Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Label Planet TEMPLATE TUESDAY: Word Label Templates VS. PDF Label Templates


This week, we’re taking a look at the practical differences between Word label templates and PDF label templates

Label Templates – Word Vs PDF – SOFTWARE

Word templates can only be opened and edited using Word Processing software such as Word and Pages.

PDF templates can only be opened and edited using Graphics Packages such as Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.

NB: only graphics packages can open AND edit PDFs. Other software may allow you to open PDFs but will not allow you to edit those files (for example, PDF Readers such as Adobe Reader). 

Label Templates – Word Vs PDF – CONTENT

Word label templates are basically standard Word documents that contain a table. The cells in the table represent the blank labels on an A4 sheet, as well as any gaps between those blank labels. To design and print a set of self adhesive labels, you add your design to the cells that represent the blank labels on your A4 sheets.

This means that Word label templates can ONLY represent the layout of A4 labels as a set of square cornered rectangles and/or squares. It cannot recreate elements of shaping, such as radius corners (rounded corners) or the shape of round labels and oval labels. 

PDF label templates provide a starting “background” layer that represents the layout of a particular sheet of A4 labels. To design and print a set of self adhesive labels, you add your design to a new layer that sits in front of the background layer (using the background layer as a guide as to the placement of your designs.

Label Templates – Word Vs PDF – DESIGN TOOLS

Word label templates often have to rely on tools that weren’t necessarily intended for design work. Word processors are built with one specific task in mind – adding, editing, and arranging text. This means that they have basic sets of “design” tools that are limited in the level of precision and sophistication that they can achieve.

PDF label templates are edited using highly sophisticated graphics packages that are created specifically for design work. This means that they offer a multitude of design tools and a much higher level of precision when it comes to arranging individual elements within a design.

Label Templates – Word Vs PDF – USABILITY

This last point dependes on the individual user. People who are familiar with word processors will find Word label templates easier to use, while those familiar with PDF files / graphics packages will prefer PDF label templates. If you are comfortable with both types of files / software, it is up to you to decide which option you want to use.

As a general rule, most people have a basic working knowledge of / some experience using word processors but are unfamiliar with graphics packages. We recommend sticking to what you know instead of opting for the PDF label templates just because they SEEM to be a better option. While they do offer a much higher level of accuracy and detail, you need to bear in mind that you will need to have access to graphics software to edit them (which may mean paying to buy such a package) AND you will need to learn how to use that software to design and print your own self adhesive labels.

Next Week On Template Tuesday – Label Templates Orientation 101

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