Barcode Label Software Review
Why Use Barcode Label Software?
Whether you are starting a new business or improving your current company, you'll need a solution for managing and tracking your inventory. Barcodes offer a great way to keep things running smoothly. You can keep tabs on your assets through each step of the sales process. Creating barcodes requires special barcode label software that can generate unique tags that scanners will recognize. These easy-to-use programs can make a big difference in how efficiently your organization works.
A barcode label application lets you create basic barcodes for labels, shipping, products and other needs. It generates a limited variety of barcodes, though some more expensive applications have enhanced capabilities.
Barcode label software for small businesses often creates barcodes in Microsoft applications such as Word, Access and Excel. Barcodes can be pasted into other programs to create labels, stickers, ID cards and other useful tracking tools. Some of the best barcode creator products let you design, manipulate and print directly within their interfaces, without the aid of supplemental Windows applications. A few of those include Labeljoy, ConnectCode and Bars & Stripes. You can find more information by reviewing our articles on barcode label software.
What's the Difference Between One-Dimensional and Two-Dimensional Barcodes?
A barcode is simply a set of parallel lines with varying widths and spacings. However, that is not the only thing that sets barcodes apart. There are two main types of barcodes: one-dimensional and two-dimensional. One-Dimensional barcodes are also known as linear barcodes. They are perhaps the most common and most recognized type. UPC codes, which are used to label and scan goods globally, are linear. You scan one-dimensional barcodes with a traditional laser scanner.
Two-Dimensional barcodes are becoming more popular. These labels use shapes and symbols to represent their data. They are designed to hold and relay more information than a one-dimensional barcode. Be aware that not all applications allow you to create this type of barcode.
Which Type of Barcode Should You Use?
Choosing the best barcode type for your needs involves more than deciding between one-dimensional and two-dimensional. There are dozens of codes types – often called symbologies – each one filling a different need. It's important to research the best symbologies for your particular industry.
A few common barcodes include:
UPC Code: This is used in the retail industry to send goods around the world. This type uses a 12-digit number on the barcode.
Code 39: This code is used in the automotive and defense industries. It uses both numbers and characters and allows you to ship goods globally.
Code 128: These are very compact barcodes used for ordering and distribution.
GS1 DataBar: This type of barcode is used to label products and perishables and items for healthcare companies.
QR Codes: You will often see this two-dimensional barcode on flyers, advertisements and other marketing items. These codes can be read by mobile devices. This type of barcode can hold and relay much more information than a standard UPC barcode.
Barcode Label Software: What to Look For
When you are looking for the best barcode label maker for your specific needs, first make sure it supports the code types you wish to use. Also consider the volume of barcodes you need to produce and whether you need to customize and utilize any design features. The ability to print the barcode will also make a difference, and if you do run into any problems, you need support options readily available.
Some barcode label generators have the ability to create dozens of barcodes. Many industries benefit from software with this type of versatility. If you need to ship products to different parts of the globe, you probably need software with many different barcode types. Some of the best products let you to create one- and two-dimensional barcodes, which can be a deciding factor for some companies. Many of these programs let you export the barcodes, which means you can add barcodes to flyers, calendars, business cards and more. This is particularly useful if you want to add QR codes to marketing materials.
Export & Printing Capabilities
Whether barcode makers can import data from other sources and export barcodes to other applications is important. You want an application that allows you to export barcodes into applications such as Microsoft Excel, Access and more. This capability makes it easy to not only add barcodes to items such as labels and flyers, but it can also improve the printing process.
The best barcode generator software should print to Windows-compliant printers and save barcodes as images rather than text. WYSIWYG barcode design is a useful feature to help you produce quality barcodes by seeing them on your computer screen as they would appear if you printed them. When you create quality barcodes, you want to make sure that the application allows you to print the barcode without requiring special paper. You need to easily print the barcode and ensure it is readable. If the barcode isn’t scannable, it won’t fulfill its purpose.
Many programs create barcodes and labels within their individual interfaces while other programs are Microsoft add-ons. The best stand-alone applications offer numerous design features. However, their extra features are limited to things like adding text and adjusting sizes. These basic stand-alone programs focus more on the symbologies and ease of use than design and customization features. Programs that integrate with Microsoft apps are usually very basic and don’t have much to offer, but you benefit from all the design features included on the original Microsoft application. These types of Microsoft add-ons are ideal if you want to create items such as flyers or cards and include barcodes, such as QR codes, on them.
When looking for an application that provides design features, you want tools that facilitate the creation and editing of label color, size and orientation. It is important that you have some customization tools to help you create a label and barcode that is your own. Additionally, setting the dimensions of a barcode is important as it allows you to create the size of a barcode you need without affecting the readability of the barcode. The best applications have tools to make this simple, such as setting your own dimensions in a specified window or using a tool in the corner of the barcode to drag it to the correct size without distorting the barcode’s data.
The best barcode label software lets you manipulate text and add images and shapes. Some applications even feature image libraries where you can pull different images and add those to your labels. Some have grid options, background color and offer U.S. or metric measurements. Only a small handful of these applications support multiple languages. This may not be a drawback for some, but if you prefer or need a language aside from English, you will want to make sure the software supports the language you desire.
Utility wizards can be a large benefit for creating barcodes, especially if you are new to barcode and label generation. The wizards will walk you through the entire process and help you choose the correct symbology that you need as well as ensuring you have the correct and appropriate data included in the barcode. Some of these wizards can make it easy to create a number of barcodes simultaneously or just one barcode at a time.
Help & Support
Creating a barcode can be complex and many questions can arise, so having the support you need is critical. The best software companies will provide contact information so you can easily talk directly to representatives. Many of these developers provide email support while only a few provide telephone contact options as well.
In addition, all products should offer a user manual or guide, either embedded or online. Online tutorials and videos are also a nice benefit to help you learn to use the software. If you have any questions or troubleshooting issues, also look for a FAQs or troubleshooting section on the company website that may provide even more information.
Barcode label software can help your small business produce the necessary packing, shipping and other labels you need to track products and goods and to improve efficiency. You can design and print your own labels with the right application and customize those labels to your specifications. With a combination of the best features, you will have the best barcode label maker for your small business, and it will make your job so much easier.