Barcode Scanner Keyboard Wedge

I’ve received a few questions recently about at-home barcode solutions and how to send information from a barcode scanner to an Excel database on a home computer.  For instance, here’s one…

I do not seem to grasp how a bar code reader will scan the bar code label and send it back to Excel. Do you know about this?

This is actually quite simple and all it requires is a keyboard wedge.  I thought it’d be good to go over what a keyboard wedge is, how it works and what it can do for you.

Keyboard wedges can be either hardware or software wedges.  A hardware keyboard wedge is a device that “wedges” between the keyboard and computer unit and helps translate data read by another device into keyboard data.  When you use a keyboard wedge with a barcode scanner, it will convert all barcode characters to keyboard key strokes and send it to the database in use.  The computer actually thinks that any data scanned is being typed in on the keyboard.

A software keyboard wedge offers the same benefits, but in a different way.  A software keyboard wedge connects directly to the COM port and not to the keyboard.  Data from the barcode scanner is sent to the COM port and is rerouted to the keyboard buffer.  Once again, the computer believes the information is coming directly from the keyboard.

Many barcode scanners, like the Intermec SR60 pictured above, come equipped with multiple interface options including a keyboard wedge.  The keyboard wedge is a low-cost answer for those wishing to implement a simple barcode solution and it’s also perfect for in-home use with PC’s.  For more complicated barcode solutions it’s always a good idea to talk to a systems integrator.  If you have any questions about hardware, software or pricing, you can use the tab at the top of the page to contact a systems integrator who sponsors barcode.com.