Printing Avery labels with Linux

By Michael Stutz on August 10, 2006


One versatile program written for the express purpose of printing on Avery labels is Karl Fogel's Python-based LabelNation.

It outputs formatted PostScript that you can either save to a file or send directly to the print spooler, if you have a PostScript printer or a print filter that converts incoming PostScript to something that your printer understands. You can print from a database of addresses on a single run, such as for printing a mailing list, and in addition to plain text input it can also take PostScript code — which means you can print labels with graphics.

LaTeX packages 

The LaTeX markup language has had a number of solutions for printing Avery labels, and they've been available for years.

While the regular LaTeX letter class is capable of making labels (with the makelabels command), they're only sized for Avery 5352 labels; for more, get and install envlab, a macro package for envelopes and labels. It understands many common Avery sizes by name, but you can also specify your own dimensions for custom labels (or envelopes).

Other potentially useful LaTeX label packages include labelmac3, for printing on Avery 6150 labels, and the labels package, which you can use to print various kinds of labels.

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KBarcode is a barcode and label printing application for KDE. It can be used to print everything from simple business cards up to complex labels with several barcodes (e.g. article descriptions).

KBarcode comes with an easy to use WYSIWYG label designer, a setup wizard, batch import of data for batch printing labels (directly from the delivery note), thousands of predefined labels, database management tools and translations in many languages. Even printing more than 10.000 labels in one go is no problem for KBarcode. Data for printing can be imported from several different data sources, including SQL databases, CSV files and the KDE address book.

Additionally it is a simple barcode generator (similar to the old xbarcode you might know). All major types of barcodes like EAN, UPC, CODE39 and ISBN are supported. Even complex 2D barcodes are supported using third party tools. The generated barcodes can be directly printed or you can export them into images to use them in another application.

KBarcode is free software released under the terms of the GNU GPL.

Anonymous Coward August 11, 2006


Another great tool for working with labels is gLabels

It is a GUI (GTK+) tool for editing label layouts and printing them. It comes with a variety of templates and provides a GUI for creating custom templates as well.

Anonymous August 10, 2006


I have been using GLabels for years and it absolutely blows away everything you mentioned in your article. Its extremely easy to use and supports a very wide range of labels. Please include a mention of this fine program.

Anonymous August 10, 2006

Hate to beat a dead horse 

I know I'm the fourth consecutive post mentioning gLabels, but there's a reason I feel people need to be aware that this article is incomplete. Users switching to Linux from Windows expect trivial tasks under their old OS to be similarly trivial under the new. gLabels accomplishes this with respect to printing labels. Command line programs do not. I'm not saying we should do away with, or neglect to mention the command line tools. I use CLI programs extensively. But not mentioning gLabels in this article was a major oversight.

Anonymous Coward August 11, 2006

Hate to beat a dead horse 

Why not one more mention of gLabels? Because no one has mentioned gLabels DOES have a CLI. It's called 'glabels-batch'. We use it to automate printing labels from our company database at work. Of course we create the label files in the GUI. It's a very slick system.

It doesn't suprise me the articles author missed this one. I've been using Linux for about five years and constantly keep finding really cool programs hidden in obscurity. Need Windows? Not here.

Anonymous Coward August 11, 2006