The Standard version provides a good selection of popular bar code types including UPC, EAN, Code 128, Interleaved 2 of 5 and Postnet. The Pro and RFID versions include support for MICR, DataBar (RSS), Composite, PDF417, Data Matrix and other 2D bar code types. IDAutomation offers competitive prices, with the standard software starting at $139, the Pro at $249, and the RFID at $495.
Easy download and install
The barcode software runs on any Windows platform (from Windows 95 to Windows 7). I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could download the IDAutomation Barcode Label software and start using it within just a few minutes. Any version can be readily downloaded from the company’s website and used right away.
Making my first barcode label
Since this was my first time using a barcode label making software, I was happy to see a label wizard to help me get started. First, the wizard gave me the choice of creating a New Label or opening an Existing Label. As a first time user, I chose New. (I did note the convenience of being able to save labels for future use.)
Next, the wizard helped to set up my printer and paper/stock options. It automatically found my printer, an HP DeskJet 3520, so that was a breeze. For stock, I could pick between Custom or Predefined label stock. Since I had some standard Avery mailing labels, I went with Predefined. On the next screen, I quickly found the correct Avery product name/number from a drop-down list. For the record, IDAutomation is compatible with most standard laser, inkjet, or thermal transfer bar code printers, and Herma and Zweckform products are also among the predefined stock options.
Creating a custom label stock seems to be uncomplicated as well, since the software actually helps with calculating the dimensions. Plug in paper size, the number of rows and columns, margin width, and the spacing desired between labels, and the program will calculate the label size. Any custom barcode label stock created can be saved as a future custom stock option.
Customizing the design
Once the wizard walked me through the setup, the screen showed a blank label, ready for some creative input. A familiar row of icons (New, Save, Open, Print Preview, etc.), gave the program a non-threatening environment. To get started, I simply had to drag and drop the appropriate icons to insert a bar code, an image, and some text. Once inserted, I could right-click any item to access its Properties window, and from there I found it fairly simple to adjust sizes, fonts, colors, and positions to suit my taste.
Advanced Barcode Software Options
Other than standard bar code values, the software also accommodates formula derived values, incremental values, and linked values from an external Microsoft Access, MS Excel, or a CSV file. (The Pro and RFID versions integrate even greater connectivity options, such as database macros, ODBC, DSN, Oracle, and SQL Server.)
The Finished Product
Once my first barcode label was complete, printing was effortless. I placed the sheet of Avery mailing labels in the printer tray, selected Print Preview, and clicked Print. To my delight, the barcode label printed out just as it looked on the screen!
Support for the barcode software includes a downloadable user manual and tutorial, online training videos, online articles, and public records of resolved help desk issues. You can access free phone and email support only for the first 30 days, unless you purchase the one year Priority Support and Upgrade Subscription (at around 18% of the current license price). Free product upgrades also require this subscription.
Overall, IDAutomation offers a practical, user-friendly, and affordable solution for small companies that want to create their own customized barcode labels.
IDAutomation.com, Inc., (IDAutomation (tm)) was founded in 1996 and incorporated in 1998. IDAutomation is dedicated to providing a professional line of hardware and software components for the automation of identification and is currently located in Suite 230 of the building at 550 N. Reo St. inTampa, Florida.
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