Seeking straightforward label printing software

often-befuddled

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 22, 2015
30
1
I have a need for label printing software. It should:
  1. Print on a variety of labels on 8.5x11 sheets
  2. Import XLS files; alternately some other data-file format such as XML...
  3. Run on various OSXi versions.
  4. Is simple to run. {Setup can be harder but...}
  5. Can start half-way through a sheet of labels.

It does NOT need:
  1. Cute graphics
  2. OSX address books
  3. fancy fonts
  4. complexity
I looked at Labels and Addresses as it initially looked like a good fit. But then I figured out it does not really import XLS or similar formats; it depends on spawning Excel etc and somehow grabbing data from it. But it fails with Libra Office.

And perhaps more importantly, it does not seem to have an active user community; my forum query has been unanswered for a week.

Any alternatives that I should look into as well?





 

organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
636
166
Not exactly a dedicated software, what you've been asking for, but could do the job.

- My preferred way: InDesign, create template, convert xls to csv, print directly or create a pdf with records (range)
- You don't want: AdressBook, convert xls to csv or vcf, import to a new group, select all needed contacts, print -> more options -> Labels
- Why not: Pages, LibreOffice, Microsoft Office or Filemaker, etc. All do have some kind of functionality to build (most, if not all) of your desired workflow.
- Label printer or label manufacturers like Avery or Dymo are offering different software or template solutions, too.

As everyone seems to have some kind of such software, I bet it's hard to find a plain standalone professional label printing software that exactly fits your needs.

If Labels and Addresses is, what works for you, you should try to parse your xls to some format (e.g. csv) that can be imported.
 

often-befuddled

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 22, 2015
30
1
Not exactly a dedicated software, what you've been asking for, but could do the job.

- My preferred way: InDesign, create template, convert xls to csv, print directly or create a pdf with records (range)

- You don't want: AdressBook, convert xls to csv or vcf, import to a new group, select all needed contacts, print -> more options -> Labels
The issues are it needs to be easy to use by less savvy users

- Why not: Pages, LibreOffice, Microsoft Office or Filemaker, etc. All do have some kind of functionality to build (most, if not all) of your desired workflow.

- Label printer or label manufacturers like Avery or Dymo are offering different software or template solutions, too.
The data will originate from Filemaker, and XLS is the best export in my view.

I've had past misadventures with errant imbedded delimiters, especially CR/LF, commas & quotes. The distinct advantage of XLS is it does not use ASCII text for delimiters between fields and records.

We want to get out of printing directly with FM as a good label program does things it does not: have a encyclopedia of label sizes, tweak margins, start mid-sheet, etc. My favorite but obsolete program "Imprint" did those well.

I read a lot of grumping about the Avery templates for M$ Word; again not straightforward.



As everyone seems to have some kind of such software, I bet it's hard to find a plain standalone professional label printing software that exactly fits your needs.

If Labels and Addresses is, what works for you, you should try to parse your xls to some format (e.g. csv) that can be imported.
My bigger issue with L&A is I've not found any community of users. I've tried to download various userguides from Chronos but found dead links there. The SOHO program of theirs sounded viable.
 

TonyK

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2009
1,026
142
Using MS Office, you could run a mail merge operation. Lots of label options built in.
 

TonyK

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2009
1,026
142
Not after it is setup it shouldn't. Setting anything up the first time takes effort. After that, just update the data file and re-run the merge.

Can start half-way through a sheet of labels.
Now this is going to be a trick. Is there any package that can start at a specific location on the page?
 
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jaduff46

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2010
316
182
Second star on the right....
As @TonyK has indicated, not sure if anything allows starting somewhere on the page other than top left.

We've used mail merge off an Excel spreadsheet with the addresses, but not much volume(<100). If I was doing it more frequently I might look at other solutions.

John
 

often-befuddled

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 22, 2015
30
1
Not after it is setup it shouldn't. Setting anything up the first time takes effort. After that, just update the data file and re-run the merge.
Not when there are multiple size labels being used......
 

organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
636
166
My favorite but obsolete program "Imprint" did those well.
I see, it's always a pity to lose precious software solutions that worked and are no longer maintained. The website of ampersandbox.com is down, but you'll get contact details of a Trevor Strohman by a whois search. Maybe it's worth contacting him and ask, wether there could be some update or if he's willing to open source the project.
The data will originate from Filemaker, and XLS is the best export in my view.
I've had past misadventures with errant imbedded delimiters, especially CR/LF, commas & quotes. The distinct advantage of XLS is it does not use ASCII text for delimiters between fields and records.
I'm sure it's manageable to export as XLS from Filemaker like you intended to do, involve some Automator/AppleScript/shell script and get a proper formatted CSV file for further use. To experiment with various settings in CSV files in a comfortable way, there is Table Tool on GitHub or at the Mac App Store.
I read a lot of grumping about the Avery templates for M$ Word; again not straightforward.
I don't read a lot of good things from Avery software either, but if you use their labels and want to use Avery templates, at some point some portion of their software or API is getting involved.
My bigger issue with L&A is I've not found any community of users. I've tried to download various userguides from Chronos but found dead links there.
I'm not sure anymore of what software you're actually talking. On https://www.chronosnet.com there is no app called Labels & Addresses, but Labelist. On http://www.belightsoft.com there is Labels & Addresses with a Manual here.
Yes, community is important, but consider that it's more or less a niche software and if it's working for you, a missing community shouldn't matter so much. I don't think they'll fit your needs, but did you try (free trials available) Orion Label Maker and Labels And Databases?

Is there any package that can start at a specific location on the page?
Some solutions can get tricked by placing whatever number of empty lines or lines with non printing placeholder characters at the beginning of the records file.
 

often-befuddled

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 22, 2015
30
1
I'm not sure anymore of what software you're actually talking. On https://www.chronosnet.com there is no app called Labels & Addresses, but Labelist. On http://www.belightsoft.com there is Labels & Addresses with a Manual here.
Yes, community is important, but consider that it's more or less a niche software and if it's working for you, a missing community shouldn't matter so much. I don't think they'll fit your needs, but did you try (free trials available) Orion Label Maker and Labels And Databases?


Some solutions can get tricked by placing whatever number of empty lines or lines with non printing placeholder characters at the beginning of the records file.
Sorry... Two competing products; L&A vs. Chronosnet's Labelist/SOHO

L&A lets me easily start anywhere on the sheet of labels. I did hear back from their Support; they don't support later Excel, etc. So I have use TSV, I think.

Awaiting a Chronosnet reply.
 

TonyK

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2009
1,026
142
Some solutions can get tricked by placing whatever number of empty lines or lines with non printing placeholder characters at the beginning of the records file.
True but that requires manual intervention which seems to be outside the scope for the software. It sounded like what was desired was a couple of entry points in the UI to state row and column/label to begin printing and the software would start at that location and continue on from there.
 

organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
636
166
One last suggestion to throw in is the Command Line utility Label Nation:
http://www.red-bean.com/labelnation/

Don't expect much support or community, but it should do what you want, except the XLS import.

Functionality:
1. sheets are user definable (small variety of predefined templates, but no direct connection to Avery API)
2. imports CSV or delimited text (no direct XLS import)
3. tested on 10.11., but runs not only on Mac
4. for easy usage setup some AppleScript droplets
5. has '--first-label' option to start from nth label (user input for passing variable to AppleScript could be done)

True but that requires manual intervention which seems to be outside the scope for the software. It sounded like what was desired was a couple of entry points in the UI to state row and column/label to begin printing and the software would start at that location and continue on from there.
Right, like @often-befuddled stated, Labels & Adresses has this desired functionality ready in a nice GUI or the above mentioned Labelnation as an option at the Command Prompt. The idea to explode a given number of defined 'empty' lines into the file with records just arose, because there seems to be some conversion step from XLS to some format unavoidable. Sounds not really out of scope to add this step, especially if 'setup can be harder'.