Pixels and You

In my last post, A Few Label Printing Tips, I mentioned moving items on barcode labels around by pixels. That sounds tedious, doesn’t it? Well, actually, it is, but it’s sometimes easier than the drag-and-drop route.

Here it is, 2017, and we’re still talking about and using pixels?! Yes, indeed.

As I mentioned in the last post, when you have little room or need things to line-up in an exact way, moving by pixels can be the easiest way to make that happen. Actually, some of the drag-and-drop tools do have functions to help you line things up but few allow the finer movements you need for the trickier adjustments.

And this is where I come to Jasper Reports as an example. Currently using the LVS system, I have started using Jasper reports. It does work in pixels (it sometimes looks like it doesn’t but using pixels is really what it’s doing). And it’s now finally possible for even me to get things to line-up (and it’s one thing I’ve never previously master). I can adjust the pixels in the interface -or- and only when you make a backup copy and know what you’re doing, you can go directly into the .JRXML file and just change the pixels right in there. That’s my preference when I’m changing quite a lot of fields to move them or to add a field that I want formatted exactly like another field is to do it in the “back end” in this manner.

And to help us all, there are plenty of tools around to convert pixels (e.g., inches to pixels and pixels to inches).

In addition, these aren’t the only applications around where pixels are useful. Some web designers talk about pixels. Some of the tools available for this use pixels.

Pixels might seem ancient but they’re not dead. They can be useful to know about and learn how to use.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

Shipping Label Printers

As I had mentioned in a previous post, when having someone program labels for label printers, many customers just ship the printer to the person doing the programming. It’s cheaper to ship the printer than the have to person fly to the site to use it.

Many of the printers we use for label printing are fairly sturdy. And, if the printer is brand new and still in the box, it is already packed fairly well. To be extra-safe, it does not hurt to put that box in yet a larger box that has packing peanuts in it, too.

If you have removed the printer from its box to check it before shipping to someone, when you return it to the box, make sure you include everything, including not just the printer and power cord, but spindles, manuals and software that are included.

You also need to send one of each ribbon and label stock that need to be used in that printer. Normally, customers send these to me brand new and untouched. However, if you have an older ribbon or roll of labels, just make sure it’s all pulled together nice and tight and put tape on the end to hold it. Yes, this does mean that some of it might be wasted if the tape doesn’t come off, easily, but it’s better than losing the entire roll if it comes loose.

This brings me to my next point: do not ship the printer with the roll of labels in it.In shipping, as it jiggles around, the labels can come loose. If they get extremely loose, they can jammed into the printer. Labels can come off and stick in the works. The entire roll can end up so loose that it can’t be easily hand-wrapped for use. Some printers can be extremely sensitive to the roll not being properly wrapped and just won’t print with the loosened label stock roll, ever again.

As to whether it matters whether the ribbon is shipped in the printer or not, I’m not sure. I’ve only had one or two printers come with the ribbon installed in them and both printers were holding the ribbon tight-enough that it was unlikely to come loose plus, and this is important, they were installed and rolled properly and quite tight. However, I would suggest that ribbons be treated the same as label stock. Even though they can probably ship fine if they’re tight, if you happen to have them just a bit loose, it would cause an issue.

Bottom line:  For those ribbons and label stock in-use, remove the ribbon and label stock, put tape on them, and ship them separately. For new ones, leave them in their bag or with the tape on the end.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises