Friday, January 1, 2010

Text Orientation and Zones Using PowisPrint Software and the Fastback PowisPrinter

Author: Jeff McRitchie


When using the PowisPrint software with the P31 Printer you can customize your text in a huge number of ways. This article will discuss the options for editing text orientation and the use of zones within the software. These features allow you to take your text and use it in creative ways on your Fastback strips. In fact using zones you can print text on virtually any part of the strip and you can orient it so that it runs up and down, top to bottom, bottom to top or left to right.

Text Orientation

You can orient your text in different orientations with the buttons labeled "ABC" on your Design Window's bottom tool bar. You have three orientations to choose from: Landscape, Portrait, and Stacked. These orientations refer to how text appears on the strip. With the PowisPrint software you can change the orientations at any time while designing your strip. In Landscape and Portrait orientations, you can enter up to five lines of text. Just press ENTER when you want to create a new line. Stacked orientation allows only one line of text. If you have a lot of text, try Landscape orientation. Although you can use only one orientation per zone, you can use different orientations in different zones.


A zone designates a certain area on a strip. You can put text or an image in one, and adjust it to fit your design needs. And while the PowisPrinter keyboard offers three areas where you can print, PowisPrint software lets you use up to five. This means you can place text or images practically anywhere on the strip.

1. Bars: Along the bottom edge of the Design Window are rectangular bars ("zone bars") that designate where the zones are in your design. The default setting has three print areas, so three bars are displayed when you open the Design Window. Only one can be active at a time. The active one is designated by the white bar; inactive ones are designated by grey bars. To activate a different zone, simply place your cursor in the corresponding area on the strip or on the bar itself, and click your mouse. The one you click becomes active, and the bar directly beneath it changes from grey to white.

2. Adding:To add a new printable area, go to the Insert menu, select "Insert-Zone", then choose Left or Right. This inserts a new box to the right or left of the current active area.

3. Clearing: Clearing a box deletes all the text or the image in it. To clear the contents of an area, insert the cursor in the box you want to clear. Now go to the Edit menu, and select "Clear-Zone Contents".

4. Removing: Removing a box deletes the the printable area from the strip. You can only have up to five printable areas so it is sometimes necessary to delete one to add another. To remove one, first insert your cursor in the box you want to delete. Clear its contents, if it has any (you cannot remove a box that contains text or an image). After clearing the box, go to the Edit menu and select "Remove-Zone".

5. Resizing: You may resize a single area by placing your cursor at the box's edge. Your arrow becomes a double-ended, horizontal arrow. In this mode, click and hold the mouse button and slide the box's boundary to its new location. To resize two areas simultaneously, place your cursor in the gap between two bars. Your arrow becomes a little hand. Click the mouse button and hold it down, while sliding to the left or the right. This resizes the two areas simultaneously, maintaining the gap between them.

6. How Styles Work: The style choices you make affect the entire contents of the active area. For example, if you enter text, then press the "Bold" style button, all text in the area becomes bold. Or if you're in a area, and press the Landscape orientation, everything in the selected box orients in Landscape. You have many formatting options, but you can use only one of each per zone-i.e., each area may contain only one font, at one point size, in one style, in one orientation, at one alignment setting. So while you can't have a single printable area with two styles, you can use two zones to create a similar effect. You can also type text in different styles in any drawing program, save it as a monochromatic bitmap image, and then insert it on your strip.

If you are interested in more information about the PowisPrint Software and Fastback PowisPrinter or are looking for Fastback Binding Machines or Fastback Binding Strips you should visit They are the largest online dealer for Powis Parker Fastback products in the United States. In fact, they carry the entire line of Powis Parker Fastback binding products.