Creating real barcodes for Adobe InDesign

Barcode Producer generates perfect barcodes. Download a free demo.

Creating barcodes with Adobe InDesign is best done with a powerful, industry-compliant app such as Barcode Producer. Plug-ins aren’t the best solution (you can read why here) and you can’t rely on free online barcode generators as they aren’t necessarily compliant with industry standards nor do they generate the barcodes in the resolution that you need.

You can add barcodes in two ways: either by clicking the InDesign button or by exporting to PDF, EPS or TIFF format.

Step 1: Create the barcode in Barcode Producer. Click the InDesign button. The barcode will be inserted in the top left corner of the layout you’re currently working on as a vector image.

Step 2: In InDesign, drag the barcode where you want it to appear. Do not resize. You can, however, rotate it.

Step 3: Print the layout or export it to a PDF file.

Other ways to insert a barcode into your layout

You can, of course, also export the barcode to an EPS, PDF or TIFF file and drag it to the InDesign page. There are a few caveats, though. If you drag any of these files to the page, InDesign seems to insist on placing it on the Background layer. Better is to create an image frame, select it and drag the barcode into the frame. You can then move it around inside that frame.

If you drag the file, make sure InDesign’s Selection tool is active. Otherwise, your barcode may be treated as text and you will wonder why you can’t move it.

You can also copy-paste an EPS, PDF or TIFF into a frame (or on the page, but see above).

However, it will render as a huge image inside the frame. As you should not resize the barcode after generation, this is not the right way to insert a barcode into an InDesign layout. Other copy-paste options that are available in InDesign don’t seem to result in a correct and desired result, either.

Placing an EPS results in the Type tool being selected and the barcode inserted in whatever frame you were hovering over in mirror view. Placing a TIFF or PDF result in a correct rendering.


Never resize the barcode in InDesign. Instead, if you need to resize, do it in Barcode Producer, using the Factor and Bar Height options. This will ensure the barcode can still be printed and scanned in compliance with the standard for that particular symbology.

It’s a bad idea to change the colors of the barcode or its background. Most barcodes must be printed with as high a contrast as possible — which is black on white — to ensure proper readability for all types of scanners.

Barcode Producer for Mac/PC creates perfect barcodes for retail packages, labels, books, packages, and everything else. Download.

Barcode Producer for Mac/PC creates perfect barcodes for retail packages, labels, books, packages, and everything else.

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