Tips and Tricks: Printing

Printing. It’s one of the most talked about topics by ShipWorks customers, so we thought we would give you a few helpful pointers. These aren’t earth-shattering tips, but they should help point you in the right direction if you’re a new ShipWorks user or if you’re a current user and are having problems printing.

Thermal vs. Standard Printers

First, if you’re new to ShipWorks, you need to know there are two types of printers – standard and thermal printers.

A thermal printer uses heat to print, and it does this in one of two formats: EPL or ZPL. These are languages that tell the thermal printer how to print the label.

A standard printer uses ink or laser technology to print.

It’s extremely important that you know what type of printer you have, and that you tell ShipWorks software what type of printer you have during the setup process.

Setting-up your printer

For those just starting out with us, the Shipping Setup Wizard will walk you through the process of setting up your printer. Make sure you read all of the computer prompts during the setup, and again, make sure you answer the question about thermal or standard printer correctly! If you have a standard laser or ink printer, don’t check the box that says you have a thermal printer.

If you don’t know what type of printer you have, do a quick internet search with the make/model number. (Or see the chart below.)


If you have a DYMO thermal printer, please call us to help set it up. DYMO thermal printers do not use the traditional EPL/ZPL format and can be tricky.

If you have a thermal printer, we have a step-by-step tutorial just for you where we walk you through each step! Click here for the thermal printer guide.

Printing Rules

The most common printing errors in ShipWorks are generally related to printing rules. Typically, if you don’t change anything on the printing rules screen, you should be fine.

When you process shipments, ShipWorks will (by default) print with these rules:

  •  If a shipment is in the thermal filter, print with a thermal label.
  • Otherwise, always print using a standard label.
  • Some providers also provide rules for international shipments, so you may see:
  • If the shipment is in the international filter, print with a commercial invoice label.


Pro Tip

If you ever find your printing setup not working, this section should be the first place you check. Change the settings to look like the picture and try again.


Let us know if you have a printing question we didn’t address. We’re always available to help!