Welcome to part two of our special about common label printing problems. This part is all about templates!
All I need to do is set up a template, add my design, and press print. Right?
Wrong. Unfortunately, while some people may find that everything works perfectly the first time, it is always best practice to get your template set up and do a test print first. Print your template onto a sheet of blank paper and hold this up against a sheet of your labels to check if the alignment is correct. This way, you have the chance to correct any misalignment and make suitable adjustments before you print on your actual labels.
All of my labels are printing too high / low / left / right.
While you could go back to your template and adjust your design for each of the labels on your sheet, it is far easier to force the labels into place by increasing or decreasing the page margins.
The alignment is getting progressively worse down or across the page. What do I do?
This usually happens when your template or printer uses a page setting that is something other than A4. You should check the page size that is set for BOTH your template AND your printer; you will likely find that one of these has shifted to a “default” setting that is US letter size rather than A4 size.
Some of my labels are printing okay, but the rest get worse and worse.
This tends to happen with the PDF templates and is caused by document/printer settings that involve scaling or magnification. The template should be printed at its actual size; if any scaling is applied to the design you will find that your printer attempts to print the design onto a paper size that is bigger or smaller than A4.
We have also found that certain graphics packages can cause issues with alignment if you try to print directly from within that program. To avoid these issues, try opening your PDF template with the program, adding your design, saving your design, shutting down the program, and then opening the PDF file and printing directly from the file itself.
This Word template doesn’t show circles / ovals?
Word is a word processor, which means it’s great with editing text, but less accomplished when it comes to graphic design. The best compromise is to use a grid of squares/rectangles that your circular/oval labels will fit inside (with the outermost points touching the four sides of the square/rectangle).
Why can’t I edit this PDF file?
Unless you open a PDF in a graphics package you will not be able to edit its contents. Most computers have a PDF reader that allows you to open PDF files to view and read them but, unless you also have a graphics package, you will not be able to edit them.
My Word template keeps jumping onto the next page when I add my design. What do I do?
This is usually the result of Word trying to be helpful by expanding the cells in a grid or table around the content that you add. Unfortunately, this will ruin the alignment of your template. You should ensure that your content (whether it’s text, images, or both) doesn’t exceed the size of your labels, and double check that you aren’t accidentally pasting text or images into the blank columns and rows that represent the spaces between the labels.
Do I have to set up my design once for each label on the sheet?
No! Get your design right in the top left label and then copy and paste this into the other labels. This way you know that every single label has been set up in the same way, which should help prevent variations in the alignment of your template.
I can’t see any gridlines on my Word template.
This is because you have gridlines turned off. (Not so) Helpfully, Word has two types of gridlines, which can be confusing. One applies gridlines to the entire page; this setting is usually found under the “View” tab. The second type (and the one you actually need) is under “Table Tools”. In recent versions of Word, you will need to click inside the grid to bring up the Table Tools tab at the top of the page, after which you need to select the “Layout” tab and “View Gridlines”.
I’m trying to move an image in Word but it keeps jumping about.
Try changing the format settings of the image. You can find these by left clicking on the image and selecting the “Picture Tools Format” tab from the top of the page or by right clicking on the image and selecting “Format Picture” from the list. You should try changing the “Wrap Text” settings; usually this defaults to “In Line With Text”, which means that Word will align the image with the font settings applied to a cell, instead of letting you position the image wherever you want to. Try choosing the “Tight” or “In Front Of Text” settings for greater control over image positioning.
Hopefully we’ve answered your questions but if you’ve got an issue that hasn’t been resolved by these tips, then please get in touch so we can offer bespoke advice.