Your design surface is a place to create, add, position, and interconnect label and form objects.

To help you design labels and forms as simply and efficiently as possible, your design surface uses usability and functional principles from Microsoft Office.


Use View tab to customize your design surface.

  • Learn more about design surface elements here.

  • Learn more about design surface editing actions here.

  • Learn more about design surface visual aid elements here.

Design Surface Elements

Design surface consists of the following elements:

  • Ruler: Design surface is equipped with horizontal and vertical ruler. Use it to line up the objects or to properly position the label and its content. Change the unit measurements displayed on the ruler in Label properties.

  • Paper: Yellow area of the design surface displays the current size of paper. The information about supported paper format is acquired from the printer driver, but you also have the option to define custom format. Manual paper size has to be defined when printing on regular office sheets of paper. See Paper section for more details.

  • Label: White area represents the area for label designing. Red line displays limit of the currently printable area.

  • Object Properties Window: Defines the selected label or form object's properties. Double‑click an object to open the dialog.

  • Form: White area represents the area which can be used for designing a form.

  • Tabs: Currently active label(s) and form(s) are accessible on separate tabs.

Product level info:

Tabs appear in PowerForms only.


Design Surface Editing Actions

Below listed are the most relevant common actions for editing the objects on the design surface:

  • Object arranging: allows the objects to be placed in front of or behind other objects in a group. Arranging options are described here.

  • Objects aligning: allows the objects to be aligned among each other. Aligning options are described here.

  • Zooming: enables the entire design surface to be zoomed in or out. Zooming options are described here.

  • Scrolling: enables sliding the design surface up and down.

  • Selecting: enables the objects on the design surface to be selected for editing individually or in a group. Group selection allows any actions to be applied to multiple objects simultaneously.

  • Rotating: enables object rotation.

Visual Aid Elements

Listed below are the visual aid elements that enable you to work with Desktop Designer.

  • Gridlines serve as a visual aid during the design process. They can be either visible or hidden. Their density is customizable. Gridline options are available in the Alignment and Gridlines ribbon group.

  • Snaplines are non-visible alignment lines that help the user align the objects during the design process. Snap options are available in Desktop Designer's Align ribbon group.

  • Ruler shows the available design area for the label (white colored field) and file page (gray colored field).

  • Resize handles appear on the selected (active) objects. They enable you to resize the object dimensions. X and Y dimensions can be resized simultaneously or separately.

  • Margins are the amount of fixed space between the edge of an object and the edge of a label.

  • Tabs for Active Documents allow the user to toggle between multiple labels and forms in a solution. Tabs are also used when designing batches of labels – header, body, and tail labels are placed on separate tabs.

Object Properties Window

When designing a label or form object, double-click an object to set its properties.

Double-click opens the object properties window. Available object properties window options adapt to each selected object and its properties.

  • Available label objects and their properties are listed and described in detail here.

  • Available form objects and their properties are listed and described in detail here.


After pressing F4, the object properties dialog becomes pinned as object properties editor on the right side of the design surface.