The Label Overlay feature enables you to add your own information on a carrier label. This could be information such as an extra barcode, internal routing code, order number and logo. Instead of adding information to the carrier label, you create an overlay that is printed on top of the original label. This ensures that the original label can still be updated when you run a carrier update, and you can even use the overlay feature with labels retrieved from a carrier's webservice.
Important: It is always your responsibility to get approval from the carrier if you add your own information to a label. Failing to get approval may cause extra shipping costs and you risk the shipment being rejected.
In the following example, we will show you how to create an overlay with a message to receiver. Many carriers do not have this field included on their label as standard, so if you wish to be able to write a message to your end customer, this can be added using an overlay. Note that not all carrier labels have room available for additional content.
Creating the overlay file
- Open the Consignor Document Editor. It can be found in the Consignor folder, usually located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Consignor. Double-click the ConsignorDocEditor icon to open the application.
- Go to File > New and select Overlay Document. It is important that the paper size and orientation matches the label. Most labels in Consignor have the "Short" size. Click OK.
- You will now see a blank document with the size of a label. This is the canvas where you can add text, lines, barcodes etc. We will add a variable to show the content from the field Message to Receiver in Consignor.
- Click on Text in the Toolbox and drag and drop it to the empty canvas. Place it in an area where you know there will be empty space on the original label. The overlay in this example will be used together with carrier LGT Logistics' label.
- Go to the Properties for the empty text element. Make sure the Data Type is set to Variable. Click the "..." next to Variable to define which variable to use.
- Select the desired variable and click OK. You can enter a search word to filter the list. We will use the R_MSG variable.
- The overlay is now ready to be saved. Go to File > Save as. Name your file and click OK to save the file on your computer.
Activating the overlay file
After you have created the overlay file, you need to activate it in Consignor so it is used on the correct product.
- Go to Setup and open Custom Labels and Documents. If the item has not been added yet, then right-click in the right-hand side pane and select New > Custom Labels and Documents.
- Go to the Overlay Labels tab and click Add.
- Enter a name for your file. We recommend naming your file in a way so you can remember what it is used for, eg. "DHL extra barcode", "LGT receiver message", "UPS QR code".
- Select Load From File and browse to the location where you saved your overlay file and click OK.
- Click OK to close the Custom Labels and Documents window.
- Navigate to the level where you want to apply the overlay. In this example, we want the overlay printed on all the LGT Logistics labels, so we are navigating to the carrier level. Right-click in the right-hand side pane and select New > Overlay Labels.
- Select your overlay in the column with Available overlay labels and click the arrow to move it to the Enabled overlay labels and click OK to save.
- Your overlay label is now active and will be printed on top of the carrier label next time you make a shipment. Below is an example of the LGT Logistics label with the overlay:
Font and orientation
The overlay document must have the same size and orientation as the label and also use the same fonts, e.g. mixing EPL with Arial fonts will generate print errors. To solve this, change the font type used in the overlay file.
Run Consignor On-premises as administrator
For a few carriers using Windows label print using Microsoft Print to PDF/ Microsoft XPS/Cutie PDF etc. a print error might occur due to lack of administrative rights on the temp file. The error will look like "Print:
Error: Could not print C:\Users\DOE\AppData\Local\Temp\16B136625B4D4C8DA11DA24A302B4C21.pdf"
Starting Consignor On-premises as administrator or setting it to run as administrator for all users will make the print possible.
Overlays do not work if the Windows settings "Beta: Use Unicode UTF-8 for worldwide language support" is checked. This setting is found in Windows under Control Panel > Region > Administrative > Language for non-Unicode programs.
Carriers with other label sizes
A few carriers in Consignor have labels sizes that differs slightly from standard size used in Consignor and the size of the overlay must be adjusted to work together with these carriers.
- International - BlueWater (ConceptID ="35"). Size: height = 152.25 mm, width = 101.5 mm, orientation = portrait.
DK - Link Logistics (ConceptID=”82”). Size: height = 150 mm, width = 100 mm, orientation = portrait.
DK - GLS.UniBox (ConceptID=”11”). Size: height = 150 mm, width = 100 mm, orientation = portrait.
DE - GLS (ConceptID=”257”). Size: height = 150 mm, width = 100 mm, orientation = portrait.
- IT – PosteItaliane (ConceptID=”633”). Size: height = 148.375 mm, width = 103.875 mm, orientation = landscape
Change the size using the Consignor Document Editor. Go to Structure section, click on overlay label and change the height and width in the Properties section.