Custom QSL and Mailing Labels

XMLog allows you to create custom labels by defining layouts. Creating a new layout isn't simple but you have a lot of control over the results. XMLog includes demonstration layouts that may handle your requirements with a few changes.

A layout specifies:

The Layout Windows

There are three windows used to manage layouts:

Selecting Existing Layouts

To select an existing custom layout:

Previewing, Creating, and Modifying Layouts

To preview, create, or modify a layout:

The Layout Editor Window

The Layout Editor Window is displayed when you select the New, Modify, or Copy buttons from the Layout New/Modify window. This window lets you define what information will appear on the label as well as position, size, color, font, etc.

Defining the Layout Size

The first step in creating a layout is to define the size of the label by setting the Height and Width in the Size/Color box.

Creating New Fields

The next step is to create fields. As each field is created the info for that field will be displayed in a single grid row.

To create a new field select the field type from the Field Type box and then select the New button. The following field types are available:

Data Get data from log entries
Text Display text
Line Draw lines
Circle Draw circles
Picture Display pictures (bmp, gif, or jpg files)

Editing Existing Fields

To change an existing field select the appropriate row in the grid and select the Modify button in the Field Type box (or double-click on a row in the grid).

Some fields in the grid can be directly edited by single-clicking on the grid item. Fields that can be directly edited are: sequence number, QSO number, position, size, thickness, and text source. You can't use direct editing if you are currently editing a row after selecting the Modify button (if you try you'll hear a beep and the whole row will stay highlighted).

Preview and Print Test

The Preview button will display all the fields you've created and any log data fields will be filled with test data. The Print Test button sends a preview to the printer.

QSO Number - Defining QSO Labels for Multiple QSOs

Definitions for Data fields in layouts include the QSO Number which should be set to one for layouts used for a single QSO. If you want to access more than one QSO within a label set the QSO Number to the appropriate value. For example, to create a label for three QSOs you would need to define three data fields for the callsign with QSO Numbers set to 1, 2 and 3. You would also need to create three QSO Time, QSO Date, ..., fields. To demonstrate how to create multi-QSO labels check the supplied layouts Demo QSL-5 and Demo QSL-4 Small.


Pictures - Currently only bitmap (.bmp or .ico) files can be used as a source for pictures. However, many graphics editors and utilities can convert other image types to bitmap files.

Sequence Numbers - If you define fields that overlap it's possible that the order in which they are drawn will be important. You can control the order by setting sequence numbers. All fields without sequence numbers are drawn before any sequenced fields.

Text Only and Data Only options - Text and data fields normally create a colored box with an optional border. When defining data or text fields you can set the Text Only or Data Only option and the box/border won't be displayed.

Show All Borders - When editing a layout it can be helpful to temporarily see the borders of all text and data fields. To show all borders set Show All Borders in the Preview box. This option applies to the Preview and Print Test buttons.

Don't Show Info in Data Fields -This option allows you to preview or print a layout without the test data normally supplied by XMLog. With this feature you can create a QSL card, print the card with the Don't Show Info in Data Fields enabled, and take the result to your local print shop.

Fonts - Text may be not appear exactly the same on the screen preview and the printer, use Print Test to make final adjustments.

Preview Size - The size of the layout displayed on the screen by Preview may not the actual printed size, use Print Test to make final adjustments.

Fat Lines - When the thickness of a line is set to a value greater than 1 the line will have rounded ends that extend beyond the defined limits of the line. The lines may also appear to have a different thickness on the screen preview and on the printer. If this becomes a problem you can draw a thick 'line' by using a text field. Define a text field the size of your 'line' with no text, turn Show Border off, and set both the color and background color to the color for the line. The QSL demo uses this technique for the bottom and the edges of the card.