Monday, March 14, 2011

Using Barcode Fonts in Macintosh

by Nate Schubert

Generating barcodes on a Macintosh operating system is not as easy as it is with a Windows operating system, mainly because Windows has seen a lot more involvement in terms of business productivity. Because of this, it's only natural that most products intended for use in a business environment would be geared toward Windows. In recent years, however, Macintosh has found a home, specifically in the marketing and printing industries. Naturally, the need for barcode technology to be compatible with Macintosh has never been greater.

IDAutomation has been working to create dependable barcode generation products for Mac users for years. While developing barcodes on a Mac is easy with the Java Barcode Package, this ease-of-use doesn't much extend beyond a developer. If you're a standard user and just want to create simple barcodes without programming a custom application or process, then Java is way over your head and a waste of money, due largely to the fact that you need a user license and not a developer or commercial license.

IDAutomation solves this problem with the Universal Barcode Font Advantage Package, which allows generation of multiple barcode types on a Mac, from a single font. The package has the following Macintosh-specific features:
  • Supports multiple operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux and Unix.
  • Mac Install package (OSX and pre-OSX) includes examples for Office 2003, FileMaker, OpenOffice, Java and AppleScript.
  • TrueType fonts are supplied in PC and Mac formats, and are compatible with Macintosh OS X and other systems supporting the OpenType font format.
  • Postscript Type 1 fonts are supplied in Macintosh versions.
  • Supports Code 128, GS1-128, UCC/EAN-128, Interleaved 2 of 5, Code 39, MSI, Codabar, Postnet, Planet and USPS Intelligent Mail barcode generation.
The Universal Barcode Font works much like any other barcode font. The data must first be encoded into a text string, and then the appropriate barcode font should be applied to that special string of encoded text to create a readable barcode. IDAutomation provides a variety of font encoders designed specifically for Mac, such as:
  • AppleScript for Mac: Compatible with Excel for Mac 2004 and 2008.
  • FileMaker Plug-In: Supports FileMaker 4 and up on Mac.
  • Barcode Macros & VBA Functions for Mac: Compatible with Office 2004 and 2011 for Mac. This tool is not compatible with Office 2008 for Mac due to the removal of macro ability.
  • Online Encoder: Supports many barcode types. This is an online encoder where you enter the data to encode, select the barcode type and the encoded text appears. That encoded text can be copied and pasted directly into your Macintosh application where the font can be applied to it.
Creating barcodes from fonts in Macintosh operating systems doesn't have to be hard. On the contrary, the IDAutomation Universal Barcode Package makes Mac barcode generation very easy. Each product purchase comes with a 30-day complimentary Priority Support & Upgrade Subscription, and our technical support staff is happy to assist with any Mac-based barcode generation issues. Let us know!

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