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Data Source Options

Barcodes are generated from numeric or alpha-numeric data, depending on the barcode type. The data can either be entered manually or taken from a text file. To change barcode properties or its type, use the Text tab of the Inspector (Window > Inspector > Text, or Cmd-5).

Entering Individual Values

To input information manually, select a barcode in the document and choose Value in the Input pop-up list in the Inspector. Type data into the field below. Note that the range of characters you may input depends on the barcode type. For example, UPC barcodes support only numbers, while Code 128 can include numbers, letters and some special characters. See Barcode Definitions for details.

A barcode in the document changes instantly when you change its value. UPC and EAN barcodes require an exact number of characters before they can be drawn, so as you type a red square is displayed instead of the barcode until you type the required number of characters.

Retrieving Values from a File

You may also retrieve values from a plain text file and print a batch of barcodes, each having a different value. Choose File in the Input list in the Inspector. Click the Choose button to navigate to a text file to import the barcode values from. Click Open to import the barcodes. Depending on how the data are organized in the file, you may choose either to read records line by line, or from a specific column.

If the file has only one column, choose the Single Column Data option. If there are several columns separated by a delimiter, choose Multiple Column Data, select the column delimiter or type it into the corresponding field. Set from which column to import the data.

If the textual data is unreadable, you should change the encoding. Text editors usually let you set the encoding when you save the file. The same encoding should be selected at import.

The first row of the text file can be the header. To exclude it from printing, select the First row is header check box.

While importing, the program verifies input data. If invalid values or characters are found, a warning message is displayed.

To print a batch of barcodes from the file, in the Print dialog specify the number of labels you want to print. The barcode on each subsequent label will have a next value from the file.

Using Auto-Incrementing Counter

You can also use the auto-incrementing counter as an input source for a barcode. Choose Counter in the Input pop-up list in the Inspector. Input the starting number into the field and Increment (e.g. if you would like to obtain a row of figures such as 010, 020, 030, 040 and so on - you have to enter 10).
For obtaining barcodes with a constant number of symbols (e.g., consisting of 10 digits), specify the number of digits in the make Minimum Digits field. For example, if 5 is in the Minimum Digits field, and the starting number is 1, the barcode will look like 00001. Some barcodes (such as EAN and UPC barcodes) require a fixed number of digits, which cannot be modified.

When a barcode is linked to the counter, the barcode on the canvas displays the first number. The whole number sequence can be previewed in the Print dialog.


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