Friday, February 24, 2012

Using Fonts to Generate Barcodes in Quickbooks

by Nate Schubert

Quickbooks is a popular small business financial software that brings an array of powerful capabilities to small business owners who need to create reports, track inventory, print invoices or checks and much more. It is affordable, easy to use and since it is supported by Intuit, you can be assured that just about any of your technical or usage questions can and will be answered promptly, if they haven't already been addressed in their extensive community.

Many Quickbooks users have found great benefit in adding barcode generation and display capability to their invoices, reports, payroll checks and other forms. Quickbooks does not allow for independent components to be added to make their software more powerful. While this lack of flexibility makes it virtually impossible to generate 2D barcodes within Quickbooks, all is not lost!

Linear barcode fonts such as Code 39 and Codabar may be used quite easily within Quickbooks, and the process for doing this is very simple. Both of these symbologies are self-checking fonts, meaning they do not require complex encoding to convert the data-to-encode into a text string that will produce a readable barcode when the font is applied to it. In the case of Code 39 and Codabar, simply apply an asterisk before and after the data before highlighting it and selecting the appropriate font from your drop down list. The Quickbooks Barcode Integration Guide can assist with the details of adding these barcodes to Quickbooks.

Other linear barcode fonts are limited in their ability to generate barcodes in Quickbooks, mainly due to the fact that there are no Quickbooks-specific encoders available to encode the data. Where self-checking barcode fonts do not require encoding, most linear barcode fonts do require complex encoding. IDAutomation provides free font encoder tools to make this process as pain-free as possible, although they are not directly compatible with Quickbooks.

Despite the complexity in encoding data for barcode fonts such as Code 128, Intelligent Mail, UPC and others, workarounds do exist that can help you to meet your project goals. Following are a couple of alternative methods to generate linear barcodes in Quickbooks:

Use the Online Font Encoder Tool
The Online Barcode Font Encoder is a free tool that allows individual data encoding for use in applications where there are no compatible tools. Following are the steps to encode your data using this tool:

  1. Enter the data you want to encode in the Data to Encode field. Ex: IDAutomation .
  2. Click the button for the barcode type you want to generate. Ex: Code 128
  3. Copy the output in the Encoded Text field. Ex: ├îIDAutomation=├Ä
  4. Paste the encoded text into the application of your choice.
  5. Highlight the encoded text string and select the appropriate barcode type in your application to display the barcode.
This is an excellent for generating barcodes one-at-a-time in applications where there are no quality encoder tools available. That said, it may be somewhat time-consuming and tedious to encode your data individually, which is why this next workaround may be preferred.

Importing Encoded Data from Excel
Virtually every application or environment has the capability to connect to Excel in some way, allowing imported data in a variety of different ways. If there is a need to generate Code 128, Interleaved 2 of 5, Intelligent Mail or other barcode types in Quickbooks, the best option may be to first encode your data in Excel and then import that encoded data directly into quickbooks where the font can then be applied.

Utilizing Excel to ultimately generate barcodes in Quickbooks may seem like a time-consuming process, but due to Excel's efficiency and the ease with which data can be encoded there, the procedure can be easily understood and will open up opportunities to encode greater amounts of data than the Code 39 and Codabar barcodes that have occupied the Quickbooks space for so long.

1 comment:

Quickbooks Recovery said...

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