Printed image is incorrectly positioned on the label - Zebra ZPL printer

Article ID: 91395114

Issue / Question

What causes incorrect printing location on the label?

Applicable To

All ZPL compatible Printers 

Resolution / Answer

IMPORTANT! Regardless of the image orientation on the label references to top, bottom, left, or right are as shown in this picture.

 



The label objects are positioned on the label using ZPL language coordinates and image fields. This placement uses x, y coordinates (x = horizontal, y = vertical) that are like an address positioning the image in memory as it is constructed in the printer memory in preparation for printing. The 0 x and 0 y positions are in the upper left-hand corner of the label as noted above unless the orientation is inverted. 

The variety of ways labels can be created prevents a specific discussion on every method or speak to specific resolutions. This document will reference the common mistakes that a user may make related to the printer or application/driver that impacts the image position. Learn the issues that relate to incorrect configuration of the Zebra Driver, incorrect ZPL Programming Language, or printer configuration settings. 
 

NOTE Typically, you will see the entire label content being shifted in the problem direction. If only one object or field is being shifted, you should address the corrective action in your program or label creation application. In addition, before making adjustments or setting changes, ensure your printer has been properly calibrated for the labels being used. There should be consistent label-to-label positioning before making any adjustments.



Here are examples of image positioning issues and suggested resolution using the following printing methods:
 


Using ZDesigner Driver

 

Image Positioning Issues Troubleshooting

Printing too high on the label and cut-off or truncated at the top.
 


Access the printing preferences of your driver to adjust settings. If label settings are held within your application, ensure to replicate the settings there. 

  • Ensure the Label Top is properly adjusted. The Label Top compensates for printer vertical position tolerances. 
  • Ensure that the width and height settings of the driver and application are properly set. 
  • Ensure media type or tracking mode is properly set (gap/notch or mark sensing).  A setting of continuous media when receipt type media is not being used is a common cause of this issue. Drifting of print may occur in that instance. 
  • Ensure that there are no unprintable areas set within the driver or application including margins and gutters

Printing too low on the label and cut-off or truncated at the bottom.
 


Access the printing preferences of your driver to adjust the settings. If label settings are held within your application,  ensure to replicate the settings there.

  • Ensure that there are no offsets. This may push the label objects incorrectly down within the label. 
  • Ensure that the width and height settings of the driver and application are properly set. 
  • Ensure media type or tracking mode is properly set (gap/notch or mark sensing).  A setting of continuous media when receipt type media is not being used is a common cause of this issue. Drifting of print may occur in that instance. 
  • Ensure that there are no unprintable areas set within the driver or application. 

Printing too far right on the label and cut-off or truncated on the right.
 


Access the printing preferences of your driver to adjust the settings. If label settings are held within your application, ensure to replicate the settings there.

  • Ensure that the width and height settings of the driver and application are properly set. 
  • Ensure that the print width is properly set on the printer. This can be an LCD Display setting or a button flash function on a desktop. 
  • Ensure that the application matches the print width required for the label. 
  • Ensure that there is no left position or adjustment set in the driver or on the printer that may move the print horizontally. 
  • Ensure the setup of the label within your application is correct.
  • Ensure media is properly installed.
  • Ensure that there are no unprintable areas set within the driver or application. 

Printing too far left on the label and cut-off or compressed on the right.
 


Access the printing preferences of your driver to adjust settings. If label settings are held within your application, ensure to replicate the settings there.

  • Ensure that the width and height settings of the driver and application are properly set. 
  • Ensure that the print width is properly set on the printer. This can be an LCD Display setting or a button flash function on a desktop. 
  • Ensure that the application matches the print width required for the label. 
  • Ensure that there is no left position/adjustment set in the driver or on the printer that may move the print horizontally. 
  • Ensure the setup of the label within your application is correct.
  • Ensure media is properly installed.
  • Ensure that there are no unprintable areas set within the driver or application.


 

Using Printer Programming Language (ZPL)
 

Image Positioning Issues Troubleshooting

Printing too high on the label
 


The ZPL will override any applied printer settings. Ensure to remove ZPL configuration commands such as darkness, print width, etc. if using the settings on the printer.

  • Ensure that there is no improper label top being set on the printer or via ZPL, ^LT.  You can use the ^LT command to make adjustments if needed. 
  • Ensure that you are specifying the proper print location for label objects, ^FO.
  • Ensure you are specifying the proper media tracking mode (gap or notch or mark sensing) and not continuous if continuous receipt media is not being used, ^MN.
  • Ensure that there are no unprintable areas set within the driver or application. 

Printing too low on the label


The ZPL will override any applied printer settings. Ensure to remove ZPL configuration commands such as darkness, print width, etc. if using the settings on the printer.

  • Ensure that you are specifying the proper print location for label objects, ^FO.
  • Ensure you are specifying the proper media tracking mode (gap/notch or mark sensing) and not continuous if continuous receipt media is not being used, ^MN.
  • Ensure there is no improper label top being set on the printer or via ZPL, ^LT.  You can use the ^LT command to make adjustments if needed.
  • Ensure that there are no unprintable areas set within the driver or application.

Printing too far right on the label


The ZPL will override any applied printer settings. Ensure to remove ZPL configuration commands such as darkness, print width, etc. if using the settings on the printer.

  • Ensure that the ZPL is not sending a print width other than what the label actually is.
  • Ensure that you are specifying the proper print location for label objects, ^FO.
  • Ensure the print width on the printer is set correctly for the label size being used.  
  • Ensure there is no incorrect left position set on the printer or there is no label shift command being incorrectly sent to the printer, ^LS. You can use the ^LS to make adjustments if needed.

Printing too far left on the label


The ZPL will override any applied printer settings. Ensure to remove ZPL configuration commands such as darkness, print width, etc. if using the settings on the printer.

  • Ensure that the ZPL is not sending a print width other than what the label actually is.
  • Ensure that you are specifying the proper print location for label objects, ^FO.
  • Ensure the print width on the printer is set correctly for the label size being used.  
  • Ensure there is no incorrect left position set on the printer or no label shift command being incorrectly sent to the printer, ^LS. You can use the ^LS to make adjustments if needed.



Using Printer Configurations and Settings
 

Image Positioning Issues Troubleshooting

Printing too high on the label
 


If using printer settings, ensure that no driver or application settings are overriding your applied parameters.

 

  • Ensure that the Label Top is properly set on the printer. 
  • Ensure the media type or tracking mode is set properly (gap/notch or web sensing) as an incorrect setting of continuous can cause drifting of the print on the label.
  • Ensure the application sending the job or the label format is properly set for the label sizing and needed label specifications.
  • Ensure that the platen roller has not lost diameter over time as this can cause vertical shifting of print.

Printing too low on the label
 


If using printer settings, ensure that no driver or application settings are overriding your applied parameters.  

  • Ensure that the Label Top is properly set on the printer. 
  • Ensure the media type or tracking mode is set properly (gap/notch or web sensing) as an incorrect setting of continuous can cause drifting of the print on the label.
  • Ensure the application sending the job or the label format is properly set for the label sizing and needed label specifications.
  • Ensure that the platen roller has not lost diameter over time as this can cause vertical shifting of print.

Printing too far right on the label



If using printer settings, ensure that no driver or application settings are overriding your applied parameters.

  • Ensure that the media is properly installed.
  • Ensure that there is no Left Position set on the printer. This parameter can be used to adjust the print positioning.
  • Ensure that the Print Width is properly set for the label size being used.
  • Ensure the application sending the job or the label format is properly set for the label sizing and needed label specifications.

Printing too far left on the label
 


If using printer settings make sure that no driver or application settings are overriding your applied parameters.
 

  • Ensure that the media is properly installed.
  • Ensure that there is no Left Position set on the printer. This parameter can be used to adjust the print positioning. 
  • Ensure that the Print Width is properly set for the label size being used.
  • Ensure the application sending the job or the label format is properly set for the label sizing and needed label specifications.


 

 

NOTE You may need to adjust settings in multiple areas. For instance, you may need to adjust your driver settings to contain the proper label sizing as well as correct the print width on the printer. It may have been affected by the incorrect driver setting.


If the recommended steps above do not solve the issue, you can attempt defaulting the printer back to factory settings to see if the issue is resolved. Keep in mind that doing so may require you to re-apply any customized printer configuration that had been done. You may need to run calibration on the printer.
 

General Label Setup Information

Ensure that the proper label width and height are set for the label being used. It is recommended that no unprintable areas are being used to avoid unnecessary movement of label objects. Make sure the placement of the objects on the label fits within the given label width and height. As a general statement, leave all settings at their default values and adjust the location of your label objects through your application or programming language (ZPL).  Most importantly, make sure the printer is properly calibrated for the media installed. Ensuring proper calibration does not only means that you have to run a calibration on the unit but also set the proper media tracking mode (gap/notch, web sensing, etc.) within the driver or application you print through.
 

How It Works

Zebra Printers are driven by software. The majority of issues pertaining to the location of printed label objects are caused by incorrect settings applied by software, driver, or programming. Calibration is the essential step that needs to be taken on the printer and the majority of the setup beyond that will be done via the software.   
 

Helpful Information:

 

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