Working with roll printers

Working with roll printers

Roll printers are the best choice if you have a high volume of labels to print. Cost per label is usually lower, and by having a dedicated printer you skip many of the hassles typically related to working with a standard printer, such as having to load the right paper each time you need to print labels.

If you work with a roll printer this tutorial will help you understand the steps required to properly setup Labeljoy to print to a roll printer.

Video: print with roll printers

We’ll be creating a typical in-house label, with texts and a barcode and we’ll be printing on a Zebra TLP 3842 roll printer.

The Zebra TLP 3842 roll printer

The Zebra TLP 3842 roll printer


1 – Defining the layout

Roll printers see each label as a single page, that’s why we need to set up our paper layout as a 1 row by 1 column page as big as the label, including margins.
In this tutorial we’ll be working with a roll of 5 by 3 cm labels with a horizontal margin of 0.15 cm each side.

Example of Roll

A 5 by 3 cm label printer roll

Note that there’s also a vertical gap between each label, but in this case we won’t take it into account since the printer driver uses that gap to detect the start/end position of each label.
This is something that usually needs some tweaking since each printer behaves differently and some testing might be necessary.

Here’s how our layout form should look like to accommodate this particular type of scenario:

Defining the layout

As you can see, in the Page frame we have selected User-defined as paper size and entered the total width of the label (including margins) and the net height (excluding the gap between labels).
In the Labels frame we entered 1 column and 1 row, since our printer really sees each label as a single page.
Finally, in the Margins frame we entered 0.15 cm for the left and right margins and 0.00 cm for the top and bottom margins.

Once the changes are confirmed, Labeljoy should show a single empty label like the one below:

Layout of label


2 – Designing the label

We now need to add all the elements that we’ll be printed on the label. This process is pretty straight forward: just select the element type from the left toolbox and draw a rectangular marquee on the area where you want the new element to appear. Then double click each element to define its properties.

Remember that, depending on the zoom value in use, you’re most likely seeing things on screen larger than they will appear on the physical label.

This is our final result: a typical repair center production label with several pieces of information, including a serial number and a barcode.

Label ready to print with roll printer

Download this Labeljoy file

3 – Connecting the data

If you need to print a batch of labels containing data, you need to define a data source in Labeljoy. Please refer to this video tutorial to learn all the details.

Once the data source is connected, edit each element to ensure that the data is properly read from the underlying source, by clicking the Field button and creating the right concatenation of texts.

Concatenation text

Keep in mind that this is a 1-label-per-page project, so if your data source contains 300 rows, Labeljoy will handle it as a 300-page project. All this means is that to scroll through each label, you need to act on the page buttons on the top toolbar and scroll through labels as though they were pages.