ZPL labels, they can make the life of many logistics service providers easier. Where to begin when you want to take advantage of the benefits? It can be a piece of cake with the editor in 3PL and Nekovri Dynamics, which allows you to define your own ZPL layouts.

In a series of four blogs, we will take a deep dive in the world of ZPL labels, how to change your own labels and share some tips & tricks. In my previous blog, I explained how the set-up is the backbone of a good ZPL layout. In this blog, I will share more information about the editor’s settings in 3PL- and Nekovri Dynamics.

General Settings in the Layout Editor

Between [] hooks is the field name. You can open the ZPL editor by searching for ‘ZPL’ via the search bar in Dynamics.

  • [Type] determines the structure of the label. For example, the type of “SSCC” automatically generates a three-way split with boxes for:
    • Address;
    • Textual pallet information;
    • The barcodes at the bottom of the label.
  • [Grid Type] determines the positioning of the text boxes relative to the label.
    • Choose an ‘automatic’ variant to make the position dependent on the specified dimensions of the HRI or barcode section.
    • Use ‘manual’ to determine the positions with X and Y coordinates.
  • [Source Table No.] determines the “context” from which values are retrieved. For example: “Document Detail Rule” for a SSCC label and for a pallet package the “Carrier”.
  • [Font Name, Font Height and Font Width (Caption)] determine the default for the caption. [Font Name, Font Height and Font width (Value)] do this for the values. This makes it possible to display caption and value differently. For example: the value large and the caption small.
  • Use [Custom ZPL Format] to add ZPL codes to the header of a label. Use the [assit-edit] button on this field to request the available Dynamics codes. For example, use %7 to print the image, preceded by the coordinates where it should be positioned.
    I will share more about this topic in my upcoming ‘tips and tricks’ blog.
  • [Message Type] becomes relevant when using 3PL- / Nekovri Dynamics in the cloud. In that case, the control of the printer will be handled via a local server installation.


ZPL Layout rules in 3PL / Nekovri Dynamics

  • The [Type] determines the handling of the rule:
    • Text: The result of the [Value Function Set] column is printed, preceded by the value of the heading.
    • Barcode: The [Value Function Set] is printed as barcode 128.
    • Summary: The result of the [Value Function Set] can yield multiple rules, such as the carriers content rules.
    • ZPL: The result of the rule must be a ZPL string. This can be a combination of [Value Function Set] and [ZPL Formatting] columns – the last one must contain %1 to assign the value from the function set to relevant ZPL code.
      This also allows you to add a new default. For example, a different font to the section of the label that follows.
  • Use [Description] to indicate the rule.
  • [Caption] couples the explanation of the value to be printed with the values and automatically keeps them together during printing. Together they form one text, in the sense of: “inscription: value”. Alternatively, you can also define two rules:
    • Fixed text (inscription)
    • Value
  • These can be “independently” positioned. For example, above each other.
  • Use [Value Required] to determine if the label can be printed if the value is missing. This enforces (for example) the compliance of an SSCC label with the GS1 standard. The difference between “Optional (Always Print)” and “Optional (Auto Hide)” determines whether the [Caption] is printed when the [Value] contains no value.
  • The [Value Function Set] column is used to define the value of the text box. A library with standard features is available to retrieve data from the database. Let me give you three examples, which you can use these to get to know the functionality based on the standard labels in your system. If there is no standard label available in your Dynamics environment, please contact your Customer Success Consultant.
    Functions can also be combined, if you want to learn more about this option – please contact your Customer Success Consultant at Boltrics. Common best practices can be found in the standard labels as mentioned before. I will share more examples in my upcoming blog with tips and tricks.

    • The [Value Function Set] field can be clicked. In the screen that opens, you can choose and apply the following features. Then enter the parameters to generate the correct value.
      • Field: Retrieves a field value from the source table chosen from the layout. For example: Carrier Number or Document Number
      • Identifier: Retrieves data corresponding to the GS1-SSCC Identifier you enter as a parameter. Think of 00 for Carrier number, 02 for EAN of the Customer Item or 37 for Quantity. The other parameter determines whether the identifier must be printed. This is necessary if you use the function in a barcode, but undesirable if you work on the text section of the label.
      • Lookup: Retrieves a field value from a table that is related at the database level to the source table. For example, a value of the goods in/out document that belongs to the detail rule or of the batch.
  • Check the checkbox to temporarily disable a rule.


These postings are provided “AS IS” with no warranties and confer no rights.
You assume all risk for your use. For support, please contact your Customer Success Consultant at Boltrics.