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

Article ID: 91396057

Details


 

Symptom

Text, bar codes, images and other label objects are printing in the incorrect location on the label.  This can be too high on the label, too low on the label, too far right or too far left. This is a general knowledge document that contains information that may or may not apply to your specific application.

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

User-added image

Applies To

All ZPL compatible Zebra Printers 

Cause or Overview

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 position is 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 impact the image position. We'll discuss issues that relate 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 assure you printer has been properly calibrated for the labels being used. There should be consistent label to label positioning before making adjustments

Solution

We will try to show examples of image positioning problems and suggested resolution using the following printing methods
 

 


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Using ZDesigner Driver:


Print this grid to show the image position settings in relation to the x, y coordinates Read More>>

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

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Troubleshooting Steps:

This will require you to access the printing preferences of your driver to adjust settings.  If label settings are held within your application, make sure to replicate the settings there. 

  • Ensure that the Label Top is properly adjusted. The Label Top compensates for printer vertical position tolerances. Read More>>
  • Ensure that the width and height settings of the driver and application are properly set. Read More>>
  • Ensure media type/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. Read More>>
  • Ensure that there is no unprintable areas set within the driver or application including margins and gutters. Read More>>

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

User-added image

Troubleshooting Steps:

This will require you to access the printing preferences of your driver to adjust settings.  If label settings are held within your application, make sure to replicate the settings there.

  • Ensure that there is no offsets.   This could push the label objects incorrectly down within the label. Read More>>
  • Ensure that the width and height settings of the driver and application are properly set. Read More>>
  • Ensure media type/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. Read More>>
  • Ensure that there is no unprintable areas set within the driver or application. Read More>>

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

User-added image

Troubleshooting Steps:

This will require you to access the printing preferences of your driver to adjust settings.  If label settings are held within your application, make sure to replicate the settings there.

  • Ensure that the width and height settings of the driver and application are properly set. Read More>>
  • 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. See your user guide for details.
  • 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. Read More>>
  • Ensure the setup of the label within your application is correct.
  • Ensure media is properly installed.
  • Ensure that there is no unprintable areas set within the driver or application. Read More>>

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

User-added image

Troubleshooting Steps:

This will require you to access the printing preferences of your driver to adjust settings.  If label settings are held within your application, make sure to replicate the settings there.

  • Ensure that the width and height settings of the driver and application are properly set. Read More>>
  • 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. See your user guide for details.
  • 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. Read More>>
  • Ensure the setup of the label within your application is correct.
  • Ensure media is properly installed.
  • Ensure that there is no unprintable areas set within the driver or application. Read More>>


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Using Printer Programming Language (ZPL):
 

Printing too high on the label -

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Troubleshooting Steps:

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

  • Ensure there is not an improper label top being set on the printer or via ZPL, ^LT.  You can use the ^LT command to make adjustments if needed. Read More>>
  • 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 that there is no unprintable areas set within the driver or application. Read More>>

Printing too low on the label

User-added image

Troubleshooting Steps:

ZPL will override any applied printer settings.  Make sure 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 not an improper label top being set on the printer or via ZPL, ^LT.  You can use the ^LT command to make adjustments if needed. Read More>>
  • Ensure that there is no unprintable areas set within the driver or application.  Read More>>

Printing too far right on the label

User-added image

Troubleshooting Steps:

ZPL will override any applied printer settings.  Make sure 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 not an 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

User-added image

Troubleshooting Steps:

ZPL will override any applied printer settings.  Make sure 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 not an 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.

 

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Using Printer Settings:
 

Printing too high on the label

User-added image

Troubleshooting Steps:

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

 

  • Ensure that the Label Top is properly set on the printer. Read More>>
  • Ensure the media type/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 are 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

User-added image

Troubleshooting Steps:

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

  • Ensure that the Label Top is properly set on the printer. Read More>>
  • Ensure the media type/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 are 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

User-added image

Troubleshooting Steps:

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 not a Left Position set on the printer.  This parameter can be used to adjust the print positioning. Read More>>
  • Ensure that the Print Width is properly set for the label size being used.
  • Ensure the application sending the job or the label format are properly set for the label sizing and needed label specifications.

Printing too far left on the label

User-added image

Troubleshooting Steps:

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 not a Left Position set on the printer.  This parameter can be used to adjust the print positioning. Read More>>
  • Ensure that the Print Width is properly set for the label size being used.
  • Ensure the application sending the job or the label format are 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 correct the issue you can attempt defaulting the printer back to factory settings to see if the issue is resolved.  Keep in mind that doing this may require you to re-apply any customized printer configuration that had been done.  Calibration may also need to be run on the printer.

General Label Setup Information:

Make sure that the proper label width and height are being 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 that the placement of the objects on the label fit 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).  Lastly, but most importantly, make sure the printer is properly calibrated for the media installed.  Ensuring properly calibration not only means that you have to run a calibration on the unit, but also set the properly media tracking mode (gap/notch, web sensing, etc.) within the driver or application you print through.

Helpful information


Top Position Adjustments Read More>>

Information on Adjusting Left Position and Top Position Read More>>

How it Works

Zebra Printers are driven by software.  Majority of issues pertaining to location of printed label objects are caused by
incorrect settings applited 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.