Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Embed Barcode Fonts into Your Website

by Nate Schubert


How Barcode Fonts Work on the Web

Virtually everyone is familiar with how normal fonts work. Barcode fonts are largely the same but they require the data to be run through a font encoder tool before the font can be applied to create a barcode that will actually scan. IDAutomation provides many free font encoder tools that are compatible with a variety of internet environments. The big limitation with fonts has traditionally been that they must be installed on the computer that is being used to view or print the barcode. This is naturally a problem when we consider internet use. Expecting your many website visitors to have a specific barcode font installed on their computers is not practical. For this reason, barcode fonts are not traditionally integrated into web pages.

There are many ways to integrate barcodes into your website such as with a cloud-based barcode service, or by using components that allow dynamic barcodes to be created in environments specific to SSRS, .NET, ActiveX, Java and others. These are all excellent ways to create barcodes on web pages to display to your visitors, but they come with their own limiting factors. Cloud-based barcode generators only work when the user has an active internet connection. Barcode components for different environments are only really useful in those specific environments. For example, while ActiveX Controls may be used in Word, Access or other ActiveX-compatible environments, they cannot be used in .NET or Java environments. So, what is the most flexible solution available?

Is there a Solution for Using Barcode Fonts on Web Pages?

Businesses often choose barcode fonts for their flexibility through their many environments. Fortunately, that flexibility does not have to stop at the website. Dynamic Embedded OpenType fonts are special fonts that are downloaded by the web browser and discarded when the session has ended. This protects the maker of the font from unlicensed distribution while also allowing visitors access to display or print barcodes for coupons, tickets, sales orders, returns and more. Microsoft provides a free web embedding font tool that enables these OpenType fonts to be embedded directly into a web page, thus eliminating the need for multiple products to suit multiple environments, in most cases.

IDAutomation provides many different linear and 2D barcode fonts that may be embedded into web pages via the above method with the purchase of a 1 Developer License. This provides businesses the flexibility of using fonts as a solution for virtually all of their varied environments at an affordable cost.

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