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After setting the label properties, it's time to start adding content to the label. Label objects are basic design items that are used for adding and editing various content types. Each object has its own function as described in the table below.

Label Object

Icon

Description

Text

UUID-86ebf189-3481-c31d-238c-49e4609e97e4.png

Container for textual content. It adapts its dimensions to fit the amount of entered characters. When typing, text object grows horizontally and/or vertically.

Text box

UUID-a28b1431-98c8-1cff-88eb-d7eb576d4188.png

Container for textual content. It can either adapt its height to the content or make the font increase or decrease to fit into the object frame.

Rich text box

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Container for rich text. It supports formatted text, hyperlinks, line images, and other rich content created with a word processor.

Barcode

UUID-4849c1ec-64ca-8a41-d4bf-5c96231f1df7.png

Object for adding and editing various types of barcodes on a label.

Picture

UUID-fea0052a-0f33-93a6-8ee4-c1936e1b838b.png

Object for adding graphic content to a label.

Rectangle

UUID-483384ab-0655-476d-d9f8-6945fdbe90b7.png

Object for creating rectangular shapes on a label.

Line

UUID-ea9c5f25-7fbb-8ccc-27aa-baba8c42e33d.png

Object for creating lines on a label.

Ellipse

UUID-80207a16-a502-7f31-4850-e0f221721d39.png

Object for creating circular shapes on a label.

Inverse

UUID-35441ab8-33e8-d271-d32f-8929db1a4dda.png

Object for inverting the color of the underlying object.

Report

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Object for creating reports on a label.

Text

Text object is a container for textual content which adapts its dimensions to fit the amount of inserted characters. When typing, text object grows horizontally and/or vertically.

Tip

#UUID-0537c053-5a1b-6dc1-6793-278c7e6268a5 serves as an alternative when designing a label on which the textual content must fit into a field with predefined dimensions.

Source

Content Mask sets the format of the input data before it is displayed on a label.

Mask character is a character used in the mask that is replaced with actual data on the printed label.

Example 14. Example

A user needs to format a phone number to be more readable on the label. Data input is not formatted since it is read from a database.

If the input value read from a database is:

+38642805090

and the content mask is:

(****) **** - ****

the resulting output is:

(+386) 4280 - 5090

If the data contains the asterisk "*" character, change the Mask character. The character should have a unique value that does not appear anywhere in the data.


Style

Effects

Text on ellipse definition enables you to add and display curved text on a label.

  • Text on ellipse: enable this option to set the text on a curve.

  • Text start: sets text starting point on the ellipse. The default position is 9 o'clock. When increasing the position value, it moves clockwise by degrees.

  • Text length: sets the portion of the ellipse to be used for displaying the text. The maximum value (default) takes the complete ellipse. Reducing the value in degrees shortens the available portion.

UUID-b5bdebad-95f7-cd64-60d4-5b66f4bf236c.png

Position

Position tab defines object positioning and its position-related behavior.

Position group defines the object's position.

  • X and Y: anchoring point coordinates.

Size group gives information about the object's dimensions.

  • Width and Height: horizontal and vertical object dimension.

  • Keep aspect ratio: simultaneous changing of object dimensions while scaling.

    Tip

    In Text object, the size of text is determined by the font size. Object dimensions and aspect ratio cannot be changed manually and only serve as information about its current size.

Note

If the measurement unit is changed in label properties, the value transforms automatically.

Rotation angle is the object angle according to the design surface.

Tip

There are multiple ways to set the object's angle: enter the angle manually, drag the slider, or click and drag the Rotation Icon.png icon on the selected object. The rotation angle and slider rotates the object around its anchoring point. The Rotation Icon.png icon rotates the object around its central point.

Anchoring point is the spot where an object is pinned to the design surface. Variable size objects increase or decrease their size in the direction that is opposite to the chosen anchoring point.

Lock prevents the object from being moved during the design process, select under the Design behavior group.

Relative position

General

Text Box

Text box object is a container for textual content on a label. Text box object is very similar to the standard Designer Text object. The difference between these two is the presentation of textual content with variable length. Text object is always expanding or shrinking to adapt its size to the amount of entered characters. In contrast, Text Box can either adapt (expand/shrink) its height to the content or make the font increase or decrease its size to fit into the object frame.

Tip

To ensure that the content fits the predefined box is especially useful when working with variable data. No matter how long the text value is, it is always placed and displayed on a label within the pre-designed frame.

Source

Style

Text Fit

None makes Text box size and font non-adaptable.

Note

If the content amount exceeds the object size, an error message appears. The label is not printed. To suppress such error and print the text box, enable Ignore excessive content at print.

Adjust height to fit content: automatic adaptation of Text box height.

Fit content by adjusting font size: increases or decreases the font size to make it fit inside the Text Box object.

  • Minimum size: minimum permitted font size.

  • Maximum size: maximum permitted font size.

Fit content by scaling font: shrinks or stretches the font to make it fit inside the Text Box object.

  • Minimum font scaling: minimum font stretch factor.

  • Maximum font scaling: maximum font stretch factor.

Use the same font size for all Text boxes in a group equalizes font size for all Text box objects in a group. If one of the Text boxes in a group changes its size, the font size adapts. Font sizes of other Text boxes in a group are automatically set to the same size.

Same size group defines group name.

Tip

This option can be used if Text Fit is enabled. Both Text Fit options are supported – by adjusting the font size or by scaling the font.

Effects

Boundaries

Left border group defines the text boundary along the object's left border.

  • Shape: selects a customizable basic shape of text boundary.

  • Width: extends or shrinks the selected basic left boundary horizontally.

  • Height extends or shrinks the selected basic left boundary vertically.

Right border group defines the text boundary along the object's right border.

  • Right shape selects the basic shape of the object's right boundary.

  • Width extends or shrinks the selected basic right boundary horizontally.

  • Height extends or shrinks the selected basic right boundary vertically.

Example 16. Example

Boundary defines how the text flows inside the object.

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Position

Note

If the measurement unit is changed, the value transforms automatically.

General

Rich Text Box

Rich text box (RTF) is an object for rich text editing. It encloses textual content with hyperlinks, line images, and other formatting created using an internal Designer's word processor.

Source

Rich Text Box Editor is a full-scale text processor.

Edit content button opens the editor.

Supported actions in Rich Text Box Editor:

  • Text formatting

  • Content find and replace

  • Inserting of images, symbols, tables, and dynamic data sources

  • Content zooming

Show RTF code option displays the RTF code.

Tip

Read more about the available Rich Text Box Editor features in a dedicated topic.

Style

Rendering group defines the active rendering method for the rich text content. If you experience difficulties while importing formatted text to the Rich text box object, switch to Alternative rendering. This helps you achieve correct content formatting on the printed labels.

Note

Alternative rendering adds support for right-to-left scripts.

Note

If you are editing legacy NiceLabel label files (.lbl), Alternative rendering is automatically active.

Note

If you are designing labels with custom fonts, Alternative rendering is the preferred option.

Text Fit

None makes Text box size and font non-adaptable.

  • None: non-adaptable Rich Text box size and font.

    Note

    If the content amount exceeds the object size, an error message appears. The label is not printed. To suppress such error and print the text box, enable Ignore excessive content.

  • Adjust height to fit content: automatic Rich Text box height adaptation.

  • Fit content by adjusting font size: adaptable font size.

    • Minimum size: minimum font size.

    • Maximum size: maximum font size.

Position

Relative Position

General

Rich Text Box Editor

Rich Text Box Editor is a fully-featured word processor. It enables you to create, edit, and format the content of a Rich text box label object.

Sections below describe the editor's tabs and matching ribbon groups with commands that are available when creating and editing the Rich Text box content.

Home Tab

File ribbon group enables the handling of a document.

  • Import: importing of textual content to the editor.

  • Export: exporting of textual content from the editor.

    Tip

    Use file browser window to select the export location. By default, the editor content is exported as a file with .rtf extension. To specify an alternative file format, select it from the dropdown list.

Clipboard ribbon group activates the following actions:

  • Paste: pastes clipboard data.

  • Copy: copies current selection to the clipboard.

  • Cut: cuts selection to clipboard.

Undo Redo ribbon group undos or repeats editing actions.

Font ribbon group includes typical font style and formatting related commands. These are font selection, size, font growing and shrinking, bold, italics, etc.

Tip

For additional font-related settings, open the Font box in dialog form by clicking the box dialog.png icon in the bottom right corner of the ribbon group.

Text Box group defines lists and indents, toggles formatting symbols, sets alignment and line spacing, and enables text shading.

Tip

For additional text related settings, open the Text Box in dialog form by clicking the box dialog.png icon in the bottom right corner of the ribbon group.

Editing group includes:

  • Find searches and locates the inserted string within a text.

  • Replace locates and replaces the inserted string with a new text.

Insert

Insert group enables adding editable elements to the rich text object.

  • Data Source: adds variable, function, or a database field as a dynamic content source.

  • Table: opens the Insert Table dialog. Define Number of columns and Number of rows. After clicking OK, a table with the defined number of columns and rows is placed in the rich text editor.

  • Picture: inserts a picture into the rich text object.

  • Symbol: opens Insert Symbol dialog for character selection.

    • Search by code: character search by unicode character code.

    • Font name: font selection.

    • Character set: an active set of characters.

    • Filter: character search filter.

    Frequently used symbols are displayed at the bottom of the dialog box. Click the symbol to insert it directly in the rich text object.

View

Zoom group allows zooming the text in and out.

Barcode

Barcode object is used for adding various types of barcodes with encoded data to your labels.

Details on barcode properties, types, and data encoding methods are available in the dedicated Barcode section.

Picture

Use Picture object to add graphic content on a label. The following file formats are supported:

  • Portable Network Graphic (*.png)

  • PDF (*.pdf)

  • Adobe Photoshop (*.psd)

  • Scalable Vector graphics (*.svg)

  • Paintbrush (*.pcx)

  • JPEG bitmaps (*.jpg, *.jpeg, *.jpe)

  • TIFF bitmaps (*.tif, *.tiff)

  • Enhanced Windows Metafile (*.emf)

  • Windows Metafile (*.wmf)

  • Windows bitmap (*.bmp)

  • Graphics Interchange Format (*.gif)

Source

Connected data source defines the content source of the selected object.

  • Variable keyboard input: type of variable that enables the content of a prompted field to be different for every print job.

  • Variables: predefined variable values which are used as object content.

  • Functions: input data transformation tools.

  • Databases: database values which are used as object content.

Content field is used for entering the object content.

To (re)define the Picture object Content, click Browse and locate the file to be displayed on the label.

Embed picture in a document: stores the picture in the label file. Link to the original picture file is discarded.

Tip

Picture embedding makes the label file more portable as the user does not have to include the picture file when sharing the label.

Save embedded picture to file: the embedded label picture is saved as a separate file.

Base64 encoded graphics

Base64 is a binary-to-text encoding method that encodes your graphic files into text files. Use Base64-encoded graphics on your labels or forms when you want to access your graphics directly from your database, and not with file paths to your hard drive.

Connect your Picture objects to database fields containing Base64 content. Designer automatically recognizes Base64 text content and displays text content as images on your labels or forms.

base64_1.png

Note

Your Base64 strings must be longer than 250 characters.

Note

For testing your label or solution designs, you can use prompt variables as your data sources in Picture properties. Manually enter your Base64 text content as your variable value at printing time.

BLOB fields support

Binary Large Objects (BLOBs) are collections of binary data. BLOBs are typically images, audio, or other multimedia objects. Databases store BLOBs as single entities. Advanced databases like SQL, MySQL, and Oracle support BLOB fields.

Use BLOB database fields on your labels or forms to access your graphics directly from your database, and not as file paths to graphics on your hard drive.

Connect your Picture objects to your BLOB database field. Designer automatically recognizes BLOB content and displays the content as images on your labels or forms.

Style

Dithering group allows you to select the most appropriate dithering method to print pictures on labels in black and white.

Tip

When printing pictures in black and white, dithering creates the illusion of multiple colors and shades by varying the pattern of black dots.

Dithering type selects the dithering method:

  • Printer driver default: no dithering method is selected for the picture object. When printing in black and white, printer driver uses its own dithering method.

Note

If no dithering is set for the picture object, the algorithm can also be selected using the printer properties dialog. The selected dithering algorithm for an object in Designer overrides the algorithm selected using printer properties dialog. See Changing dithering options for more detailed information.

  • Ordered: achieves dithering by applying a threshold map (matrix with cells) on the pixels displayed. If the value of the pixel (scaled into the 0-9 range) is less than the number in the corresponding cell of the matrix, the algorithm plots the pixel black, otherwise, it plots it white.

  • Threshold: sets a threshold to which every pixel is compared. If the original pixel value is higher than the threshold, it renders white. The lower the threshold value, the higher the share of pixels turned to white.

  • Floyd Steinberg: achieves dithering using error dispersion. This algorithm generates the closest result to the original, but represents the slowest option.

Color group allows you to customize the color of a graphic object.

  • Force picture color: recolors the graphic object. Use the dropdown Picture color palette to pick the appropriate color to be used for the object on the printed label.

    Note

    This option can be used with color printers using the advanced printer driver interface or Windows printing mode.

Position

Note

If the measurement unit is changed, the value converts automatically.

Graphic Resizing tab is available if the picture object is connected to a variable. These settings define how the Picture object adapts its size to the source file at print time.

  • Keep original picture size: disabled picture resizing. Picture size remains unchanged.

  • Resize proportionally: proportional picture resizing. Aspect ratio of picture dimension remains fixed.

  • Resize to the designed size: horizontal and vertical picture resizing to make it fit into the bounding box. This option will most likely make the picture distorted.

Original size displays the picture's Width and Height before resizing. Revert to original picture size cancels the resizing actions.

General

Rectangle

Rectangle object creates a rectangular frame on a label.

  • Corner radius: makes the rectangle corners round. Higher values make the curve broader.

Position

General

Line

Line object creates a line on a label.

Position

Position tab defines object positioning and its position-related behavior.

Position group defines the object's position.

  • X and Y: anchoring point coordinates.

  • Length: sets the line length.

If the measurement unit is changed in label properties, the value transforms automatically.

Rotation angle is the object angle according to the design surface.

Tip

There are multiple ways to set the object's angle: enter the angle manually, drag the slider, or click and drag the Rotation Icon.png icon on the selected object. Rotation angle and slider rotates the object around its anchoring point. The Rotation Icon.png icon rotates the object around its central point.

Lock prevents the object from being moved during the design process.

General

Ellipse

Ellipse object creates a circular object on a label.

Tip

Shape objects (Rectangle, Line, and Ellipse) in NiceLabel 10 remember the last used setting. Each time you add one of these objects to the label, it has the same outline and fill settings as the previously added shape object.

Position

Note

If the measurement unit is changed, the value transforms automatically.

General

Inverse

About

Inverse object inverts the underlying object's color.

UUID-de5abd09-95b0-48ed-6361-e584c19b9e7d.png

Position

Note

If the measurement unit is changed, the value transforms automatically.

General

Printing optimization group allows activating the use of internal printer elements.

Tip

If supported by the selected printer model, a share of label element processing is handled directly by the printer (e.g., internal fonts, shapes, barcodes). This speeds up the printing process also due to significantly reduced data traffic.

  • Use printer element if supported: prints labels using internal printer elements if the printer allows it. If a selected printer does not support internal printer elements, the element is sent as a graphic file.

  • Always use printer element: prints labels using printer elements only. If a selected printer does not support internal printer elements, an error message with the explanation is displayed.

  • Always print as graphics: sends and prints the objects as graphic files.

Note

Inverse object can only be printed as graphics if the advanced printer driver interface is disabled. Make sure Windows printing mode is on before printing. Double-click the design surface to open Label Properties dialog and go to Printer panel > Printing > disable option Use advanced printer driver interface.

Reports

Printing reports with NiceLabel completes your labeling and shipping cycle, helping you go from product labeling to shipment with the same software. You can print reports from within NiceLabel without the need for third party applications. Report printing avoids the cost of having to learn, develop, and maintain third party applications just to print your reports.

Reports are labels that display database data as custom tables. Report printing organizes your data into rows. You can add headers and footers to explain more information about your data.

For example, you can create packing lists that accompany shipments from your warehouse:

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First page

UUID-b5b187fc-c63d-0676-7a8f-54a1d3bd6678.png

Middle page

UUID-f182f45d-264f-679f-5e33-e7bd101f3721.png

Last page

Designing custom reports in NiceLabel helps you make shipments faster with fewer mistakes.

Report elements

Most reports have similar structures. You can include:

  • Repeating data from your database. Repeating data appears on every page of your report.

  • Headers and footers to explain the repeating data or give more information. Headers and footers can repeat on some or all pages.

Report objects in Designer include 3 default elements:

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  1. Header

  2. Repeater Definition (template for all repeating data). Changes the look and behavior of all repeating data in every row of your report.

  3. Footer

Add additional headers and footers to Report objects to build custom reports. For example, this packing list contains multiple elements:

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  1. Header for report name and date.

  2. Header for logo and contact information. This header appears on the first page of your report.

  3. Header for column descriptions for your data. Column descriptions repeat on every page so your data is readable.

  4. Repeater Definition for repeating data. This is your report data that can repeat on multiple pages.

  5. Footer for report totals. This footer appears on the last page of your report.

  6. Footer for signatures. This footer is pinned to the bottom of the last page of your report.

Creating new reports

  1. Make a new label (Usually A4 or Letter size so your reports can print on office printers).

    Note

    If you are using Header or Tail labels, you can create your report only on your main label. Header and Tail labels do not support Report objects.

  2. Click and drag a Report object to your design surface.

    UUID-f4b1312b-37e9-295d-d94b-9da9b823427e.png
  3. Resize your Report object until it fills most of your design surface. Report objects can be any size smaller than your design surface.

    Tip

    Leave room for objects like page numbers which you must place outside Report objects on your design surface.

  4. Connect your database. Reports require database connections to function properly.

    1. Open your Report object Properties (Right click > Properties or press F4) and click Report.

      UUID-55f1b3b3-aea9-d0b3-62e7-f73f1ff5fd42.png
    2. Go to Table and use the drop-down list to add your existing database, or use the Database wizard.

      UUID-2245c8e8-6630-c01e-57f7-7646f9e226f0.png
    3. Your database is connected.

Your new report is ready to design.

Adding objects to reports

Drag and drop objects where you need them in your Report headers, Repeater Definitions, and footers.

Click and drag new objects into your elements:

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Moving new objects into report elements.

Click and drag existing objects to move them between elements:

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Moving objects between elements. Blue backgrounds appear to help you place objects.

Tip

Keep your Objects panel open (on your left) so you can always see which of your objects are in which elements:

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Configuring Repeater Definitions

Your Repeater Definition works with the database you connect to your report as a template for how your data displays. Reports create new lines for each record in your database. Connect objects in your Repeater Definition to database fields connected to your report. Repeater Definition formatting applies to every repeating line in your report.

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Configuring your Repeater Definition.

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Repeater Definitions affect every repeating line of printed reports.

Adding headers and footers

Make multiple headers or footers to add more information to your reports. You can configure your headers and footers to repeat on the first, last, or every page of your reports.

To add headers or footers:

  1. Open Report Properties (right click > Properties or press F4).

  2. Go to Structure and click Add Header or Add Footer. Your new element appears in your Structure.

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  1. Add headers and footers to Structure.

  2. Name your headers and footers. Naming your headers and footers make them easy to organize in your Objects panel.

  3. Choose repeat options to control where headers and footers appear in your reports.

  4. Set header and footer height.

    • Pin Section to Bottom (Footers only). Enable to always have your footer appear at the bottom of pages where it repeats. Useful for footers that contain text objects like signatures.

      For example, if your repeating data ends in the middle of your last page, you can pin your signature footer to the bottom of your last page and leave the remaining half page blank. Unchecked, your signature footer prints immediately after your repeating data ends on your page.

Adding dynamic objects to headers and footers

You can add objects containing dynamic data (like variables and functions) to your report headers and footers. Variables and repeaters in headers, footers, or outside your Report objects iterate once per label/page. Your Repeater Definition iterates once per row. 

To add dynamic data from databases to headers and footers, you cannot use the same database table you use in your Repeater Definition. Create a new database table (or new database connection) for your header and footer objects and make sure you enable Use the same record for entire print job in your second database table configuration.

For example, you can add an object showing your total report records from your second database table (Custom SQL here):

UUID-d2d3c0b7-def1-2c4e-d916-f904d850f3da.png
  1. Add a dynamic Text object to your footer showing your total number of report records.

  2. Connect your Text object to a database.

  3. Enable Use the same record for the entire print job to configure your database table. Required.

Adding page numbers

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Adding page numbers with counters on reports.

Warning

Page numbering with counters only includes your current page. For example, Page 1.

You cannot include total page counts. For example, Page 1 of 5 is not supported.

Most reports use page numbers. To add page numbers to your reports:

  1. Create a Text object with a Counter variable.

  2. Place your Counter outside your report object on your design surface. Adding counters in headers and footers disrupts your total page count.