Using Database Connections to Print Labels from Excel Data

Originally appeared on The Human Readable Blog, by TEKLYNX.


If you are using an Excel spreadsheet or other database (such as Access, SQL, or a full ERP system) to manage your business and product data, there’s an easy way to eliminate manual processes from your label printing process! Most pain points in labeling processes stem from having too much room for human error and a lack of automation. Leveraging your existing Excel spreadsheets in your label printing process can help you save time, save money, and maximize your efficiency.

What you need to know about printing labels from Excel using database connections:

database connection

Manual processes suck. Manual label printing processes without with database connections look something like this:

  1. Open Excel sheet.
  2. Open label design software
  3. Toggle between the two looking for order numbers, quantities, opening another label file for reference, or manually populating information.
  4. Cross your fingers and hope everything was entered correctly.
  5. Be prepared to throw away labels with errors.
  6. Correct the labels and reprint. Second times the charm! Or is it the third time?
  7. $%&!

A manual process is inefficient and prone to errors. The more data fields that need to be manually populated, the more room for error. If a mistake is made, you either have to manually go back in and fix it, or worse, you don’t catch it until later after substantial damage is already done. This can waste time, resources, and money. This process can also be inefficient when a new product is released, and you have to create a new label. Instead of starting from scratch, you can input the new product’s information into your Excel spreadsheet and it’ll automatically be a part of your label printing system. It’s data management instead of label management.


Database connections are a feature in TEKLYNX label design software that enable label templates to pull variable data in from an existing database. Excel spreadsheets can be considered a simple database, and as businesses grow and become more complex, they might graduate to a full database software such as Access. Database connections allow you to select a key data element (such as the part number or order number), and all other data is automatically populated on the label. Instead of maintaining hundreds of separate label files, you can create a handful of label templates that use Excel spreadsheets to print variable data.

Here’s an example of using database connections to print variable data on nutrition facts labels.

  1. Open label design software.
  2. Click on Data Sources, and then click Create/Edit Query.
  3. Select Excel and name your database.
  4. Browse and attach your database file.
  5. Save your query so it can be used again in the future.
  6. Select the necessary fields (columns) that you would like to use on your label template.
  7. ?

That’s it! Once this connection is made, you can use this saved query on other label templates if the same information needs to be used elsewhere.

Case Study

LABELVIEW: The Real Good Life Completely Eliminates Manual Processes

The Real Good Life is a meal delivery service in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since 2016, they have been serving the Greater Milwaukee area with nutritious, delicious, and cost-effective meals delivered right to their customers’ doors. When business started growing more, they ran into some roadblocks with their current labeling process. Their manual, handwritten labeling process was time consuming and produced costly labeling errors. The team at The Real Good Life was looking for an in-house label printing solution that could eliminate manual processes and accurately print their food and delivery labels from their Excel spreadsheet.

After collaborating with the team at TEKLYNX, The Real Good Life decided to go with LABELVIEW, a robust barcode label creation and integration software that checked all their boxes for an in-house label printing solution.  “Now that we have LABELVIEW, it takes a matter of seconds to print labels,” stated Maggie Joos, owner and founder of The Real Good Life. “If we have a new product that needs to be entered into the database we simply open an Excel spreadsheet, add the data, and it’s ready to go.” With their newly implemented label printing software, The Real Good Life successfully eliminated their old labeling process of manually entering information on every product label, while simultaneously gaining efficiency with an easy-to-use barcode label design solution with little to no IT involvement.  Now, The Real Good Life can focus on their goal of opening more locations and growing across North America.

Interested to learn more? Click here to read the full case study.

Are you looking to eliminate manual steps in your labeling environment? Click here to download a free, 30-day trial of LABELVIEW barcode label software.