How to print labels?

how to print labels

How to Print Labels: A Comprehensive Guide

Printing labels can significantly streamline organizational tasks, enhance branding efforts, and improve the efficiency of mail and package handling. Whether you need labels for personal, professional, or commercial use, understanding the process of printing them can save time and ensure quality results. This guide will walk you through the steps of printing labels, from choosing the right materials to troubleshooting common issues.

Choosing the Right Labels and Printer

1. Selecting Label Paper

The first step is to choose the appropriate label paper. Labels come in various sizes, shapes, and adhesive strengths, so consider your specific needs:

  • Size and Shape: Determine the dimensions and layout that best fit your purpose. Common sizes include address labels, shipping labels, and file folder labels.
  • Adhesive Type: Decide between permanent and removable adhesives. Permanent adhesives are suitable for long-term applications, while removable ones are ideal for temporary labeling.
  • Finish: Choose between matte and glossy finishes based on the desired aesthetic and durability.

2. Printer Types

Not all printers are created equal when it comes to printing labels. Here are the primary types:

  • Inkjet Printers: Ideal for color printing and detailed graphics but may smudge if exposed to moisture.
  • Laser Printers: Best for high-volume printing and creating smudge-proof labels, but not all label papers are compatible.
  • Thermal Printers: Used primarily for shipping and barcode labels, providing fast and durable results without ink or toner.

Preparing Your Labels for Printing

1. Software and Templates

Using software that supports label creation, such as Microsoft Word, Adobe Illustrator, or dedicated label-making software like Avery Design & Print, can simplify the process. Many label manufacturers provide downloadable templates compatible with their products.

2. Designing Your Labels

Consider these design elements:

  • Text: Ensure readability by selecting an appropriate font size and style.
  • Images and Logos: Include high-resolution images for clarity.
  • Alignment and Margins: Use gridlines and alignment tools to keep text and images properly aligned.

Printing Process

1. Printer Settings

Before printing, adjust your printer settings to match the label paper type:

  • Paper Type: Select the appropriate media type (e.g., label paper, cardstock) in the printer settings.
  • Print Quality: Choose a higher print quality setting for detailed designs.

2. Test Print

Conduct a test print on plain paper to check alignment and design. This step helps avoid wasting label sheets due to misalignment or design errors.

3. Loading the Printer

Carefully load the label paper into the printer tray:

  • Orientation: Ensure the paper is loaded in the correct orientation as per the printer’s manual.
  • Paper Guides: Adjust the paper guides to fit snugly against the label sheets to prevent jamming or misalignment.

4. Printing

Once everything is set, print your labels. Monitor the first few sheets to ensure everything is printing correctly.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Misalignment: If labels are misaligned, check the template settings and ensure the paper guides are properly adjusted.
  • Smudging: For inkjet printers, allow time for the ink to dry. If using a laser printer, ensure you are using compatible label paper.
  • Paper Jams: Avoid overloading the paper tray and ensure the label sheets are not curled or bent.


Printing labels is a straightforward process that requires careful selection of materials, proper printer settings, and attention to design details. By following the steps outlined above, you can produce professional-looking labels for a variety of purposes. Remember to perform test prints and troubleshoot common issues to achieve the best results. With the right approach, label printing can enhance your organization, branding, and efficiency in handling tasks.