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What Software is Used to Print Labels? – Free and Paid Label Design Software

print label software

Label design software makes it simple to create labels and print them directly from your chosen label maker for fast, easy use. That way, you can print labels on demand to lower your expenses and improve your cash flow.

Whether you’re a designer or hoping to take advantage of pre-built templates that you update with your product name or barcode, you’ll find something for everyone on this list.

Top Label Printing Software

Ready to get started designing your company’s labels? Pick one of these software options and customize your designs to meet your needs. 

1. Canva

Canva is every small business owner’s dream. Without a graphic designer, you can create stunning graphics for your business using the enormous library of templates. Whether you’re looking for label templates or social media graphics, you’ll find it within Canva. The software is free, but to get access to advanced templates, designs, icons, images and more, you’ll need to pay for a subscription.


Best for: Free label maker software


  • More than 8,000 free graphics templates, including some product labels
  • Design grids help beginners get started while creating attractive designs
  • Free design software for anyone with a web browser


  • Limited number of graphics editing tools
  • Using the templates too heavily could mean your labels look like everyone else’s
  • Inability to copyright designs if based on a template

2. NiceLabel

NiceLabel offers a great tool for label designers. However, you’ll need to have a requirement for a diverse set of label designs to make this software pay off. It’s fairly pricey, especially if you want to have more than one user. This is a good software option for more advanced companies that have complicated requirements and need integrations with other software.

Best for: Outstanding customer support


  • Good customer support
  • Simple to learn regardless of your skill level
  • Easy to print
  • Connects to outside software, such as Dynamics 365
  • User-friendly interface


  • Pricey
  • Some design elements are complicated, such as tables
  • Users report that exporting their designs for printing can deteriorate the graphics quality
  • Ability to adjust graphics is limited

3. Adobe Creative Cloud Express

Adobe Creative Cloud Express is formerly Adobe Spark. The web-based software makes it easy to design both labels and other marketing materials, including social media graphics. And while there are many great tools for beginners, the software is much more targeted toward advanced designers. 

While there are many pre-built templates to help beginners get started, the library is not as expansive as Canva. The inclusion of the community keeps that library fresh and populated with new templates.

Best for: Mobile-friendly label design software


  • Easy way to load branding materials
  • Excellent templates to help you get started
  • Super simple tools help those with no graphic design experience
  • Mobile app
  • Community designs keep the template library updated


  • Although the mobile app is a great asset, it’s limited in its usefulness
  • Template library is limited
  • Video and audio editing are complicated and limiting


4. Inkscape

Inkscape is an outstanding alternative to Illustrator and supports the ability to draw designs digitally. If you’re just starting your career as a graphic designer and have limited financial resources or you manage a small business with very little money to spend on software, Inkscape is a great free alternative.

Best for: Ability to digitally draw designs


  • Works like Adobe Illustrator without the price tag
  • Donation-based pricing
  • Simple setup
  • Edit a variety of image file types
  • No limits to what you can create


  • Lacks some advanced image editing features
  • Rendering is somewhat slow
  • Interface is dated and clunky
  • Support is limited since this is a free and open-source option

5. BarTender

BarTender is an outstanding barcoding software. But if you’re looking to make fancy labels, look to one of the other graphic design software options, such as Canva or Adobe Creative Cloud Express. The biggest setback is that it doesn’t work on Macs, which is unfortunate since many graphic designers use Macs.

Best for: Barcoding label maker software


  • Offers a free trial to help you get started
  • Provides label templates of all types, including barcodes and RFID tags
  • Serialization feature
  • Good for QR codes


  • No Mac version is available
  • Preview can be different than the actual label
  • Pricey
  • Customer support is time-consuming as there is no chat feature

Label Software from Your Printer’s Manufacturer

Before you decide what software to use, you should look into what comes with your label printer. Many printer manufacturers provide free label printing software with the purchase of your device.

The benefit of using this software is that it is perfectly tailored to meet the needs of your printer, including label sizes. However, if your printer does not include software or templates, you can explore your options from above to find the perfect combination of tools to meet your business’s needs.

label software

Can I Use Microsoft Word for Label Design?

To some extent, yes, you can use Microsoft Word to create labels. Many label printer manufacturers provide basic templates in Word to help you get started. However, you won’t be able to do much in Word with design. 

Word will be great for creating mail merges for mailing labels or the like, but it won’t be the best for more advanced tools like barcoding or product labels that require special designs.

And if you’re planning to print product labels with specific requirements, such as food labels or hand sanitizer labels that have strict regulations under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you likely won’t have enough flexibility within Word to design your labels from start to finish.

Do Label Printers Come with Software?

Many label printers do come with proprietary software. Examples of proprietary label printer software include the following.

  • ZebraDesigner for Zebra printers
  • CABlabel S3 Lite for CAB printers
  • LabelWriter for DYMO printers

So should you pick your label printer based on its proprietary software? While the software can be a part of your evaluation criteria, it should not be the only element you evaluate. It’s better to focus on:

  • Inkjet vs. laser printer
  • Desktop vs. portable vs. industrial
  • Volume of printing required
  • Printer resolution requirements
  • Printer warranty and support
  • Cost of consumables (i.e., ink, ribbon, labels, etc.)
  • Print speed requirements

Before you start your search for a label maker, read up on label maker types, uses and best brands. This will help you get your search started off right and reduce the number of variables in selecting the best printer for your needs.

Still need help finding the right label printer? Reach out to our team for insights. We help businesses of all sizes, industries and types find label printers and corresponding software to meet their demands. 

We support the US and Canada with finding outstanding label printers and high-quality, affordable supplies. 

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