For small business owners as well as regular postal customers, the United States Postal Service (USPS) offers the USPS Shipping Assistant. The Shipping Assistant is a free program that allows postal customers to register with the USPS, and then calculate postage and print shipping labels through their personal computers. These shipping labels print on inkjet or laser printers as well as with one of two thermal printers. The Zebra LP 2844-Z and Zebra S4M are the only two thermal printers approved for printing USPS labels.

Download and install the USPS Shipping Assistant (see Resources). This program is necessary to print USPS-approved shipping labels on a thermal printer.

Connect either the Zebra LP 2844-Z or Zebra S4M thermal printer to your personal computer.

Install the driver for the Zebra LP 2844-Z or Zebra S4M thermal printer from the CD-ROM included with your printer if the driver does not install automatically. Follow the prompts displayed on the computer screen until you are notified the printer is successfully installed. It will now appear in your control panel as a printer.

Double-click to open the USPS Shipping Assistant program.

Input your parcel's shipping destination, weight, size and package service choices (such as First Class Mail) in the USPS Shipping Assistant fields.

Click "Calculate Postage."

Press the green "Print" button. This brings up the standard print dialogue box for your computer. If necessary, click the down arrow beside the "Name" field to select your Zebra LP 2844-Z or Zebra S4M thermal printer.

Make sure that print range "All" is selected, and press the "OK" button to print your USPS shipping label on your thermal printer.


The USPS Shipping Assistant prints large shipping labels only, not postage. You can purchase postage separately online or at your local post office, or you can print postage from your postage meter.