Time for a Change – Try EntomoLabels!

tl;dr: Bugtag is retired, try EntomoLabels instead! You can get it at https://labels.entomo.pl.

Hi all, it’s been a while! While we live in interesting times right now, there are good things going on as well. This is the perfect time to learn new tools to help get ready for the next field season, and I want to introduce you to EntomoLabels, which can be downloaded from https://labels.entomo.pl! This is an absolutely free program tailored to entomologists, but it is flexible enough to apply to anything you want to collect. It does pretty much anything you can think of in terms of visual label design – including adding images and barcodes, a real neat way to create serial numbered labels, and you can generate labels from databases via CSV files!

When I was looking at where I was going with the next version of Bugtag after a long hiatus, I checked around the web to see what other people were doing. I found EntomoLabels during that search, and I was impressed with what I saw as I tested the program – it was doing almost everything I wanted to do with the BugTag project, and also some things I hadn’t thought of that are great features. I decided I wanted to help this project succeed in what way I could, and started corresponding with Grzegorz Banasiak, the creator of EntomoLabels, over English translation and feature enhancements.

He invited me to assist his team and we focused on features, testing, and writing the EntomoLabels user manual in English (the EntomoLabels team is from Poland, and they have had a global mindset from the beginning, wanting to make EntomoLabels available worldwide). The first revision of that manual is available on the EntomoLabels website and we look forward to feedback to make both the manual, tutorials and EntomoLabels better for you collectors out there!

Accordingly, I’m retiring the BugTag labelmaker, with a huge thank you to all you who have tried/used it over the years. I have ideas for companion projects in the future; perhaps they will happen, perhaps not. I’m glad for the experience of creating and sharing the Insect Collection Labelmaker over the years and wish you all the best!

Keep Collecting!


Word 2016

Hi all!

I have tested the  label maker with Word 2016 on both  Windows and Mac versions and after a couple of tweaks, I think it will work just fine.

Please let me know if you find anything odd with Word 2016.  I think I will use this time to make other improvements as well.  Make use of the the new feedback form, as you can send me screenshots of the errors you receive.

Have a great day and Keep Collecting!

The case of the missing Create Labels button

For you Mac 2011 users out there…

What do you do if you accidentally delete  the “Create Labels” button and cannot start the Labelmaker?

Don’t despair!  Here is how to fix that:

From the Word menu, click on “View” then “Toolbars”.  You will see several entries that may or may not have checkmarks next to them.  One of these entries is “LabelMaker”.  Click on this and the “Create Labels” button will return.

Restore the Create Labels button on the Mac
Restore the Create Labels button on the Mac


Thanks to Dr. William J. Turner for bringing this to my attention.

Serial Numbered Labels!

The latest feature I have added is the ability to generate unique serial numbered labels. So far this is only on the single label layout, but this can be expanded in the future.

Serial Number Label ScreenHow it works is that you set up your serial numbers how you like; add a prefix or a suffix like the example above, pick your start number (required) and # of digits.   You can set the font, size and weight here which will only affect the serial numbers in this batch.  Set your label count and save to the list.  When the labels are generated they will come out like this:

Serial Number proof labelsHope these are useful!  Keep Collecting!

I’d like to see the gridlines, please…

One comment I’d received was that one could not see the gridlines of their label document.  This is a MS Word feature, and here is how to reveal or hide the gridlines:

Click anywhere in your created label document, then go to the ribbon and click on “Layout” under the “Table Tools” category.  To the left, you should see the “View Gridlines” link.  Clicking on the link will toggle the visibility of the table’s gridlines.

Starting the Labelmaker

Here is how to start the labelmaker the first time you download it:

After downloading the labelmaker, double-click the file to start Microsoft Word.

You will be prompted to enable macros – to trust the document.  You will also have to enable editing of the document in order to unlock the labelmaker routine.  This will vary slightly between Word versions 2010, 2013 & 2016.

Once this is done…

Windows 2010, 2013, 2016/Mac 2016: click on the Add-ins tab on the ribbon, then click the Create Labels link

Mac 2011: Click on the Create Labels button that appears near the top left.

The start screen will pop up and you can proceed from there.