Color Label Solutions

Color Label Solutions

Sunday, September 28, 2014

GHS Drum Label Template & Database

To get ready for GHS, many companies today are designing label formats for their drums.  One means to optimize your label designs is to use label design software that enables you to connect to a database to import variable data.  In this post, I’ll show you how to use an example database and drum label format.

You can get the example BarTender format and Database here from our website,  

To use the GHS Drum Label Template and Database, you first need to download BarTender software from Seagull Scientific.  You can use this software for 30 days prior to purchase.  Download the software here:

Purchase BarTender Professional or Automation here:

Prior to using the GHS Drum Label Template and Database, Color Label Solutions recommends reviewing two training videos from Seagull Scientific on BarTender:

For this label design project, we assume the user has a basic understanding of BarTender; or is willing to learn.

To start the project, fill in the basic information required for each product in the Excel database.  The basic information includes the following:

·        Name
·        Product Identifier
·        Signal Word
·        Hazard Statements
·        Precautionary Statements
·        First Aid
·        Pictogram 1
·        Pictogram 2
·        Pictogram 3

Feel free to add other categories of information into your database:  such as Additional Information, Ingredients, etc.  You can easily add these other fields of data to your label later.

While adding the data to the Excel database, be sure to insert the correct formatting of the statements, especially carriage returns.  To insure a carriage return, press the Alt key and Enter key together.

Next set up a directory (i.e. C:\Users\Guy Mikel\Documents\GHS\Pictograms) containing the GHS pictograms you require for your labels.  You can download all of the GHS pictograms here:  In your database, edit the directory path for each pictogram required for each product.

Once the data is added, be sure to save the database to the same location as the BarTender file.  Then close it.  You can’t edit the database once BarTender is opened.

After opening the BarTender template, you’ll need to select the correct printer and page setup.  This template assumes a GP-C831 printer using an 8” x 10.875” standard label; both available from Color Label Solutions.  Purchase the GP-C831 printer and labels here: 

Be sure to review BarTender basics to insure you have the correct printer and page layout selected.

Also know; all text is selected to adjust the print fonts to maintain the box size.

In BarTender, click on “Layers” tab in the bottom right section to see the various layers of the label template.

On the Embedded layer, right click and select “Show Only This Layer”.  In this layer, replace the logo file by right clicking, selecting properties, selecting “Picture: on the left side of the Properties dialog box, and selecting “file” to upload your logo.  Also, replace your address information by selecting the address box, right clicking and selecting “Properties”, selecting “Data Source”, and changing the address information.

Next select the Variable layer, right click and select “Show Only This Layer”.  This layer will contain the information you’ve added to the database.

Move these text boxes around the template to fit your specific requirements and aesthetics.  Once finished, right click again on the Variable layer and select show all.

Then select the Print Time layer, right click to select "Show Only This Layer".  Here will have the print time data that can be added prior to a print job. 

If you do not want to have this data added at print time, just delete the boxes.  To add other information such as Fill Date, Expiration Date, Fill Location, etc, just copy the pair of boxes, right click on the variable data text box, select properties, select data source, select transforms, and click on Data Entry Control.

 In this dialog box, you will need to add the correct type of data to enter. 

Once complete, select the Data Entry Form at the bottom of the template to see how the print time form looks:

At print time, the operator will need to add the data prior to printing.

3 more layers exist in this template:  Pictogram 1, 2 and 3.  These are set to print only if data is added to the database.  To confirm or change, right click on a “Pictogram” layer and select properties.  In properties, select print options and change as required.

When you select print preview, the print time data entry will open.  Add the variable data to continue to the print job.

Once you select preview, the complete label will be shown:

Now print the label. 

Please know you’ll probably need to make changes to the template to fit your requirements and aesthetics.  Add other colors, images, etc. to improve the look of your label. 

If you need assistance, contact Color Label Solutions at 855-962-7670.  We’ll be happy to assist you design and print your GHS Drum labels.  Our goal is to make printing GHS Labels a quick and painless process.

Guy Mikel

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