Last updated on August, 3

🏆 Best Barcode Generators for August 2021

How can you make your business more efficient? With a barcode generator, you'll be able to track inventory and sales data with accuracy. You'll also save time by not having to manually enter the information into your system.

What is a barcode generator

Create barcodes anywhere and at any time with a barcode generator. Barcode generator software and applications are tools used to create all kinds of barcodes. You simply need to input your information, customize the barcode size, font, and styles, then export it in your desired format. It’s a quick and easy software that anyone can use.

Why do you need a barcode generator

Barcodes are often overlooked as a method of cutting costs and saving time. However, you can create custom barcodes even from the comfort of your own home with a barcode generator. Large businesses often use barcodes, and now, you can too. Barcodes offer many uses across all industries, and anyone can create them instantly. 

Track Assets

Improve your inventory control and track your assets with precision. Now you can know exactly how many assets you have in a specific place without manually counting them all the time. A barcode can also obtain real-time updates on an asset’s location and whether it’s being transported. You can also find lost inventory quicker and reduce losses.

Stay Competitive

Barcodes are useful in inventory tracking and are easy to generate. If you’re not using them, you might get left behind by your competitors. Online barcode generators can streamline your processes so you can meet the demands in your industry. Keep up with modern business technology so your business can stay ahead.

Get Accurate Data

Manually entering data can be time-consuming and is prone to errors. Barcodes reduce human recognition and transcription mistakes. These mistakes can result in shipment delays where employees need to search for misplaced inventory manually. You can create barcodes quickly with online barcode generators and make fewer errors in your inventory management process.

Increase Security

Barcodes are traceable and fully auditable. This technology reduces occurrences of theft and product mix-ups, reducing losses. Mistakes in inventory management are not just an inconvenience. It can also be harmful, especially in healthcare industries. Generating barcodes can help prevent liabilities and enhance the security of your products.

Save on Costs

Barcodes allow for automatic product identification and recognition. Setting up a barcode system and generating barcodes for your products can reduce your overall overhead. It will also lower the cost of capital for carrying excess inventory and lower your tax costs. By knowing how much product you still have, you’ll reduce the likelihood of a surplus due to over-ordering.

Streamline Processes

Cut down training time and reduce labor costs with barcodes. Employees can spend less time manually keying in inventory data. With an automated system, you don’t have to spend too much time and effort tracking down lost products. You’ll face fewer delays and satisfy your customers better because of your quick service.

Make Better Decisions

Precise data means better decision making. Barcode generator applications will allow you to create barcodes so you can obtain data rapidly and accurately. You can predict how much inventory you need to order at the right time and avoid costly errors. Labor management can also be made easier with a  better inventory process.

Core features of barcode generators

Barcode generators allow you to create all types of barcodes that are suited for any industry. It’s an ideal and complete solution for commercial and non-commercial organizations to create professional barcodes quickly. You’ll find free barcode generators with upgradeable plans to make any type of barcode you want, so make sure to watch out for these features.

Simple Interface

Generating barcodes doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need to have coding skills or technical knowledge because a simple interface will allow you to create a barcode without the hassle. You simply need to choose your barcode type, input the right information, and export your barcode. There are no complicated processes involved so that you can save your time.

Barcode Type Availability

Whether you need a driver's license barcode generator or a bulk barcode generator, you can easily find compatible barcode symbologies. No matter what industry you plan to use your barcodes in, there are barcode generators optimized for each one. You can create the most common types like Code 39, EAN, Code 128, UPC, ISBN, Telepen, and many more.

Customized Barcodes

If you want to implement your barcode system, you can do so conveniently. You can customize various settings like barcode text, margins, height, width, color, dimensions, and so on. With a barcode image generator, you can create barcodes suited to your organization and industry’s needs.

Multiple Export Options

Export your barcodes from barcode generators as vectors, images, or PDF files. With this, you can easily integrate your generated barcodes in photo editing or illustration applications. Then, you can insert your barcodes with ease in your product packaging. Besides that, you can customize your export size so barcode scanners will be able to scan it. 

Easy Print Integration

Barcode generators are compatible with all kinds of printers, such as ordinary or thermal printers. You can set your barcodes to be printed in high-resolution in the settings and layout that you want. There are also preview options, so you know precisely how your barcode will turn out when published.

Auto-Increment Numeric Values

The increment and decrement feature provides a simple way to print hundreds of barcodes without preparing them one by one. Multiple barcode generators automatically increment the numerical values in succession without you having to type codes manually. This can save you the time and hassle of creating barcodes individually.

Custom Barcode Sizing

The scanning distance of your barcodes depends on the barcode size. This is why choosing the correct dimensions of your barcode is essential. Barcode generators can help you determine what size label would be appropriate but still be cost-effective. They can automatically calculate the spaces a barcode scanner would detect and make recommendations to you.

Priority Support

If you are having difficulty in generating your barcodes, you can always contact seasoned professionals. Expert technicians who have a lot of experience with the most common barcode generation problems can help address your concerns. Many free online barcode generators offer support, while some paid plans have priority support to handle more advanced issues.

Cost-Effective Pricing Packages

You can avail of a free barcode generator at no cost. However, you can only create a limited number of barcodes with it. Premium packages come at economical prices that can fit the needs of any business size. The benefits of barcode generators can save you costs in the long run because of more efficient inventory and labor management.

Types of barcode generators

Barcodes are usually applied to products as a means of quick identification. There are a variety of barcodes, each with its uses. Every type of barcode is suited for specific industries, so it’s important to know what type you need. You can choose among the different barcode generators depending on your product or asset size and data requirements.

1D Barcode Generator

1D or linear barcode generators create barcodes with vertical lines at specific gaps resulting in a particular pattern. The information contained in the barcodes, such as numbers or keyboard characteristics, is encoded horizontally. Common examples of linear or 1D barcodes include Code 39, EAN-8, UPC-E, and ISBN barcodes. 

Pro #1: Easy to Generate and Scan 

This type of barcode generator has been around for quite some time and has proven to be simple to use and scan. Since data is generated in one direction, 1D barcodes are easier to generate compared to multi-dimension data. This means that bar decoding is also in one direction, making the information more straightforward to scan.

Pro #2: Inexpensive to Implement 

Since linear barcodes can be generated quickly, they don’t cost too much to create. 1D barcode generators usually have free or affordable pricing plans. The scanners used to read these data are generally the most common and inexpensive ones. You don’t have to purchase special software to scan these barcodes, and you can implement it quickly.

Con #1: Carries Limited Information  

1D barcodes can only store a small amount of data. Since it uses variable-width lines and spaces to encode information, it limits data storage to only a few dozen characters. The barcode will get longer if you add more information. If your barcode is too long, you will have to print it in a bigger size, which may not be the most efficient solution.

Con #2: Easily Damaged 

Once 1D barcodes are distorted, it can no longer be scanned correctly. Even the slightest damage will modify or destroy the data stored in the barcode. This will render the barcode useless, and you will have to generate a new batch to store the same information again.

2D Barcode Generator

2D barcode generators create barcodes with a combination of patterns consisting of squares, dots, rectangles, etc. They are an update to 1D barcode technology. 2D barcodes can contain more than just numerical information. This type of barcode generator keeps data in a matrix or stack and can be stored in both horizontal or vertical directions.

Pro #1: Store More Data 

Unlike 1D barcodes, 2D barcodes can hold a large amount of data. They can store names, addresses, phone numbers, images, website URLs, and many more. Numeric, binary, text, and Unicode data can also be embedded. You also don’t need to access a database to make use of the encoded information.

Pro #2: Error Correction 

2D barcodes are more durable and can still be scanned even when a part of the code is damaged. You can also embed an error correction formula into the barcode itself so that it would be easier to retrieve data even if the barcode is damaged by 15 to 20%. Even though the code is worn down because of shipping wear and tear, it can still be read.

Con #1: Requires Specialized Hardware and Software 

Since 2D barcodes are generated with much more complex technology, advanced tools are also needed to scan them. Specialized hardware and software scanners are required to decode the information in 2D barcodes. These hardware and software tend to be expensive and difficult to find. 

Con #2: Complex Algorithms 

With more information storage capacity, 2D barcodes require more complex algorithm designs. 2D barcodes usually take more time and cost more money to generate. Scanning and reading of data are more complex and challenging. Plus, it requires specialized scanners.

3D Barcode Generator

A 3D barcode generator differs from 1D and 2D barcodes in that 3D barcodes are embossed on the product. An image of some sort is applied to a product read by a device to log, categorize, inventory, or track individual products. This type of barcode is a more permanent solution compared to a label or sticker.

Pro #1: Withstand Extreme Conditions 

The 3D barcode is applied or engraved on the product itself as a part of the manufacturing process. Unlike 1D and 2D barcodes, the bars are not read by variances in light but by determining each line’s height. 3D barcodes can withstand extreme heat and are not easily removed or damaged.

Pro #2: Track Valuable Goods 

3D barcodes were initially designed to be used in the automotive industry to help track vehicle parts during the manufacturing process. There are also instances of using microscopic 3D barcodes for jewels and other precious items so they can easily be identified if stolen. 

Con #1: More Expensive 

3D barcodes require specialized technology to implement and generate. These 3D barcode generators are also less common and are harder to find. The scanners used for 3D barcodes also have specialized hardware and software because of the code’s complexity. This, too, can be quite expensive to obtain.

Who needs a barcode generator?

Inventory Managers

If you are in charge of inventory handling in your business or organization, barcodes can make your life easier. SKU barcode generators are handy for consumer goods, so you can easily track how much has been sold and how much is still in stock. You won’t have to spend your time manually counting and tracking goods, and just simply look at the data directly.

Baggage Personnel

Lost luggage can be a pain to track down. If you are in an airport with international flights coming in and out all day, you’ll need some system to ensure that the luggage will arrive at the right places. Using barcode generators to stick on luggage can make asset tracking much easier. You can make sure that all bags are directed in the right direction and find lost items.

Couriers

Many parcels are being sent around the world every day. Couriers can keep track of all the shipments by using barcodes. A barcode can be generated for each package so you and the customers can track it at all times. This system will also cause fewer shipment delays and lost items, so employees don’t have to spend time manually looking for lost items.

Event Organizers

Are you organizing an event with hundreds or thousands of attendees? Now you can get data from all of them and keep everything in order. By adding a barcode to event tickets, guests can easily be checked in as they arrive. You can avoid uninvited guests and track attendance in individual sessions. 

Healthcare Professionals

Barcodes are now being widely used in the healthcare industry. You can input important information in drugs or vaccines so it can be delivered safely to those who need them. Barcodes can prevent many medication errors, including dispensing the wrong prescription, strength, or dosage form. With an organized inventory system, patient safety can be improved.

Business Owners

Identification cards of employees can now be embedded with barcodes for easy location and attendance tracking. You can make sure that your team members arrive on time and get the necessary information from them with just a scan. It allows you to improve your work culture and organize business processes so everyone can be more productive. 

Step-by-step guide on how to generate a barcode

Step1: Choose a barcode generator.

Select a barcode label generator to your liking. The barcode generator site should have the type of barcode that you need. You can also check the price packages, especially if you’ll need barcodes in bulk. Make sure to watch out for promos or discounts so you can get a more affordable deal.

Step 2: Select the type of barcode you need.  

There are many types of barcodes, and each is suited for a specific industry. It also depends on the kind of data that you need to store in your barcodes. Book barcode generators usually have EAN barcodes, while random barcode generators have Code 128 barcodes as a default setting. You can also choose to create custom barcodes.

Step 3: Enter the data required for the barcode.

Depending on the type of barcode you need, you will need to input the information you need. You need to set the parameters and custom settings for custom barcodes, such as numeric values, website URLs, etc. You can also change the configurations for the barcode height, color, scale, and other details. 

Step 4: Preview your barcode. 

Most barcode generators have a preview option so you can see your final product before you export it. This allows you to visualize what it would look like on your stickers or product labels. You can also make changes if there are mistakes or if you want to make adjustments. Make sure that all your information is correct before you export it.

Step 5: Download your barcode. 

After ensuring that all your barcode details are correct, you can go ahead and generate your barcode. You can set your file export format, depending on what you need. Save your barcodes as PDF, JPEG, PNG, SVG, and other file types. If you plan to print your barcodes, check if you have the appropriate printer and paper type for your barcode.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A barcode can hold any type of information you need. However, for consumer goods, the price is not usually encoded. Usually, the barcode will denote what type of product it is, and your point of sale (POS) system will determine the pricing information with it. 

The number of characters that can fit into a barcode usually depends on the barcode type. 1D barcodes can have 20 to 25 characters, while 2D barcodes can have up to 2,000 characters. As you increase the amount of information contained within the barcode, the bigger it will become.

Barcodes can come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Square barcode generators can even get 2D barcodes down up to 1/18 inch square. However, you will have to take into consideration the type of printer and barcode scanner you have. A smaller code will limit the number of characters you use and will require a high-resolution printer.

If you sell products to a retailer or distributor, you will need to obtain a UPC number. You can also contact the company you are selling your product to so you can inquire about their barcode policies. You will get a certificate authenticating your number once you get your UPC number. For authenticity, this certificate is usually required by most retailers.

Only GS1 US can issue UPC numbers. They will give you a globally unique “Global Company Prefix” consisting of 11 digits. The fee for this is determined by the number of unique products you need to identify. Your gross sales revenue can also affect the price. The prices vary, and you will need to contact GS1 for a quote.

UPC-A codes are 11 digits, not including the check digit. A check digit is calculated from the 11 numbers in the UPC, so UPC-A barcodes should have a total of 12 digits. Legitimate barcode generators will not work unless you input at least 11 digits. After that, the generators will do the necessary calculations and add the check digit for you.

Direct thermal uses chemically-treated, heat-sensitive media that blackens when it passes a thermal printhead. It doesn’t use ribbon or ink to print. The barcode will usually fade in about one year. This type of printing process is not recommended for environments with higher temperatures or exposure to sunlight.

On the other hand, the thermal transfer involves melting a ribbon coating so that it stays glued to the material on which the print is applied. This type of transfer is a more permanent solution and will not fade. It is more widely used in printing high-quality barcodes.

DPI means dots per inch and is a guide for determining the resolution of the barcodes you will be using. The higher the number, the finer the print will be. Most barcode generators are suitable at 203 DPI. However, if you are using logos/images, or if you are making tiny labels, 300 or 600 DPI would be best.

A barcode scanner will pick up alternating black and white elements that follow a specific algorithm, then turn into a corresponding text string. The sensor in the barcode detects the reflected light from the illumination system and generates an analog signal sent to the decoder. The decoder will validate it and convert it to text.

The numbers on a barcode are an exact translation of what the lines mean. Since machines can’t read numbers or letters, barcode generators will use machine-readable lines to encode human-readable numbers and letters. The thickness of the lines and how they’re spaced each represent different numbers or letters.

For some barcode types, there are specific standardized systems. UPC and EAN codes, commonly used for retail, need to adhere to GS1 barcode labeling standards. They specify where barcode labels should be placed and other guidelines essential to the proper use of barcodes on products and packaging.

No. While both are internationally recognized, UPC-A codes have 11 digits plus a twelfth check digit. On the other hand, EAN barcodes can have either 8 or 13 numbers, including a check digit. These barcodes are also used for different retail goods, depending on where they are owned and operated.

Barcode generators allow you to set any color for your barcode. However, you must keep in mind that for barcodes to work, contrast is key. Barcodes are usually in black and white because that is the industry standard. Barcodes should also never be reversed (light bars on a dark background) because scanners will not read them.

The X-dim is the base unit of measurement in a barcode. It is measured in thousandths of an inch or “mils.” The resolution of barcodes is measured in dots per X-dim, which is crucial for accurate scans. This affects the scanning distance of your barcode. By increasing the X-dim, the scan distance of your barcode also increases. 

Yes. You can specify in your barcode generator the type of printer and material you will be printing your barcode on. Some specialized printers can generate and print barcode labels, but those tend to be expensive. There are also direct thermal printers that can print high quantities of barcodes.

If you are planning to use barcodes for retail, UPC and EAN barcodes are commonly used. Vector barcode generators can easily integrate these barcodes into your packaging. For alphanumeric data, Code 39 or Code 128 is the best option. If you are using 2D or 3D barcodes, make sure that your supply chain partners support that barcode type.

Using a barcode generator allows you to select sizes and make adjustments. However, once your barcode is generated, you cannot just resize a barcode-like you would an image in a photo editor by dragging the corners. This is why you should carefully choose your barcode dimensions and always choose the highest quality resolution.

Barcodes can be printed on a variety of materials, depending on your printer’s capabilities. Most often, barcodes are printed on cardboard, labels, stickers, or plastic. Special types of printers may be needed to print them on certain materials. Your choice of printer and material can also affect the durability of your barcode.

QR codes are a type of 2D barcode. However, not all 2D barcodes are QR codes. Other 2D barcodes include Aztec Codes, Cyber Codes, PDF417, and Maxi Codes. Essentially, QR codes can be scanned using a variety of barcode scanning applications. Unlike other 2D barcodes, QR codes do not necessarily have to be in black and white.

Barcode placement can impact the ability of scanners to read your barcode. Your barcodes’ location depends on your organization’s needs and how you will be using the barcode. To optimize scanning at checkout for retail goods, barcodes are generally placed in the lower right-hand section of the back of the package.

It is discouraged that barcodes be placed at the very edge of packages. You need to make sure that you have enough white space surrounding the barcode for a clean scan. You’ll also need to make sure that the printed surface is smooth so nothing will interfere with a barcode scanner’s ability to read the barcode.