How to Fix Misaligned Labels Templates?

Sometimes your label templates look perfect on screen but they are not printing correctly. You’re sure that you’ve done everything correctly but for some reason your printed designs are all wrong. We know that this situation can get quite frustrating. In this guide we will help you fix misaligned labels and give you other printing tips.

Misaligned labels example

Follow our step-by-step instructions to fix the most common problems you might encounter when printing your labels. Here is a checklist of solutions you can use to correct your labels:

  1. Check your printer settings
  2. Decrease the font size or reduce the amount of text
  3. Make sure you are using the correct labels

Your labels look correct on screen but are not printing correctly? The first thing you want to check is your printer settings.

  • Print actual size (100%) - In the print dialog box, make sure the scale is 100%. Print actual size (100%)
  • Set your margins to “None” - Setting your margins to “None” may prevent any additional margin to be added by your printer causing your labels not be aligned properly. Set your margins to None
  • Never fit to page - If you’re printing a PDF from your computer, make sure the “Fit to Page” or "Scale to Fit" box is not checked. Otherwise, your printing won’t be printed at the actual size and will not align correctly. Uncheck Fit to Page
  • Choose the correct paper size - Depending on your labels templates, you might want to ensure that the paper size is adapted. For example, Avery 5160 labels will require the “US Letter” format while the Avery 3475 labels are in A4 format. Normally label printing softwares like Labelmaker adapt the size of your document to the correct format, but you may want to double check this parameter before printing. Choose the correct paper size
  • Adjust your margins - If your printer is shifting your design by a consistent amount of space, you can adjust your margins. This is only recommended as a last resort solution as it involves manual adjustments. In Google Docs, go to File > Page setup to adjust the margins. In Microsoft Word, use the ruler to adjust your margins. Adjust your margins

2. Decrease the font size or reduce the amount of text

Your labels are not lining up when printing, the bottom of one address is printed on the top of another address? This might be an indication that your labels contain too much text information or that your font size is too big.

  • Decrease the font size - If your font size is too big, it can cause the text to take too much space. Alternatively, if your label contains a lot of text, reducing the font size can help fit everything inside. Try decreasing the font size, for example from 11 to 10.
  • Reduce the amount of text - Labels can only contain a certain amount of characters, when there are more inside them, they will grow and misalign. Try reducing the amount of text inside your labels or opt for another label template format with a bigger label size. Similarly, if you are including a picture in your labels, make sure it doesn’t modify the label’s height otherwise it will cause misalignment.
Decrease font size or reduce amount of text

3. Make sure you are using the correct labels

Your labels are off center despite all your efforts? Make sure you are using the correct label templates.

  • Ensure you are using the correct labels - Check the labels you bought and look for the vendor code (Ex: Avery 5160, SheetLabels SL100, OnlineLabels 875, …). Ensure that you are using the correct format and don’t hesitate to contact your vendor to ask for precision about the right template to use.
  • Start from a new document - we’d recommend you to start over and not reuse a sheet that you had already formatted in the past. Chances are the table used to align labels has been mixed up and your labels won't print nicely.
Use correct label template

Tip: Do a test print first

Last but not the least, it’s recommended to do a test print first. If you want to avoid any issues in the future we strongly suggest that you run test prints before printing your whole series of labels.

Print first on a sheet of blank paper to check your design and alignment, and determine which direction to feed in your printer. You can place your labels sheet on top of your test print and check that everything is OK by transparency, using a window as shown below.

Test print

Get help from our community

Still having troubles? Ask for help on our Google Forum. Make sure to share a screenshot of the issue you’re having with your labels and include useful information such as the label template you are using.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I arrange labels in mail merge?

Mail merge labels not lining up? It's mostly caused by one the following issues:

  1. Check your printer settings
  2. Decrease the font size or reduce the amount of text
  3. Make sure you are using the correct labels

Why are my labels printing off center?

Why are my Avery labels not printing correctly?

If you can’t get addresses to format to the Avery labels or that a specific template is not working (5160 not lining up, 8160 not printing correctly…) then you might want to check the following to print your own Avery Labels at home:

  1. How to adjust printer settings for Avery labels
  2. Make sure your Avery Labels aligns properly
  3. Choose the appropriate Avery Label template

My merge fields don’t work

When printing labels, variables are not taken into account? Nothing populates in the merge fields and your mailing list is not merging with the template. If you are unable to merge from Google Sheet to Avery labels, review the following:

  1. Check the cells in your spreadsheet are not empty
  2. Check that the first row in your spreadsheet is not empty and contains headers for your merge fields
  3. Nothing available in the Merge Field drop down menu? Make sure that you are not logged in with multiple Google accounts in your browser. Google might have trouble authenticating your account and thus is not able to retrieve the merge fields from your spreadsheet

Labels won't print without dotted margin lines

In Labelmaker, uncheck "Show gridlines" before printing. This option is in the sidebar, just above the "Create labels" blue button. This will hide the gridlines.

Labels won’t include picture

If your images don’t show up, have a look at our guide on How to add images to labels in Google Docs.

How do I format my printer to print labels?

Only one label per page is printed

In case you face this issue, try following our step-by-step instructions on How to make labels in Google Docs. At step 5, see how you can replicate the first cells to get a complete sheet of labels instead of just 1 per page.

How do I fix misaligned labels in Word?

Despite your efforts, your labels won't print in Word? Check the following:

Alternatively, try using Labelmaker for Google Docs. Labelmaker is the easiest way to print labels and replaces Microsoft Word’s mail merge. You’ll find all the label printing features you were used to in other mail merge solutions like Microsoft Word.

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