Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/techrecipes/public_html/wp-content/themes/techrecipes/header.php on line 77

Making Labels with Openoffice.org Templates

Using the right tools can save you time and money. Templates make life easier when you use them for letters, documents, brochures, etc. but they really make life easier when you use them for labels. The spacing for your label documents has to be extraordinarily precise to make sure that the text is printed exactly where it needs to be. This Howto will help you use Openoffice.org templates to create great looking labels.


About WorldLabel
WorldLabel lets you download free templates in OpenOffice.org formats. For OpenOffice.org you can download label templates in .stw or .ott file format for Openoffice.org 1.1x and 2.0 version for Writer. You can look them up by the number on your Avery label sheet box or read the description. There’s a huge number of templates including those for CD and DVD, video, mailing, shipping, and diskettes, and with square or round corners. The templates are XML Open Document Format (ODF), Public Domain. For US Letter sizes: Visit here For A4 sizes: Visit here

Downloading WorldLabel templates

The first step, of course, is to get the templates onto your computer. First, make a directory where you’re going to put them. Create a directory at C:\labels or home/labels, for instance, though you can put them wherever you want.

To download the template, find the “Download” link, under the version you want. If you’re using the current version of OpenOffice.org, use the link under the 2.0 version for .ott files. Then right-click on “Download” and choose “Save Target As…”. When the dialog box appears, specify the labels directory that you made, and click “Save”. Repeat the downloading steps for any additional templates you want.

Using customizing the templates

You might be wondering how the WorldLabel templates are created, especially if you’ve used the wizard templates, which are based on Frames. The WorldLabel templates are created with tables; you don’t see the borders since they’ve simply been formatted that way. If you take a close look, though, when you click in the template, you can see the table toolbar.


Labels and the table formatting toolbar

This means you have all the formatting capabilities that you normally get with a table, including the following:

1) alignment to the top, middle, or bottom (you might want to align your labels all the top)
2) background formatting—you can apply a color to the background of each cell
3) easier cutting and pasting than with frames,
4) easier selection of all the content of a row, column, or the whole table,
5) easier copying and pasting; you can easily select the whole table and copy it onto the next page, to make multi-page sheets of labels.

To apply values to the table, like backgrounds, choose Table→Table Properties and choose the appropriate tab.


Formatting labels using the Table window

To do things to the table, choose View→Toolbars→Table


The Tables toolbar

Showing and hiding table borders

Tables are easier to work with, when you’re doing any extensive customization, if the borders are visible. To see the borders of the table, select the whole table. You can simply click in the upper right cell and drag down to the lower right cell, or click in one of the cells and press “Ctrl + A”. Then click and hold down on the indicated borders icon in the Tables toolbar, and choose the lower right option for borders on all cells.


Adding visible borders to the labels

The table borders appear. As you can see there are actually five columns, including the two spacer columns.


Labels with visible borders

To take the borders off later, just repeat those steps but choose the upper left option for no borders on any cells.

Pasting into label cells

Table-based label templates are much easier to paste content into. Let’s say you’ve just got a table somewhere else and you want to make labels out of it. Don’t worry about the dimensions of the original table. You will have to do some formatting once you’ve pasted, though, so this should be done if the time for reformatting is less than the time for retyping.


Selecting content to copy

1) Select one column of content (two columns won’t work since the separator column is in the template) and copy it
2) Go to the label template, click in one cell, and paste. The pasted content will fit into the label template, taking on the correct dimensions
3) To apply the correct formatting (you can do this after you’ve pasted all the content), select the pasted content and from the styles dropdown list, select Default
4) With the pasted content still selected, choose Format→Paragraph, click the “Indents & Spacing” tab, and specify .07 inch in the first two fields
5) Click “OK”


Pasting content into the labels template


Applying the Default style


Applying the correct indent

Note: You could also update the Default style to be indented .07 from each side.

Pasting one cell into multiple label cells

Let’s say you’re making moving labels, or business cards, or something else where you need exactly the same information in every cell. Rather than pasting into each cell individually, you can copy the text once, then paste into every cell.

1) Select the content to paste, as plain text. You don’t need it to be a table cell.
2) Go to the labels and select all the cells where you want that text to show up.
3) Paste. The content will appear in every selected cell.

Again, you’ll need to apply the Default style as before, and as before, only paste one column at a time because of the separator columns.

Copying the first page to make additional pages

If you’re creating labels, you often need more than just one page. So, to make a multi-page sheet of labels, you essentially just have to select the whole table and paste it onto the next page.

Select the whole table. You can simply click in the upper right cell and drag down to the lower right cell, or click in one of the cells and press “Ctrl + A”.
1) Copy the table.
2) Click below the table
3) Paste. The table will appear on the next page. Repeat these steps to add additional pages.


Clicking in the next available line, to paste another page

Adding graphics to any template

A major feature of OpenOffice.org templates is the ability to add graphics. You can add them in the corner, or in the background as a watermark.

Inserting a graphic
Just click in the cell where you want the graphic.
Choose Insert→Picture→From File.
Find the graphic on your computer and select it.
The graphic will appear
To resize it, hold down “Shift” and drag one of the corner handles in or out


A graphic added to a label


Resizing a graphic

Wrapping text around a graphic

At this point, you’ve got a graphic but it probably doesn’t look that good with the text.


A graphic without wrapping

To wrap the text nicely around the text, right-click on the graphic and choose “Page Wrap”.


Specifying Page Wrap

Now you can move the graphic and the text will get out of its way. If necessary, delete any new carriage returns that were created.


A graphic with wrapping

Note: To specify a little more room around the graphic, right-click and choose “Picture”. In the “Wrap” tab, specify spacing.

Adding a background graphic

You can add a graphic to the background of each label, too. I’ll use this lightened watermark OpenOffice.org logo as an example.


A watermark graphic

1) First, format the text the way you want it, since with a background graphic the text will be harder to select.
2) Insert the graphic in the label the same way you do with other graphics, by choosing Insert→Picture→From File
3) Then right-click on the graphic and choose In Background
4) You’ll see the graphic in the background


Inserting a watermark graphic


Sending the watermark graphic to the background


The watermark graphic in the background of the label

Visit to : download templates

Biography: Solveig Haugland has worked as an instructor, course developer, author and technical writer in the high-tech industry for over 15 years.

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Eric Peter

    I have a list of 800+ names and addresses in the spreadsheet format [ A1-Name, B1- address 1, C1- address 2 ] and I want to change it to [ A1- Name, A2- address 1, A3- Address 2 ] etc and put them into labels like the ones you used up there… is there anyway or a program I can use to achieve this without having to copy and paste every single label?
    I appreciate your help…
    Eric,

    • Rob hayden

      Yes, I need to do the same thing. It’s easy in Word, you just use the mailmerge function which lets you pull from numerous data sources into a label template. Perhaps Writer needs an extension.

      Your problem with the spreadsheet itself needs a different solution though, I knocked up an example macro that should reformat the content (don’t run this without saving a copy!) the way you need it, AS LONG AS every name and address really is 3 lines long. It assumes the data is in column A of sheet1.

      sub RealignAddresses
      rem ———————————————————————-
      rem define variables

      Dim Doc As Object
      Dim Sheet As Object
      Dim Cell As Object

      Doc = thisComponent
      Sheet = Doc.Sheets(0)

      dim namerow as integer
      dim address1 as integer
      dim address2 as integer
      dim oldvalue as string
      destinationrow=0
      for f=0 to 800 step 3

      namerow=f
      address1=f+1
      address2=f+2

      rem——–name—————–
      SourceCell = Sheet.getCellByPosition(0, namerow)
      oldvalue = SourceCell.String

      DestinationCell = Sheet.getCellByPosition(0,destinationrow)
      DestinationCell.String = oldvalue

      rem——–address1—————–
      SourceCell = Sheet.getCellByPosition(0,address1)
      oldvalue = SourceCell.String

      DestinationCell = Sheet.getCellByPosition(1,destinationrow)
      DestinationCell.String = oldvalue

      rem——–address2—————–
      SourceCell = Sheet.getCellByPosition(0,address2)
      oldvalue = SourceCell.String

      DestinationCell = Sheet.getCellByPosition(2, destinationrow)
      DestinationCell.String = oldvalue

      destinationrow = destinationrow+1
      next f

      end sub

  • Anonymous

    On a first look it doesn’t seems that difficult although I admit I never made labels before, I usually go with avery labels but I would like to try making few, I need some new models. Thanks for the little tutorial!

  • CEM n ATL

    I’m attempting to print several address labels using Writer where the address information is contained in a spreadsheet. I have successfully printed labels before but this is how it worked for me:
    In Writer the Avery label default lets say for 5962 defines the page size as “User” measured 8.55″ x 10.18″. My Canon Imageclass sounds the alarm recognizing this is not going to work when I am printing onto an 8″ x 11″ page. Logical solution – change to page size to Letter – did it – results – entire column (2 of 2) drops off the page leaving only 1 of the 2 columns to print.

    WorldLabel.com is a great resource place to learn the dimensions of your particular label. I really hope OpenOffice.org realizes this is a problem and issues a fix right away, this manual manipulation to get the label size just right is a big pain in the you know what.

    I am finding that once I close and open the same document later (lets say the next day or later that same day) to print the merged data, it has made all 14 labels of the first page the same thing where as before label 1 – 14 contained exclusive merged data (the goal). I am very careful not to click “Yes” when asked upon opening the document to “Update All Links” as I understand this will cause the same merged data to print on an entire page of labels.

    Any fixes for this coming Open office?

  • Swing Trading

    Insightful read. I have just bookmarked this at stumbleupon. Hope others find it as interesting as I did.

  • Anonymous

    This blog is very interesting and more information to the templets
    http://www.staffingpower.com

  • http://www.cheap-laserlabels.co.uk nick

    I think How do I create labels in OpenOffice.org?

    Select: File -> New -> Labels. In the dialog that appears, you will be able to enter the initial text for the label(s) and select the label type (Avery, etc.) desired. Click on “New Document” to open the document using the settings you selected.

    thanks for sharing tips