How to make barcodes

Using our free barcode generator

Introduction

Our barcode generator is a versatile web application (app) that can be used to create barcodes, print barcodes, or export them to an image file. The benefit of printing directly from the generator app is that your barcodes will render as vectors instead of bitmaps—meaning your data will look as crisp as possible.

Basic Operation

The barcode generator has two tabs: Barcode Preview and Print Preview. You create barcodes in the Barcode Preview tab by entering your data into the fields on the panel on the left side of the window. After generating a barcode, you may either export it to an image, or add it to your library on the right side of the window.

The Print Preview tab is where you can insert barcodes from your library into your page. Once added to the Print Preview page area, barcodes can be resized and arranged in any layout you wish before printing.
Note: If you edit a barcode from your library, all instances of that barcode in the Print Preview page area will update to reflect your changes.

Creating Barcodes

Before generating a barcode, you must be on the Barcode Preview tab.

  1. Select a type. (More information about barcode types, or "symbologies")
  2. Input barcode data.
  3. Choose options. (About types and options)
  4. Select color.
  5. Adjust line height: larger number = taller barcode.
  6. Click Generate!

Library

The library is located on the right side of the generator app window. It can be thought of as a filing drawer for all the barcodes you create: a place to organize and keep them until you are ready to print. Currently, the generator does not support saving of projects/libraries across visits, so don't navigate to another page until you're finished with your project.

To use the library, first you must generate a barcode.

  • To add a barcode, click the "+" button. The barcode will be appended to the bottom of your collection.
  • To delete a barcode, select a barcode in your library and click the "-" button.
    Note: This will remove all instances of that barcode from the Print Preview page area.
  • To edit a barcode, select a barcode and click the Edit button; a red box around the barcode in your library will indicate that you are in Edit Mode. Make changes to your barcode data and click Done to save, or Cancel to return.
    Note: If you edit a barcode from your library, all instances of that barcode in the Print Preview page area will update to reflect your changes.

Print Preview

The Print Preview tab is where you arrange your barcodes for printing. You may insert as many copies of your barcodes as you want, and change their sizes and positions. The left side of the window shows information about selected barcodes, and options to modify them.

  • To insert a barcode into the page area, select the barcode from your libray. Next, click the Insert button above the library; the barcode will be appear in your page area with default settings. The red box around it means it is selected, and its specifications will show in the left panel.
  • To resize a barcode in the page area, select it and type new values into the Width and Height fields on the left panel, then click Update.
  • There are two methods to reposition a barcode:
    1. Click and drag the barcode within the page area.
    2. Type a value into the X Position and Y Position fields on the left panel, and click Update.
  • To delete an instance of a barcode from the page area, select it and click the Delete button on the left side of the window, under the information panel.
    Note: This does not affect any other barcodes on the page area or in the library.
  • To clear all barcode instances from the page area, check the Delete all checkbox before clicking the Delete button.

Exporting Barcodes

The bacode generator can export any barcode you create as an image file to save to your computer. If you will be printing your barcodes, try to print directly from the generator app—this will improve image quality.

  • To export a barcode image, first generate a barcode. Then follow these steps:
    1. Click the Export button on the top of the window (above the page area).
    2. Set the scale factor. (Valid range is 1-10)
    3. Select a background color.
    4. Click Export!
      Note: This will open a new browser window.
  • Exported barcodes are saved in the PNG format.

Printing Barcodes

For printer settings, see Print Settings.

  1. Generate a barcode.
  2. Add it to your library.
  3. Insert the barcode into your Print Preview page area.
  4. Adjust size and position.
  5. Click Print!
  6. Your browser will prompt you with a print dialog.

Note: Google Chrome uses its own "print preview" dialog instead of utilizing the system print dialog. If you experience difficulties in Chrome, try switching to a different browser.

Print Settings

The Settings button provides access to the print settings dialog. Update these settings to reflect your printer and paper configuration.

  • Page Setup
    Specify the dimensions of the paper you will use to print.
  • Barcode Elements
    Choose a measurement unit to change how barcode information is displayed in the Print Information panel on the left side of the app window.
  • Minimum Printer Margins
    These numbers represent the closest your printer is capable of printing to the edge of the page. They are neccessary to ensure accurate sizing of your barcodes.

    If your barcodes are printing with incorrect sizing, print a test page:
    1. Click the Test page button.
    2. The app will automatically calibrate your settings.
    3. Read the display window and click Ok.
    4. Click Save to save your new settings.

Generator Options

Options appear in the space below the barcode data entry box on the Barcode Preview window.

  • Add 2 or 5 digits: Check this box to appened a 2- or 5-digit extention to certain barcode types. (Available on UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-13, EAN-8, and ISBN.)
  • Calculate check digit: Check this box if you'd like the generator to compute the required check digit to your barcode automatically. (Available on UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-13, and EAN-8.)
  • Show text: Check this box to show optional numbers underneath the barcode. (Available on Add 2 or 5, Standard 2 of 5, Interleaved 2 of 5, MSI Modified Plessey, and Code 128.)
  • Add check digit: Check this box if you'd like the generator to add an optional check digit to your barcode. (Available on Standard 2 of 5, Interleaved 2 of 5, and MSI Modified Plessey.)
  • Check digit in text: Check this box to show the optional check digit with the data underneath the barcode. (Available on Standard 2 of 5, Interleaved 2 of 5, and MSI Modified Plessey.)
  • Convert from UPC-A: Check this box if you'd like the generator to reformat a UPC-A code to another type. (Available on UPC-E and EAN-13.)
  • Convert from UPC-E: Check this box if you'd like the generator to reformat a UPC-E code to UPC-A. (Available on UPC-A.)
  • ISBN text: Check this box to show the ISBN number above the barcode symbol. (Available on ISBN.)
  • Show special characters: Check this box to show special characters in the barcode data text. (Available on Code 128.)
  • Error correction: Choose how much correction to use; L=Low, M=Medium, Q=Quartile, H=High. (Available on QR Code.)