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Label Printing

Datafile Software

Label Printing

This feature brings a major improvement in the label design process in that you can now control font and size for both data and text items and insert bitmap images, such as a logo, at designated positions giving greatly improved presentation of labels and greater control of label positioning.

R57LABEL=TRUE

For the new label printing options the DATAFILE.INI must include the line above.

Converting a Label

Whenever you update an existing label definition that was designed using the old designer you will be asked to convert to the new layout.

To convert this label to the new layout respond ‘Yes’, to continue using the old designer respond ‘No’.

Report Generator Labels

The new layout has two files – a REP-nnnn.DRG contains the label parameter details as previously, and a new file REP-nnnn.IRG contains the font settings, line and box drawing and image file(s) detail. (replace nnnn with the file number. When you use the new designer for the first time a backup copy of the old layout is taken as REP-nnnn.OLD which you can copy back if needed. If you do this you would need to delete the REP-nnnn.IRG discussed above.

ProFiler Labels

The new layout for ProFiler also has two files – a FILENAME.PFL contains the label parameter details as previously, and a new file FILENAME.INL contains the font settings, line drawings etc. When you use the new designer for the first time a backup copy of the old layout is taken as FILENAME.OLD which you can copy back if needed. If you do this you would need to delete the FILENAME.INL discussed above.

Page Set-up

When a label is first converted (or created) you are asked to enter/confirm selected page set-up details.

Paper Size – offers a drop-down list of paper sizes available. Select the paper size appropriate, or select the custom page size as required.

Paper Width / Height– if you select the custom page size you can enter the page size in millimetres here, if you select a pre-defined paper size these items are set automatically for you.

Print in Landscape– set whether the document is to be printed in landscape. Leave blank to print in portrait.

Columns Across Document / Lines Down Document – this defaults to values as previously defined on the label. Typically you would leave these values as set. (NB – Within the old designer you set starting columns across for each label, the columns across set here is taken by subtracting the start position of the first label from the start position of the second label)

These values can be amended up to 255 columns across and 132 lines down. The columns and line values form a ‘design grid’ on the label with the no of columns set controlling the number of grid start points across the page, the lines down controlling the grid points down the page (think graph paper).Text, Image and Lines do not have to start at a grid point but data items do – increasing the number of columns / grid points across the page gives you more flexibility with regards to data item positioning. Take care on increasing this value on existing labels as items starting at a particular column/grid point may overlap if you increase the number of columns.With regards to the number of lines down, again take care increasing this value on existing labels as line items may overlap.

Documents Across Page / Documents Down Page – set the number of labels across and down the page.

Gap between Documents Across / Down the Page – set the gap in millimetres between the labels across/down the page.

Margins – next you can set, in millimetres, the left, right, and top and bottom margins.

Once you have set/confirmed the margins the label mask is displayed.

Initially the data items are assigned a default font close to how the label would have printed previously – Courier New. This can be changed through the course of the label design.

The Label Design Toolbar

Before discussing the specifics of designing a label, you should review the design toolbar. The toolbar has the options – File, Edit, Tools, Parameters and Format. Each of these (other than Parameters) offers a list of actions available.

q TheFile menu has options to save the label layout, amend/view the page set-up, preview the design to the screen, perform a test print of the label, and exit out of the label design (you will be prompted to save if you haven’t already done so).

q TheEdit menu has options that are only available when an item on the label is selected. You can cut an object out of the design, copy an item (except data items), or delete an item.You can also insert a line above the selected item or delete a line with the selected item on.

q TheTools menu has options to restructure a database, refresh the display, and controls for whether you show the data items (you may want to switch this off to position text behind it), whether you show the grid, and whether new text/line/image items are to be positioned at the start of the grid.

q TheFormat option allows you to set and apply font defaults.

q TheParameters option loads the first of the parameter screens available for this label.

Setting and Applying Font Defaults

As discussed earlier when you first convert a label a font of Courier New is assigned to existing items – which is similar to how the label would have printed previously. You can amend the fonts for each item individually but initially you are likely to want to assign a default font for all items.

To set and apply default fonts select the Format option from the toolbar, choose Font Defaults – a dialog box will be displayed enabling you to select the font, style and size.

You can scroll up/down the list of fonts, use the mouse to select the required option (once selected the chosen value will be updated at the top of the list). After selecting the font, select the style and then the size.You can also amend the colour of the text if required. Once you have selected the required details press OK.

After selecting the font you can control whether it applies to the text items or the data items on the label (or both or indeed neither – you might set a default because the next x items you are going to insert all use a specific font). Tick the options required and click the APPLY button.

Once you have set and applied the default fonts you can then adjust the font and size of individual items as required. If you have need to reset all items to the set default fonts then choosing the Apply Fonts option available from the Format pull-down allows this.

Inserting New Items

To insert a new item position the mouse where you wish to insert the item and press the right-button on the mouse (hereafter described as right-click). A menu appears for you to select the type of item you wish to add.

You can select to insert a text prompt, a data item, some line drawing, box drawing, or insert a bmp/jpg image.

You can also elect to insert a line on the label at the current position or to delete a line.The ‘Paste Object’ option (greyed out in the picture on the right) is active if you have used the ‘Cut’ or ‘Copy’ option from the edit menu previously.

If you select to insert a Text Prompt a pop-up form allows you enter the text label to be displayed.

You type the text you require (up to 128 characters). If you click the APPLY button the text is updated onto the document design in the default font/size. If you wish to change the font select the FONT button and the font dialog is shown as discussed earlier (you are setting the font for this item alone).

To change the colour of the background to the text select the COLOUR button and a colour dialog will be displayed allowing you to select from a pre-defined colour set or allow you to create up to 16 custom colours of your choosing.

To define a custom colour, click with the mouse on the colour panel display then move the scroll panel on the right to control the luminescence. Once satisfied with the colour select ‘Add to Custom Colours’ and the colour will be added to the custom colours on the left for selection.

The ‘SNAP’ button is used to position the text item at the centre of a row and at the start of a column – snapping the text to the grid. The ‘DELETE’ button removes the text.

Once you are happy with the changes select the CLOSE option to update the text label and return to the label mask. If you wish to abandon click the X button in the corner of the Text Properties window.

This isn’t all the options available though – if you select the ACTION pull-down menu, in addition to the button prompts (with a bit more description) are further options to reset the font and colour to default settings, save the font and colour to and set from the palette – this is useful if making the same changes to several items.

You also have the option to add a border around the text label, and to right align the text within the label. Finally you can choose to abandon changes or accept and update the changes.

If you select to insert a new Data Item then a pop-up form allows you to select the data item to be displayed.

To select an item you need to select the category of item and then the print item itself. Drop down lists are available for each – use the mouse to activate first the category list which shows the list of databases available for selection (Report Generator only shows the database the report is based against, ProFiler will show this database and any database within the application that this database is linked to).

After you’ve selected the database category, the second drop-down list allows you to select the items to print (up to 32 for the single database in Report Generator, 16 for each database in ProFiler). The ‘–‘ character as the print item represents a free item available for you to define. If you select this then the appropriate database is displayed for you to select a data item from.

Once you have selected the item then the options are available, as with text, to change the font, background colour or delete. ‘Snap to Grid’ is not available on data items as data items are automatically ‘snapped to the grid’.

If you select to insert a new Line – either horizontal or vertical - then a short line is drawn on the page. This can then be extended by moving the mouse to the end of the line (until the cursor changes to an arrow) and then clicking with the mouse and dragging it for the length required.

If you select to insert a Box then a small box is drawn on the page. This can be extended by moving the box to a corner (until the cursor changes to an arrow) and then clicking with the mouse and dragging it for the size required.

If you select to insert a new Image then a pop-up form allows you to select the image to be displayed.

You are asked to enter the image filename (BMP or JPG files only). You can browse for the file by clicking the ‘?’ icon or pressing <F4-Select>. Images are held in folder ‘DocImage’ created automatically off the DFCOMP location (usually \DFWIN\DATA).

Although you can browse to other folders from here you can only select to apply images from the ‘DocImage’ folder – if necessary you can copy from another location and paste here via the file selection browser.

Once you select the image file its filename is returned to the label to be applied. Note that the image is sized as per the file and cannot be resized within Datafile – you must use an external package if you need to do this.

Moving, Deleting and Amending Items

You can move an items position by selecting it with the mouse and dragging it to where it’s required.If the ‘Tools’ option ‘Snap to Grid’ is enabled then all items start in a specified grid point, if switch this off then all bar data items can be set anywhere within the grid cell.

You can delete an item by selecting it with the mouse and pressing the <DELETE> key.

If you right-click with the mouse on any item then a menu is available allowing you to change the properties.

Right-clicking against aText item allows you to access the properties in full and allows individual options to amend the font, set the background colour, add (or remove) a border, right-align the text, or snap to the grid.

You can also reset the font/colour to default values or save the font and colour to the palette for application to another item using the Set option. You can also delete the text item from here.

Right-clicking against a Data item allows you to access the properties box in full and allow individual options to amend the font, amend the background colour, add (or remove) a border, or to right-align the data item.

As with text you can reset the font/colour to default values, save/set the font and colour from the palette or delete the item.

Right-clicking against aLine item allows you to access the properties in full, snap the line to the grid and to delete the line. When displaying the line properties in full a pop-up allows you to set the width / height in pixels. You can increase the width/height by clicking the up arrow next to the value, down arrow decreasing the width – change in size is based on the displayed unit of increment (which can also be amended). The Snap to Grid option centres the line within the row/column.

Right-clicking against a Box item allows you to access the properties in full, amend the background (fill) colour of the box, set/clear round corners, snap the box to the grid and to delete the box. When displaying the box properties in full a pop-up allows you to set the width / height in pixels. You can increase the width/height by clicking the up arrow next to the value, down arrow decreasing the width – change in size is based on the displayed unit of increment (which can also be amended). The Snap to Grid option centres the box border within the row/column.

You can position items within a box by right-clicking and choose the new option required – if you click on/near the box border you are assumed to be amending the box though, so if want an item up against the border insert it elsewhere and move it to the position you want. If you wish to include lines within a box, perhaps for a column border, then draw the box first and add the lines afterwards.

Right-clicking against an Image item allows you to access the properties of the image or to delete it.

Parameters

The parameter screens allow you to amend/add items to be printed, set selection criteria and set the label print sequence. Firstly, when you select Parameters we automatically display the first parameter screen. You can navigate between the parameter screens by using the options available at the bottom of the parameter screen.

The PREVIOUS button, available on all bar the first parameter screen, takes you to the previous parameter screen. The NEXT button, available on all bar the last parameter screen, takes you to the next parameter screen. The OK and CLOSE buttons both return you to the label mask. The ACTION pull-down lists the parameter screens available allowing you to go directly to the required screen if desired.

In addition to the buttons you can navigate between pages by use of the <Page-Up> and <Page-Down> keys. The <End> key will also take you to the next page and the <ESC> key will return you to the label mask. Note that once you have changed the value of an item then the value is updated to the definition – if you want to reset it you must either change it back or exit from the label design without saving.

Data Items to be Printed – although you would usually set these from the document mask you can also set them here (setting the font via the font icon on the column number input). In addition a MOVE tick box allows the print to move it up to the previous item print position if that item was blank (i.e. allowing you to compress blank address lines).

Selection Criteria– this option allows you to enable selection criteria to restrict the labels printed. It also allows you to nominate a field on the main database to pick up a number of copies to print, and to flag back to the main record that the label has printed.

Printing Sequence– the final parameter screen allows you to control the print sequence of the labels.

Print Preview and Test Print

You can preview the label to the screen or the printer from the File pull-down menu. Selecting the Print Preview option shows a full page of labels on screen.

You can use the scroll bars to move up/down/across the preview. <ESC> or clicking the X-close button returns you to the label design.

Selecting the Test Print option loads the printer dialog allowing you to send the document to the printer, spooler or a PDF file.

Save and Exit

The File pull-down allows you to save the document and exit the label design. If you exit without saving you will be prompted to save the changes – if you respond ‘Yes’ then you save the label before exiting, if you respond ‘No’ then any changes you have made since the last save are abandoned.

  • Release ID: 5.7