Barcode Tips, Tricks, and Suggestions:

The amount and type of information that you need coded into a barcode can greatly affect the symbology you choose. Here are some tips, tricks, and suggestions for a variety of different barcoding scenarios.

Problem: You are using barcode components or applications for printing.

Solution
Use Code128 when encoding uppercase and/or lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation, or any symbol appearing on a standard QWERTY keyboard and lower ASCII functions, up to 40 digits. For encoding several lines of data over 40 characters, PDF415 or Data Matrix barcodes should be used.

Problem: You are using barcode fonts.

Solution
Using Codabar Barcode fonts is recommended for encoding up to 30 numerical digits. When encoding uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols of up to 20 characters, use Code 39 Barcode Fonts for an easy-to-use alpha-numeric symbology. If you need to encode uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation, and ASCII functions up to 40 characters. Use Code 128 Barcode Fonts, or the Universal Barcode Fonts. Any type of data over 40 characters should be encoded with the PDF417 or Datamatrix Barcodes.

Problem: A barcode is sent via a fax machine.

Solution
When faxing a barcode, use the Data Matrix barcode for reliability and small size. If you must use a differeny symbology, print the barcode at the largest size possible, allowing for facilitated scanner reading.

Problem: You need to encode photos, arrays, binary data, Unicode, international or double-byte characters.

SolutionIn this scenario, a two-dimensional symbology (2D barcode) such as the PDF417 or Data Matrix barcode should be used for their large storage capacity.

Problem: You need to create a PDF document with barcodes.

SolutionCreating virus-free portable data files that can be viewed on all operating systems with a PDF viewer is important, so be sure to use one of the following PDF conversion products:

  • Adobe Distiller Server works well with barcode fonts and symbol-encoded fonts.
  • Crystal Reports version 9 and above can easily create PDF documents with barcode fonts
  • PDF Machine version 6.2 is a simple print driver that permits the creation of a PDF document from any printable source and permits small barcode point sizes.