Bar Codes: Creating and Printing Inventory Labels

How can I create bar codes for my products?

We are often asked  this question and how it relates to Connected.  More specifically – how can I create/generate bar codes for my products from within Connected?

The simple answer is to make your product number (Item Number) the bar code by changing the font on a printed form, like an Item Label, to a bar code font.  However, creating your own bar codes that can be read by your own or your customers scanners is different than reading an existing bar code, and requires a few little tricks.

In the following example, using Connected on Demand, we will explain how to:

-Customize an Item Label

-Configure your own Item Number field to be a readable bar code

-Print the item label for your manufactured finished product

 

1: Customize Item Label:

To customize the item label form:

1) Select File -> Company Setup -> I/C Forms

2) Select Labels from the pull down menu

3) Click the Label you wish to edit and click “Customize” to open the editor window.

The label form is now ready to edit.

 

2: Configure the Item Number Field to be a Readable Bar Code

The important part of this step is making a readable bar code.    When creating your own bar codes there is little known tweak required so that it can be read by a scanner.  Simply changing a field to a bar code font will not make it a readable bar code.  The field, in this case the Item Number, must have an asterisk at the start and finish.

To create a bar code readable field for the Item Number:

1) Add a text box to your form and draw it in the location you want the bar code placed

2) Double click the text box and enter the following text:

[con(‘*’,INIT_ITEMNO,’*’)]

NOTE:   If this formula, which adds an asterisk * character to the front and back of the item number, is not used, the bar code will not be readable by a scanner.

3) Click off the text box to close the edit window

4) Click on the text box and change the font to a bar code font.  In our example, we have selected a font available in Connected on Demand called Free 3 of 9 Extended.

5) Move the field and change the font size to make the bar code bigger.

6) Click “Finish” to save

 

3: Printing the Bar Code Label

A good example of where to print a bar code, which you have created, is from the Manufacture window in Connected.   Printing a bar code for your manufactured products may be a requirement on product labelling and packing slips for some of your customers.

To print the bar code from the Manufacture window:

1) Locate the Manufacture entry in the Manufacture/Work Order screen

2) Click the Print and choose “Master Item Labels”.

3) Select the label you wish to print from the pull down menu and direct to the correct printer.

4) The sample bar code label we created, will print as:

NOTE:  Testing a label by printing to blank paper can be helpful.   A bar code can be scanned to Notepad or TextEdit to confirm that it is being read correctly.

References:

1)Information on Connected on Demand

2) Information on the Free 3 of 9 Bar Code Font and Bar Code Printing

3) How to Customize Forms, including item labels, is located in “Appendix 2 – Customizing Forms” under your Connected Help menu.

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