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Thread: [RESOLVED] Bar code

  1. #1

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    Resolved [RESOLVED] Bar code

    I'd like to place a barcode on invoices prepared on my (running and well-tested over the years) accounts program, and then read the barcodes into the program when the invoices are paid.

    As far as business rules go, I recognise that I need to have date of invoice, amount, GST component (Australia), Debtor name (alpha string rather than code), name of service (ditto), invoice number.

    Apparently, fitting a barcode reader to a USB port is a trivial exercise, as is printing the barcode on the invoice. Can anyone suggest a way to get started on this?

  2. #2

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    Re: Bar code

    OK! I've done some research and now realise that I cannot put all that info on one barcode. However, I can record the invoice details in a file with a short reference number, and then when payment is received I can reference that stored info and read it into the money's received section of the program. I also see that there are a number of pay-for solutions out there. I am looking at the moment at the free solution offered by joyprakash saikia.

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    Re: Bar code

    Well it depends on the barcode you choose to use. Some barcodes are numeric only, some are fixed length and some can hold a lot of data. For example PDF417 can hold 1K of binary data.
    Code 128 is fairly compact and can store alpha numeric data. Code 3 of 9 also allows for alpha numeric data but the resulting barcode will be a bit larger than one coded in 128. The physical size is the limitation here.

    Sounds like you have a lot of characters in the OP so you would probably need to use a 2d barcode to get all of that in there. The downside is that a 2d bardcode requires a 2d reader and not all scanners support 2d.

    Not sure what pay for solutions you would be looking at or why. Working with barcodes is pretty simple, storing the data and retrieving it are also pretty simple.

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    Re: Bar code

    Surely your invoices already have some unique ID associated with them? That should be plenty, and probably numeric which will give you a broad range of bar code options.

    From previous threads a lot of the cheap USB bar code scanners present themselves as keyboards though, which can be a frustration in itself.

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    Re: Bar code

    Quote Originally Posted by DataMiser View Post
    Working with barcodes is pretty simple, storing the data and retrieving it are also pretty simple.
    Like to give some pointers?. BTW, see my second post. I am happy to separately store all my outgoing invoices with reference 'numbers' that need be no more than one alpha and 6 numeric chars (IOW a 7 char string) , so 1 bar code is enough. I would would like pointers at how to print and how to read.

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    Re: Bar code

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    Surely your invoices already have some unique ID associated with them?
    Sure. See my post just now.

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    Re: Bar code

    Quote Originally Posted by el84 View Post
    Like to give some pointers?. BTW, see my second post. I am happy to separately store all my outgoing invoices with reference 'numbers' that need be no more than one alpha and 6 numeric chars (IOW a 7 char string) , so 1 bar code is enough. I would would like pointers at how to print and how to read.
    I'm not sure what kind of pointers you are looking for. Sounds like a simple 3of9 barcode that holds the invoice number is all you really need here. There are free fonts out there that can do a 3 of 9 barcode.

    As for readers you have basically two types, those that mimic a keyboard and those that use an RS232 connection.

    If you have some targeted questions then perhaps I can help but I would need to know what you need help with more specifically.

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    Re: Bar code

    Quote Originally Posted by DataMiser View Post
    I'm not sure what kind of pointers you are looking for. Sounds like a simple 3of9 barcode that holds the invoice number is all you really need here. There are free fonts out there that can do a 3 of 9 barcode.
    So basically you are saying I just need to use a free 3 of 9 font? Any you have actually tried? I did try one and could not get it to work. After I block marked some text and then changed the font to the 3 of 9 the text I got a microscopic image which I could not make a practical size. If I could make it work I could make a Macro that copies the invoice number to that area when I want the barcode. OK on the reading.

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    Re: Bar code

    Update: Have got it working. Free 3 of 9 font from Barcodes Inc. I'll now get a scanner and experiment! Thanks everyone for putting up with me!

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    Re: Bar code

    The font I use I have had for many years now. It is just called 3of9.ttf I think this might be it http://www.barcodesinc.com/free-barcode-font/

    You have to add an * before and after your data and you may need to increase the font size quite a bit to get your desired barcode size. I will often use two fields one directly above the other and place the same data in both to make a taller barcode that is easier to read. Can't remember what font size I use, I think it is at least 14 maybe higher.

    Macro? So are you talking about VB6 or VBA?

  11. #11

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    Re: Bar code

    DataMiser: Exactly the one I'm using and before I had omitted the *! Could be vb6 or VBA. Quite happy about either. I think I've resolved this now.

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