The most common issue we hear from our customers is about label alignment using Microsoft Word templates. Below are a few tips to achieve proper alignment and a successful print job.
We recommend that our customers set up their label design by making their first print on a plain white piece of paper. Place the printout over 1 sheet of labels and hold up to the light. You can then verify that all of your text and graphics fall within the template perimeters.
If all labels appear "squished" in one or more direction, be sure that the "Scale to Paper Size" setting is set to "No Scaling." Your labels may very well be perfectly aligned on the screen, but your printer plays by its own set of rules and will often times ignore template inputs unless set otherwise.
The MS Word templates do not include a visual die line, so depending on your individual settings the page may appear blank. To adjust your settings to allow for grid lines to be viewed please see our blog post here which includes step by step instructions for adjusting your MS Word settings.
MS Word does a lot of things well, but one thing it does not do is allow for editable non-linear objects. This means that a 1" x 2" label will appear as a 1" x 2" rectangle, leaving it up to the user to adjust text and artwork to account for rounded edges. This will likely require some trial, error & adjustment to get them just right.
Most computers nowadays come equipped with Adobe Acrobat Reader which allows the user to open and view PDF documents. What this program will not allow you to do with a standard PDF template is make text and image inputs. We have options to use editable PDF templates in Acrobat reader but edibility is very limited, and in most cases we recommend use of the MS Word templates for this type of user.
The templates will work using MS Works version 6.0, and will not work using previous versions.
Avoid using a stroke or outline to match the border of your labels if possible. Again, your template and artwork may be perfect, but that doesn't account for tolerances your individual printer. If the printer is just 1/64" off, the label outline can go from stunning onscreen to destroying the visual symmetry of the printed be. Matching a stroke/outline in your artwork to the label die line on a blank label sheet can be frustrating for even the most experienced graphic designer.
If at all possible use high resolution artwork 300dpi or greater to produce crisp clean graphic elements.