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[en] Installation and Activation Improvements

[en] Pre-configuring NiceLabel Installation in a Multi-user Environment

[en] This release simplifies installation and activation processes in a multi-user environment in cases when you have to install NiceLabel on many computers, preferably using the same license key and the same configuration.

[en] The new functionality saves administration time and makes the job easier.

[en] To install NiceLabel software and use a single multi-user license, provide the license key in the installer’s file name. You must prefix the license key with underscore character “_” which must also be the last parameter in the file name, such as:


[en] You can also automatically enforce certain configuration options for each new installation. The options are configured in a file named product.config, which you have to store in the same folder as the installer file. The options as defined within the file are applied during the installation.

[en] The options you can alter include:

  • [en] User interface language

  • [en] Default directories, where NiceLabel searches for the requested files (labels, solutions, images, file-based databases)

  • [en] Usage tracing

  • [en] License key

  • [en] Location of global variables

[en] You can even take this file from an already configured copy of NiceLabel. This will ensure that NiceLabel on all computers is using identical settings and the same multi-user license key.

[en] For more information, see Knowledge Base article Pre-configuring NiceLabel installation with product.config.

[en] When you start NiceLabel 2017 for the first time, the license key is already populated, but you will still have to activate it. However, if there is a NiceLabel 2017 node with the same license key already installed in the network, this requires a simple click on the Activate button as the activation details will be provided by that existing computer.

[en] Improved Speed of Installation

[en] The NiceLabel 2017 installation or upgrade processes now take a significantly shorter time to complete. The help system that installs with NiceLabel software is provided in a compressed HTML format (.CHM extension), which contains the entire help content in a single file. Previously, an uncompressed help installed each topic in an individual file requiring high disk usage during the installation.

[en] Improved Upgrade Experience

[en] The upgrade process has been made even simpler.

[en] After you start an upgrade of an existing NiceLabel 2017 installation to a newer version, the process is completed in a single step. You no longer have to wait for the installer to remove the existing version only to confirm that the installation of the latest version should start.

[en] Automatic Discovery of Multi-user Licenses in the Network

[en] If you do not provide any license key during the installation, NiceLabel 2017 will install in trial mode and you will have to activate it within 30 days. When you decide to activate the software and open the NiceLabel 2017 Activation dialog box, NiceLabel 2017 will scan the local area network for any existing multi-user license keys.

[en] If an existing license key is found, it will automatically populate the License Key field.

[en] If multiple license keys are found, select the appropriate one from the list.

[en] This feature saves you the time spent while re-typing the same multi-user license key on many computers. This release also provides support for automatic activation of multi-user NiceLabel license keys. See the topic Pre-configuring NiceLabel Installation on page 5.


[en] Figure 1: Multi-user NiceLabel 2017 licenses have been found in the LAN

[en] Activation Data Retrieved while Entering the License Key

[en] After you install NiceLabel on a new computer, you have to activate it. A NiceLabel multi-user license key must be activated only once and then all NiceLabel computers start to share it. For example, license keys provided with NiceLabel LMS products are multi-user license keys.

[en] After you enter a multi-user license key, the activation server is contacted for activation details. NiceLabel checks if the license has already been activated.

  • [en] If yes, NiceLabel on the new computer is activated using the same license key.

  • [en] If not, the activation process starts.


[en] For more information about licensing, see document NiceLabel 2017 licensing.

[en] Offline Activation Shows License Link with QR Code

[en] The activation process requires access to the NiceLabel activation server. However, there are cases in which you have to install NiceLabel software on computers without Internet access. Offline activation either involves contacting NiceLabel Technical Support team via phone or as self-service activation. You could save the necessary URL with data for activation to a file and open it on another computer that has Internet access. You would then enter the obtained Activation Code and complete the activation.

[en] With this release, there is an even more straightforward option for offline activation.

[en] The QR Code displays the containing URL with all necessary data for the activation server. You can scan the QR code with your mobile phone and use the phone to obtain the Activation Code. It is very likely that your phone has Internet connectivity through either Wi-Fi or mobile broadband (3G/4G).


[en] Figure 2: Scanning QR Code to obtain Activation Code necessary to complete the activation process

[en] New and Improved Functionalities

[en] Improved User Experience

  • [en] ENTER key on new label wizard moves to next steps. When using the New Label Wizard, pressing the ENTER key opens the next step of the wizard.

  • [en] Design surface shortcuts for zooming in and out. Users have the ability to zoom the documents on the design surface using keyboard shortcuts:

    [en] Ctrl + “+”: Zoom in

    [en] Ctrl + “-”: Zoom out

    [en] Ctrl + “0”: Zoom to label

  • [en] Rectangle, Ellipse, and Line objects remember the last used settings. If a user changes any style setting for a rectangle, ellipse or line object, all style settings are remembered and applied to the new objects.

  • [en] Remembering the selected printer in new label wizard. New label wizard remembers the printer that was selected for the last created label.

  • [en] Improved document-loading time. Complex solution files with many forms and labels will load noticeably faster.

[en] Importing Data Sources from External Files


[en] Product levels NiceLabel Designer Pro or above are required for this feature.

[en] The data sources in NiceLabel document define values for objects with dynamic content and are defined as variables, functions, and connections to databases. Within a solution file (.NSLN extension), you can use the same data sources across multiple solution items (labels and forms).

[en] NiceLabel 2017.2 release provides an easy method for designers to consolidate and re-use data sources from existing documents. A designer can now import data sources into a new label or solution and easily re-use them. This helps maintain consistency across a portfolio of label templates as well as saves time by allowing easier re-use of already configured functions and database connections.

[en] The Import Data Sources button is available in the Dynamic Data Manager window.


[en] Figure 3: Importing data source from existing files

[en] You can import data sources from the following types of NiceLabel files:

  • [en] Solution file (.NSLN)

  • [en] Label file (.NLBL)

  • [en] Label file V6 (.LBL)

  • [en] XFF form file V6 (.XFF)

  • [en] Variables export file (.NLVR)

[en] During the import, the data source might be renamed if another data source of the same name already exists in the current document and is significantly different.

[en] Exporting Variables to File


[en] Product level NiceLabel Designer Pro or above is required for this feature.

[en] In many cases, label templates that you create for a specific project share the same data sources with values provided by existing business systems like ERP, MES, or WMS. The labels might use data for common fields, such as product id, product name, expiry date, date of production, perhaps some GS1’s GTIN, or fields from some other data-encoding standard. However, the labels will use a diverse graphical design.

[en] Once the first label template has been created, you can save the time spent on reconfiguring the variables for other label templates. With this release, you can export the variables from a label or solution to an external XML formatted file (.NLVR extension). You can use such file as a “data template” for creating other label templates by importing variables from it.

[en] NOTE: You can export standalone variables that have no dependencies on other data sources. The “initial value” field in a variable definition must not be linked to any data source.

[en] The feature is available in Dynamic Data Manager with the Export Variables button.


[en] Figure 4: Exporting variables from the current label or solution

[en] Updated Support for Data-encoding and Business Communication Standards

  • [en] Updated support for GS1-128 specification (issue 17, January 2017). GS1-128 support in NiceLabel 2017 is updated according to the last changes in GS1-128 General Specifications Issue 17. There are new application identifiers (AT 416, AI 7020-7023, AI 8112) and an updated application identifier (AI 425).

  • [en] Updated support for Data Identifier and Application Identifier Standard ANSI MH10.8.2. Support for ANSI MH10.8.2 data identifiers in this release includes all changes that were approved in 2016. The following data identifiers are new: 30B, 31B, 5R, 6R, 11N, 12N. The following data identifier has been updated: 13E.

  • [en] HIBC version 2.6 support. Due to UDI regulation requirement, HIBC syntax was changed and the quantity field should be the last field in the structure. NiceLabel Designer introduces the HIBC version selector. You can choose between HIBC 2.5 and HIBC 2.6. Data encoding works depending on the selected HIBC version.

[en] Applying the Same “Text-fit” Formatting to Multiple Text Box objects


[en] Product level NiceLabel Designer Pro or above is required for this feature.

[en] Text Box object has the ability to adapt its dimensions to the amount of text that must print on a label by applying different Text Fit options.

[en] However, for labels containing multiple Text Box objects, a good design practice is to use the same font size in all of them. Even in cases if one of the Text Box objects has enough extra space to accommodate font in larger point size. Consistency in point sizes across objects results in professionally looking label layouts.

[en] In this release, you can define groups of Text Box objects that share the same text fit options (either to fit content by adjusting font size or by scaling font).


[en] Figure 5: Both objects in this GHS label will use the same auto-determined font point size between 6 and 12 points

[en] Printing Graphics to Multi-color Printers

[en] Multi-color thermal label printers are equipped with two or more print heads. Each head accommodates a ribbon of a different color. NiceLabel printer driver delivers the information about a number of heads back to the software. In NiceLabel Designer, each print head is identified with a unique color. You can configure the print head per label object and therefore control in which color the object will be printed.

[en] In this release, NiceLabel Designer can control the print head selection for the Picture object, completing the print head support throughout all available objects. The Picture object will be printed on the respective head.


[en] Figure 6: This label printer has two print heads making two colors available for selection

[en] If you use non-thermal multi-color printers (such as inkjets), you can use this functionality to force single color to a Picture object. NiceLabel will downscale the color information to monochrome and use a specified dithering type to print it. You can select any color from the color palette and the object will print as previewed on screen.


[en] Figure 7: This is a multi-color inkjet printer and the image will print in selected color

[en] SVG Vector Image Format Support

[en] Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics. NiceLabel 2017 expands its existing support for vector graphics (WMF, EMF, PDF) with a new vector image type.

[en] The bitmap image is composed of a fixed set of pixels, while the vector image is composed of a fixed set of shapes. Scaling the bitmap reveals the pixels (the picture becomes “pixelated”) while scaling the vector image preserves the shapes.

[en] If NiceLabel prints the label using an SVG image, the image will print in GDI (graphics) mode on most printers and will be rendered according to the printer’s resolution.

[en] Some printers can process the SVG image internally. In this case, the printer driver communicates its internal SVG-processing capability to NiceLabel and NiceLabel sends out the SVG to the printer as-is.


[en] Figure 8: Quality comparison after resizing bitmap vs. vector image

[en] Improved Support for Direct Marking Devices

  • [en] Hiding the truetype fonts for Continuous InkJet (CIJ) printers. Printer drivers for some CIJ printers can send information to NiceLabel that they do not support truetype fonts or that they do not support printing graphics. In this case, if such printer is selected for the label, NiceLabel does not display truetype fonts in font selection drop down box.

  • [en] Custom grid is set for continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers. Continuous inkjet printers have fixed label positions on which texts can be positioned. If a label is created for such printer, grid sizes for X and Y dimensions are provided by printer driver. Align to grid lines option is automatically enabled.

  • [en] Variable length limiting for printers without support for unlimited variable lengths. Some printers enforce maximum length of data fields on a label. Labels created for such printers have variables limited to the maximum length supported by the printer. Added validation prevents printing of variables with unlimited length.

  • [en] Improved validation for label objects. NiceLabel no longer displays an error on the design surface if certain elements (bitmap images, true-type fonts) cannot be printed to a currently selected device due to its limitations.

  • [en] A new property named “Always use printer element” is available for barcode, rectangle, line, and ellipse objects. If enabled, this option instructs NiceLabel to always print this object using internal printer objects or to show an error at a print time if this is not possible (instead of automatically converting it to a graphic element).

[en] Stock Update

[en] The database of stocks (predefined label formats) that ships with NiceLabel has been updated with new items. The Avery stocks include new label templates. New stock groups from manufacturers Texit and Integracolor (HMS) have been added.