Free barcode font download: A code 39 (3 of 9) font with no restrictions

Posted by Matthew Kostanecki
Free Barcode Font Download

[Psst: We’ve actually got a newer barcode font which is also human-readable. Check out our Archon Code 39 barcode font.]

Free barcode fonts that have no restrictions can be hard to come by. So, when we find one that works well, we want to make sure you know about it so you can put it to good use for your business.

If you’re already well aware of how to use a barcode font, you can download the free barcode font here.

Or, if you would like to know how exactly a barcode font can help your business, read on!

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

A barcode is just a visual representation of data that can be read quickly by a computer.

That being said, a Code 39 barcode is just a standard format that most barcode scanners can easily read. It was named Code 3 of 9 since, initially, you could only use 39 characters (the alphabet, numbers 0-9, and some special characters such as “$” and “%”).

For most small business purposes, Code 39 barcodes are the simplest and easiest to use when creating an internal barcoding system.

In fact, Code 3 of 9 barcodes are heavily used in the automotive industry, as well as the U.S. Department of Defense.

Why is a barcode font useful?

There are many ways to make barcodes; however, using barcode fonts is probably one of the easiest ways to get started. All you really need to create a barcode using a font is a text editor such as Microsoft Word and a few clicks to install the font.

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.

How do I use the Code 39 barcode font?

If you’ve ever installed a font before, then you already know how.

After you download the font, you simply double click it and press the install button. Just like this:

Free Barcode Font

Next, in any program that uses fonts, such as Microsoft Word or Excel, you can change your data into a barcode by selecting “Free 3 of 9 Extended” as the font.

For example, 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 “Free 3 of 9”. Here’s what it looks like:

Code 39 Barcode Font

It’s also important to note that you must add the “*” character to the begging and end of your data. This is because scanners look for this character to know 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 * characters won’t show up when the barcode is scanned. So for example, scanning “*1321MTLW*” as a barcode will simply return “1321MTLW.”

When downloading the zipped file, you’ll actually see two fonts inside:


You can install both; however, the “FRE3OF9X.TTF” font is probably the most useful, since it includes more character options. The “X” in the file name means it’s the “extended” version.

Another good tip for finding the font quickly in the font list after it’s installed is to start typing “Free 3 of 9 Extended” when your font list is selected. This way, you can avoid having to scroll through your font list.

How do I put barcodes on my products?

To make the barcode font more useful 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 is affordable and easy to set up. They have many options for both laser and inkjet printers.

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

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

How do barcode fonts fit in the big picture?

Using barcode fonts 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. Use inventory software so your computer can use barcodes to manage your inventory.

We’re definitely biased, but we think you’ll love using inFlow Cloud for tracking your products! 🙂

Try inFlow Cloud free

No credit card required. Sign up 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 “Barcode Your Small Business“. It’s a free PDF book written with you in mind — the small business owner who wants to learn barcoding quickly and efficiently without being bogged down by technical jargon. It will walk you through all the steps above and more. Plus, it’s a short read and straight to the point.

Click here to download your copy!

Looking for the world’s easiest to use barcode scanner?

We now sell barcode scanners! The Brite USB barcode scanner comes in your choice of 7 different colors and simply just works! It’ll scan almost all 1D barcodes such as UPCs, EANs, Code 3 of 9, Code 128 and much more. Simply plug it in and you’re good to go!

brite barcode scanners

Comes with a full 60-day money back guarantee and full no-hassle 1 year warranty. You’ll love using it in your business!

Visit to check them out now (on sale for a limited time). 

Matthew Kostanecki

About Matthew Kostanecki

Matthew Kostanecki is speaker, author, and active contributor to the small business community. He leads the marketing and business development for inFlow Inventory.

Leave a Reply to justseegoods Cancel reply

  1. i am trying to use the free3of9x font in excel and then word to print labels–but the number/letter combos of each code are not showing up below the barcode lines. i need to be able to see both. what should be done? thanks

  2. Hi Eve

    It’s an extra step, but you can write the text out again under the barcode and change the font to something readable. So your labels would have two lines, the first using the 3 of 9 font and the second using something like Arial.

    Let me know if that helps!

  3. I am trying to make unique barcodes for different forms fro excel, but the barcode is not scanned with a scanner. Please suggest, how to do?

  4. Using Code 39, I have created a Excel file and entered the 4-digit number of our members. I placed * at the start and end of the value. I highlighted the row and changed the font to Free 3 of 9. A blocky-looking code is produced, but Member 1001 looks exactly the same as 1002, 1003, etc.

    1. I was also able to confirm that although the actual blocks look very similar, they do scan correctly. For example, *1001* comes up as 1001 and *1002* comes up as 1002 as they should (even though visually they look really close!)

  5. I don’t know why but while using small letters first like “*c9366*” it gives me back “+c9366” How to overcome this?
    If anyone can help me or has any suggestions please reply…

  6. I have retail racks in stores that hold 450 6 x 12 inch boards that hold Mosaic samples. Each board has a number example B1098. There’s not a lot of room on the preferred top right corner. I would need a barcode that would be small enough say 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch or even smaller. is that possible?

    1. Hi John! Sorry, for the late reply to this. We haven’t tested our barcode font at sizes that small, as these were meant more for small/medium-sized items that have boxes.
      But the good news is that it’s pretty easy and cheap to try, and you can even do it with a Letter-sized piece of paper.
      I’d suggest using our font and print out a few different sizes, and see how small a barcode size your scanner is able to distinguish.

      – Thomas

  7. This article was great for helping move in the right direction for asset inventory control.
    I have a small brewery in my garage and i have been open for 5 years now. I need to move out of garage into a retail place and i plan on keg distribution. I am in need of making a tracking database not only so i know what i have on hand but to also know where my kegs are if not here. i have downloaded the pdf. and i hope this will walk me through the process. I am a little intimidated by computers but i do know beer. Wish me lulck

  8. Hi Team,

    I’ve downloaded free3of9.ttf & free3of9x.ttf fonts for reports. On executing the report, distorted barcode image is displayed, some extra text is displayed on the image. I’m able to scan the barcode properly. Also, this issue occurs randomly on the records.

    Do I need to go for license product to resolve this issue? Any help will be appreciated

    1. Hi Anurag,
      Sorry I wish I could give you a clearer answer to this, but it would be highly dependent on which app you’re using and how much space is in each column of the report.
      I don’t think you necessarily need a licensed barcode font. It sounds like there may just not be enough space for the code39 font in that report, or you might have to try a smaller font size for it to display properly.


  9. Hi,
    I have followed all the directions to make a bar coded label with my Microsoft Word program. I am having great difficulty with getting my scanner to read the bar codes I create with Word using the bar code font you recommend above. I’ve made a test page with various font sizes, with preceding and following *’s and without. I am using the extended version so I an use upper and lower case letters and numbers and some special characters. Please advise as to what I am doing incorrectly, because I know it should work! 🙂 Thanks,


    1. Hi Vinod,

      Hrmm, in that case I might try increasing the font size to something like 16 or 18, and trying again. Depending on the length of the barcode, you may have to play with the distance of the scanner too. Try holding the scanner closer or farther from the code until you hear the beep.