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Free Barcode Font Download: Code 39 (3 of 9) Unrestricted

Posted by Matthew KostaneckiLast Updated May 2nd, 2024
— 10 minutes reading

A free code 39 font without restrictions can be hard to come by. Which is why we decided we would make one ourselves! This font is completely free to download and use forever. No strings attached. We’ve also included a Code 39 font without the text in case you need something that is machine-readable only.

You can download both code 39 fonts here:

Get the inFlow Code 39 fontYou are minutes away from typing out barcodes

If you’re interested in an in-depth look at how to start barcoding your small business, check out our Ultimate Barcoding Guide. It covers barcode fonts and everything else related to barcodes.

Otherwise, read on if you’d like to know how a free barcode font can help your business!

What is a Code 39 (also known as Code 3 of 9) barcode font?

A barcode is a visual representation of data that a computer can read quickly. Think of it like a nickname that a scanner reads and translates into text on the screen.

A Code 39 barcode is a standard symbology (format) that most barcode scanners can easily read. It was named Code 3 of 9 because, initially, you could only use 39 characters. While it’s a basic font, it should work for 99% of small businesses looking to implement any sort of internal barcode system. The font supports:

  • Letters A-Z (in caps)
  • Numbers 0-9
  • Characters (asterisk, dash, and a period)

Human-readable vs. machine-readable barcode fonts

A machine-readable barcode font does not include the characters below the barcode itself. Your scanner will be able to scan the barcodes fine, but a person looking at the barcode won’t be able to gain any information at a glance. 

Many businesses that use the code 3 of 9 barcode font build a naming system or hierarchy into their barcodes. This allows workers to verify the products they scan or identify products when a scanner isn’t handy. For example, if you sold phone cases, you could use M2BLIP14PR to identify a Model 2 case for a black iPhone Pro 14. 

Why should you set up a barcode system?

Code 39 barcodes are the simplest and easiest to use when creating an internal barcoding system at your small business.

Barcodes also scale well as your business grows. In fact, the automotive industry and the U.S. Department of Defense use Code 3 of 9 barcodes heavily. If you’d like an idea of how to get started with barcoding, we’ve made a quick video on how to set up a barcode system.

How To Set Up A Barcode System | inFlow Inventory software

Why is a Code 39 barcode font useful?

There are many ways to make barcodes; however, using a free barcode font is probably one of the easiest ways to start. All you really need to create a barcode using a barcode font is a Windows or Mac program that supports True Type fonts. Some examples include Microsoft Word, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, and QuickBooks. You can install the font with just a few clicks, and you’re good to go! 

And, of course, once you can easily create barcodes, you’re on your way to creating an efficient system for tracking and managing your inventory.

You should keep in mind that the Code 39 font is best used for internal inventory management. If you plan on creating barcodes for retail use, you must purchase Universal Product Codes (UPCs). More on this below.

More benefits of using a free Code 39 barcode font

Still not convinced? Here are some reasons why a free Code 39 barcode font would be helpful:

  • Cost-effective: A barcode font is a cost-effective solution to creating barcodes; the one provided in this post is entirely free to download and use. You can’t get much more cost-effective than that!
  • Customizability: When creating barcodes with a Code 39 font, you can craft your barcode however you want. For example, you can easily build a product hierarchy into the human-readable element of the barcode. 
  • Scalability: One of the best parts about using a Code 39 barcode font is that it allows you to scale quickly. If you start carrying a new product, you can quickly create a new barcode and set it up in your barcoding system.
  • Offline Usage: A barcode generator is another tool many small businesses use instead of a barcode font. You can find a number of these online to use free of charge. However, you’ll require access to the internet to utilize these tools. With a barcode font, you can create all the barcodes you need without an internet connection.

How do I install the Code 39 barcode font?

It’s really straightforward to install a barcode font on any computer. If you’ve ever installed any other font, the process is the same.

Install the barcode font in Windows

To install the Code 39 barcode font on Windows, double-click the font file and click “Install” in the pop-up window after downloading it. You can also try to right-click the “inFlow Code 39 Barcode.ttf” font file and select the install option from the menu that appears. Finally, there is a third option for installing the font. You can place the “inFlow Code 39 Barcode.ttf” file in your fonts folder. This is usually under C:WindowsFonts or C:WINNTFonts (can be reached as well by the Start Menu > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Fonts).

An image of Code 39 font (free barcode font) installer window

Install the barcode font on the Mac

For OS X, all you need to do is double-click the font file and click the “install font” button at the bottom of the preview.

Just like Windows, you can also place the Font file in your fonts directory. For macOS, you can place the font file under /Library/Fonts (for all users), or into /Users/Your_username/Library/Fonts (for you only).

Once installed on your computer, the font will be ready to use in any program that supports true type fonts, including Word and Excel. All you have to do to change your data into a barcode is select “inFlow Code 39 Barcode” from the font menu. Or, if you’d like the machine-readable only option, you would choose “Code 39 Machine Readable.” It’s like turning your writing software into a barcode generator!

How do I use the Code 39 barcode font?

If you wanted to change “1321MTLW” into a barcode, you would first write it out with a regular font, highlight it, and then change the font to “inFlow Code 39 Barcode”. Here’s what it looks like:

An image of Code 39 font (free barcode font) in word

It’s also important to note that you must add an asterisk (*) to the beginning and end of your data. This is because scanners look for this character to determine where to start and stop reading the barcode.

So, for example, to create a barcode of “1321MTLW,” you would enter “*1321MTLW*” in your word processor.

It’s also important to note that the asterisk characters won’t appear when the barcode is scanned. So, for example, scanning “*1321MTLW*” as a barcode will simply return “1321MTLW.”

Another good tip for finding the font quickly in the font list after it’s installed is to start typing “inFlow Code 39 Barcode” or “Code 39 Machine Readable” when your font list is selected. This way, you can avoid having to scroll through your font list.

We stress-tested the font with the inFlow Smart Scanner and found that the font could be reliably read at size 24 if you’re printing with a basic inkjet printer. However, we did have some success with a font size as small as 16. 

Remember that adding spaces will create two separate barcodes, so you’ll need to use a hyphen or dash instead of spaces.

How do I put barcodes on my products?

To make the Code 39 barcode font more helpful and actually get barcodes on your items, you can print them out using sticky label paper. We’ve found the Avery series of label stickers are affordable and easy to set up. They have many options for both laser and inkjet printers.

Simply use the template provided by the manufacturer (typically in Microsoft Word) and format your labels accordingly.

Now, all you have to do is peel and stick the barcodes to your products!

How do barcode fonts fit in the big picture?

Using a free barcode font is just one step in a series to start tracking and managing your inventory more efficiently. Below are all the steps you need to get an inventory tracking system started:

  1. Assign your items a product code.
  2. Turn product codes into barcodes by using the Code 39 barcode font.
  3. Print those barcodes using labels or a special barcode printer.
  4. Secure a scanner to use with your barcode system.
  5. Use inventory software so your computer can use barcodes to manage your inventory.

Can I use this barcode font in retail?

You should keep in mind that the Code 39 font is best used for internal use. If you plan on selling your products on Amazon, Walmart, or any big retailer, you must get UPCs. You can now buy UPCs directly from our officially licensed GTIN Barcode Shop for $30 with no renewal fee. However, if you need more than 10 barcodes, we recommend purchasing a company prefix directly from GS1. We wrote an article all about GS1 registered barcodes so be sure to check it out if you want to learn more.

Get software that creates barcodes for you

If you’re looking to eliminate the hassle of typing out unique barcodes for your products, inFlow can help. Our inventory software can automatically generate barcodes for just the products you want, and we also offer a full-fledged label designer built into our web app. So, you can generate your own unique, professional labels in just a few minutes and print them to basically any printer.

You can use USB, or smart scanners with inFlow or turn your smartphone into a barcode scanner!

Ready to try inFlow out now?

Check out our free e-book, too!

If you’re looking for more detailed information on how to get a complete barcoding system working for your business, you should download our free PDF book “Barcode Your Small Business.” This eBook won’t bog you down with technical jargon. It teaches you all about barcoding quickly and efficiently, walking you through all the above steps. A short read that’s straight to the point. What’s not to love?

Click here to download your copy!
Or, if you’d like a handy reference guide for some of the most widely used acronyms in the world of barcoding, you can read our barcode glossary.

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