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ZEBRA Setup Utilities – Configuring Printer Settings

Using the Zebra Setup Utility to configure the printer settings

Applies To
Zebra Printers
Excludes: ZQ110, EM220, EM220II
Zebra Setup Utility

Download the Zebra Setup Utility Read More
A Supported Windows PC

The Zebra Setup Utility can be used to configure printer settings.

To make changes, open the ZSU, select your printer, and click Configure Printer Settings:



Note: The option available on each screen may vary depending on the printer model.

The 1st screen for Label Parameters is where you can set the Label Size and Orientation:



cm, mm, inches

Width – The width of the label using the Units selected above.

Note: An error will occur if you exceed the maximum allowed by the printer model you are configuring.

The length of the label you are using.

Note: For ZPL Printers Non-Continuous Media (Gap, Notch, Hole or Black Mark) length is internally set when the printer is calibrated. Use of Continuous Media may use this value but the label length is often included in the format.

The labels normally print bottom first but can be inverted to be top first.

Explain orientation Read More

The next screen you can select Speed and Darkness:


Values are limited to the printer capabilities. The media and ribbon (if used) should be matched to the speed you are expecting to use in your printing application. As a note, slower speeds are recommended for resin ribbon applications or when the print quality needs to be improved.

Values are limited to the printer capabilities. There may be limits to the darkness you can set especially when using ribbon. Wax ribbons use lower values while resin ribbons and polyester labels use the higher ranges. If your ribbon is tearing, distorting your Darkness setting is too high.

The next screen you can choose, Print mode - Thermal Transfer or Direct Thermal, Media Type - Web Sensing, Continuous, or Mark.

Print Mode

  • Select the type of media you are using in the application.
  • Thermal = Thermal Transfer (Using Ribbon).
  • Direct = Direct Thermal (Not using Ribbon. The media has a heat sensitive coating that darkens when heated)

There is a video showing how to test your labels for Direct Thermal printing Read More

Media Type

  • Selections are based on the printer media sensing options.
  • Web Sensing – Used for media with inter-label gaps, Notches or Holes.
  • Mark Sensing is used for media with a black mark on the back of the liner or labels
  • Continuous – Media that does not have or need a top of form indicator. The printer is told to print a specific length on the labels without automatic top of form correction.

Note: If you are unsure what media type you have see the following link:  Read More

Tear Off Adjust
This modifies the resting position of the label to fine tune the tear, cut or peel resting position.

Label Shift
This alters the horizontal position of all the printed fields. This is normally used to slightly compensate the horizontal position if sending a single format to multiple printers. If you are only using one printer adjust your label format field positions and leave this value at zero (0).

Continue Wizard
Continue Wizard with Advanced Settings allows you to configure additional printer configurations.
On the Advanced setting you can set the Media Handling – Tear Off, Rewind, Peel Off, Cutter, or Applicator. Media Feed options for Power On and Head Close – Calibration, Feed, Label Length or No Motion, and Backfeed – Default, Before, or After:

  • Media Handling
  • This sets the way the label is presented after printing.
  • Tear Off – The label stops with the top of form at the tear bar. This allows for the gap to rest on the tear bar for easy tearing.
  • Rewind – Disables backfeed and is typically used when the printer has the Rewind Spindle Option
  • Peel Off – Used when the printer is equipped with the Peel Off Option. It enables take label sensors to detect a peeled label. Printing is halted until the peeled label is removed from the take label sensor path.
  • Cutter – Used when the printer is equipped with a cutter option.
  • Applicator – Used when the printer is using an Applicator Port for external device control of the printing
  • Stream – Used with the ZE printers in applicator environment.

Every X Labels
Typically used for Pause or Cut applications to print X number then Pause or Cut.

Media Feed Options – This configures the printer for action after power on or error recovery. By default the printer will calibrate to the labels when un-paused and assures that the sensors and label lengths are optimized. The ZSU defaults to “Feed to Next Label” so change this if you wish to have the printer measure labels after opening the printhead or powering on the printer.

For more detail and recommended settings  Read More

  • Feed to Next Label – detects the first top of form (gap/mark/notch/hole) and feeds to the resting position
  • Calibrate Media – Sets the sensor values and measures the labels then feeds to the resting position
  • Set Label Length – Measures the labels length the feeds to the resting position
  • No Feed – No motion after error recovery or power up


  • Set the backfeed sequence.
  • Default Settings – Backfeeds before printing the label
  • No Backfeed – Printer never feeds the label back under the printhead. There will be a dead band where you cannot print when this is enabled.
  • Before Print – The label backfeeds before it starts the next print cycle
  • After Print – The Label Prints and then immediately backfeeds.

Mirror Image
Only check if you wish to print with a reversed image.

If your printer has a Real Time Clock option you can set the time format:

For printers with an LCD display you can define Front Panel Protection:

These selectively Enable/Disable printer button response or setup function. The response varies by printer model. If in doubt leave these all checked.

Sensor Settings is the next screen.

Unless you are familiar with these values it is best to leave these blank and allow printer calibration to set these values.

On the last screen you have the option to save settings to a file:

Clicking Finish will send the changes to the selected printer.

Need further help? Get in touch with one of our trained specialists.

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