Barcode software is a relatively recent development, yet barcodes are now such a familiar part of everyday life that it is almost difficult to remember a time without them. Today, almost every product you buy, almost every package you receive, has a barcode—whether it’s a familiar one-dimensional (1D) barcode with alternating black and white bars, or a more recent two-dimensional (2D) barcodes such as a QR code.
Regardless of the type of barcode, the basic idea is the same: Information is mapped into a standardized arrangement of (usually black and white) bars, squares or dots. This mapping is called a symbology, and different symbologies can encode different amounts of information.
Once printed, the barcode can be scanned to retrieve the encoded information quickly and with a high degree of accuracy.
Barcodes have obvious advantages in a business setting: They increase efficiency, reduce costs and errors, and help meet regulatory requirements. But these benefits are only achieved if the barcode software used to create those barcodes can be trusted to encode the required information quickly and correctly and print it consistently and accurately.
A linear symbology is a single row of bars and spaces. The elements can vary either by width (such as EAN-8) or by height (such as Royal Mail 4-State).
Royal Mail 4-State
A 2-D stacked symbology contains multiple rows of bars and spaces. In some 2-D stacked symbologies, separator areas exist between multiple data rows (such as GS1 Databar Expanded Stacked). Other 2-D stacked symbologies contain no separator areas (such as PDF417).
GS1 DataBar Expanded Stacked
A 2-D matrix symbology has a two-dimensional pattern of elements that doesn't necessarily have a row-by-row structure. Typically, the elements are squares or dots rather than bars. In Aztec Code, the data is written in a spiral outward.
Encode text using almost any data format, including Unicode, ASCII, Western, Japanese, Chinese, or any other character encoding, plus custom formats. Predefined barcode components also support the following standards:
BarTender is the most trusted software for designing and printing barcode labels, with hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.
Learn more about BarTender barcode software, or download the fully functional Trial Edition to see for yourself how BarTender makes barcode label printing and design easy for more companies around the world than any other software.
"BarTender’s ability to integrate with any ERP and Safety Data Sheet authoring and management system, coupled with its easy-to-use and powerful Intelligent Templates™, has made it our go-to software product for integrating and solving the challenges associated with GHS compliance labeling in all of our chemical customers."
—Rick Schilling, President, Integrated Productivity Systems (IPSi)