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What is the Easiest Way to Make CD and DVD Labels?

Katharine Swan
Katharine Swan

Compact disc (CD) and digital versatile disc (DVD) labels are most easily made with CD labeling software, self-adhesive label sheets, and an inkjet printer. The software allows labels to be designed and printed from a home computer, while the pre-cut, self-adhesive labels and the finish produced by a printer create an attractive, professional look. The choice of software will depend on how an individual wants the finished product to look.

There are many different software programs available for making labels, ranging from free programs available online and in packages of label sheets to the professional-grade software available for purchase. Although the free versions of the software create professional-looking CD and DVD labels, professional software often allows the user to create more elaborate effects.

A stack of CDs.
A stack of CDs.

There are also several different choices of pre-cut, self-adhesive labels available. They are sold in sheets the size of a standard piece of paper, to allow them to pass easily through a printer. Each manufacturer has its own layout on the sheet, so the software needs to be compatible with the brand of labels that the user chooses. The labels also come in different finishes, such as glossy or matte. Colored, metallic, or other fun label designs are also sometimes available.

An inkjet printer, which can be used to make CD and DVD labels.
An inkjet printer, which can be used to make CD and DVD labels.

CD and DVD labels are a great way to organize a collection of burned discs. They also allow people to quickly and easily differentiate between file backup, music CDs, home video DVDs, and other data storage. Homemade labels can also offer a fun way to customize the appearance of your discs with text and images.

Packages of labels are available for purchase at office supply stores and other places that sell paper and computer labels. Software sometimes comes inside packages of label sheets, and free programs is also available online. Expanded versions of CD labeling software are available for purchase in office supply and computer stores, as well as via the Internet.

Discussion Comments


Some say a "Sharpie" can potentially wreck CDs and DVDs by seeping through the disk to the other side, effectively ruining data/files on the CD/DVD. However, I myself have marked more CDs and DVDs then I can count, and none, (that I know of) have suffered any damage due to the Sharpie or permanent felt marker. So, labeling a CD/DVD with a felt marker such as a "Sharpie", I would say is completely fine to do. Completely covering entire CD/DVD in black felt marker from top to bottom? Not so good, maybe?


I'm going to print labels for copies of an old LP that's no longer on the market to give to my family members. That way the CD will stand out from other burned CDs that they will have sitting around the house.

For most purposes, a Sharpie works well, is much cheaper, won't peel off, and won't mess up the balance of the CD.


Is there any good reason why I should not use a marker like Sharpie -- cheap and quick -- to label CDs and DVDs?

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    • A stack of CDs.
      A stack of CDs.
    • An inkjet printer, which can be used to make CD and DVD labels.
      By: luchshen
      An inkjet printer, which can be used to make CD and DVD labels.