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Designing Round & Oval Labels with Word: Part 1

One of the most common questions we receive at WorldLabel is how to design on round and oval labels in Microsoft Word using blank Word label templates. In this tutorial, we’ll answer that question with easy steps anyone can accomplish in Office 365, Word 2016, Word 2013, or any version of Word from the last ten years, using either a Windows or MacOS computer. After you’re comfortable following the steps in this tutorial, I’ll help you create more advanced round and oval label designs in Word using templates in the second part of this three-part, easy-to-follow tutorial series, Designing and Printing Round & Oval Labels with Word: Part 2  - By Pariah Burke




Round labels can be used to striking effect everywhere from jars to boxes, invitations to direct mailers, and just about anywhere you would otherwise use a rectangular label. Designing round labels takes a little more planning than designing rectangular labels, with a few gotchas to watch out for. We’ll talk more about those in Part 3 of the “Designing Round & Oval Labels with Word” series.


For now, let’s see how easy it is to actually create round labels.


STEP 1: Get The Template


Download the correct template from WorldLabel. WorldLabel offers many different sizes of round and oval labels, as you can see on this page. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the 2.5-inch circular labels that come 12 to a sheet with labels WL-350. Download the Word template for WL-350 here.



After downloading, open WL-350.doc in Microsoft Word.


At first, the template might appear blank because most people keep Word set to hide the structure of the template. Let’s fix that.


STEP 2: Reveal the Template


Clicking anywhere within the page should make the Ribbon display the Table Design and Layout tabs like in the image below.



Click on the Layout tab and then, on the left end of the Layout tab, on the View Gridlines buttons. That will make the template’s grid appear, as you can see in the figure below. That grid is a table constructed to mirror the arrangement of the round labels on a sheet of WL-250, 2.5-inch circular labels.



We’ll design inside the big cells to create our circular labels.


STEP 3: Color the Background


In Part 2 in this tutorial series we’ll get fancier with our designs. For this first design, however, we want to create relatively simple designs like those shown at the top of this article. To make sure we don’t have any unsightly white edges on our circles, let’s just fill the entire page with a color.


Click the Design tab on the Ribbon and then the Page Color button, which will reveal a color picker dropdown like the one below.




Choose the color you’d like for the background of your labels. You can choose from among the Theme Colors, the row of Standard Colors, or, by clicking More Colors, you can choose or mix any possible color.


I want my labels to have a blue background, so I’ll select the Blue Accent 1 color swatch from the Theme Colors. That will color my entire page with that particular blue. When I print this sheet, my labels, and the parts of the page left behind when I peel out the round labels, will be this elegant shade of blue.



STEP 4: Design Your First Label


Here’s the fun part—actually designing the labels!


Click your mouse cursor inside the first big table cell, the one on the left of the top row. Your cursor will appear in the middle left of that cell. From the Home tab of the Ribbon, click the Center Text button to center the cursor horizontally.



Type what you want your label to say, and then use the Font, Font Size, Font Color, and other fields and buttons on the Home tab to format your text. You can see below what I’m putting on my label.




When you’re completely happy with the design of your first label, it’s time to copy and paste it into all the other label spots.


STEP 5: Duplicate Your Label Design


Drag your mouse cursor from the top of the label cell to the bottom to select the entire label design. Then, by using the Copy command from the Edit menu, or by pressing CTRL+C on Windows or CMD+C on Mac, copy your entire label to the clipboard.


Click the mouse within the second big cell in the row and paste using CTRL+V, CMD+V, or the Edit menu’s Paste command. You should see an exact duplicate of your first label design, as I do.



Repeat the paste process for each of the remaining fields. You don’t need to copy again because you still have the design on the clipboard. Just click within each successive empty label field and press CTRL+V or CMD+V. When you’re done, you should have a full sheet of identical labels like mine in the image below.



If you want to change your label designs to make each one unique, now is the time to do that. Next, we’ll actually print our labels.


STEP 6: Print Your Labels


By default, Word will not print page background colors. We’ll need to change a setting in Word’s Options to enable printing the pretty background color you chose. Those directions differ if you’re on Windows or on Mac, so follow the instructions for your type of computer below.


On Windows

1. Click File on the left of the Ribbon bar, and then Options from the bottom of the left sidebar that appears (see Figure below).




2. In Word Options, choose Display from the menu at the left.



3. In the Printing Options section at the bottom, click on the empty checkbox beside Print background colors and images to enable the option.




4. Click the OK button to save your changes and close out of Word Options.


On Mac:


1. Click the Word menu in the Menu Bar at the very top of your screen, and then choose Preferences. That will open Word Preferences.




2. In the Output and Sharing section, click on the Print Icon. When the Print preferences appear, click on the empty checkbox beside Print background colors and images to enable the option.



3. Click the red circle at the top-left corner of the Word Preferences dialog box to save your changes and close out of Word Preferences.


Now, all you have to do is is load WorldLabel WL-350 labels into your printer and print using Word’s Print command on the File menu. You don’t have to do anything special in Word’s Print dialog that you don’t already do for any color printout from Word. Just choose the right printer, set the number of copies of your sheet to print, and click Print. In a moment, you’ll be peeling your newly designed labels off the sheet!



When you’re comfortable with the steps herein and ready to bring your designs up a notch, move on to Designing Round & Oval Labels with Word: Part 2, in which we add shapes, pictures, and more to label designs!



Pariah Burke (http://iampariah.com) teaches design and creativity tools to professionals and amateurs the world over. He is the author of 8 books on design and design tools, more than 25 Pluralsight video training courses, and more than 450 published tutorials and articles. Pariah travels everywhere from his home base in Portland, Oregon, and you can always find him sharing with, and helping, the creative pro community on Twitter @iampariah.




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