Printing barcodes without other barcode products

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1 1 Labels: Special Topics Printing Barcodes Overview A barcode is a series of printed vertical bars, which can be machine-read using an optical input device such as a light pen, a beam reader, or a slot scanner. CounterPoint allows you to format and output CounterPoint data into printed barcodes. CounterPoint can translate text and codes into printed vertical bars without the use of other manufacturers barcode hardware and/or software. You can also use CounterPoint in conjunction with third-party products to produce barcode images. This document explains how to print barcodes, and provides a description of the barcode types supported by CounterPoint. Printing barcodes without other barcode products CounterPoint contains the ability to format a line of text for output as a barcode for use with most dot matrix and laser printers. Four basic steps are required to print a barcode on a label: 1. Set up the physical definition for the label (See Physical Definitions for more information.) 2. Set up a barcode definition for the type of barcode to print (See Barcode Definitions for more information.) 3. Define the custom format, including the data to print in barcode format (See Custom Formats for more information.) 4. Print the label (See Printing Labels for more information.) These four steps are described in more detail in the following sections, using an Inventory Item label as an example where the Barcode field for each item prints as a Code 39 type barcode.

2 Labels: Special Topics - Printing Barcodes 2 Setting up the physical definition Select Setup / Labels / Physical definitions. You must consider the height of the printed barcode when setting up the physical definition for a label on which to print the barcode. This screen illustrates a physical definition for multi-up 1-inch labels on which a.5-inch high barcode is to be printed on a printer set at 6 lines per inch. Note the entry of 4 for Lines per label. The.5-inch barcode will occupy three physical lines on the label, leaving three additional physical lines for printing of other data. Because a barcode is always considered to be one print line (regardless of its height), there are actually only 4 print lines available per label.

3 Labels: Special Topics - Printing Barcodes 3 Setting up the barcode definition Select Setup / Labels / Barcode definitions. You must set up a barcode definition in order to print a barcode if you are not using another manufacturer s barcode products. The definition provides the information required to format the barcode for printing. If you are using an intelligent barcode printer, such as the Barcode Blaster (by Cognitive Solutions, Inc.), the internal barcode functions provided by the barcode definition are not required. This screen shows a barcode definition for Code 39 barcodes. NOTE: The Code 39 barcode is probably the most commonly used barcode because it allows from 2 to 30 characters to be barcoded, including numbers, letters, and some punctuation. Any lower case letters in the text are converted to upper case for bar coding. For descriptions of all the barcode types supported by CounterPoint, see the Barcode types section on page 7 for more information. In the example, the Code 39 barcode is defined to print on an IBM Proprinter compatible printer. You should specify the appropriate type of printer for Printer type. When you have completed setting up the barcode definition, you can print a test barcode by pressing F2 at Field number to change?. You can then use a barcode reader or scanner to scan this barcode to ensure that it is readable.

4 Labels: Special Topics - Printing Barcodes 4 Defining the custom format Select Setup / Labels / Custom formats. These screens illustrate a custom format for Inventory Item labels, where the Barcode field prints in barcode format. On the first screen, note that the physical definition specific to barcode printing is entered for Definition ID.

5 Labels: Special Topics - Printing Barcodes 5 If your barcode definition indicated that the barcodes print on an HP Laserjet II printer in landscape orientation, and you want any text or other data to also print in landscape mode, you would specify the control codes that place the printer in landscape mode for Pre-run-print-control and the control codes to return the printer to portrait orientation for Post-run-print-control. On the second screen, when you enter Yes to Bar for the Barcode field, you are asked to specify the ID of the barcode definition to use for this field. Enter CODE39 to use the Code 39 barcode definition. Note that Pre- fld-print-control and Post-fld-print-control codes are not required to print a Code 39 barcode on an IBM Proprinter when using CounterPoint independently of other barcode products. Under certain circumstances, your printer may require control codes in these fields to restore the normal print mode when barcode printing completes. If you want to print barcodes for individual color/sizes of gridded items, you must also select to print Descrip-2 in the custom format. When you specify to print this field, you should select an option 1 through 9 in the window that appears. NOTE: Secondary barcodes for items or color/sizes cannot be printed on labels. Printing the barcode labels Select Labels / Print / Labels. This screen shows how you would print the Inventory Item labels, with a quantity of 1 for each item. NOTE: To print individual color/size barcodes, you must press F2 at Qty per selected record to print the inventory quantity on hand for the items. (To print a different quantity for your gridded items, create a Tag record for the item and print labels from those tags.)

6 Labels: Special Topics - Printing Barcodes 6 NOTE: Secondary cell barcodes can not be printed on user-defined forms or labels. Be sure to select the printer that corresponds with the printer that is specified in the barcode definition. If a barcode cannot be generated at print time, an error message indicating why the barcode could not be generated prints on the label, and printing is terminated. For example, the message Barcode generation error prints if the data to be encoded is invalid. An Internal buffer overflow message indicates that too many dots have been generated for the labels. Use smaller barcodes or fewer labels across the page. When printing UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN/JAN-13, EAN/JAN-8, Codabar, Zip+4 Postnet, or UCC-128 barcodes, if the data to be encoded is blank (all spaces), the blank data is replaced by a string of zeros of the specified length. For Codabar barcodes, the first zero is then replaced with A and the last zero is replaced with B. Prior to printing a large group of barcode labels for the first time, you should print a smaller test group, then use your barcode scanner or reader to verify that the printed barcodes can actually be read. (Note that special post office equipment is required to read Zip+4 Postnet barcodes.) If the printing of a barcode leaves your printer in an undesirable state, enter control codes in Post-fld-print-control for the barcoded field in the custom format to restore the printer to the desired state. Printing barcodes using other barcode products Through the use of appropriate special control codes in a custom format, CounterPoint can output data for production of barcodes by barcode printers, PC plug-in cards, and barcode software. Barcode printer Although many printers can print matrix dots densely enough to form readable bars, very few printers are intelligent enough to translate text and control codes into bars. The Barcode Blaster, by Cognitive Solutions, Inc., is one example of an intelligent printer. Below is an example of the entries for an Inventory type custom format to print item numbers (field D) in barcode format on the Barcode Blaster: Fld Row Col Len Bar Pre-fld-print-control Post-fld-print-control 14. D N BB_HDR_A BLAST HEADER A BB_PCHW1 BLAST PITCH 1/W Since Item Number is printing as a barcode, and the item numbers for the items may vary in length, you may want to specify 0 (instead of 15 ) for the Len column to suppress trailing spaces on item numbers less than 15 characters.

7 Labels: Special Topics - Printing Barcodes 7 The following is an example of the entries for an Inventory type custom format to print item numbers (field D) in barcode format and to print item descriptions (field E) in text format: Fld Row Col Len Bar Pre-fld-print-control Post-fld-print-control 14. D N BB_HDR_A BLAST HEADER A BB_PCHW1 BLAST PITCH 1/W 15. E N BB_ST_43 BLAST STRING 43 None Note that there are too many control codes to enter individually for Pre-fld-print-control, so a predefined code group is required. In this example, CODEGROUPA is defined with the following control codes: Hexadecimal format: D 0A F F ASCII format:! (cr)BARCODE CODE The CODEGROUPA control codes establish a barcode type of Code 39, and set positioning and height of the barcode. CODEGROUPB is defined with the following control codes: Hexadecimal format: ASCII format: S 5X The CODEGROUPB control codes use Barcode Blaster s STRING command to establish a font size of 5x7, and set positioning of the text string. The last Post-fld-print-control codes (OD0A454E440D0A) terminate barcode printing. The ASCII equivalent of these control codes is (cr)(lf)end(cr)(lf). Barcode types When used without other hardware and/or software, CounterPoint supports printing of the following barcode types: UPC-A Code 128 UPC-E EAN/JAN-13 EAN/JAN-8 Codabar Zip+4 Postnet MSI Plessey Code 39 (3 of 9) Code 93 Extended Code 39 Extended Code 93 Interleaved 2 of 5 UCC-128 This section explains the characteristics of each barcode type, including its character set and any special information required to set up that barcode type for printing in CounterPoint.

8 Labels: Special Topics - Printing Barcodes 8 NOTE: Several barcode types support or require a checksum character that is used to validate the other barcode characters. The checksum character is automatically determined by CounterPoint and added to the barcode characters as necessary. UPC-A The UPC-A barcode is the standard for items that are typically sold to the public. UPC-A barcodes are used for most edible consumer products. UPC-A barcodes contain numeric data only, and require a checksum character that may be optionally printed as text. The UPC-A barcode is composed of one system character, a five-digit manufacturer number, a five-digit product number, and a system-supplied checksum number, for a total of 12 digits. A system of 0, a manufacturer of 12345, and a product number of would print as follows: Regular UPC-A coded items have a system character of 0. If you are creating your own UPC-A identifiers for use solely within your own operation, use system character 4 as the first character of the field to be barcoded. Both two-digit and five-digit supplementals are supported for the UPC-A barcodes. CounterPoint will automatically switch to the proper supplemental, based on the length of the characters provided as input (13 or 16 characters, not including the checksum digit). If an incorrect number of characters is provided, or a letter or space is included, a barcode generation error occurs and will print on the label. UPC-E The UPC-E barcode is the smallest barcode available. It contains the same information as the UPC-A, but the 10 data characters (manufacturer number + product number) and checksum characters are compressed into six characters by suppressing zeros. For UPC-E, the data characters must include at least four zeros. A system of 0, a manufacturer of 12300, and a product number of would print as follows: Like UPC-A, UPC-E barcodes are either 11, 13, or 16 numeric digits, and require a checksum character that may be optionally printed as text. Both two-digit and five-digit supplementals are supported for the UPC-E barcodes in the same manner as UPC-A.

9 Labels: Special Topics - Printing Barcodes 9 EAN/JAN-13 and EAN/JAN-8 Both EAN/JAN barcodes are used for products that require a country origin. EAN/JAN barcodes contain numeric data only, and require a checksum character that may be optionally printed as text. EAN/JAN-13 is used to encode 12 digits plus a checksum character (for a total of 13 characters), while EAN/JAN-8 is used to encode seven digits plus a checksum character (for a total of eight characters). The first two digits are used to identify the country of origin, the next 10 digits (five digits for EAN/JAN-8) are data characters, and the last digit is the system-supplied checksum character. Both two-digit and five-digit supplementals are supported for the EAN/JAN barcodes in the same manner as UPC-A. Examples of EAN/JAN-13 and EAN/JAN-8 barcodes are shown below: EAN/JAN-13 EAN/JAN Code 39 (3 of 9) The Code 39 barcode is probably the most commonly used barcode because it allows numbers, letters, and some punctuation to be barcoded. From two to 30 characters can be supplied in the data to be barcoded. Spaces can be barcoded, and any lower case letters in the input data are converted to upper case. The Code 39 barcode is self-checking, but you may also select to add a checksum digit to end of the barcode. Code 39 barcodes are one of the few barcode types that allow you to control the width of the wide bar by defining it as a ratio of the narrow bar. The only other barcode types that allow width control are Extended Code 39 and Interleaved 2 of 5 barcodes. The available ratios are 2 to 1 (wide bar is twice as wide as narrow bar), 3 to 1, and 5 to 2. Note that when the 5 to 2 ratio is selected, all barcode widths are doubled. An example of the Code 39 barcode is shown below: CODE 39 Extended Code 39 The Extended Code 39 barcode is the expanded version of the Code 39 barcode. The Extended Code 39 supports every character in the ASCII character set, allowing full support of upper and lower case letters, as well as control codes.

10 Labels: Special Topics - Printing Barcodes 10 Like Code 39, from two to 30 characters can be supplied in the data to be barcoded for Extended Code 39. The Extended 39 barcode requires twice as many bars (twice the width) per character as Code 39. Two ASCII characters are generated for each character to be encoded. Extended Code 39 is also self-checking, but supports printing of a checksum digit at the end of the barcode. Variable width ratios for wide bars can also be specified for Extended Code 39, as described above for Code 39 barcodes. An example of the Extended Code 39 barcode is shown below: Extended 39 Interleaved 2 of 5 The Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode (also called code 25) is a numeric-only barcode that prints out a little larger than the UPC-A barcode when 10 digits are encoded. The Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode allows from two to 30 digits. The Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode requires an even number of digits to be encoded. CounterPoint automatically appends a leading zero if the number of data characters (including the checksum character, if used) is odd. The use of a checksum character is optional with the Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode. When used, the checksum character prints at the end of the barcode. Variable width ratios for wide bars can also be specified for Interleaved 2 of 5, as described above for Code 39 barcodes. An example of the Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode is shown below: Code 128 The Code 128 barcode is a very compact barcode. From two to 30 characters, using the full ASCII 128 character set, can be encoded with this barcode. There are actually three different character subsets that are provided for this barcode. CounterPoint automatically uses the subset that will result in the smallest barcode, based on the characters in the input data. If a Code 128 barcode contains four or more consecutive numbers, the numbers are encoded in double-density mode (two numbers are encoded into one character width). Code 128 requires a checksum character that may be optionally printed as text.

11 Labels: Special Topics - Printing Barcodes 11 An example of the Code 128 barcode is shown below: UCC-128 The UCC-128 barcode is specifically used for shipping containers for those who ship items with a UPC code. The UCC-128 barcode is a 19-digit fixed length numeric barcode that uses the doubledensity character subset described above for Code 128. UCC-128 requires a checksum character. When the UCC-128 barcode is used for keyboard data entry, the barcode and checksum digit should be printed as text below the barcode. An example of the UCC-128 barcode is shown below: Codabar The Codabar barcode can print numeric characters, as well as six symbols (- $ : /. +). There are also four special start/stop characters (A, B, C, and D) that must exist in the data to be encoded. From two to 30 characters can be encoded. This barcode is useful for encoding dollar and mathematical figures because a decimal point, plus sign, minus sign, and dollar sign can be encoded. Codabar is self-checking, but supports printing of a checksum digit at the end of the barcode, just before the stop character. An example of the Codabar barcode is shown below: A B Zip+4 Postnet The Zip+4 Postnet barcode is placed on the lower right of envelopes or postcards to speed mail through the postal service. This barcode takes advantage of reduced postage rates. The barcode is made up of tall and short bars with even spacing between each bar. Both five-digit and nine-digit zip codes can be encoded into the Postnet barcode (the hyphen in position six of a 10-digit zip code is automatically removed by CounterPoint to ensure a nine-digit zip code). A correction digit is added to each Postnet barcode, and is used by the Post Office s barcode reader to identify reading errors.

12 Labels: Special Topics - Printing Barcodes 12 Text cannot be printed for Zip+4 Postnet barcodes. When setting up a barcode definition for the Zip+4 Postnet barcode, you should answer No to Print spaces? In addition, the bar height you specify in barcode definition is ignored for Postnet barcodes. The post office has specific requirements for the position of Postnet barcodes on envelopes and post cards. Check with your local post office to ensure that your placement of these barcodes meets these requirements. An example of a Zip+4 Postnet barcode for zip code is shown below: MSI Plessey The MSI Plessey barcode is used most often in the grocery industry for shelf labels. MSI Plessey is a numeric only barcode, from two to 30 digits. Each barcode consists of a forward start code, the data characters, one or two check digits, and a reverse start code. The MSI Plessey code is not self-checking, so the use of a checksum is recommended. An example of the MSI Plessey barcode is shown below: Code 93 and Extended Code 93 The Code 93 and Extended Code 93 barcodes are compressed versions of Code 39 and Extended Code 39. Code 93 has the advantage of encoding the entire Code 39 character set with a smaller character width. However, this is a more difficult image to read and many barcode readers do not support this barcode. From two to 30 characters can be supplied in the data to be barcoded. Code 93 allows numbers, letters, six symbols (- $ : /. +), and four control characters. A start and stop character are added to the barcode, along with two check characters. Spaces can be barcoded, and any lower case letters in the input data are converted to upper case. Extended Code 93 uses Code 93 to encode the entire 128 ASCII character set by using combinations of control characters and basic data characters. Examples of Code 93 and Extended Code 93 barcodes are shown below: Code 93 Extended Code 93 CODE 93 Extended 93

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