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How to Make Your Own Barcodes

Using barcodes to enter products can be quicker and more accurate than manually typing in item codes. If your products already have barcodes on them, then all you really need is a barcode scanner and some software. If not, you can first make your own barcodes.

If your products are going to be sold in other retail stores, you’ll need to use standardized formats and pay to make sure your barcodes are unique. We won’t cover that in this article, but you can find more information in our free PDF book entitled “Barcode Your Small Business.

Otherwise, if the barcodes are just for your business’ own use, it’s pretty easy to print them yourself. Barcodes are just a special way of writing letters and numbers so that a scanner can read them. You can make up your own letter/number codes (e.g. ABC1234) for each of your products. Then, use some software like IDAutomation’s free version of their barcode label printing software to print them as barcodes onto some sticky address labels, like those Avery sells in office supply stores. You can then peel them off and stick them onto your products, and you’re all set.

If you want to print barcodes directly onto your packaging or other materials, you can instead get a barcode font and use that to type barcodes into your designs in Microsoft Word, Publisher, Adobe PageMaker, etc. IDAutomation also offers a free Code 39 barcode font. There are different types of barcode fonts and symbols – Code 39 is the simplest type, but perfect for your company’s own use. Other common types you might come across are UPC-A in North America and EAN-13 in Europe.

Don’t let all the barcoding jargon scare you away – it’s quite easy to get started and you can really speed things up for your business.

If you’re looking for the full picture on how to use barcodes for your business, you can download “Barcode Your Small Business” for free. It’s a quick and informative read that will show you everything you need to know get a complete barcode system up and going for your business.

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31 thoughts on “How to Make Your Own Barcodes

  1. I think some of the software listed in the above posts allows you to print the barcodes directly on stickers paper. You can get those type of paper in your local office supplies stores.

  2. I am making my own labels for a disc of a song for sale. Is there any way that I can include the barcode along with the information to be printed on the sticky Avery label forms, at the same time?

  3. I wish the people who make commercial UPC’s would extend their barcodes to include product dating. That way people could be confident that what they were purchasing wouldn’t be out of date.

  4. Carlie, yes I think so. There are websites that you can download the barcode fonts (e.g. IDAutomation.com), and use them in programs like MS Word/Excel. So basically you can customize the format and content that goes with the barcode, and use the printing templates as specified by the Avery package.

  5. Hi Peter, unfortunately we do not have any services for creating logos or barcodes but as you’ve read the article above you will find some resources within it for getting started with barcodes. As to your logo, perhaps you might start by taking a look at this article about creating logos: http://websitetips.com/logos/. In addition, there is a freeware program called “Paint.net” (available here: http://www.getpaint.net/) which is very similar to Adobe Photoshop in its design that you might find useful in creating your logo. All the best!

  6. I´d like to know how many barcodes does inflow inventory support? (one license)
    Secondly, in case I need ¡to expand its capacity in terms of number of barcodes in database how shall proceed? do you provide this support or i will be required to go out and purchase another software?

  7. Hi Dan, Actually there’s a field in each product record for you to save your barcode information. In most cases a product will only have one barcode but in the case that you do have more than one to save simply enter a space between them and inFlow will recognize both barcodes individually if they are scanned. Beyond that, the program has no limit to the number of products you can add and thus there is no limit to the number of barcodes you can include.

  8. I would like to use a barcode system, for pricing my items. Starting at .50, 1.00, 1.50, 2.00 ect. Can I use the avery labels and somehow make a barcode (example) for $1.00 on the entire sheet, $1.50 on another sheet, ect… and then just peel and stick on my tags? And if so, what scanner would be good for this?

  9. Hi Liz,

    Creating pre-made labels with certain prices on them sounds like a fantastic solution to the need to price your stock! Any scanner that will read those barcodes would be fine. Usually for use with our program we recommend the plug and play type of barcode scanner as inFlow doesn’t require anything more complicated but it is best to choose a scanner that works with your budget and the barcodes you’re planning to use. Head on over to our Knowledge Base for a few suggestions here: http://www.inflowinventory.com/KnowledgeBase/questions/234/Barcode+Integration%3A+Accessories+etc.

  10. I would like to print Barcode for my cosmetic products and I would like to use EAN 13 barcode system. Do I need to get registered and remit registration charges for the same yearly.

  11. Depending on your situation you may want to look into what would be required for what you’re doing. If the barcodes are internal then you will likely not need to get them registered however if they’re meant for use in a more wide ranging area you may need to register your barcodes.

    If you haven’t had a chance please have a look here: http://www.barcodingfonts.com/select.php

  12. Hello, I have a small craft business and want to add barcodes to my items for faster check out and help with keeping up with all my inventory. I have a android phone and was wanting to know if there is any type of app that I can get that will work with barcodes I make?

  13. Lindsay – You would have to test out the apps to see what type of barcodes they can read but generally speaking most of the apps that are out now should be able to read traditional manufacturers barcodes. That said, mobile device scanners aren’t compatible with inFlow so if you’re looking for a scanner to use with inFlow you may want to have a look at the files and accessories link at the bottom of the screen. Thanks for checking in!

    Nolan – glad you’re enjoying barcodes! They certainly make life a little easier

  14. Hi, I’m printing of album cases, and i’ve got the barcode logo. Is there anyway I can tag information about the cd on the barcode?

  15. Hi Musician123

    There are two steps to accomplish this:

    1) Assign your CD a unique number (such as a UPC or SKU number) and have it printed as a barcode (details in the blog post) A barcode is simply a visual representation of any text or numbers that a scanner can read.

    2) In inFlow, assign that unique number to the CD. Now, when you scan the CD’s barcode, inFlow knows exactly which product you are dealing with and will show you the description, price, etc

    Hope this helps :)

  16. Is there a way to create a barcode system through which certain information is automatically filled (e.g., 0000-0025-000 where the 0025 indicates value, thus automatically filling in the relevant information in the inventory sheet?)

    • A barcoding system typically assumes that you already have a product list where the items are assigned a code.

      That way, when you scan an item, the software can make sense of what it scanned since you previously assigned the code to something.

      Scanning a barcode is essentially like typing in a product name or code very fast.

      Email me matt@inflowinventory.com your specific needs and I’ll see if I can come up with a solution that would work for you.

  17. We’d like to print barcode label along with product attribute info in same label(shoes), such as size, color. However, we couldn’t see any product attributes that was stored, or recorded in inFlow. How could we do that? Any suggestion?

    thank you in advance

    • The easiest way to handle attributes is to make a separate product for each type of item. The same is true for barcodes. Ideally, you want a unique barcode for each variation.

      This is generally how it works with UPCs in retail as well. Blue suede shoes in a size 13 would have a different UPC than size 12. The same size shoe but in brown would also have a different UPC.

      If you would like to make up your own internal naming convention, there’s a good example in our free barcoding book available at http://barcoding.inflowinventory.com/.

      Let me know if this helps!

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