Steve's blog

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Books Labels.

A few weeks ago Joel Spolsky blogged that he wanted a way to manage his company library.

One of the requirements was to be able to print out a label for his books. This struck a cord with me and I looked into the possibility of including this as part of

Now I should add that I own a Dymo LabelWriter 320, it’s a great label printer, easy to use, versatile, the labels are great, clear text and they stick really well to the packages.

Here’s what a 99012 address label with book data looks like:

I purchased the printer to print the address and stamp labels when I ship a book. Previously I’d been using 14 labels/ A4 sheet on an inkjet printer, this was really rather painful and I won’t tell you how many times I printed on a label that I’d already used, put the sheet in upside down and even put the sheet in, switched the printer on and found another document in the queue printing onto my labels – I did that a few times!.

I found only one commercial component package on Component Source that I thought would do the trick and I was all ready to write a .NET app to use that. However I realised that Dymo do add-ins for Word etc for the printer so I decided to search their website for a SDK.

The developers section wasn’t to hard to find and the SDK was quickly downloaded.

Dymo provide a very wide range of examples and good documentation for the SDK, even samples for Internet Explorer and FireFox.

It turns out to be quite easy to use the COM objects supplied by the Dymo software to automate label creation, and with the addition of a bit of JavaScript this can be made to print out labels from a web page.

I had problems with FireFox as it wasn’t happy creating the COM object due to security restrictions; I think I need to sign the JavaScript .js file. I will have to spend some more time investigating this.

So the result of all this is that earlier today (actually yesterday as it’s 2am now) I uploaded Item labeller for, and You can see how to use the Item Labeller in a posting on the community forum of

The labeller allows fields from your book, CD or DVD entry to be printed out, you can define different label definitions and store these in your ( and account.

I have to take my hat off to Dymo, I love the printer. The SDK and resources they provide for developers is great. Thank you Dymo! I will be buying another Dymo LabelWriter one day soon! (So I don't have to change labels and so I can test the Item Labeller better).

If you want to read the very lengthy thread of replies Joel got to his request it can be found here - some where about half way down is a post from me plugging :-D

BTW: Check out the “I’m Reading” and “My Wish List” in the sidebar on the right here, these come from RSS feeds generated from my account – more on that in a post soon.


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