We often get questions like, "What printer should I use?" or "Does ShipWorks support my printer?"  The good news is that ShipWorks supports both standard inkjet and/or laser printers as well as thermal printers that support the EPL or ZPL printer languages.  

You can even use both types of printers together.  This might be useful if you wish to print your packing slips or invoices to a regular 8.5" x 11" printer, while having your shipping labels print to a 4" x 6" thermal printer.

Let's take a look at the different types of printers supported and the advantages of each.

Standard Printers (laser/inkjet)

ShipWorks can print to a standard inkjet or laser printer.  This includes printing your packing slips, invoices and/or shipping labels.  As long as your printer is installed in Windows correctly and you can print a Windows test page, you should be able to set up ShipWorks to print to your printer.

Here' a few reasons why using a standard laser or inkjet printer is a good thing: 

  • You can preview the shipping labels.  When you print to a standard printer you can actually preview the shipping labels in ShipWorks.  When printing with a thermal printer using EPL or ZPL, you cannot.
  • If you are using your currently installed inkjet or laser printer, you don't have to buy new equipment.
  • You can add color to your printed packing slips or invoices, such as a color logo.
  • You don't have to buy special paper.
  • You can adjust the size of the labels.
  • You can easily print both a invoice or packing slip and the shipping label to the same 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper using default ShipWorks templates.

Thermal Printers (EPL/ZPL):

Yes! ShipWorks supports thermal printers too.  As long as your printer is installed in Windows correctly and you can print a Windows test page, you should be able to set up ShipWorks to print to your printer. Just be sure that your thermal printer can print EPL or ZPL file types, and prints to a 4"x6" label at 203dpi.

Here are a few reasons why using a thermal printer is a good thing:

  • It's super fast.  Typically, thermal printers print much, much faster than an inkjet or laser printer.
  • Prining to a thermal printer is typically more cost effective than printing to an inkjet or laser printer.
  • You don't have to purchase ink or toner since thermal printers print using heat.
  • Labels never smear, because they aren't printed with ink or toner.
  • Thermal printers take up very little desk space.
  • You don't print have to print whole sheets of labels at a time.

Many common Zebra thermal printers meet the ShipWorks requirements and other manufacturers may as well. (Note that older and/or used models will usually require a firmware update to be able to print the EPL/ZPL file types with a 4"x6" 203dpi format. Be sure to confirm this capability prior to purchasing any used units).  

Let's take a look at some commonly used thermal printers (used in ShipWorks) and their recommended formats:

Formats Supported
Recommended Format
EPL only
Zebra GC420
Zebra RW420
Zebra ZP450
Zebra ZP500
Zebra ZP505
ZPL only
Zebra ZM400
ZPL only

Useful Help Articles

This link will take you to a list of articles related to setting up your printers in ShipWorks.

Still Need Help?

Please feel free to reach out to one of our awesome Customer Care Representatives in St. Louis. We are happy to help.