Design, print, and control the production of GHS labeling with BarTender Intelligent Templates™. In this video, you will learn how to use the GHS sample label template included in BarTender Professional and above to create and automate GHS-compliant labeling.
This video covers the following:
- Working with the sample GHS label
- Preparing your database for use with the sample
- Adding pictograms
- Controlling layers
- Formating pictograms using named data sources
The United Nations created the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of
Chemicals (GHS) to standardize the labeling of chemicals as they are sold and transported
internationally. BarTender provides intuitive, easy-to-use GHS label templates that help you meet GHS labeling requirements and produce consistent, compliant labeling throughout your enterprise.
The BarTender GHS label templates are completely configurable and feature:
- Automated population of hazard statements, precautionary statements, and GHS-mandated
pictograms in the correct size for the application, with multiple formatting options, including
linear- and diamond-shaped arrangements.
- Support for multiple languages, including all six of the official UN languages.
If you do not use BarTender's GHS sample templates, you can add GHS symbols to your custom
templates using the Seagull GHS symbol font.
BarTender 2016 and later.
Professional edition and above.
Using BarTender's GHS Sample Templates
BarTender installs two sample GHS label templates and a sample data file into the following folders on
BarTender 2016: Documents\BarTender\BarTender Documents\GHS
BarTender 2019 and later: C:\Program Files\Seagull\BarTender 2021\Templates\GHS
A GHS-compliant label must contain the following elements:
- Product Identifier (ingredient disclosure): The name and/ or number used to identify a
- Symbols: Pictograms that convey the health, physical and environmental hazards associated
with the product.
- Signal words: The words "Danger" or "Warning" are used to emphasize hazards and indicate
the severity of the hazards. (Some lower-level hazard categories do not require signal words.)
Only one signal word corresponding to the class of the most severe hazard should be used on
- GHS hazard statements: Also called H-statements, these are standard phrases applied to a
hazard class and category that describe the nature of the hazard. An appropriate statement
for each GHS hazard should be included on the label for products containing more than one
- GHS precautionary statements: Also called P-statements, these are statements that
describe how to minimize or prevent adverse effects of the product.
- Supplier identification: The name, address, and telephone number of the product supplier.
The sample database contains fields for each of the elements required under the GHS. To prepare
your database, you will need to enter values for each of the required fields.
- Open the sample GHS label that you want by selecting the correct template by navigating to Documents\BarTender\BarTender Documents\GHSin BarTender.
- From Documents\BarTender\BarTender Documents\GHS, open the database file GHS.csv using a text editor application such as Notepad. This CSV is already connected to the GHS sample label.
The template objects in the sample label are linked to fields in GHS.csv for
each GHS-required label element, as well as several that are optional. (See the table below.)
- Using the text editor, replace the existing data in each field of GHS.csv with the data that your
label requires. To help you get started, the BarTender samples include placeholder text in
- When you have finished updating the database fields, save and close GHS.csv, and then save
the BarTender document. Saving the BarTender document refreshes the template objects
with the updated database content.
The product identifier information. This is the product name portion of the Product Identifier requirement.
The symbols that visually describe the risks inherent in the chemical. For more information about the available symbols that you can use and how to add them to the database, refer to Appendix A - Specifying GHS Pictograms.
The signal word corresponding to the class of the most severe hazard associated with the product. Either “WARNING” or “DANGER”.
The H-statements (standard phrases corresponding to a hazard class and category that describe the nature of the hazard).
The P-statements (standardized instructions that describe how to minimize risks in product handling).
The unique numerical identifier that represents the recommended transport protocol according to the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Part of the Product Identifier requirement.
The unique numerical identifier assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) to the chemical substance defined by the label. Part of the Product Identifier requirement.
This field may be useful for your label design, but it is not required under GHS.
This field may be useful for your label design, but it is not required under GHS.
The name of the product manufacturer. Part of the Supplier identification requirement.
The manufacturer's address. Part of the Supplier identification requirement.
Additional information. This field is permitted but not required under GHS.
BarTender 2019 and later
The templates included with the 2019 and later versions of BarTender do not include a sample database (GHS.csv). Instead, the labels have been pre-configured with the option to add a data entry form that allows you to input values for the necessary fields at print time. No connected database is needed for the label to work.
Simply check the Enable data entry form box after selecting a GHS template when starting a new document in the New Document Wizard.
If you would like to automate the printing of these labels, you may want to use a connected database instead. In this case, leave the Enable data entry form unchecked. You can download an example CSV database at the bottom of this article.
Modify the Sample Label
The sample templates include a document-level VBScript specified in the BarTender Document
Options dialog. This VBScript draws the symbols requested at print-time into the rectangular area
reserved for holding the symbols. The following steps will help you set up your sample label.
- Select the appropriate label from the selection of GHS templates in the New Document Wizard.
- From the File menu, select Print and specify your printer in the Print dialog. As implemented in
virtually all countries, GHS requires a red border on pictograms. Therefore, either the printer
you select must be able to print red items, or you must use stock that is pre-printed with red
- From the File menu, select Page Setup and set the label size.
- Click OK to close the Page Setup dialog.
- Adjust the label layout and position the template objects as desired.
- Locate the Pictogram Area rectangle on the label design area. This is where the pictograms
will appear at print-time. This object is in a locked layer, and it must be unlocked before
- To unlock the Pictogram Area rectangle, select the Layers tab at the bottom of the Toolbox,
then click the icon in the Pictogram Area layer.
- Change the size of the Pictogram Area rectangle (or box) as you wish and move it to the
- Double-click the Pictogram Area rectangle to open the Box Properties dialog. On the Position
property page, verify that its reference point is Top Left.
- Specify the names of the pictogram(s) you want to be printed at print-time. For detailed instructions, see Appendix A - Specifying GHS Pictograms.
- Re-lock the Pictogram Area layer by clicking the icon.
The document has a number of named GHS text objects that affect how the symbols are drawn. To view and edit them, click the Data Sources tab at the bottom of the Toolbox and expand the Named Data Sources node. Most of these data sources are set to be Embedded Data (static data), meaning that the desired values are specified in the document directly.
The available text data sources are listed below. To edit one of the data source's values, double-click on the desired named data source.
- GHS_ColorsToDraw - Determines which objects to draw. Possible values are:
- <blank> = Draw all objects.
- Red = Draw the red text and red diamonds only.
- Black = Draw the black text and black symbols only.
- GHS_HorizontalAlignment - Controls the placement of the pictograms within the pictogram area. Possible values are:
- Center (default).
- GHS_Pattern - Controls how multiple requested symbols will be positioned. Possible values are:
- Line = One single line of pictograms.
- Sawtooth = One jagged line of pictograms.
- Argyle = Pictograms placed in an argyle pattern.
- Auto (the default) = One of the three above patterns will be automatically
selected based on which one results in the largest pictograms.
- GHS_RedColor - Specifies a value of red for the pictogram borders. If no value is specified, the default red color is used. Although color can be specified using any VBScript-compatible syntax,
we recommend using one of the BTColor methods, such as “BtColor.FromRGB(255, 0,
- GHS_SpacingMethod - Controls the positioning between symbols. Possible values are:
- Overlapping (default) = Red borders of adjacent diamonds will overlap.
- Touching = Red borders of adjacent diamonds will just touch each other.
- Gapped = There will be a space between red borders of adjacent diamonds.
- GHS_VerticalAlignment - Controls the placement of the pictograms within the pictogram area. Possible values are:
- Center (default)
If you choose to use a database instead of the Data Entry Form, be sure to connect the field that specifies the desired symbols to the GHS_Pictograms data source (found in Named Data Sources, in the Data Sources tab of the Toolbox). Specify the database fields for the following label elements:
- Signal Word
- Hazard Statements (“H-statements”)
- Precautionary Statements (“P-statements”)
- Supplier Information
- Any needed supplemental information
Save your BarTender document. Print a label to make sure the contents are correct.
Appendix A - Specifying GHS Pictograms
The sample templates use a coding system to indicate which symbols to print on the label. Each
symbol can be indicated by using either its long name or its short name, as shown in the table
Multiple symbols can be indicated by separating their codes with semicolons, such as “Skull;
Health” or “Exploding Bomb; Gas Cylinder.” Follow these steps to specify the GHS pictograms:
- Select the Layers tab at the bottom of the Toolbox and then click the icon in the
Pictogram Area layer to unlock the Pictogram Area rectangle.
- At the bottom of the Toolbox, select the Data Sources tab.
- Double-click the GHS_Pictograms named data source. The Named Data Sources dialog
- In the Sample Data area, enter the short or long names of the pictograms you wish to
appear at print-time. If you're entering more than one pictogram name, be sure to
separate them with a semicolon (i.e., Bomb; Flame).
- When you're done entering the pictogram data, click Close to close the Named Data