To print your own self adhesive labels, you'll need a label template. Here's an introduction to label templates.
Purchasing labels is only the first step towards printing your own labels; the second step is to set up a template that will allow you to print your text or design work onto your sheet of labels in the correct position.
A template is basically a document that has a pre-determined page layout and style that can be edited to produce the required finished document; label templates replicate the size and layout of the labels on a sheet, which allows you to add your design to the correct areas of the page to get your design printed perfectly onto each of your labels.
It is possible to create label templates in a wide range of different software packages, with each providing their own version of a template for you to edit and fill in with your own design and/or text. You can choose to download a suitable template, use a template that is built into the software you are using (where available), or set up your own template from scratch.
At Label Planet, we provide templates for all of our label sizes and layouts in both Word and PDF formats. The Word templates can be used with Microsoft Word, as well as other Word Processing software packages that are capable of editing or importing this particular file format (e.g. LibreOffice, Pages). The PDF templates, meanwhile, will require the use of a graphics package (e.g. InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop) to edit the file and add your design.
A number of our label products use "standard" label sizes, which mean they use the same label size and layout as products commonly supplied by label manufacturers across the labelling industry. Templates for these standard sizes are generally available in a range of software that features built-in label templates. this means that you can use these templates to print onto Label Planet labels.
Alternatively, you can create your own template. In many cases, this will be a simple case of entering the measurements from your labels to set up a page that shows the layout of your sheet of labels, which you can then “fill in” with your design elements. As a helpful extra, our new Template Information pages include a set of measurements for each of our label sizes and layouts to get you started (although you can always get out a ruler if you prefer a DIY approach or you want to get exact measurements that are specific to the labels you have in front of you!).
When it comes to printing labels our very top tip would be to take your time and think carefully about the best way to create your label design – while it can be a simple thing, designing a template can become a frustrating nightmare. Our other top tips include:
- MAKE SURE YOU SELECT THE CORRECT TEMPLATE: if you’re downloading a template or using a template built in to your software, double check that you’ve got the right one!
- BE AWARE OF THE LIMITATIONS OF YOUR SOFTWARE: most software is designed for a specific purpose, which means it will have certain strengths AND limitations – you need to make sure that the software you are using is capable of achieving the design you want to create and if it isn’t you’ll need to compromise and use the tools available to you to create the best possible approximation of your design.
A prime example is Microsoft Word: as a Word Processor, Word is designed primarily for adding and editing text, which means that it will both prioritise text over any other elements you add (e.g. images) AND that it has limited design tools and precision when it comes to creating detailed designs.
- LEARN TO USE COPY AND PASTE (WITH CARE): generally speaking, label design means recreating the same design over and over again on one page. Copy and paste will allow you both to add a variety of design elements quickly and easily AND to replicate your design on ALL of the labels on your sheet with ease.
- CHECK YOUR FORMATTING & STYLE SETTINGS: if elements of your design simply won’t sit in the right place, take a look through the style and format settings to see if there is an alternative that will improve the control you have over how your elements look and where they sit in your design.
- BE AWARE OF AUTO-CORRECTIONS: software often contains “helpful” auto-correct facilities that will endeavour to guess what it is that you are trying to achieve and do it for you – when working with templates, however, this can sometimes have the unfortunate result of resizing or adjusting your template to suit the content you are adding, which will ruin the alignment you achieve when you print.
- ALWAYS DO A TEST PRINT FIRST: no matter how careful you’ve been when setting up your template, you should ALWAYS test print your template onto blank paper FIRST. This gives you the opportunity to make absolutely sure that your software AND your hardware is set up correctly before printing onto your labels.
- CHECK YOUR SIZE SETTINGS: if your template looks fine on screen but produces an appalling alignment, the most likely source of the problem is a size setting. In other words, either your document or your printer is attempting to print your template to a page size that is larger or smaller than A4. Taking a quick check through your document and printer properties to make sure everything is set to A4 and no scaling options are applied is a sure way to prevent this common issue from happening to you.
All of our templates (and our template information pages) can be found in our Templates Section; you may also wish to visit our Help section for further advice and tips on how to design and print your own labels.