Online Bar Code Generators: Find Out How to Make 'Em and Use 'Em

bc label maker screen shotOnline QR code generators have been all the rage lately as many businesses and individuals have started using these two dimensional bar codes to exchange information. But did you know that there are also online one dimensional bar code generators?

The Bar Code News has gathered several online generators in one place on its website. You'll find a QR code generator, a 1D barcode generator that produces a sheet of bar code labels, and a barcode generator that creates a standard 1D code in one of eight different formats.

Here are some tips to help you get comfortable using these barcode generators and some ways to put the codes to work for you once you're finished.

Online barcode generator (labels)

The first online barcode generator creates a sheet of barcode labels based on your specifications. Enter your email address at the top of the page and once you complete the form, you'll receive an email with an attached PDF file. The labels can then be printed on a laser printer.

This barcode generator gives you the option of the following encoding possibilities:

(1) Code 39
(2) Code 128
(3) UPC A

Select the bar code type in the first drop down box, then enter the numbers for your specific bar code. The barcode generator supports multiple label formats (sizes) from label-maker Avery. You can create a page of labels with the same bar code or choose to increment sequential bar codes. Add a line of text across the top of the page as a reference or add your company logo. And you can create up to five pages of bar codes, as needed.

Here is a 2 minute video demonstrating how to make a sheet of barcode labels.

Click here to try out the generator.

Online bar code generator (standard)

This barcode generator supports eight different standards, as follows:

(1) Code 39
(2) Code 128
(3) EAN 13
(4) EAN 8
(5) UPC A
(6) UPC 2
(7) UPC 5
(8) US Postal

As you probably know, UPC and EAN bar codes are fixed length codes that include only numbers. Code 39 and Code 128 can handle both numbers and letters. When using this barcode generator, start by selecting your bar code standard. Then choose the type of output file (either PNG or JPEG). The bar code size is defined in pixels and defaults to 40. There are five different font sizes ranging from small to large, or you can opt not to have the number printed underneath the bar code by selecting "No." There are three choices of module width, which effectively scales up the size of the bar code from left to right. Enter your data in the empty field and click on the "Generate" button.

Play around with the different size parameters in the barcode generator to get the optimal size bar code for your needs. You can save the finished image by right clicking your mouse or using Control click if you have a Mac.

Here is a quick video on how to make a UPC code.

Click here to try the generator.

Online QR barcode generator

QR codes are some of the most versatile bar codes you can find. They are capable of holding much more data than the standard 1D bar code and can add a cool look to your business card or advertisement. The QR barcode generator on the website can encode the following information:

(1) Phone number
(2) Full contact information
(3) Email address
(4) SMS (a text message)
(5) Text
(6) Website URL
(7) Information needed to access a WiFi network

The first step is to click on the drop down arrow next to "Contents," and select the information that will be included in your QR code. Then enter your data in the boxes below. For example, by choosing contact information, you'll have the ability to enter seven pieces of information (name, company name, phone number, email address, physical address, website, and a short memo such as a tagline). The last option determines the size of the QR code. Small translates into a square about 5/8" on both sides, medium gives you a 1-1/8" box, and large, a box almost 2" by 2". Then click on the "Generate barcode" button.

The QR code appears on your screen just below the online generator. You can scan it right from the screen or save the file by right-clicking your mouse (Control click if you have a Mac). The resulting file is in PNG format (portable network graphics), which can be used on a website or on print materials.

Click here to try the generator.

How can I use these 1D and 2D bar codes?

Now that you know how to use these barcode generators, you may be looking for some practical ideas for incorporating them into your business (or your life). Here are some suggestions.

  1. Add a QR code to your business card or your email signature.
  2. Set up a system of bar codes to keep your inventory organized.
  3. Include a QR code in print or online advertising and send visitors to a mobile version of your website.
  4. Print a QR code on the back of a t-shirt and have your employees wear them at work.
  5. Whip your home library of books, CDs or DVDs into shape using bar codes
  6. If you sell a physical product, add a QR code to the packaging that shows your customer how to use your product. Point them to helpful videos or special reports that help them get the most of their new purchase.
  7. Point the QR code to a coupon or special offer for your business.
  8. If you have a brick and mortar business, create a QR code and use it on your closed sign. Potential customers can find out when you'll return and have the opportunity to engage with you during your off hours.
  9. Send fans to your social media pages or get them to join your email list.
  10. Selling a house? Create a QR code that links to pictures and a listing. Potential buyers can get in touch as they walk or drive by the house.

The possibilities really are endless. Take a look around you and see how others are using these versatile codes. You'll probably come up with ten more ideas in the time it takes you to read this article. Good luck!

A helpful resource for knowing when to use barcode generators, and general guidelines about how to use them successfully, is "Bar Codes: QR Should Not Mean "Questionable Readability."

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