Labels Print Too Big or Too Small

Steps to try if your labels are printing either too big or too small. Includes checking ShipStation's label layout settings and adjusting printer system preferences.

If the content of your labels appear to print either too big or too small for your label paper, the most likely cause is a mismatch between your settings and preferences. The sections below will guide you through the troubleshooting the most likely causes of this issue.

If you are still unable to resolve the problem, contact ShipStation support for further assistance.

Check ShipStation Label Layout Settings

Go to Settings > Printing > Printing Setup and check your label's Document Options.

  • For thermal label printers (Zebra, DYMO, etc), the label format should be set to one of the 4" x 6" options.

  • For standard desktop printers (laser, inkjet, etc), the label format should be set to one of the 8.5" x 11" options.

Label Printing Setup, Shipping Label Formats. 4 by 6 selected. Preview shows labels in landscape layout.

Regardless of which printer you use, your printer preferences should also match your ShipStation label format and DPI.

Label DPI in ShipStation can be set to 203 DPI or 300 DPI. If you are unsure which DPI you should choose, check your printer documentation.

Adjust Printer Preferences (Windows)

The paper size set in your printer preferences must correspond to the paper size you've selected in ShipStation's Label Document Options. Depending on your printer, there may be multiple places to configure these settings:

  1. Go to your Devices & Printers Control Panel.

  2. Right-click your printer.

    You should see both Printing Preferences and Printer Properties in the contextual menu.

  3. Check the paper size (sometimes called Media size) in Printing Preferences to ensure it corresponds to your label layout from ShipStation.

    Printer preference Page Setup tab with Name highlighted.

    4" x 6" labels are approximately 101mm x 152mm, or near an A6 paper size. 8.5" x 11" corresponds with "Letter" sized paper. If Letter is not available, select the dimensions that correspond with A4-sized paper (201mm x 297mm or 8.27in x 11.69in).

    Select the option in your preferences closest to your actual label size.

  4. Ensure the DPI set in your Printer Preferences matches the DPI set in ShipStation's Document Options.

    Zebra printer preference Graphics tab with resolution set to 203 dpi and dithering set to None.
  5. Check the Printer Properties to ensure any settings here are consistent with your Printing Preferences and set as the default.

  6. Save any changes you have made.

Adjust Printer Settings (MacOS)

Mac users will adjust printer settings using CUPS. If you are not familiar with how to access CUPS, review the How to Access CUPS section under the steps listed below.

The paper size set in your CUPS printer preferences must correspond to the paper size you've selected in ShipStation's Label Document Options.

  1. Open CUPS in your browser.

  2. Select the desired printer from the list.

  3. Choose Set Default Options from the Administration drop-down menu.

    CUPS Admin Menu for DYMO LabelWriter with Set Default Options highlighted.
  4. Check the paper/media size corresponds to the paper size you are using and that you've set in your Label Document Options in ShipStation.

    CUPS Printer Settings screen with Media Size drop-down visible, with the 4 by 6 media size selected

    4" x 6" labels are approximately 101mm x 152mm, or near an A6 paper size. 8.5" x 11" corresponds with "Letter" sized paper. If Letter is not available, select the dimensions that correspond with A4-sized paper (201mm x 297mm or 8.27in x 11.69in).

  5. Check the DPI selected matches the DPI set in your ShipStation Document Options. If you are unsure what this should be, check your printer documentation.

    CUPS printer screen, General tab highlights, shows General settings options.
  6. Click Set Default Options once you have made any adjustments.

How to Access CUPS

You should now see a list of your printers. 

Install the Correct Printer Driver

If you attempt to set your paper/media size in your printer preferences, but the necessary paper size is not available, you may not have the correct driver installed for that printer.

A printer driver is a piece of software that converts the data coming from your computer into a format the printer understands. Depending on your make and model printer, your printer driver may have been pre-installed, downloaded upon connection, or needed to be installed separately. If the latter, you should be able to download the latest drivers from the printer manufacturer website.

For MacOS users:

  • The DYMO LabelWriter driver required for 4" x 6" labels is not pre-installed.

    Download the correct driver for Mac from the DYMO support website.

  • CUPS allows you to select a different driver (if one is available). Click Modify Printer from the Administration menu:

    CUP Maintenance menu with Modify Printer option highlighted.

    Click through two screens until you see the list of available drivers. You can then select one to test with.

EPL1 or EPL2 Zebra Drivers

The Modify Printer step in CUPS primarily applies to Zebra printers, which have the option of either an EPL1 and EPL2 driver. If one is selected, but you are unable to print a test label in CUPS, select the other and print a test label to see which is correct for your configuration.

Remove Unused or Duplicate Printers (Windows)

Uninstall any printer from your system that you no longer use or is a duplicate of another printer instance.

  1. Go to your Devices & Printers Control Panel.

  2. Right-click the printer icon, and select Remove Device from the contextual menu.

    Windows Devices and Printer menu with Remove Device option highlighted.

This will prevent the possibility of selecting the printer with the wrong configuration in ShipStation.

Install Latest Adobe Reader

ShipStation uses the PDF format for labels by default, so it's best to make sure you have the most up-to-date version of Adobe's widely used PDF Reader so that your workstation interprets the documents correctly.

You'll need to agree to Adobe's Terms of Service before their software will be fully functional. Open up any PDF file already on your computer, or start up Adobe Reader as you would any other program. Either of these actions will trigger Adobe's Terms of Service prompt.