[ic] Linux label printers

Grant emailgrant at gmail.com
Thu Jan 20 17:50:04 EST 2005

> > > Maybe printing a TIFF or PDF isn't where it's at for the Zebra.  USPS
> > > has a third option to create a custom label.  That seems like the one
> > > that's suited for printing like this.  You could use custom ZPL or EPL
> > > that way.
> >
> > If you have one of these custom label files from USPS I should be able
> > to at least test it through my Zebra.  I assumed PNG, Brian says
> > ZPL or EPL... in any case it works.
> Good idea.  I'll see if I can get USPS to tell me if they have a
> ready-to-go custom label available.
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > This has me thinking about using an airbill pouch, laser printer, and
> > > 8.5x11 instead of the Zebra.  I could print the PDF from a browser and
> > > not have to mess with ZPL/EPL or trying to integrate the driver-less
> > > Zebra into the workflow.  If anyone wants to compare the merits of
> > > airbill pouches and thermal labels, I've got some ideas on that.  Let
> > > me know.
> >
> > Are the paper, pouches and ink free like the thermal labels ?
> > Seems more time consuming to deal with sticky pouches
> > and folding paper then to simply peel and place the thermal labels.
> > To me those were compelling to choose the thermal option
> > not the mention the issues of printing a clear bar code.
> I debated this in my head yesterday and couldn't quite come to a conclusion.
> Thermal Pros:
> - free labels
> - small label footprint
> Pouched Paper Pros:
> - one printer instead of two (less setup, less maintenance, simplicity)
> - if shipping internationally, the pouch makes it easy to include the
> necessary documents
> - more securely affixed (sometimes when I get packages returned to me,
> FedEx has covered the label in a clear sticker to keep it on, and when
> I track FedEx packages it sometimes says that the label had to be
> replaced)
> - thermal labels have to be carefully and vigorously applied where
> there are no tape creases, pouches do not
> - just as professional looking (I never would have thought this was
> true but I got a package from Fat Possum Records and they do it this
> way and it looked very professional)
> One other thing is the possibility of really customizing the label
> sheet of paper.  A color laser could print all kinds of things on
> there.  The only problem with this is I'm not sure if you could set up
> a custom label through a laser printer.  It seems like the printer
> might have to have barcode abilities built-in.  There must be some way
> to print barcodes on a laser printer though.
> - Grant

I don't know if anyone else knew but I thought (assumed) the USPS API
would allow you to print postage with your label and hook up to some
kind of an account like UPS or FedEx.  It doesn't.  All this usertag
will be able to do is get a Delivery Confirmation number and get
either a small Delivery Confirmation barcode image or a full-size
label image with address information and the Delivery Confimation
barcode integrated into it.  Better than nothing.  I plan to get one
of those Pitney-Bowes meters and print the postage directly onto the

All there is left to do with this usertag is use ImageMagick to grab
the part of the USPS images we want and optimize their layout on the
page for 8.5" x 5.5" (folded 8.5" x 11").

- Grant

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