David Knoble, CPA, PLLC

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Act! — Creating New Label Formats

Cre­at­ing new label for­mats in Act! can be chal­leng­ing.  The spac­ing between labels and the top & bot­tom mar­gins don’t always line up on the printed page the way you expect.  Some­times the labels seem to creep down the page; other times the sec­ond col­umn seems to start a lit­tle too far to the left cut­ting off part of the label.  Here is the trick on get­ting labels that are spaced correctly.

First, we assume that the label style you want is not already con­tained in Act!  If it is, then mod­ify one of the exst­ing tem­plates.  Avoid try­ing to rein­vent the wheel!

Sec­ond, if you need to cre­ate a label size from scratch, fol­low the setup wiz­ard for cre­at­ing a new label.  Use a ruler and do your best to get proper mea­sure­ments on the labels you are using.  The exam­ple we are using is for Avery 8463 labels, 2″ x 4″.

basic-avery-label-report-fieldsNext, when you get the report show­ing in the screen, go to the prop­er­ties win­dow that is typ­i­cally on the right.  If you can­not see a prop­er­ties win­dow, then press F4 or use the View, Prop­er­ties Win­dow menu item.  Using the drop down list, select the name of the report.  In our exam­ple, we saved the report name as Avery 8463 Basic.

Then check each of the Label prop­er­ties (under Behav­ior).  Make sure the num­ber of columns is cor­rect.  Check the hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal spac­ing.  Some­times I have seen these appear to reverse from what I thought I input in the report wiz­ard.  Most impor­tantly, be sure the width is cor­rect.  Chang­ing other items will adjust the width caus­ing incor­rect label print­ing.  In our exam­ple, the label is 4 inches wide.  Do not worry if the width is 0.9999 inches like the exam­ple here.  It will work fine.

Also check the main page mar­gins under the Lay­out sec­tion.  Don’t worry about the bot­tom mar­gin as it will be what­ever space is left on the page.  Do check the left and right margins.

NOTE:  Always start from a page edge when mea­sur­ing.  Do not take into account any printer mar­gins.  Hope­fully, the mar­gins you have for your labels will be greater than your printer margins.

Finally, leave the ori­en­ta­tion as Por­trait.  Do not change this!

Next we will explore the items that need inves­ti­gated in the detail sec­tion.  Using the Prop­er­ties Win­dow, change the selec­tion to Detail in the drop down list.  This will show some­thing like the following:

detail-avery-report-fieldsThere is only one impor­tant item here to check.  Look­ing under the Lay­out sec­tion, review the Height item.  It should be set to the same height as the label.  In our exam­ple, the height is 2 inches.

That should be all that is nec­es­sary.  Any time your labels do not line up well on the printer, check these set­tings.  For what­ever unknown rea­son, the pro­gram likes to recal­cu­late the height and width of the label caus­ing irratic print­ing behav­iour.  Be sure to print some labels on a blank sheet of paper and hold it up to the light to check posi­tion­ing.  This will save print­ing on those expen­sive labels and throw­ing them away!

Let us know what tips and tricks you have found so we can pub­lish those here too!

© 2009, david.knoble
by David Kno­ble, CPA, PLLC
Serv­ing Non-Profits, Busi­nesses & Indi­vid­u­als
Rock Hill, SC

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