While not a question I see all the time, it comes up enough that I feel it’s worth talking about and writing down a definitive how-to. Specifically, let’s talk about using DYMO printers on a Mac.
In this post, we’ll cover the following:
What is a DYMO label printer?
One of the more ubiquitous brands, DYMO is a company that makes label printers for customers, home-office, and commercial customers. Their entry-level tape-based printers like the LetraTag or LabelManager are great handheld devices for labeling objects, folders, storage containers, or other things around the house or office.
The mid-range sees thermal printers like the LabelWriter series are made for mailing and shipping. The thermal paper does not run when it gets wet and doesn’t require ink to print. Instead, the device uses an electrified ribbon or bar that gets incredibly hot and burns the paper to form the print. This method is not unlike how most cash register receipts are printed at grocery and big-box stores worldwide.
The high-end category of DYMO printers are specialized, like the Rhino and XTL series, and serve a specific purpose.
For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll focus on the LabelWriter series of printers, as that is the most common Dymo product line used by e-commerce businesses.
Related: The Rollo X1040 Wireless Thermal Label Printer is one of the best shipping label printers I’ve ever used. Check out my in-depth review.
Setting Up a Dymo printer on a Mac
1. Unbox and plug in the printer
Suppose you’ve just received your printer and haven’t set it up yet. Do so now. Remove the printer and its accessories from the box. Place the sample thermal paper roll in the printer, with the label side facing down, onto the spool. Place the spool into the printer and feed the labels into the mechanism. Once the printer is plugged into the computer, move to the next step. You’ll know the printer is on by the blue light glowing from the front center of the printer.
Note: the inside of the label printer will have a diagram on how to complete this if you are unsure.
2. Download the Dymo printer software
Open a browser window and head to dymo.com. From the top menu, choose Support, then Downloads.
Look for the Download button for the Mac version of the DYMO Label software from the download page. This software covers all LabelWriter printers and some LabelManager models with computer connectivity. Click the Download button, and the latest version of Dymo’s address label software for Mac will download to your computer.
3. Install the DYMO Label Software
The downloaded file will contain an Installer. Open the file and launch the installer.
Proceed through the installation process, clicking Next as necessary. Installing the Microsoft Office Add-ins will allow for tighter integration with Microsoft Word and the DYMO printer for print jobs like mailing labels from a mail merge.
If your Mac is running macOS Catalina (10.15), the installer will prompt access to some folders and applications during installation. I recommend clicking OK to allow these permissions, even if there’s little chance anything in those folders or applications will be necessary for how you use your DYMO. Some applications don’t handle not having permissions well, and the DYMO software might not work correctly.
Related: my four favorite shipping label printers and when you should use each.
4. Launch the DYMO Label Software for the First Time
Once the software is installed, launch the DYMO Label software. You may receive additional security prompts, like what you saw during the installation process. This is normal for the same reasons I mentioned above. Once the app has launched, it’ll look something like this:
From the left-hand side of the app (1), you can choose which label size is installed in the printer. Then, create the label on the right-hand side (2).
Tips for Printing Amazon FBA Labels
For Amazon sellers, there are specific tips and points to ensure the labels print correctly.
1. You will not be using the DYMO Label software you just installed.
It seems counter-intuitive, but installing the software is still critical to ensuring the FBA labels generated from tools such as Inventory Lab or AZLabels (my favorite FBA label generator) output correctly.
BONUS: If you’re not a DYMO fan, here’s how to get a FREE Zebra thermal printer.
2. Make sure the tool generates the labels using the correct label size.
Tools like these output PDF files based on the given label size (this article has an example screenshot of that). The DYMO printer behaves like a regular printer in that it’ll attempt to print the PDF page precisely as it is formatted on the thermal paper roll. The only difference is that the thermal printer doesn’t detect the paper size, so it’ll typically just bleed over if it is incorrect and the label will look “cut off.”
3. Always only have one label per page in the generated PDF.
This will ensure the labels are printed correctly and quickly. How the label looks individually within the PDF is how it should come out of the printer.
4. Only try to print Seller Central labels to your DYMO printer using a third-party label generation tool.
This might seem unnecessary, but the default sheets of labels Seller Central generates do not conform to the correct document dimensions the DYMO printer can interpret and output correctly. The required ratio is one label per page; Seller Central generates multiple labels per page. Use a third-party tool like AZLabels to ensure the labels are formatted correctly.
5. These rules apply to FBA shipping labels, too.
Even though they’re large, the inbound shipping labels Seller Central generates are not appropriately formatted for thermal label printers of any kind, especially the DYMO LabelWriter. However, a tool like AZLabels solves this problem and creates accurate and correctly formatted shipping labels for inbound FBA shipments.
Setting up a DYMO thermal printer correctly ensures labels are printed accurately and quickly. Having the DYMO Label software installed on your Mac eliminates any issues related to the printer’s interface with the computer. This leaves the source software (like AZLabels) to generate the output PDF to print so you can return to selling.
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