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[en] Usability Improvements

[en] Installation Supports Hardware License Keys

[en] NiceLabel 2017 installation is an all-in-one installer. It contains all of the design and integration components. It intelligently selects the correct components for installation, based on the license key that you provide during the installation procedure. If you install NiceLabel 2017 in trial mode, you can optionally select the components manually.

[en] This release adds support for hardware license keys (dongles) in the installation. If you select the hardware key, the software will only install the modules applicable to the license that was distributed on the hardware key.


[en] Figure 1: Installer will read the license from the USB hardware key

[en] Hardware keys are only available for single-user NiceLabel products.

[en] “Open with” Displays Both Applications (Designer and Print)

[en] NiceLabel Designer and NiceLabel Print applications are both registered for NiceLabel 2017 .NLBL and .NSLN file extensions. Both applications are visible under Open With command in the context menu when right-clicking the document in the File Explorer. Upon the first execution of a certain document type, the operating system asks which application should be opened by default for the selected file type.


[en] Figure 2: Easy application selection for NiceLabel documents

[en] Quick Printing Shortcut

[en] A new command that creates a print shortcut to the currently opened document is available in the Home ribbon. This streamlines Designer with the best practice approach, which suggests that print operators should be able to directly launch a printing solution using a shortcut and without opening the design software.


[en] Figure 3: A quick method to create a shortcut for the printing solution

[en] Custom Provisional Values for Data Sources

[en] When working with variable label templates, NiceLabel displays a sequence of question mark characters in label objects. These question marks indicate that the object contains variable content. Let it be a Text object, Barcode object, or any other type of object, it is always convenient to be able to see how the data will really be displayed in the object.

[en] This release of NiceLabel 2017 provides custom design values for dynamic data sources. For some data sources, such as variables, it was already possible to set the initial (default) value which was also used for label printing. Now, you can also define a “provisional value”. This is a value the data source uses only during the label design phase, and not for printing. You can change its value on the fly in the design environment and see how the label template responds to different values. You do not even have to execute the actual print preview.


[en] Figure 4: Using provisional temporary values during the label design

[en] The same functionality is available also when a database field is used as an object data source. By default, the object connected with such data source shows the value from the first record of the database table. If necessary, you can enter a different provisional value and test how the label responds to it.

[en] Script Editor


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

[en] This release introduces a professional Script Editor for VBScript or Python code. Start it by clicking the Script Editor button anywhere scripts need to be edited.


[en] Figure 5: The Script Editor is an advanced user-friendly scripting tool with access to “Custom functions”

[en] The Script Editor runs in a separate window so it is easy to resize it to the required dimension. It also provides you with the reference of the commands and functions you can use with the selected scripting language. This can be of great help if you are not that fluent in scripting. The editor also supports syntax highlighting and other useful features like undo/redo, loading and saving from a file, etc.

[en] An additional important aspect of the Script Editor is the access to built-in NiceLabel functions focused on various label design requirements, such as custom calculation of barcode check digits, formatting food allergens, and others.

[en] Improved Clipboard Support

[en] You can copy images and text data from other applications and paste them directly into NiceLabel labels and forms.

  • [en] The pasted image is added as an embedded Picture object.

  • [en] The single-line plain text is included as a Text object.

  • [en] The multi-line plain text is included as a multi-line Text Box object.

  • [en] The formatted text is included as a Rich Text Box object.


[en] Figure 6: Pasting image from another application

[en] Comments from NiceLabel v6 Label File Imported to the Description Field

[en] When importing NiceLabel v6 label files into NiceLabel 2017, the “Comments” metadata from the legacy label is transferred and saved in the new label. The metadata is visible in the imported data inside the Label Properties Info panel as a Description field.


[en] Figure 7: Comment from v6 label is imported into v2017 label and is searchable/indexed in NiceLabel LMS products

[en] In NiceLabel LMS products, when you save the new label in the online centralized file repository (Document Storage), the metadata is included in the search. Now, you can search for existing labels not only by the filename and its content (object names, variable names, and values, etc.) but also by using this metadata.


[en] If you enter keywords into this field, it helps you locate the label inside the Document Storage.

[en] Searching Within Built-in Stocks


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

[en] NiceLabel 2017 ships with a selection of predefined empty label templates (stocks) to match the consumables of different manufacturers. When you select a stock, the dimensions of a label template are preconfigured for you. This release adds the ability to search for the name of the required stock. You can also search for the stock by partial name.


[en] Figure 8: Partial search lets you find the required stock type quickly. In this case, stocks with the string “123” in their names are displayed.

[en] Single Record Selection Available in Database Wizard

[en] The Database Wizard has a new option that simplifies the database definition when a user wants to select and print a single record from the database.


[en] Figure 9: Configuring database connection to use a single record only

[en] Improved Error Message When Office Database Driver is Not Installed

[en] Before you can connect to a certain database and use its data in NiceLabel applications, you must have the appropriate database driver installed. To connect to Office-type data sources, such as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or Microsoft Access database, you must either install the Microsoft Office product (the one which provides the necessary drivers), or install database drivers with a standalone installer. These are referred to by Microsoft as “Runtime” or “Database Engine Redistributable”.

[en] A more user-friendly error message is shown in NiceLabel 2017 if an Office database driver is not installed. The error message tells the user that the database driver is missing, and redirects them to a web page where the driver can be downloaded.


[en] Figure 10: Download link provided for the missing database driver

[en] Defining an ODBC Connection Allows Setting Username and Password


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

[en] NiceLabel allows you to define the username and password values when configuring an ODBC connection to the data source. This is important in cases when a solution runs under a different user account on the shop floor. That user account might not have access to the specific data source, so by using this feature you can enable access to the database via a particular user account.

[en] For example, a username and password need to be provided when connecting to a Microsoft SQL server if the SQL authentication is used.

[en] New Functionality

[en] USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode

[en] The Intelligent Mail barcode (formerly known as the 4-State Customer Barcode) represents the next generation of USPS® barcode technology. It is used to sort and track letters. Intelligent Mail barcode technology, among other things, combines the capabilities of POSTNET™ and PLANET Code® barcodes into a single unique barcode.

[en] With this release, you can create and print the USPS Intelligent Mail barcode with NiceLabel 2017.


[en] Figure 11: On-screen error notifications help you create error-free USPS Intelligent Mail barcodes quickly.

[en] Plessey, MSI, and Anker Barcodes

[en] Plessey Code is a 1D linear barcode symbology that was developed in 1971 by The Plessey Company plc, a British-based company. It is one of the first barcode symbologies and is still used in rare libraries, and for marking the shelf tags in retail stores as part of internal stock control solutions. The chief advantage is its somewhat higher density compared to more common Interleaved 2 of 5 and Code 39 codes.

[en] Plessey barcode evolved later on into several variations: Anker Code by ADS Company, Telxon, and MSI (also known as Plessey modified).


[en] Figure 12: Plessey barcode available in label designer

[en] To help closing the gap between label design possibilities in NiceLabel v6 and NiceLabel 2017, Plessey, MSI, and Anker barcodes have been added to the new platform.

[en] Text on Ellipse

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

[en] With the newly added support for text on the ellipse, you can design labels in which text follows the shape of the defined ellipse. A text object may contain fixed content or obtain data from a data source.


[en] Figure 13: Text following the curvature of the ellipse

[en] You are free to design the contour of the ellipse object. You can freely move it on the label, stretch it, resize it, and easily redesign it with a mouse. Furthermore, there are options to define how the text fits the curve and how it aligns relatively with the curve.

[en] The text on the ellipse feature is available as a property of the Text object.

[en] Pick List Support for Text Variables

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

[en] With this newly added option, the default printing form can display a drop-down list of allowed preselected values for a particular variable.

[en] If this variable is connected to an Edit field object in the form, it will act as a Combo box.


[en] Figure 14: The drop-down preselected values available inside the label design

[en] When configuring a text type variable, you can define a list of values that this variable can be populated with. These values are displayed as a pick list in the default printing form – the user is allowed to choose a value from it.

[en] Dithering Configurable per Individual Picture Object

[en] Dithering is the process of converting a color or grayscale image into a black and white image. In the thermal printing world, you usually work with one-color printers that cannot print multiple colors, and where shades of grey are represented using differently distributed dots that are printed closer or farther apart from each other. This is the essence of what the dithering process does. It converts colors and shades of grey into patterns of dots.

[en] The default setting in the software is to let the printer driver manage the dithering. When you use NiceLabel printer drivers, you can select the dithering type using the driver interface.

[en] With this release of NiceLabel 2017, a new option is available for configuring the dithering type. You can select the type separately for each Picture object. Once dithering is enabled, you see the result immediately in the label template inside the design area and also in the print preview.


[en] Figure 15: Different dithering types available in the designer

[en] New Graphics Merging Options


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

[en] This release provides more control over how the graphic objects are sent to printers. When high-throughput label printing is required, the commonly used optimization technique is to design the label to use the internal printer functionality as much as possible. This includes internal counters, real-time clock, internal fonts, and barcodes. However, sometimes you cannot avoid using graphic objects on the label, such as text formatted in TrueType fonts or using Picture objects.

[en] The previous version of NiceLabel 2017 combined all of the graphic objects on a label and sent it to a printer as a single large image item. Some printers had a hard time processing such a large image. On the other hand, each graphic object could be sent to a printer individually. Some printers had a hard time processing such a vast amount of small images. In some cases, none of these options helped.

[en] With the current release, you can fine-tune how the graphic objects are sent to a printer. For example, you can combine all graphic objects but leave the counters out.

[en] The options are available in the Label Properties dialog box.


[en] Figure 16: Detailed control over graphic objects merging

[en] Improved support for Epson TM-C3400/C3500 Color Printers

[en] Label dimensions can now be set in NiceLabel designer when using the original Epson driver for TM C3400 and C3500 printers.