Top Tips And Tricks For Printing Your Own Barcode Labels

8/28/2018 12:00:00 AM by in category General with 0 and 0
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Top Tips & Tricks For Printing Your Own Barcode Labels

While its really easy to print your own barcode labels, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make sure your barcode labels are the best that they can possibly be. In this post, we’ll talk about the little things you can do to make sure that your barcode labels simply work.

Barcode Labels – What Are Barcodes?

A barcode represents data in machine-readable form. There are two types – linear barcodes and matrix barcodes. Matrix barcodes are square or rectangular patterns of (usually) black and white cells/modules. The most common example is QR codes. Linear barcodes are patterns of parallel lines (black bars) and spaces (white intercharacter gaps). They also contain characters (representing the data encoded in the barcode) and a check character/digit (for validation). A blank space or “quiet zone” around the barcode marks the beginning and end of the barcode.

Matrix barcodes are scanned by image sensors and analysed by processors. To read a QR code, a processor uses the corner squares to determine the size, orientation, and angle of view. The remaining pattern of dots is converted into binary numbers and validated using an error-correcting algorithm.

An optical scanner is usually used to scan linear barcodes. The scanner directs light at the barcode. The black bars absorb light and the white gaps reflect light. The scanner converts the reflected light into an electrical signal. The fluctuations in the intensity of the reflected light cause the signal to oscillate and form a pattern, which is converted into digital information.

Barcodes can encode all sorts of data. The most common usage is storing manufacturer or product information so products can be tracked through manufacturing, shipping, storage, and sale. Barcodes are also extremely useful in the retail industry. They look up product information at point of sale, track stock, track shopping habits, and redeem coupons or vouchers. They can also track people and items in specific environments. For example, tracking employees and equipment onsite, tracking tickets and admissions, tracking parcels and mail, and directing airline luggage. In medical facilities they track patients, medication, surgical kits, equipment, supplies, and medical samples.

Barcode Labels – What Sticky Labels Should I Use To Print Barcode Labels?

While you can use a wide range of sticky labels as barcode labels, some work better than others. We recommend matt white labels – solid white in colour with a non-shiny surface.

Barcode readers and scanners rely on their ability to detect the difference between white and black areas. It is vital that the reader or scanner can detect exactly where each area begins and ends, in addition to detecting the beginning and ending of the barcode itself (via the quiet zone).

If you use sticky labels with a coloured or patterned background (or transparent labels that you stick over a coloured surface), you may reduce the contrast between the elements in your barcode and prevent readers/scanners from reading your barcodes accurately. Likewise, a gloss finish (i.e. a shiny surface) may influence the light reflected back into a reader/scanner, preventing an accurate result.

When it comes to picking the perfect label size, you need to make sure your barcode labels are slightly larger (and in particular longer) than your barcodes to keep a clear quiet zone. You also need to remember that smaller barcodes are harder to read accurately. The quality of your barcode image will also influence how well your barcode labels work.

Barcode Labels – What Print Settings Should I Use To Print Barcode Labels?

You should adjust your printer’s print settings because this results in crisp, clear print that ensures your barcodes will scan correctly. In addition to selecting a “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” print settings, we recommend increasing the print quality setting. Both options slow your printer down and as a result print your barcodes at the highest possible quality.

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