, often have a higher moisture content to ensure they survive the heat used during laser printing).

INKJET PRINTERS disperse inks (usually water-based) onto a surface where they dry and form the final printed image; this means that inkjet labels are made with materials that are slightly porous – allowing them to absorb some of the ink, which means that the ink dries in place much more efficiently and accurately.

At Label Planet, our label products are made with materials that naturally possess properties that make them well-suited to a particular printing method or that have been treated in a particular way (for example, having a special coating or finish applied) to make them better suited to a particular printing method.

So what label products do you supply for laser printers and for inkjet printers (and for both)?

Matt White Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Freezer Paper Labels Laser Printers
Wash Off Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Gloss White Paper Labels Laser Printers
Removable Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Semi-Gloss Paper Labels Laser Printers
Super Removable Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Gloss Transparent Labels Laser Printers
High Tack Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Removable Gloss Transparent Labels Laser Printers
Super Tack Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Matt Transparent Labels Laser Printers
Gloss Photo Quality Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Gloss White Waterproof Labels Laser Printers
Premium Quality Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Matt White Waterproof Labels Laser Printers
Opaque Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Removable Matt White Waterproof Labels Laser Printers
Matt White Polyethylene Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Silver Metallic Waterproof Labels Laser Printers
Coloured Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Matt White Polyolefin Labels Laser Printers
Removable Coloured Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Silver Void Labels Laser Printers
Kraft Paper Labels Laser & Inkjet Printers Tamper Evident Vinyl Labels Laser Printers
Fluorescent Paper Labels Laser Printers
Gloss Clear Labels Inkjet Printers Gold & Silver Paper Labels Laser Printers

And what happens if I use the wrong labels with the wrong printer?
At best, you’ll end up with a batch of very poor quality printed labels – at worse, you could end up damaging your printer. Whether you print laser labels with an inkjet printer or print inkjet labels with a laser printer, the print you apply to your labels won’t be able to fix or set in place properly, which will result in your print flaking away or smudging and smearing. You may also damage the labels themselves, which could result in those labels (and your toner/inks) doing damage to the internal components of your printer.

This is why you should ALWAYS make sure that your labels are compatible with your printer BEFORE you start printing. To help you out, all of our label products will have their printer compatibility type listed on the range page, product page, and packaging for that particular item.

For more hints and tips you can take a look at our HELP section or have a browse through our FAQ blog posts.

Q) Does It Matter What Sort Of Printer I Use To Print My Labels? A) YES!

Monday, January 9th, 2017

You might be surprised at just HOW important it is to use the right printer (and print settings) when you are printing your own labels. Your choice of printer determines a number of factors that can have a big influence on the quality of print that you can achieve when printing labels (that is, if you can print labels at all).

Type Of Printer:
All of our labels are supplied on A4 sheets and are designed specifically for use with standard desktop inkjet printers and laser printers. You may have noticed that all of our label products are marked with a particular printer compatibility – Laser Only, Inkjet Only, or Laser & Inkjet.

This is because the two types of printers use two different printing methods and our labels are generally made with materials that suit one of these print methods. Laser printers use heat and pressure to bond a dry powder called toner into place, which means that laser labels are made using materials that have a smooth, consistent surface and that are heat resistant (paper laser labels, for example, will have a much higher moisture content than standard sheets of paper). Inkjet printers, however, will disperse inks (usually water-based) onto a surface where they will dry in place to form the final printed image or design. Inkjet labels, therefore, may have a slightly porous surface to absorb some of the ink and allow it to dry in place much more accurately.

If you try to print laser labels with an inkjet printer or inkjet labels with a laser printer, the best you can hope for is extremely low quality print – at worst you could damage your labels and your printer so you MUST make sure that the labels you buy are compatible with your printer.

You may also find that certain label products are only available for ONE type of printer. For example, all of our Waterproof Labels are laser labels – this is because laser printers create waterproof print, whereas inkjet printers tend to use water-based inks that will run or smudge if they get wet (or even if they’re simply handled a lot).

Model Of Printer:
The next factor is the exact model of printer that you intend to use. Some models of printer will have limitations that make them entirely unsuitable for printing labels, while others will have features specifically designed to produce high quality print on labels.

As a general rule, if you want to print labels you will need to use a general purpose printer – not an All-In-One Printer or a printer that is designed for a specific purpose other than printing labels (e.g. Photo Printers). All-in-one printers are designed to do a lot of different tasks to a reasonable standard (rather than doing one specific task to an exceptional standard), which means they are often too limited in their specifications to print labels properly (if at all). General purpose printers will usually include a range of hardware and software features that are designed specifically for use when printing labels – to improve the print quality and alignment accuracy that you can achieve.

Some printers will also be limited in the types and thicknesses of materials that they can accept and process properly; labels are made from a variety of materials and are naturally thicker than paper because they are made up of several layers (there are at least three: face material, adhesive, and backing sheet, with some labels having extra layers such as special coatings).

The best thing to do is to check the manufacturer’s manual for the following:

  • Specifications: there should be a section that lists the hardware features and specifications of your printer, including whether or not it has a media bypass tray, along with the types and weights of materials that it can accept.
  • Recommended guidelines: if your printer does have features for printing labels then the manual may also include recommended guidelines for how to print labels (including any specific print settings you should use).

While we don’t recommend any specific models of printer (you do, after all, need to buy one that is suitable for your unique set of printing requirements and budget), we do recommend the OKI and HP brands, as we have found that their printers tend to be able to handle large volumes and thicker materials very efficiently.

Printer Hardware Features
As we mentioned above, you should make sure that your printer has a media bypass tray; this is a secondary tray, usually located just above or below the paper tray, that is designed to accept thicker media (such as labels and envelopes) and to bypass at least one set of rollers within the printer, which produces a straighter path through the machine and reduces the chances of your label sheets rotating slightly as they are printed (improving the accuracy of alignment that you get).

You may also want to check if your printer offers the following features:
Wide Edge Feed (Long Edge Feed) AND Narrow Edge Feed (Short Edge Feed); most printers will have trays that use narrow edge feed, which means that your sheets feed into your printer narrow edge leading (portrait). If your printer offers both types of feed you must make sure that you only use the narrow edge option (and check that your print settings are also set to this option). All of our labels are made with layouts that are designed to feed narrow edge leading, while our paper labels also have a grain (like wood) that goes in this direction. If you feed your labels into your printer wide edge leading (against the grain), you may find that they start to separate from the backing sheet, which can cause your label sheets to jam in your printer.
Edge-To-Edge Printing; also known as “borderless” printing, this feature will allow you to print all the way to the edge of an A4 sheet. Most standard desktop printers cannot do this, which means there will be a border around the edge of your label sheets that your printer simply cannot print – if any part of any of your labels fall into this unprintable area, you will need to adapt your design to make sure that these areas of your template are left blank.

Printer Software Features (aka Print Settings)
Finally, you need to make sure your printer offers suitable print settings for printing labels – AND that you have actually selected these settings when you print. Before printing, check your Printer’s Properties for the following:

  • Page Size: this must be A4 (you should always check this as some printers will sometimes default to American Letter).
  • Media Type/Weight: choose a specific “Labels” print setting if one is available; if not, choose a “Heavy Paper” setting to get the best possible print quality on your labels.
  • Scaling: make sure that no scaling options are applied (for example, a percentage or any “Fit To Page” options).
  • “Ignore Printer Settings”//”Use Driver Settings”: these options will cause your printer to ignore any specific settings that you have selected to use when printing your labels and will use a default set installed in your printer’s driver (software) instead.

Visit our Help Pages for more tips and advice on printing your own labels or visit our List Of All Materials page to view all of the label products available from Label Planet along with their printer compatibility.

FAQ – How Do I Find The Right Template To Print My Labels?

Monday, October 24th, 2016

When it comes to printing your own labels, it’s really important to get hold of the right template to help make the whole process go a whole lot smoother. Templates come a variety of formats and it can get a bit confusing if you’re new to the world of DIY labels – hopefully this blog post should help to make things clearer!

Finding A Template
There are THREE ways to get a label template:

  1. Use a BUILT IN template; some software has a selection of templates built in, which you can use to design and print labels.
  2. DOWNLOAD a template; we have created free templates for ALL of our label sizes so that you can download the one you need from our website.
  3. MAKE your own template; some software will allow you to create a template simply by entering the measurements of your labels. We have created a template information page for all of our label sizes, which includes detailed size and layout measurements that you can use as a starting point if you wish to make your own label template.

Built-In Templates
If your software has label templates built in, all you need to do is select the template that is compatible with (the same as) the labels you want to print. Avery templates are the most commonly used example and a number of our label sizes are the same as Avery sizes, which means you can use a built in Avery template to print labels that you have bought from us.

All of our label sizes that have compatible Avery codes will have the relevant Avery codes listed along with their Label Planet codes – on the product page, product packaging, and template information page. Alternatively, you can visit our List of Label Planet Sizes With Compatible Avery Codes page to see if your Label Planet labels have any compatible Avery codes.

If you have an Avery code in mind and want to see if we supply labels that are the same size, you can use our List of Avery Codes With Compatible Label Planet Sizes page to look up your Avery code and see if we do supply that label size.

If you want to use a built in Avery template, you may need to first select Avery A4/A5 (or Avery Zweckform) as the label vendor/manufacturer to view the Avery templates (as your software may include templates for a variety of brands).

Downloading A Template – Choosing A File Format
Digital files can be created in a variety of formats, which can then be read and edited by specific kinds of software. Our templates, for example, are available in TWO file formats:
.docx Word Templates – the .docx file format is used for Word documents but can be read and edited by other types of Word Processing software (such as Pages or LibreOffice).
.pdf PDF Templates – the .pdf file format is a more generic format that can be read and edited by a variety of graphics packages (such as InDesign or Photoshop).

You need to choose a template with a file format that can be edited by the software that you have access to for the purpose of designing your labels. Please note that some software may be able to read a file format but NOT edit it (for example: the standard version of Adobe Reader can read but not edit the .pdf file format – so you can open PDF templates in Adobe Reader but you can’t make any changes).

Downloading A Template – Choosing A Format
Here at Label Planet, we offer the following formats:
Portrait & Landscape: while the majority of label designs will work best in portrait format, there are some occasions where it is easier to work in landscape – so we provide our customers with options for both!
Text Box & Mirrored: if you only want to add text you can use our Text Box Word templates, while if you are printing transparent labels and want the text to be readable when viewed from the reverse side (e.g. if you are sticking labels on the inside of a window but want them to be legible from the outside) you can use our Mirrored Text Box Word templates.
Bleed: these templates allow you to add oversized coloured backgrounds and images to your labels to prevent any white edging around the outsides of your labels.

Downloading A Template – Top Tips
If you are given the option to “Save” or “Open” your template, select “Save”. Next open the software you want to use to design your labels and use that software to open your saved template (File > Open); this will allow your software to confirm that it can read and edit the file properly (and make any necessary conversions if it can’t) – before you add your design.

If you can’t edit your template at all, it has probably been temporarily locked for security reasons; look for a (yellow) banner going across the top of the page and click on the “Enable Editing” button to unlock the file. If you are using a Word template and cannot see the outlines of your labels, Table Gridlines are turned off. To turn them on, left click once somewhere in the middle of the page, select the Table Tools “Layout” tab at the top of the page, and click “View Gridlines” (Word 2007 onwards, Word For Mac 2016); alternatively, select the “Table Layout” tab, and click “Gridlines” (Word For Mac 2011).

If you are using a Word template to print round labels or oval labels, don’t panic if you can’t see a grid of circles or ovals; Word isn’t capable of creating such a template and so a compromise of squares and rectangles is used instead, so that each square or rectangle represents one of the round or oval labels (with the outermost points of the circle or oval touching the four sides of the square or rectangle).

Downloading A Template – From Label Planet’s Website
There are TWO ways to find the template you need on our website:

  1. Navigate to the product page of the labels you have bought from us and click on the “Label Templates And Printing Information” link to view ALL of the available templates for that label size.
  2. Visit our Template Section; select your label shape from the options provided and then select your labels from the table at the top of the page.

You can find more help and advice on designing and printing your own labels in our Help Section, which includes our Guide to Designing & Printing Labels, Top Tips, and our FAQs page. If you find that you encounter a particular problem that you can’t resolve or have a quick question about label printing, remember you can always get in touch with our Customer Service Team who will do their best to provide a solution.

5 Ways That Your Printer Can Make Your Labels Better (& 1 Way That They Can’t)

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

When it comes to printing your own labels, the accuracy of your template is undoubtedly one of the most important factors in determining how well they turn out. Another major factor, however, is the printer that you use AND how efficiently you use it; some printers offer specific features that can vastly improve the print quality and accuracy of alignment that you can achieve when printing your own labels and ALL printers can turn the process of printing your own labels into a nightmare if you don’t set them up correctly.

This blog post lists a few of the ways that your printer can help (and hinder) the process of printing your own labels.

  1. THE MEDIA BYPASS TRAY
    The media bypass tray is a secondary tray, usually found just above or below your main paper tray; the media bypass tray is designed specifically to process media made using thicker materials than standard sheets of paper (like labels!) and offers a straighter path through your printer by bypassing at least one set of rollers – this improves the accuracy of your printer’s alignment by reducing the chances of your label sheets rotating slightly as they go through each set of rollers.
  1. THE START PRINT POSITION & THE UNPRINTABLE AREA
    Ever printer has its own level of print accuracy and starting print position (i.e. the place on the A4 sheet that your printer starts printing from); if you bear these two factors in mind, you can adjust your template to suit your printer specifically, which will allow you to design around these factors and create the best possible (and most accurate) template for your particular printer.
    Similarly, most desktop printers are unable to print the full area of an A4 sheet (which produces a kind of border around the edge of your label sheets called the “unprintable area”), which means that if you are aware of where your printer can and cannot print, you can tailor your design to make sure it all falls within the “printable area” of your particular printer.
  1. THE PRINT SETTINGS
    Most printers offer a variety of print settings and properties to choose from, which means that you may well be able to improve the print quality and accuracy of alignment that you can get simply by making sure you use the best possible combination of settings available to you.
    The key settings to check are any that relate to the Media Type or Media Weight; these settings will automatically adjust the way your printer prints to suit a particular medium type and/or weight – with some printers including a specific “Labels” setting that should be ideal (as an alternative, we recommend choosing “Heavy Paper”).
    There are a few other settings that may not improve the print you get BUT will absolutely destroy the alignment of your template if they are wrong. You should therefore always check the following as well:

    • Check that the Page/Media Size/Layout is set to A4.
    • Check that no scaling options (such as a percentage or “Fit To Page”) are selected.
    • Check that no options such as “Ignore Printer Settings” or “Use Driver Settings” are selected.
  1. THE PRINTING METHOD
    Desktop printers tend to be either laser printers or inkjet printers; some label products are tailored to suit ONE of these printing processes only, which means that to get the best out of your labels you should make sure that you choose labels that are compatible with your type of printer.
    All of our label products will have their label compatibility listed on their range page, product page, and product packaging. You should NOT ignore this compatibility listing; if you print laser labels with an inkjet printer or inkjet labels with a laser printer the best you can hope for is poor quality print that smears or flakes away – at worst you may end up damaging your printer.
  1. THE SPECIFICATION
    Every single model of printer will have its own unique set of specifications, which reflect the type and level of printing that a specific model is capable of and designed for. For example, more basic models of printer will be limited in the types and weights of materials that they can print onto successfully. Generally speaking, the more expensive the model, the higher the specification should be; a cheaper “All-In-One” model is designed to do a number of tasks to a reasonable standard and will be limited in the types of materials that it can process, while dedicated printers will be designed to do one task (printing) to a very high standard and will be able to perform that task across a range of material types and weights.
    Ideally, if you are printing labels, you should try to use a printer that has label-specific specifications, such as the presence of a media bypass tray, a specific “Labels” print setting (or settings), and the ability to process a variety of materials and thicknesses. You can find ALL of this information about any model of printer by checking the manufacturer’s manual (usually available from the manufacturer’s website).

AND ONE THING THAT YOUR PRINTER CANNOT IMPROVE:
Even if you’ve chosen the perfect printer, set it up properly, and carefully selected the perfect combination of print settings, your labels are never going to print out properly if you don’t take your time setting up your template.

This is why we always recommend doing a test print onto blank paper first; you can confirm that your printer is correctly set up AND double check that your template is correctly aligned before you start printing onto your actual label sheets.

For more tips & advice take a look through our Help Section and our Blog; you can find Word & PDF Templates (along with more detailed label size information and printing advice) for all of our label sizes in our Template Section.

Top Tips For Setting Up Your Printer To Print Labels

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

While you might think that you can just pop your labels into your printer and press print (as you would when printing onto normal blank sheets of A4 paper), you should always take the time to set up your printer properly to improve both the print quality and the accuracy of the print alignment that you get on your labels.

This is because your printer’s settings and setup actually has a lot of influence over how well and how accurately your template will print onto your labels – and if you don’t take the time to select the right settings, you might well find that your perfectly presented template ends up misaligned and your print starts to chip or flake away from your labels.

We’ve put together a hit list of things to do BEFORE you press print to make sure you end up with perfectly printed labels.

  1. Use the media bypass tray (if your printer has one)
    The media bypass tray is a separate tray that is usually just above or below the paper tray; where the paper tray is designed specifically for processing blank sheets of paper (which are usually 80-90gsm in thickness), the media bypass tray is designed specifically to handle thicker materials – including labels.
    However, as the name suggests, not only is the media bypass tray designed for media other than paper, it also bypasses at least one set of rollers within the printer – this means it offers a straighter, more direct route through the printer, which reduces the possibility of your sheets rotating slightly as they are pulled through and around each set of rollers and this improves the accuracy of your print positioning.
  1. Check your printer settings
    Printers tend to have a whole variety of settings that are designed to adjust how your printer works to suit the medium that you are printing onto and the type of document or file you are printing. Most printers will have settings that will greatly improve the print quality that you can achieve when you print onto labels and you should always go through your printer’s properties to find and select these options before printing your labels.
    Look for:
    Page Size/Media Size/Page Layout/Media Layout: you MUST make sure your printer is set to an A4 page size or the alignment of your template will be completely distorted as your printer attempts to print to a page size that is larger or smaller than A4.
    Type/Weight: these options will relate to settings that are designed to improve the print quality on a specific type or weight of media; some printers offer specific “Labels” settings, while others will offer similar settings under the heading “Heavy Paper”.
    For example, with laser printers, the “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” settings will increase the heat that is applied and slow down the speed of your printer, which helps the toner to bond firmly in place on the surface of your labels.

These small tips can help save you a lot of time and money (and heartache) by ensuring that your printer is set up to properly handle labels. As always, we also highly recommend doing a test print of your template onto blank paper first, so you can check for any possible issues with the alignment (and make corrections) before you start printing onto your labels proper.

For more handy tips and advice, visit our Help Pages or our Blog; alternatively, you can download a template from our Template Pages and have a go at printing your own labels today! Remember, we also offer a free Sample Request service, so you can always request a couple of sheets to use as a “trial run” to check for yourself that your printer is capable of printing the labels that you need.

FAQ – How Do I Get My Text To Go Around In A Circle?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

If you’re designing circular labels, you might be thinking that you want your text or design to make the most of the space available, which means that you might be wondering exactly how you go about getting your text to go around in a circle – especially if you’re trying to use a Word template.

Word is, essentially, a word processor; it is software that is designed specifically for inserting and editing text, with some limited function for page layout design. This means that it has a limited number of tools geared towards graphic design, which can make it a little trickier to use when it comes to designing templates.

HOWEVER, there is a simple way to create circular text to match the circular outline of your labels – through the magic of good, old fashioned WordArt! The steps you need to follow will vary slightly, depending on the version of Word you are using – and more recent versions of Word will give you access to editing tools that are more advanced than those in earlier versions.

CREATE CIRCULAR TEXT WITH WORDART (Word 2007 onwards)

  1. Click “Insert”, “WordArt”, and select a style to begin.
    If you aren’t sure which style to pick, we recommend choosing the first (most basic) option as you can always alter the style of your WordArt later on.
  1. Enter the text you want into the text box/placeholder provided and select OK.
  2. To change the shape of your WordArt, left click on it once to select it – this will cause a “Format” tab to appear at the top of your page, beneath the words “Drawing Tools”.
    The ribbon will now contain a section called “WordArt Styles”, which will include a larger box showing examples of different styles along with three small icons to the right of this box. The bottom icon in this set of three is the tool you need to use and will either be called “Change Shape” (Word 2007-2010) or “Text Effects” (Word 2013-16). Click on this icon (choose “Transform” from the dropdown list, Word 2013-2016) and select one of the options listed under “Follow Path” to get your text to go in a circular (or even semi-circular) shape.
  1. Resize and/or reposition your WordArt to get it in the correct position within your label design – you may need to use trial printing onto paper and a bit of trial and error to get the best possible alignment.
    If you want all of your labels to be the same (or to use the same basic design), we highly recommend setting up one piece of WordArt in the first label in your template and then using copy and paste to fill in the rest of the labels.

CREATE CIRCULAR TEXT WITH WORDART (Word 2003)

  1. Click “Insert”, “Picture”, and then “WordArt”.
  2. Select a style, enter the text you want into the box provided, and click OK.
    If you aren’t sure which style to select or the font you want to use, we recommend selecting the first style option and using the default font settings, as you can always alter the style of your WordArt later on.
  1. Left click on your WordArt to bring up the Drawing Toolbar; there should be an icon in the toolbar made up of the letters “Abc” – this tool allows you to change the shape of your WordArt, simply by clicking on one of the shapes that appear when you click on this icon (choose one of the thin circular or semi-circular shapes to get your text to follow a circular or semi-circular path).
  2. Resize and/or reposition your WordArt to get it in the correct position within your label design – you may need to use trial printing onto paper and a bit of trial and error to get the best possible alignment.
    If you want all of your labels to be the same (or to use the same basic design), we highly recommend setting up one piece of WordArt in the first label in your template and then using copy and paste to fill in the rest of the labels.

You can find Word (and PDF) templates for all of our round labels on our “Templates For Circular Labels” page; for more tips and advice on designing your own template, take a look through our Blog or visit our Advice Pages.

FAQ – What Should I Do If I Can’t Print My Labels Myself?

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Here at Label Planet, we only supply A4 sheets of blank labels; while we are more than happy to talk to customers to give them advice on how to go about designing a template and printing their labels themselves, we do not offer any design or printing services.

However, we know that some customers will not have access to a suitable printer OR may not be confident in their own abilities to design a template and to print their labels themselves. In this case, we would recommend trying the following:

  1. Ask a family member, friend, or colleague if they can help
    If you’re only looking to have a few labels printed, it’s always worth asking around to see if someone you know would be happy to give you a helping hand – especially if you happen to have anyone within your social circle who has a bit of a knack for design or has some experience of printing labels.
  1. Check to see if there is a printing company in your area
    Most towns will have a local printer on their high street; there are a number of different chains of small, local printers and a whole host of independent businesses who should be able to handle all sorts of printing jobs – including labels.
    Remember: you may want to get a few quotes before committing to this option as you will have to make sure your budget includes the cost of your blank labels and the printing service.
  1. Take a look into a more bespoke option
    If your labelling requirements are a bit more substantial, you may wish to take a look into larger printing companies who will be able to undertake bigger bespoke printing jobs that involve large quantities and very detailed specifications. These companies will usually offer a larger range of services, such as the opportunity to have them design your labels, as well as print them.
    Remember: if you want to go for a more bespoke option, you will need to bear in mind that this will be the most expensive option and larger businesses may have minimum requirements for the amount of labels that they will accept in a single order.

To take a look at the full range of blank labels available from Label Planet, take a look at our Complete List Of Label Materials page to see if we have a suitable label for your particular application. If you decide that you want to give printing a go yourself, head over to our Templates Section to download a template for your labels or take a read through our Blog and Frequently Asked Questions pages for some printing tips and advice to get you started.

Trouble With Your Templates After Upgrading To Windows 10? Try These 3 Troubleshooting Tips!

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

With Microsoft pushing users of its Windows operating system to upgrade to Windows 10, you may have recently decided to take the plunge and upgrade – or you may have found yourself on the receiving end of an enforced upgrade. While some go through the process quite smoothly, others will find that they run into problems – one of which may be that the label templates they’ve been using for months or even years without issue are now failing to print correctly.

We’ve had a few calls from customers who have experienced problems with their templates after upgrading to Windows 10 and so we’ve done some research to find out what is going on and, more importantly, what solutions are available to fix these problems. For most people, the upgrade to Windows 10 doesn’t appear to cause any issues until they try to print their templates; while these templates look fine on the “Print Preview” screen, once printed out the alignment gets progressively worse going down the page. If you experience this problem, we have a shortlist of troubleshooting tips that should fix the issue:

TIP NO. 1: Check The Page Size Of Your Label Template
The Cause Of The Problem:
During the upgrade, Microsoft Word may have returned to default settings and is now using the US page size (American Letter) instead of A4 – which will cause your printer to try to print your template to a page size that is wider and shorter than your label sheets.

The Fix:

  • Go to the “Print Preview” screen (click “File” > “Print”) and click on “Page Setup” (towards the bottom of the screen).
  • Click on the “Paper” tab and check that “Paper Size” is set to A4, with a width of 210mm and a height of 297mm.

If the page size is not set to A4, update the page size and test print your template onto blank paper to check if this has corrected the issue. If the page size is already set to A4 (or if changing it doesn’t solve your issue), try Tip No. 2.

TIP NO. 2: Check Your Printer’s Settings
The Cause Of The Problem:
Upgrading to Windows 10 may also reset your printer to default settings, which can change the page size it uses and can cause your printer to ignore the settings you are selecting (using a default set from your printer driver instead).

The Fix:

  • Go to the “Print Preview” screen (click “File” > “Print”) and click on “Printer Properties” (towards the top of the screen).
  • Check that “Page Size”/”Page Layout”/”Media Size”/”Media Layout” is set to A4. Double check that no scaling options such as “Fit To Page” or “Resize To Fit To Page” are selected.
  • Look for any options such as “Use Driver Settings” or “Ignore Print Settings”, which may cause your printer to ignore the settings you are entering in favour of using the default driver settings.

If the page size is not A4, if scaling options are applied, or if your printer is using default driver settings, update these settings and test print your template to check if this has corrected the issue. If your printer settings are already correct (or if changing them doesn’t solve your issue), try Tip No. 3.

TIP NO. 3: Update Your Printer Driver
The Cause Of The Problem:
Since the launch of Windows 10, many printer manufacturers have created new printer drivers to ensure that their printers continue to work correctly with the new operating system; the printer driver is a piece of software run by your printer, which converts the data (files) that you send to your printer into a form that your printer can then process and print. Unfortunately, these new printer drivers are not installed as part of the upgrade to Windows 10 so you may need to do this yourself after upgrading to allow you to print your label templates correctly.

The Fix:

  • Windows 10 automatically checks for, downloads, and installs new drivers for the majority of devices (including printers), so all you should need to do is run Windows Update to update your printer driver.
  • Click on “Start” > “Settings” > “Update and Recovery” and then select “Check For Updates”.

If Windows Update doesn’t find an updated driver for your particular printer, you can try doing a manual search:

  • Through Device Manager
    Click “Start”, type “Device Manager” into the search bar, and select it from the results. Expand the categories to find your printer, then right click and select “Update Driver Software”. Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software” (but be aware this may take some time to complete!).
  • Through the Manufacturer’s Website
    Printer drivers can usually be found in the “Support” section; while all websites will vary slightly, you will usually need to enter the model/make of your printer and then select the appropriate driver for the version of Windows you are using. Follow the instructions on the website to download and install the driver.

You can also try uninstalling and reinstalling your printer to trigger a search for the latest printer driver:

  • Click “Start”, type “Devices and Printers” into the search bar, and select it from the results.
  • Click on your printer and select “Remove device” to uninstall your printer.
  • Follow the installation process to reinstall your printer (with the latest printer driver).

Hopefully, following these steps should resolve any issues you have printing your label templates. If you continue to have problems with a label template, we are more than happy to talk to customers but please note that we are only able to offer advice on troubleshooting templates and we are not qualified to offer technical advice to resolve issues with your operating system. You may wish to visit Microsoft’s website to search through their help pages and community forum to find a solution for any continuing problems you are having but we would always recommend seeking advice from a professional source rather than attempting to fix things yourself if you have any doubts at all about what you are doing.

At Label Planet, we have created a Template Section on our website, which gives our customers access to Word Templates for ALL of our label sizes and products, completely free of charge. All of our templates have been carefully set up and thoroughly tested to ensure that they provide the best possible starting point if you want to print your own labels. We also review (and update where necessary) our templates on a regular basis to ensure that they remain the most accurate and useful versions possible.

To download a template from our website you can either:

  • Visit our Template Section, select the link for the shape of label you wish to print, and find your labels in the list (which is sorted by no. of labels per sheet).
  • Visit the product page of the labels you wish to print (by entering the product code starting with “LP” into the product search bar), and click on the “Label Templates And Printing Information” link.

FAQ Special – A Label Planet Guide To Finding Avery Compatible Labels & Templates

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Many customers use the terms “Avery labels” and “labels” interchangeably, which can lead to a great deal of confusion when they start to look at OTHER manufacturers and suppliers of labels – a situation that isn’t helped much by the fact that many companies use Avery sizes and codes as a reference point for their own products, leading to a mishmash of codes that anyone would be puzzled by. With this in mind, we’ve put together a short guide to finding the right labels (and templates) if you’re using Avery products and/or codes as a starting point.

Do You Sell Avery Products?
We do not sell ANY branded label products (apart from our own name label products); all of our labels are independently manufactured in the UK using high quality materials, with some of our products being “Avery Compatible”.

What Do You Mean By Avery Compatible?
Some of our products are made using the same label sizes and layouts as those made by Avery. This means that you can buy labels from us that are the same size and layout as those sold by Avery and that you can print onto our labels using Avery templates.

We have a number of customers who have used Avery products in the past but no longer wish to purchase from Avery (some have struggled to find a supplier of the product they want, some want a better price, others want to buy a particular size in a material not offered by Avery, and some have had problems with the quality of their Avery products) – these customers want to find a replacement that is the same (in size and layout) as the Avery products they have bought before so that they don’t have to waste time trying to find a similar alternative (or re-designing their templates).

Choosing an Avery compatible product means that you can use the same template(s) as you always do; you simply have to put our labels into your printer instead of Avery’s!

How Do I Find Out If One Of Your Products Is Compatible With One Of Avery’s?
All of our label sizes that are compatible with those of Avery will have the Avery code listed along with their Label Planet code.

We’ve also put together a List of Label Planet Label Sizes With Compatible Avery Codes page so you can see ALL of our label sizes that are compatible with an Avery product (or products) in one go.

Why Do You List So Many Different Avery Codes For One Label Planet Size?
Most of the Label Planet products that are compatible with Avery products will be listed as having multiple compatible Avery codes; this is due to the system used by Avery to create codes for its products and templates.

Every Avery product has a code that is both its “product code” and its “template code” – in other words you can use the same code to refer to a product and to the template that is used to print onto that product.

The problem is that some Avery products have the exact same size and layout (and so can be printed using the same template) BUT have different product codes (and therefore template codes) because they are made with different materials. For example, Avery supplies 40mm round labels in six different colours, which means that there are six product/template codes that can be used to print onto any of those labels (and that can be used to print onto our Avery compatible LP24/40R labels).

We try to list ALL of the Avery codes that are compatible with one of our label sizes because people tend to use these codes to find a built in Avery template in their software (e.g. Word); different software (and versions of software) will include different Avery codes, so by including them all, you should be able to find one that is available in the software that you are using.

I Have An Avery Code & Want To Find Out If You Have A Compatible Product – What Should I Do?
If you have a specific Avery code that you’re trying to find a compatible product for, the best thing to do is to take a look at our List Of Avery Codes With Compatible Label Planet Products. This page lists ALL of the Avery codes that have a compatible Label Planet product. The codes are listed numerically and then alphabetically; if you don’t see your Avery code in this list then it is more than likely that we don’t offer a compatible product.

I’ve Bought Labels From You But I Can’t Find A Compatible Avery Code To Set Up My Template – What Should I Do?
If the product page of the labels you’ve bought from us doesn’t list an Avery code, then it is likely that Avery simply doesn’t supply labels in that particular size and/or layout (and so, naturally, doesn’t offer a template for them). While Avery is a popular brand, many customers find that they simply don’t offer the same range of sizes and material options that others (like Label Planet!) do.

Here at Label Planet, we aim to offer our customers the best possible range of label products AND helpful extras to help them design and print their own labels, which is why each of our label sizes has its own dedicated “Template Information Page” full of information about that particular size and layout along with sets of Word and PDF templates for our customers to download and use.

To find a template for your Label Planet labels, simply visit the product page of the labels you have purchased from us and click on the purple “Label Templates And Printing Information For This Label” link. Alternatively, visit our Template Section and use the links to navigate to the templates for the product(s) you have bought from us.

Find out more about our self-adhesive label products (and helpful extras such as templates, samples, and advice) on our “Self-Adhesive Labels” page. Alternatively, visit our “List Of All Label Materials” to view all of the label products available from Label Planet OR visit our “Label Sizes Listed By Width” and “Label Sizes Listed By Height” pages to see if we have a label size that is suitable for your application.

Don’t Let Your Labels Push You Over The Edge – An FAQ Special About Printing Labels

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

While there are various elements that can potentially cause problems when you print a template, one of the trickiest issues is dealing with what happens at the edges of each label on an A4 sheet of labels.

If you’re creating a simple set of basic labels then you’ll probably find that you don’t get close enough to the edges of your labels for them to become an issue BUT if you’re working on a design that fills (or takes advantage of the shaping of) each label then you might find that you struggle to get the edges just right. With this in mind, we’ve created a short FAQ special all about handling the potential problems of printing up to (or over) the edges of your labels.

Why won’t my printer print to the edges of my labels?
If you’ve created a large design that fills your labels but find that parts of it are “cut off” around the edges of the sheet, the problem is probably caused by the “printable” (and therefore “unprintable”) area of the printer you are using.

While standard desktop printers are designed specifically for handling A4 sheets, they cannot print the FULL AREA of an A4 sheet; there will be a section around the edges of an A4 sheet that a printer simply cannot reach, which is known as the “unprintable” area. Even if you create a template design that uses the full area of an A4 sheet, your printer will not be able to print the outermost part of your design – which means that if any part of any of your labels fall into this “unprintable” area, that part will remain blank and unprinted. The only way to solve this issue is to either adapt your design to take into account the area that your printer cannot reach (bearing in mind that, if you’re creating a set of identical labels, you’ll need to adapt the design to suit ALL of the labels on your sheet) or to try to get access to a printer that is capable of “borderless” or “edge-to-edge” printing.

How do I find the “printable” area of my printer?
The simplest way to determine how much of an A4 sheet your printer can actually print is to set up a blank Word document, fill the page with a coloured box or background, and print this document onto a blank sheet of paper. The “printable” area of the sheet will be filled in, while the “unprintable” area will remain blank. You can then use this test print to make sure your design sits within the “printable” area of your printer.

When I print my template, Word says my margins are too small and some content may be cut off – what should I do?
For the most part, you can ignore this warning and simply select “Yes” to carry on and print your labels.

Word attempts to account for the fact that most printers cannot print the full area of an A4 sheet by creating page margins to indicate the “printable” and “unprintable” area of your documents (and templates). Unfortunately, these page margins tend to be a rather excessive overestimate of the area that standard desktop printers cannot reach – which is why it is usually safe to simply ignore this particular warning.

However, if your design is actually sitting quite close to the edges of your page (for example, if your margins are less than 10mm), you may want to do a test print of your template onto blank paper first to establish whether or not your printer will be able to print all of your design.

What if my labels go right up to the edges of my label sheets?
Label sheets are made with a variety of layouts; the majority of A4 label products have a selvedge (or blank strip) around each edge of the sheet with some sizes also featuring gaps between the columns and/or rows of labels. These selvedges and gaps create a layout whereby the entire area of every single label on a sheet sits within the “printable” area of standard desktop printers, which means you can print right up to the edge of every single label without any problems.

The exception to this practice is “kiss cut” or “butt cut” labels; these labels are cut into shapes (usually rectangles or squares) that “butt up” against one another (in other words, there are no gaps between them). While some butt cut layouts have selvedges around one or more of the edges of the sheet, some of the labels will sit at the very edge of the sheet (within the “unprintable” area). You will need to either adapt your design to take into account the areas that your printer cannot print, get access to a “borderless” printer, or select another label layout that DOES offer selvedges (and gaps).
Our range of Rectangular Labels With Square Cut Corners are “butt cut” labels; the label sizes in this range that DO have a selvedge (or selvedges) have an “S” at the end of the product code (e.g. LP8/105S, LP12/105S).

My design overlaps the edge(s) of my labels when I print it out, what should I do?
If the design on each of your labels is getting cut off slightly there are a few solutions you can try. If your design is being cut off on each label on one side and by the same amount (i.e. they’re all sitting too far left/right/high/low), then you can overcome this issue by simply increasing or decreasing the top and left margins of your template to manually shift your design into the correct position. If your design is being cut off on two or more sides, then you should consider reducing the size of the text and/or images you have added.

If your design gets progressively more misaligned as you look down or across the sheet (or if it is aligned correctly in the centre of the sheet and gets worse as you move outwards), then it is likely that your printer settings are incorrect; this issue is most commonly caused by a printer being set to a page size other than A4 OR because a scaling setting has been applied (such as a percentage that is more or less than 100% or a setting such as “Fit To Page”).

 What can I do to make sure my design is appropriate for the shape and layout of my labels (and so avoid problems at the edges of my labels)?
While every design is different, there are a few “golden rules” that you can follow to improve the quality and accuracy of your printed labels:

  • Centralise your design: if you set up your design so that it sits in the centre of each label, it is far more likely that your design will fall inside the central area of your labels (avoiding the edges) and won’t end up sitting in the “unprintable” area of your printer.
  • Avoid using a border: borders highlight the edges of your labels, which means they have the unfortunate side effect of also highlighting any inaccuracies in the alignment of your printer. If you absolutely have to use a border, then we recommend using a thick border, which you can overlap over the edges of your labels.
    Adding a border is also tricky to get right if any sides of your labels are butt cut; standard printers are not capable of extremely accurate print positioning, which will mean that you may end up with the border of one label overlapping onto another.
  • Take care with images and/or coloured backgrounds: if you add an image that is the same shape as your labels you will need to take great care with the alignment, as any slight misalignment will be made more obvious by the repetition of the same shape. If your image and label shapes don’t match, then you need to make sure that the image fits accurately within the edges of your labels OR that there is space around and between each label so that you can oversize your image around the edges of each label. Likewise, if you use a coloured background you will need to take a great deal of care with your alignment if there are no gaps between your labels (to avoid the background overlapping onto another label); if there are gaps between your labels then we recommend oversizing your background (or flood coating your template with a particular colour) to ensure that you don’t end up with any white edging around your labels.

To download a template or to find out more about the size and layout of any of our label sizes, please visit the Template Section of our website. Alternatively, take a look through our Help Pages and Blog for more tips and advice on designing and printing your own labels.