Create your first barcode
Creating your first barcode with Barcode Producer is a simple 3-step process. Barcode Producer can take care of almost everything that goes beyond the information your barcode is to hold, so you don’t need to worry about things like check digits, encoding mode, code page and other specialized settings that require a deep understanding of how barcodes work.
You first may need some basic information about barcode symbologies, though, and further down you will find a glossary of the most common barcodes you can create with Barcode Producer.
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Brief overview of barcode symbologies
Generally speaking, there are three types of barcode symbologies, linear or 1D, 2D and composite barcodes. Linear symbologies are the ones you find in retail and other industries, and they are represented by the typical black bars with spaces in-between. They encode information in one dimension, i.e. the relationship between the bar widths and spaces.
2D barcode symbologies like MaxiCode, Data Matrix and QR Code® encode the information in two dimensions. The information is not stored by using different bar/space widths but by the position of black or white dots.
Composite codes like the GS1 DataBar Composite Symbology combine linear with 2D symbologies. The advantage of these codes is that the linear code component encodes the most important information. The 2D component is used for additional data.
Creating an EAN-13 barcode
Now let’s launch the app (download here if you don't already have Barcode Producer installed) and decide on a barcode to create. For use in retail, the most often used symbologies are EAN-13 and UPC-A. For most other purposes, you can use Code 128. Let’s create an EAN-13 barcode.
Barcode standards are set by international organizations (such as ISO) and industry groups (such as GS1 or HIBCC). If you want your UPC or EAN codes to be unique and globally recognized, you should apply for a barcode at the GS1 website. GS1 is the only official provider of GS1 GTINs and EAN/UPC barcodes globally.
Select the EAN-13 symbology
In the Applications sidebar on the left, select Retail, then scroll down until you see EAN-13. Hovering over the symbologies turns them blue; to select one you can click on the right arrow or anywhere in the blue area. The Create EAN-13 Barcode window will open.
Step 1: type a number in the Content field.
Step 2: select the output resolution for your printer in the Output Device Resolution field.
Step 3 (optional): Set the size of the barcode in the Factor field.
Step 4 (optional): Set the bar height in the Bar Height field.
Step 5: click the Save button and select a format or click one of the app buttons and further incorporate the barcode in your Adobe app or save it in Apple’s Preview.
The Content field contains the actual barcode value. Once you start typing, you will see Barcode Producer automatically changing the last number of your code. That is the automatically calculated check digit. EAN-13 needs exactly 13 digits, so Barcode Producer stops accepting input after the 13th digit. The Add-On field accepts 2 or 5 digits — entering anything else will cause Barcode Producer to ignore your input.
The Output Device Resolution field lets you set your printing resolution for output to TIFF.The Factor field designates the narrowest bar width versus the size of the barcode. If you find the default 100% barcode doesn’t fit the design on a printed page, for example, you can select from 80% to 200% and Barcode Producer will automatically resize the barcode and its bar widths for optimum readability by a scanner.
Changing the Factor field will automatically resize the barcode in the Preview panel in real-time. The Preview panel will also show you the printed size of the barcode in mm.
Finally, the Bar Height field is set to Auto by default, but you can customize it by filling in a height yourself. Barcode Producer will only allow you to enter values that a scanner can read.The Preview panel will show the printed height of the barcode in mm, together with a preview that’s updated in real-time.
The most commonly used barcodes available in Barcode Producer
This code was invented 1972 by Monarch Marking Systems for retail purposes. In 1977, the American Blood Commission defined Codabar 2 as standard symbology for blood banks (=ABC Codabar). The symbology is “self-checking”, so there is no established check sum method.
Code 128 is used in all areas. It was invented 1981 by Computer Identics. Code128 uses a built-in check digit that is part of the code and cannot be omitted. It is never printed in the human readable text.
Code 39 was developed in 1974 by INTERMEC and was standardized by ANSI MH 10.8 M-1983 and MIL-STD-1189. Code 39 is a self-checking code. Code concatenation is possible (if the first encoded character is a space, the scanner concatenates subsequent barcodes).
This code is reserved for the International Article Number administered by the standards organization GS1. The numbers encoded into EAN bar codes are known as Global Trade Item Numbers. EAN-13 is used for identifying articles or products uniquely. Encoded are a 2-digit country code, 5-digits manufacturer code and a 5-digits products code.The check digit is calculated automatically if not specified in the input data — e.g. when only 12 digits are used for creating the code.
UPC-A is used in the United States for the marking of products in retail applications. The numbers encoded into UPC barcodes are known as Global Trade Item Numbers. UPC-A is mainly used for scanning trade items at point of sale. The article number is maintained by GS1 US and uniquely identifies the manufacturer and the product.
This 2D symbology is used to encode large quantities of data and was developed for fast readability (QR = Quick Response) by Denso. The symbol size adjusts automatically to the input data.