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Barcode Generator
This is the barcode generator page. This page is capable of creating and drawing bar codes and making labels. It also allows printing of stickers and/or labels directly from the web. There is a free online barcode generator that is available right from the main homepage. The free barcode generator is somewhat of a scaled down version of the actual live generator.

Originally, this page was first developed to help service the parts and general inventory section of the application. However, with the ease of use of barcode scanners and this handy dandy barcode generator, we have also added searchable barcodes to to flex grid tie-ins, recipe/builds, and custom buttons called my cart favorites. For more information about searching barcodes, see this help file.

If you are using the internal barcode generator or label builder (within the secure application), the page will be dynamically passed the correct database values from your parts and general inventory items and other various sources. Each different source (parts, stock/units, customers, flex grid tie-ins, recipe/builds, and cart favorite buttons) will pass data to different fields. The parts and general inventory section also has a number of alternate price tags or description only labels that use this label generator page.

Each dynamic piece of data that gets passed in may be altered and changed as needed. Think "data mapping" to get the labels correct. If you don't like how we mapped to the different fields (positioning and values), feel free to change at will. None of the values entered on this page will hit or be saved in the database. The main goal is enter whatever is needed to get the job done.

Once the values are submitted to the label maker or barcode generator, you are still able to show/hide anything that you feel you don't need. Use the buttons provided to show/hide options as needed. Once the preview meets your approval, click on the "Print Barcode" button (at the bottom) and choose your bar code or label printer from the list provided. If more than one copy of the label is needed, simply click to increase the number of copies requested.

The preview mode will be slightly enlarged to help show the label layout and details. The scale or zoom on the preview mode is set to 130-150% of real or actual size. This zoom is only for visual clarification of what will actually print. See the advanced settings for exact label output sizes. On labels, the widths are always recorded first when talking about dimensions. Example: 3/4" x 2".

The barcode generator page has two different view modes. They are basic (just the Flash label widget) or advanced (a web form with settings and values and the Flash label widget). If used, the small web-based form will interact with the Flash barcode generator application. Changes to the actual web form will affect the barcode application once submitted. Basically, this allows you to customize the barcode output without being tied directly to the database (local changes that deal with presentation and printing). This makes a very flexible interface.

As a general note - Any text field may be used for whatever value you wish. Don't get hung up on the field label names. For example: The top line field could hold the corp name, the part number, the description, or whatever else. The important thing is that that fields gets mapped to the correct data on the label (location on the label). The value of that field means nothing to the system. Think mapping instead of actual values.

Here is a list of fields and what they do:

1. Top Line - Optional. This is the top most line that will be printed. The value entered will be centered over the barcode. Max of 100 chars.

2. Bottom Left - Optional. This field will show up in the bottom left corner of the label. Max of 50 chars.

3. Bottom Right - Optional. This field will show up in the bottom right corner of the label. Originally, it was formatted to fit a price or dollar amount. This field is somewhat smaller in length due to its original purpose. It is ok to use "$" (dollar signs) and "," (commas) as needed. The value does not have to be numeric. You could also use this field for a weight or quantity per pack value. Whatever.

4. Description - Optional. This is where you could put the description (more text) or some sort of special instructions. The description field will show up in the middle of the label and may be more than one line long if needed (wrap text). The one trick about the main description field is that either the barcode or the description field may be used. Both can not be used at the same time. This is due to the size of the labels. Once again, because this is not tied to the database, you are free to use this as needed. This value is tied to the show settings (toggle switch between show barcode or show description).

5. Show Settings - Required. This is a switch that allows the barcode to be shown by default or the description to be shown by default. The actual Flash widget (label generator) has ways of changing this setting after the fact but this is where the default is set.

6. Desc. Font Size - Required. This is a small switch to control the font size of the description field. If the normal font size is used, the description field will allow multiple lines and will wrap the text automatically. If the large/bold font size setting is used, the description field will show the value in a much larger and bolder fashion. The one draw back to this is the text will no longer wrap and will only be one line long. This setting originally was added to help create a special price tag that shows the price big and bold, centered on the label.

7. Barcode - Required. This field must be at least one character in length. The max is set to 15 characters. This field is capable of holding letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and basic punctuation found on a standard American keyboard. If you really don't want to print the barcode label, just hide this field once submitted. The actual barcode fields (inside the database) are able to store up to 50 characters. The reason for the limit of 15 chars is due to the lable size and the space it takes to encode those values.

8. Barcode Type - Required. Choose from the list provided. This page is capable of doing or using two different bar code symbologies. Without getting really technical, the choices are: "Code 128-B" or "128B" which allows for alpha-numeric values and is very flexible. The other option is a symbology called "UPC-A" or a universal product code. This is a 12 digit number that is commonly used for retail products. The 12th character is included in the barcode value and acts as a check digit to ensure a positive read from the barcode reader or scanner. If you are unsure which value to use, we recommend that you use the 128B code set.

9. Label Size - Required. Choose the output label size. The default is the 3/4" x 2" or the return address label size (a vertically fed label as compared to a stacked label). The application was formatted to work with a Dymo LabelWriter Printer, but also works with other label printers. Note: All label sizes are listed with the width first (3/4'x2"). It is ok to fudge the label size by up to an 1/8" (+/-) in the width or height and they should still print ok.

The Flash barcode widget or application will take the incoming values and will draw the bar code values on the fly. It then shows a preview of the label and allows you to print right from the Flash widget to specific sized labels. This makes printing right from the web part of the solution. If the Flash player is needed, click here. If you can see the barcode preview, you most likely already have the Flash player and don't need to install anything else.

For more technical barcode and printer information, click here to view an additional help file with more specs and options.
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