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In this article, we take a look at how to print WooCommerce shipping labels on a Thermal Printer (Zebra Printer). Along with that, we help you choose the label formats to ensure it is suitable to be printed from your WooCommerce store.
What is a Thermal Printer or a Zebra Printer?
A thermal printer or a zebra printer helps to print barcode labels, RFID tags, receipts, and shipping labels which can be customized according to your needs. It uses the smartest printing technology called Zebra Technology. It makes use of a specialized formatting language named ZPL (Zebra Programming Language), which enables the operators to control the formatting of the label and process the printing themselves. These thermal label printers support every label size ranging between narrow-web, standard, and wider-web.
How to Print WooCommerce Shipping Labels on a Thermal Printer (Zebra Printer)?
When it comes to printing WooCommerce shipping labels, nothing comes above the quality and the durability of the shipping labels generated on a Thermal Printer or Zebra Printer. Choosing the right thermal printer is completely dependent on your needs. The maintenance cost is also quite low for these. There are many ways to print the WooCommerce shipping labels on your store and you might find plenty of options as well. Moreover, there are shipping plugins that even offer you various formats like ZPL2 to print the shipping labels, which are supported by Zebra thermal printers.
How do Zebra thermal printers work?
The Zebra thermal printers are comparatively smaller in size, lighter, and much advanced. Thermal printers mostly understand the programming language called EPL (Eltron Programming Language). Currently, there are four major types of formats – EPL, EPL2, ZPL, and ZPLII. The ZPL/EPL format is completely supported by the label with a size of 4 x 6 inches. This results in better label design and clarity in the barcodes on the label.
To print the WooCommerce shipping labels on a Thermal printer, you need to choose the label format in the Label settings of the shipping plugin. For example, let’s consider the following plugin for printing USPS, UPS, FedEx, and Canada Post shipping labels using ELEX EasyPost Shipping Method Plugin for WooCommerce.
If you notice the Label Generation Settings for the plugin, you can see the following settings as in the image provided below:
The Label printing API settings are as shown below:
The settings include the options to choose the desired format for printing the shipping labels. Here to print using the thermal printers you can choose the ZPL and EPL2 formats.
- ZPL: This option prints the label in ZPL file format, which is a file format mostly used for storing playlist information.
- EPL2: This option prints the label in Eltron Programming Language format, which is suitable for printing on media of reduced space, and supports bitmaps. It is usually used in generating labels including barcode information.
What type of thermal printers should you choose?
The above two file formats allow you to print high-quality labels using a thermal printer. Most of the shipping services recommend the following thermal printer models
- Bixolon SRP 770III
- Eltron 2442
- Eltron 2543
- Eltron 2844
- OKI Data LD620
- Zebra S4M
- Zebra ZP450
- Zebra ZT230
- Zebra ZT410
Please note that both PNG and GIF file formats are also well-suited for normal printers as they produce accurate colors on the normal sheet of paper. However, when it comes to thermal printers, you require a different image file format to print shipping labels the way they should be.
Once the format is chosen and you have the right printer in hand, you can set the printer settings to print the shipping label right from your WooCommerce store by downloading the label. A simple shipping label will look like as shown below:
In the zebra printer websites, you can always take a reference on how to print these shipping labels right from your store.
As Said above:
This article covers how to print WooCommerce shipping labels on thermal printers (Zebra printers) from your WooCommerce store. There are various ways to generate shipping labels from your WooCommerce store, and it does help in various customs clearance options especially when it comes to international shipping.
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