Here are a few top tips when it comes to designing and printing labels using a PDF template.
The majority of our customers use Word to create their templates – which admittedly means that most of our template and printing advice is geared towards Word templates.
But we don’t want our customers using PDFs to feel left out and we’ve picked up a couple of top tips that we know will come in handy for people having problems getting the perfect print using PDFs.
Top Tip No. 1: SCALING CAN CAUSE ALL SORTS OF PROBLEMS
The most common problem our customers come across is printing their PDF template and finding that the alignment is completely wrong. While it’s easy to assume that the problem is with the template, the most common cause is usually related to the print settings that are being used – by the document or by your printer.
Usually, if the wrong print settings are being used, the alignment will follow a pattern of getting gradually worse – either as you move down or across the page OR if you start from the middle label(s) and move out towards the edge of the sheet.
This happens because the printer is attempting to print your design onto a page size that is larger or smaller than the A4 size of your sheet of labels. Your design will either be squished up or stretched out according to the size that your printer thinks it is supposed to be printing to.
To correct this, you need to simply check through a few all-important settings and make sure none of them are causing this issue:
- Page/Media Size: this must always be set to A4
- Scaling/Fit to Page: these options must NOT be checked
Remember, you should check through both the Properties of your document AND your printer.
Top Tip No. 2: DESIGN IN THE SOFTWARE OF YOUR CHOICE BUT PRINT DIRECTLY FROM YOUR PDF FILE
While we can’t offer any definite explanation for WHY this can cause problems, we do know that printing from your file (rather than from the software you are using to design your template) can eliminate some problems with print alignment.
It may be that the software you are using has its own default settings for how it sends documents to print, which overrides the print settings you actually want to use. We – and some of our customers – have found that problems with print alignment disappear simply by printing directly from the PDF file rather than from a particular piece of software.
So, open your PDF template in the design package of your choice and get creative.
Just remember that when it’s time to print:
- Close down the program you are editing your template with.
- Open your PDF template as a standalone file (NOT the graphics package you designed it in).
- Check the document and printer settings that have been selected to ensure that your printer is set to print to A4 and that NO scaling options have been applied (or are set as default).
You can find PDF templates for all of our label sizes on our Template Page.