Knowledge Base

Unfragging And Defragmenting Labels

Problem

NiceLabel software uses compound file structure for storing labels. Internally, compound files are organized into storages and streams, in much the same way that a hard disk is organized into folders and files.  The compound file structure has some benefits, because you can easily store different data and structures into a single file.

However, one of the disadvantages is that if you frequently load and save labels the compound files can cause the file size to increase much more quickly than non-compound files. Theoretically, a compound file containing just a few kilobytes of data could consume a megabyte or more of disk space.

It is a good practice to minimize the label size, when you are done with a label design.

Solution

To defragment labels, first you have to determine what caused the file increase. There are two main reasons affecting the label file size.

REASON 1: Usage of embedded images

When you embed images into the label, you make the solution more portable. You can copy the label file to the user and the image is provided in the same step (it iss part of the label). The side effect is increase of the label file as it has to contain the image itself. By default, NiceLabel will store all embedded images as uncompressed .BMP files that can occupy a lot of space.

Immediate solution is to enable compression of embedded images.

Do the following:

  1. Start NiceLabel Pro.
  2. Select Tools -> Options.
  3. Select NiceLabel -> Settings.
  4. Enable the option Compress embedded graphics stored in the label.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Save the label using File -> Save As.
    NOTE: Do not use the regular Save command as it will not rewrite the label from scratch.


REASON 2: Frequently changing and saving the label file

When you save the data to NiceLabel label template, some extra unnecessary data can be written to the file, because of its compound files structure. Luckily, there are utilities that allow you to compact your label files. The utilities can defragment NiceLabel label templates in a similar way that utilities defragment hard disks.

Some freeware compound file defragment utilities:

  • EcoSqueeze
  • Unfrag: a bit older software from Ziff Davis (1997). You can still find it here.

If you constantly work with the label files and save them frequently it makes sense to occasionally run defragmenter to compress your labels and remove unnecessary data, at least when you are ready to publish your labels, or send them to the end user.

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