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printing barcodes

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:41 pm
by saprega
I have been assigned the task of printing the process order number in barcode form on the shopfloor paperwork. Where do I make a start from ? Do I need to have barcode compliant printers (if there is any such thing) ? Do I need to write some code in the print program for process orders ? How do I go about deciding the rules for printing the barcode ? Any help would be really appreciated.

Re: printing barcodes

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:57 pm
by sapmanie
Try the sapscript forum.

Also search for 'zebra printer'

'ordinary' printers can also print barcodes though you may need to install the right fonts.

Also search for SPAD transaction

Re: printing barcodes

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:45 am
by davewillock
As Sapmanie says, one of the most common ways for Barcode printing is to use Zebra printers.

These are used to produce labels, with said barcodes, and they can print most types.

If you require these on A4 then I believe you'll need a Memory DIMM installing in the printer to produce the barcodes for the report.


Re: printing barcodes

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:20 am
by wilhitern1
I'd suggest doing it in SmartForms instead of SapScript if you have access to it.

Re: printing barcodes

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:16 pm
by AndyW
I've recently had to go thorugh the pain of doing this! Your chosen route will depend on your setup. We are SAP R/3 4.6C with Xerox Workcentres printing Smartforms via the Windows Server print queue.

At a fairly high level this is how I've got it to work:
1. Choose your barcode symbology and then find an appropriate font
We opted for Code 39. There are no end of fonts out there all with slightly different sizes, bar widhts, ratios etc. However, most of them are in TTF format which I simply could not get to work. We print to the Xeroxes using Postscript so used the same font in both .PFA (for the Xerox) and .AFM (for SAP) format.

2. Install the font on the printer
Get you friendly neighbourhood 'printer guru' to install the .pfa font on to the Xerox. You won't be able to do this with all printers eg HP Laserjets which do require a DIMM card as mentioned above.

3. Create font in SAP
Create the font in SAP as you would normally (NOT as a Barcode font) using the .AFM file

4. Create a SmartStyle
Create a SmartStyle using the new font and use this within your SmartForm.

The devil is obviously in the detail which I won't go into unless you need it - I guess its unlikely your setup is identical to mine!

There are a few other options that you can look at:
e-bizco provide a software solution using SAPLPD or SAPSprint via a DLL. I found out about this from a SAP Note and it looks pretty good - you have pretty much total control over the bar widths etc: ... 57c1505d35
A company in the UK produce a hardware solution called the BARStorm you could look into. It does pretty much the same as the DLL and is the Xerox approved solution - it also works with other standard printers:

Hope that's of some help.


Re: printing barcodes

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:10 pm
by saprega
thank you all for ur responses. Really appreciate it.I did some reading on the forum regarding this. I still have a few questions. I see there are two main barcode formats, code 39 and code 128 (there are a host of others too). Now how do I decide which of the I should use to print the process order number on the smartform ? Besides I tried to print the barcodes via SO10 but got just the numbers and no barcode. I could see the barcode on the print preview though. Also another question is that will the brand of scannner play a role in deciding which barcode format to use ? ie code 39 or code 128 ? So in a nutshell the printer should be able to print the barcode and the scanner should be able to read it. Am I right ?

Re: printing barcodes

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:13 am
by wilhitern1
About the printing problem. What type of printer are you using? If it's not a specialized printer, have you installed the barcode dimm?

Re: printing barcodes

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:58 am
by saprega
The printer at the office is Lanier LD345. My guess is that the plants where the actual process order with the barcode would print may or maynot be a differene set of printers. So how would I go about setting the barcode printing out ?


Re: printing barcodes

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:30 am
by AndyW
Many printers do not inherently 'know' how to print barcodes. I know nothing about Lanier but I think the principle applies accross all printers in that you have to give the printer a way of knowing how to print a barcode (unless its specialised like Zebra). I think there are three options; if the printer is able to store soft fonts i.e. it has a hard drive, then you can use those if not then as wilhitern1 says you will have to go for a hardware solution, namely a DIMM (one for each printer or a network solution like BARStorm). The third option is the DLL route - I've not looked into this in too much detail but you can get a trial version from the company I listed before.

Regarding barcode choice, its really down to what works for you. If you are only printing a process order number then Code 39 will probably be sufficient - it is has a good level of 'self-checking' so should be read correctly or not at all and if necessary you can add a checksum to it. The problem with Code 39 is its not very compact so if space is at a premium it might not be the ideal solution. I think its the most commonly used symbology and its the one we use. I don't know enough about code 128 to comment but I think it provides a more compact barcode but is much more complicated to encode and requires a checksum - there's loads of stuff out there on this subject.

For scanning, I assume you mean handheld scanners, if so then I'd be surprised if there are any that can't read code 39 or code 128 so in that sense you are right. If you mean document scanners (which is what we use) then you will need additional software.

Incidentally you might want to take a look at the Ascent Capture forum on the Kofax website - its specificallly for a piece of software that is used for document scanning (including barcode recognition) but there is plenty of more general barcode discussion - here's a starter for ten that goes on to discuss code 39 and 128 - ... ode39+font - (only 1 more post then I can post URLs properly :D )

Hope all that helps!