Christmas Opening Hours

Mon, Dec 1, 2014

Happy Holidays!

While a few companies may shut down for a week or two over Christmas, we strive to keep you going with all your labelling needs! Below are our opening hours for the Christmas period. For deliveries by Christmas Eve (UK mainland only) please ensure your order is completed with us on a ParcelForce 24 hour delivery (£6) before 4pm on Monday the 22nd of December. You can place your order over the phone, by email, by fax or on As you’d expect, the earlier you place your order the better. Merry Christmas!

Days Opening Hours
Monday 22nd December Normal Opening Hours
Tuesday 23rd December Normal Opening Hours
Wednesday 24th December – Christmas Eve 9:00 – 12:00
Thursday 25th December – Christmas Day Closed
Friday 26th December – Boxing Day Closed
Saturday 27th December Closed
Sunday 28th December Closed
Monday 29th December Normal Opening Hours*
Tuesday 30th December Normal Opening Hours*
Wednesday 31th December – New Years Eve 9:00 – 12:00
Thursday 1st January – New Years Day Closed
Friday 2nd January 9:00 – 17:00*

* These opening times might vary. Please check back here for updates closer to the time.

New Help & Support for Using Your LabelStation with BarTender

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

We’ve been working hard to always provide the best technical support for our printers and its software. As BarTender is now the mainstream software bundled with LabelStation printers it seemed fitting to produce our own helpful video tips, tricks and advice. We try to keep every CD shipped with each printer as up-to-date as possible but we’re always updating our support content which can be found online.
Click here to see all support for our current LabelStation Printers.
Click here to see our new selection of support videos for BarTender.
If you have purchased a LabelStation from us and require further support we’re only an email or phone call away. Please see our support pages for more contact information.

LabelStation BarTender Video Tutorial of the Month

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

This month”s most popular video tutorial for BarTender users shows how to optimise the quality of your label printing. Learning to use versatile labelling software can be frustrating, with opportunities missed, but in less than a minute our video shows you how to get your text and images crisp and dark. Just sit back and watch.

Click here to play the interactive video

If after viewing this video you need to refresh your memory, here is run down of the steps:

  1. Click the “Print” icon
  2. Click the “Document Properties” button
  3. Click the “Options” tab
  4. Untick the “Use Current Printer Settings” checkbox
  5. A good, general purpose print speed is 76.2 mm/sec
  6. If the print is grainy or faint then increase the Darkness (print temperature)
  7. If the print is faint/blotchy or has ripples then decrease the Darkness
  8. Print quality is a balance between Darkness and Speed
  9. Click “OK”
  10. If you do not wish to print immediately then click “Close”

Click here for more interactive LabelStation BarTender videos.

Using a Keyboard with a LabelStation

Mon, Nov 3, 2014

Setting up a label template to be saved on a LabelStation label printer with an input keyboard (KDU) can be done very easily using the bundled BarTender.
Click on the screen captures below to enlarge them.

On the computer

  1. Create your label.
  2. Any text or barcode fields that you will later want to input data to from the keyboard should be named to make it easier to find in the keyboard and next setup steps.
  3. Go to File > Export Printer Code Template.
  4. Print system must be set to TSC KP-100/200, output must be set to To Port (USB***). Click More Options…
  5. Select the Copies from the Print Dialog Data Sources. Check the box marked Enable prompting on external keyboard (KDU).
  6. Select the object from the Template Object Data Sources that you wish to have as a manual input via the keyboard. Check the box marked Enable prompting on external keyboard (KDU). Under Template Field change the Source to Prompt Text. Do this for all the text fields you wish to be edited.
  7. Click OK then when you’re ready click Export.

On the keyboard

  1. To start press FORM. You may need to reboot the printer after sending the template to it. To do this press EXIT.
  2. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the template you wish to print (if you have transferred more than one) then press ENTER.
  3. You will be prompted for each variable input field on the template. Type in the required data and press ENTER for each field.
  4. The last option before it prints is copies which is the amount of duplicate labels you require. Once you have entered your desired quantity press ENTER.
  5. Your label(s) will print and will start again from the first prompt on your selected template. To select another template press EXIT to reboot the printer then you can start again.

Removing all templates from the printer

Also use this to remove old templates before updating with new ones.
See all steps in the image below.

  1. Open up the DiagTool from the CD that came with the printer.
  2. Go to the File Manager tab at the top of the window.
  3. Press Get to see the file list.
  4. To clear the file list press Format. This will remove all files from the printer’s memory storage.
  5. When prompted press OK.
  6. You are now ready to export new templates to the printer.

Leitz Icon Label Printer Overview & Compare

Fri, Oct 3, 2014

I’ve had a hands on with a Leitz Icon label printer and I’m going to have a quick run down of it’s features and how it compares with it’s competition on the current market while also giving my personal unbiased opinion.

It claims to print up to 200 labels per minute which is very fast but I have yet to test this which I will explain why later.
You have two print qualities. Fast at 300x300dpi or better quality (slightly slower) of 300x600dpi.
It has a built-in fully automatic fast electric cutter. It’s about as fast as a Brother QL-700!
Prints paper and plastic labels up to 88mm wide.
Has USB and WiFi for connectivity.
Works on Windows, MAC and iOS.
Has an optional battery pack attachment to make it fully portable. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try this option.

First things first, how the print looks. It looks like a flatter version of the Brother TD-2020N (picture on the right). It has two long grippy feet on it’s underside plus one in the front handle.
This little unit will take up 22cm x 13cm of deskspace which is around the same as both a Brother QL-710W and a Dymo LW450 Turbo.
On the front (from right to left) there’s a bright blue power lamp, a bright green WiFi lamp a feed button and a cut button. The cut button will always feed a label through first before cutting which doesn’t make sense in my opinion but it will cut at the end of each label whether you like it or not. That’s right! You can’t set it not to cut!
Under these buttons and lamps is the 95mm wide slot where the labels exit.
On the top theres a thumb-sized eject button which when pressed opens the lid to remove / insert the label cartridge.
There’s no power button so it’s always on. After leaving it alone for 90 minutes it doesn’t look like it goes into a standby mode either which might put off those of an energy conserving nature. There is also an unusual warmth coming from the front of the printer. Seems a little wasteful of energy if you ask me. On the back is a USB-B socket, the 24VDC power socket (switch off at the wall to prevent sparks (yes this happened to me)), a WPS button (see “Wireless” below for details) a couple little notches and a 9 pin linear socket. Both of the last items on the list I would guess are for the battery pack that I didn’t get to try.

Ironically, for a printer aimed at the business trade, the only way to connect the WiFi is using the insecure WPS option. Great if you’re a home user and don’t have much of a care in the world for security. Not great if you’re in an office or industrial environment where this convenience is removed by the risk of security vulnerabilities.

The software
I have a feeling the software right now is still in some form of production as it’s proves to be slightly buggy. Upon choosing an address label type it crashed! I therefore cannot test the international address label (70120001)
No escape from Times New Roman. For some unfortunate reason Times New Roman is the default font in any field you create but this can be changed in the options menu (which by the way is very sparse).

Mobile App
Again with the WiFi. No chance to connect it and no Apple devices to use. The app is only available on an Apple device which is rather unfair seeing as Android is taking the market by storm so I therefore have nothing to say about it. From what I’ve read from other reviews the app is “clunky”.

What about the competition.
Should Brady worry? No.
Should Brother worry? Maybe.
Should Dymo worry? Maybe.
Is there a market for yet another desktop address label printer? Not really. When you look at our most popular brands (Brother, Dymo, Zebra, Seiko) there really is no room for improvement over these already great machines.

My overall rating
The printer itself has a very good built quality with the exception of the two buttons at the front that feel like they’re going to snap off at any moment, and the spring-loaded lid which will pop open easily. Is very appealing to look at despite it looking like a copy of a particular Brother Printer, and it’s performance is great. The portability function of Wifi and battery makes it great as an all-rounder.
The labels seem to be okay but the cartridges seem a little fiddly. Not sure why they insist on the user having to fiddle with a little flap which to my mind only adds to the cost of each cartridge. You also have to fiddle with a another flap inside the printer when inserting or removing a cartridge.
The software whilst trying to be user friendly is lacking in that special something. The fact that it knows what label you’ve inserted in the printer is a great feature, something that Brother and Brady are proud of, but it doesn’t automatically set it to that label size for you which is rather backwards. Like the Dymo software you still have to click the label type on the left, choose the size then decide on which template to use. Like I mentioned with my experience above I couldn’t choose any of the address labels without the software crashing.
I didn’t get a chance to try the mobile app as they’ve been a little bias and only made it for the one platform which we don’t use. Plus their poor choice to use a vulnerable WiFi connection made it impossible to test the wireless feature in our offices.
The build quality of the machine is really good and quality of the labels are great which gets a high score from me. The features and problems with the software was the backbreaker and sliced the overall score in half. Overall I give the Leitz Icon a 4.5 out of 10.

How To Add a Date Field With Offset

Mon, Sep 29, 2014

Adding a date field to a label template is easy in any labelling software. Adding a date field with an offset couldn’t be easier in the Brother P-Touch Editor labelling software.

1. Open the “Date and Time” dialog from the panel on the right.
2. Choose “Date” or “Time”.
3. Click the “Add/Subtract” checkbox.
4. Select the “Unit” (hours/days etc.).
5. Changed the “Time Period”.
6. Click “OK”.

Software comparisons Supports a date field Supports a date field with offset
BarTender Yes Yes
Brother P-Touch Editor Yes Yes
Dymo Label v8 Yes No
LabelDirect Yes Yes
ZebraDesigner 2 Yes Yes

P-Touch E100VP Unboxing Review

Thu, Sep 18, 2014

See below for an unboxing and brief overview video of the Brother P-Touch E100VP label printer kit.
Click here to see our selection of TZe tapes compatible up to 12mm.

2 line printing
Preset label formats for cable and wire marking
Cable Wrap Mode
Cable Flag Mode
Face Plate Mode
168 symbols
15 font sizes
9 type styles

Value pack includes:
1x 12mm Black on yellow strong adhesive tape
AC adaptor
Carry case

P-Touch E300VP Unboxing Review

Thu, Sep 18, 2014

See below for an unboxing and brief overview video of the Brother P-Touch E300VP label printer kit.
Click here for our range of TZe tapes compatible up to 18mm.
Click here to view the range of HSe tapes compatible up to 17.7mm.

7 fonts & 7 print styles
Barcode function
50 memory areas
Sequential numbering/alpha
Smart Label Keys for General, Faceplate, Cable Wrap, Heat Shrink Tube, Self-laminated, Cable Flag, Patch Panel & Punch Down Block
5 Print Lines

Value pack includes:
1x 18mm Black on yellow strong adhesive tape
Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
AC adaptor
Wrist strap
Carry case

P-Touch E550WVP Unboxing Review

Wed, Sep 3, 2014

On first look prior to unboxing the Brother P-Touch E550WVP, you’ll notice how rugged and tightly-closed the hard carry case is. It gives a look and feel of high quality and professionalism.
The clips are plastic but very solid and not flimsy. If you’re like me and have small-ish fingers that tend to get injured easily then you’re likely to feel comfortable with opening and closing this case. The clips “click” closed but they don’t snap at you like a feisty terrier.

Once opened the inside is laid out in the standard Brotherly fashion. The instruction manual can be found in a plastic bag along with the software CD, quick start guide and transparent ruler/guide located inside a little pocket. The power adaptor, USB cable, battery and TZ tapes are each in their own little cut-outs inside the case so there’s no chance of misplacing or losing something while packing up after a job.
The printer steals the show as it’s the largest item other than the case. Despite looking larger than its predecessor it’s very comfortable to hold and only weighs 1.2Kg (including the rechargeable battery).
Installing the battery was easy. It only goes in one way (see image to the right) and the terminals are spring-loaded to hold the battery in place.
The TZe tapes also only go in one way. The little pillars inside guide it into place while the little clips hold it there.
As soon as you power on the printer for the first time it’s ready to go. Start typing, press print and you’ve got your first label. Watch the video above for a demo of all the label types.
For more detailed information about it’s specifications and useabilty click here to see my previous blog post.

Mobile Apps
Click here to start the video above at the demonstration of the mobile app. Click one of the buttons to the right to download the app now. Be sure to choose the correct make of your mobile device.

Brother P-Touch PT-E550W

Thu, Jul 3, 2014

Calling all electricians! Give your expert work the professional look it deserves.

Once again I’ve been lucky enough to get my grubby paws on another fantastic printer before it hits the shelves. Brother’s P-Touch E550W is the new big boy of their hand-held label printers. Targeted mainly at electricians, this printer is going to be a big hit on the market as it’s packed full of features and is a very affordable competitor on the current market.

Here is a rundown of the main features this printer has to offer:

  • Rubber clicky QWERTY keyboard.
    Unlike their previous, cheaper and competitor’s models the rubber buttons click to confirm its been fully pressed, almost like a mechanical keyboard. It’s in the standard QWERTY layout that is will be very familiar to you as computers and most smart phones use this layout.
  • Lithium Ion battery.
    This battery lasts a very long time, possibly the longest lasting out of Brother’s P-Touch range. It also provides the extra power required for the heat shrink marker tapes.
  • Large backlit display with real-size label preview.
    Label preview on previous models hasn’t been up to scratch but this time it’s real-sized so what you see is what you get. This sized screen also helps make the menus clear and easy to read. The backlight makes the printer useable in little to no light environments.
  • Only uses the TZe tapes.
    Brother’s patented TZe tapes are long lasting, strong and versatile. This also means there are no compatibles which we’re sorry about; but what we’re not sorry that you’ll be getting the highest quality consumables available for your printer.
  • Automatic electric cutter with part-cut.
    The cutter is automatic but can also be activated at a press of a button. It also features part-cut which will cut the tape but not the backing paper; this is useful if you’re printing a lot of labels in one go and don’t want them falling on a dirty floor of a basement, being blown away in the wind up scaffold tower or wherever you are.
  • Quick labels type buttons.
    Normal, vertical, set size, repeat (wire wrap), wire flag, patch/fuse panel and punch down blockNEW. These are the label types you use most often so to help you switch between them quickly there’s preset buttons across the top in white.
  • Preset wire sizes.
    When printing flag or wrap labels you are required to know the diameter of the cable but not anymore! The printer has a memory of preset cable diameters including but not limited to CAT5e & coax.
  • Mini USB.
    Use this connection to transfer and save your most common label designs, company logos and database tables (Excel & Access) for easy access on the move. The saved label designs allow you print the same labels with or without editing them first. The database connectivity makes use of the label templates so you can print a long string of different labels at the press of a button without having to enter all the details again.
  • WiFi.
    When out on a job, you may wish to use your smartphone to get the job done whatever the reason. With the E550W you can print from a smartphone using the free Android app or Apple app. You can save, recall and insert images from the app.
  • All symbols now listed under their categories.
    Electrical, safety, etc. What more can be said. It’s all the symbols you’ll ever need as an electrician and some extra!
  • Large memory capacity.
    Enough memory for 99 labels. It’s highly unlikely you’ll save that many labels but just in case you do there’s enough memory for it. This is also the shared memory for custom logos and databases.
  • Heatshrink wire marking.
    Brother’s HSe heatshrink tubing have been a long time in the making but they’re finally here!* They’re a perfect non-adhesive alternative to marking your cables.**

I’ve been told it’s to be launched at the end of July 2014 at a retail price of around £190 but we’ll just have to wait and see. Turns out the information was correct!

I had fun playing with this printer and to anyone thinking of getting a Brother P-Touch or similar competitor, I would recommend you wait just a few weeks for this model to become available; I doubt you’ll regret buying one!

Check out their promotional video:

*The heatshrink tubes are only compatible with the P-Touch E550W as it is physically more demanding on the hardware. Using the heatshrink tubes with another model may cause printhead damage, motor damage, faster battery drainage and decreased life of the cutter blade.
**These tubes will not slide over most plugs or sockets and are more commonly used on cables before a plug or socket has been attached.

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