Forgetting about the gaps between labels can be a big problem when working with Word templates.
Apart from square cut or “butt cut” labels (where there are no gaps and the labels “butt up” against one another), labels on sheets will usually be cut with gaps between the labels. Some labels are cut so that they are surrounded by blank space, while others will only have spaces between the rows or columns of labels.
So why can this cause problems in Word templates?
Word is a word processor and, as such, is excellent at working with text but slightly less effective with everything else. Templates in Word are created as Tables, which create a grid that replicates the layout of a sheet of labels.
So, when there are gaps between labels, these blank spaces must be represented in the table EITHER by including them in the cells that represent the labels on the sheet OR as blank rows/columns between these cells.
Obviously, including the blank space in the cells that represent the labels isn’t an ideal compromise as you have to estimate which bit of the cell represents a label and which bit represents blank space – which can make it difficult to get your design positioned accurately.
The alternative is to create blank rows or columns in the table to represent the blank spaces.
However, if you do use a template with these blank spaces you have to remember that they are there!
For example, you cannot simply select the whole table to copy and paste your design from one cell to all of the cells – Word will copy your design into the blank rows and/or columns, which can cause all sorts of problems either by altering your template to fit the new content or creating issues when you try to print.
If there are only spaces between the rows or columns of labels then you CAN select all of the rows or columns where there are no spaces between the labels and paste into all of these cells at once.
You also need to take careful consideration of these spaces if you are adding a coloured background, image, or border; to avoid white spaces around the edges of your labels, it is best to bleed your design over the edges of the cells either by giving the entire table a coloured background or by oversizing any images you are using. You need to take care that Word doesn’t automatically resize any elements of the table to account for this.
When working with Word templates, it is always best to do a test print: this way you can check the alignment of your design (and the alignment of any blank spaces!) on a blank sheet of paper first, before using any of your actual sheets of labels.
You can find Word templates for all of our label products on our Label Templates page.