Barcode fonts, QR code apps, and online barcode generators make it possible for you to create your own barcodes and QR codes without using standalone barcode software. These methods, when done properly, do produce scannable barcodes, and they may be fine for occasional use. However, if you need to print more than a handful of barcodes, you’ll be much better served by investing in professional barcode software.
Examples of Alternative Barcode Generation Methods
It is possible to create barcodes without using professional barcode software. For example, we created the following Code 39 barcode in Word by downloading and using a free barcode font:
Once installed, creating the barcode was as simple as typing, albeit with equal signs instead of spaces. However, now that we have the barcode, we need to figure out how to print it onto a label.
You could copy and paste it into your label design file, and that would probably work, but it would be extremely tedious to do this for more than a few labels. Not only that, you’re limited as to what you can encode using a simple barcode font.
We attempted to use a free online barcode generator to create various barcodes and UPC barcodes. Unfortunately, errors were common, especially for those unfamiliar with the various barcode formats and their requirements.
Why Use Professional Barcode Software
Professional barcode software, such as NiceLabel or BarTender 2016, is purpose built specifically for printing barcode and product labels. BarTender 2016, for example, includes more than 400 pre-formatted barcode components and 60 symbologies. It also supports GS1 standards.
You can also connect your Excel spreadsheet to BarTender’s Professional (and above) as well as all of the NiceLabel editions, making creating barcodes for your products a simple matter. Database connectivity and integration with external systems like SAP and Oracle are also available in the advanced editions of these barcode design applications.
Barcode software makes it easy to encode barcodes that comply with various requirements. Both NiceLabel and Seagull Scientific (the maker of BarTender barcode software) update their products frequently to ensure continued compliance as standards change.
Finally, barcode software does more than just generate barcodes. These programs are loaded with advanced label design tools, allowing you to create professional product labels, mailing labels, and barcodes quickly and easily. Automation and Control and Enterprise editions are also available.
While online barcode generators and fonts may create a usable barcode in a pinch, they’re not intended for full-blown barcode production environments. Download a free, 30-day trial version of NiceLabel or BarTender barcode software and experience a better way to create your own barcodes.