Barcode Settings (All)
OnMerge Barcodes

Complete listing of settings on the Barcode Setup tab.

Barcode Type (Symbology)

See here.

Output Resolution

Hardware resolution of target device. You must set this if you will be using Merge to New Document or Edit Invididual Documents

Usually left at 0 and let OnMerge determine the best choice for for normal printing, or for mail-merging directly to a printer, e-mail or FAX.

See why Output Resolution is critical.

Generate Check Digit

Many barcodes have built-in error-checking mechanisms, but a few barcodes make error-checking optional. Those barcodes allow an optional check digit to be automatically added to the barcode. A check digit is a mathematical function of all the other characters in the barcode. Scanners can recompute the checksum when they read the barcode and then compare that result to the decoded check digit to ensure integrity.

NB When using this option, the scanner or application on the receiving end must be expecting the checksum since it is optional. If the receiving application isn't expecting the checksum, it will appear as an extra garbage character in the decoded data.

Data Escaping

Special characters can't be keyed directly into OnMerge Barcodes. Only when this option is set to "~dxxx Escaping," special codes can be keyed as ~d plus the three-digit decimal ASCII code (1 - 255). Some frequently-used codes:

TAB ~d009
LF (line feed) ~d010
CR (carriage return) ~d013
ESC ~d027
Tilde (escaped ~) ~d126

NB The downside of using this option is that any legitimate ~d sequences in the data (a ~ immediately followed by lower-case d) will be mistaken for escaped character lead-in characters. In that very unlikely situation, the ~ character must be coded as ~d126 only when using this option.

NB When this option is set to No Escaping, any ~dxxx-formatted sequences will be encoded into the barcode as text (e.g. "~d009") -- not the special code that you may be trying to encode.

Legacy Data Conversion

Some users have databases that include non-data characters intended to support legacy-style barcode fonts, especially Code39 fonts. Such characters are considered non-data since they're not intended to be decoded by the scanner. They're just there to make the technical part of the barcode work. Such non-data includes characters such as *'s or brackets around the real data, a checksum character at the end. Additionally, some barcodes require you to use _ for the space character.

You may be converting your data over to a new Barcode Type (symbology), or simply upgrading to the convenience of OnMerge. Use this option to get rid of many types of non-data characters. You can optionally:

  • Convert _ to blank
  • Remove start/stop characters (leading and trailing **, !!, <>, (), and [] ) and convert _ to blank
  • Remove start/stop characters as above, remove the checksum (last digit), and convert _ to blank

Bar Ratio

Some linear barcodes feature exactly two barcode widths: "narrow" and "wide," where the wide bars are a certain multiple of the narrow ones. Wider "wide" bars (higher bar ratio) scan more reliably, narrow ones take less space.

Bearer Bars

(2 of 5 Interleaved only) 2 of 5 barcodes have no built-in "start" or "stop" code, so it's common to get undetected partial scans when the scanner is held diagonally over part of the barcode. Bearer bars are fat bars on the top and bottom of the bottom of the barcode. If the scanner is held diagonally to the barcode, it will "see" the bearer bars as an invalid bar which will cause the scanner to reject the bad scan. The operator will then be notified to try scanning again.

Bearer Bar Quiet Zone

(Only if Bearer Bars is set) The extra space between the left/right end of the barcode vs. the ends of the horizontal bearer bars. 10 times the Narrow Bar Width is a strict minimum, but many applications specify more than that.

Bearer Bar Width

(Only if Bearer Bars is set) The width of the Bearer Bars. 3 times the Narrow Bar Width is a strict minimum, but many applications specify more than that for extra reliability.

Extension Barcode

(UPC and EAN barcodes only) Extension barcodes are the short 2- or 5-character barcodes sometimes placed to the right of UPC and EAN barcodes. They are used to convey extra information, such as price.

NB Extension barcodes are mainly used on books and magazines. If that's your application, there's a much better way: use the ISBN or ISSN Barcode Types instead of a UPCA barcode with an extension.

Extended Barcode Lines

(UPCA and EAN13 barcodes only) UPC and EAN barcodes are usually rendered with longer bars in middle and on the extreme end, so that they appear to partly frame the digits below the barcode. There is typically no reason to change that, but a few specialized applications require it.

UPCE Input Mode

(UPCE barcodes only) UPCE barcodes are a shortened version of UPCA, typically used for marking very small objects (8 digits instead of 12). UPCE barcodes are actually shortened UPCA codes, but only certain UPCA codes can be shortened to UPCE codes since they must have zeros in 6 designated positions. When this option is set, OnMerge Barcodes will accept 12- or 13-digit UPCA-style data and automatically convert it to 8 digits if possible, issuing an error otherwise. When this option is not set, OnMerge Barcodes will accept 7 or 8 digits.

Start Character
Stop Character

(Codabar only) The first and last character of a Codabar barcodes must be A, B, C or D. The rest of the barcode must be all digits. The barcode data must not contain the start/stop characters (A, B, C or D), but they can be set here.

Barcode Shape

(DataMatrix only) DataMatrix barcodes are usually square, but they can also be made rectangular to accomodate difficult layouts. Rectangular barcodes can be placed with the long dimension along the length of cylindrical objects to reduce the effects of curvature on the scanner. Otherwise, curvature can make it difficult for many scanners to simultaneously focus on all parts of a square barcode. Square barcodes, however, can hold more data.

Barcode Prefix

(DataMatrix barcodes only) Certain Data Matrix applications require the barcode to begin with a special function code. The most important application is including the FNC1 character as required by GS1.

Error Correction Level

(PDF 417 only) PDF417 has built-in error correction logic that allows the scanner to detect damaged or distorted barcodes and to automatically recover the data in them. This is done by adding redundant "ECC" data to the barcode according to a sophisticated coding scheme. The extent of damage the barcode that can be recovered depends on the amount of extra ECC data encoded in the barcode, so better ECC makes for larger barcodes. This option allows you to control that tradeoff, though Level 2 or better is strongly recommended.

PDF417 Data Columns

(PDF417 only) PDF417 is made up of stacked rows of data bars. Each row has a certain number of bars of varying widths in it. For a given amount of data, using more columns makes the barcode wider and shorter, but some scanners can't reliably read more than 20 columns.

Row Height

(PDF417 only) PDF417 is made up of stacked rows of data bars. Each row is a certain height. Making the rows too short reduces reliability. See the on-screen Hints for Row Height.

PDF417 Truncated

(PDF417 only) The right-hand "fat" bar can be removed to save space. Such "truncated" barcodes are less reliable.

Error Checking Level

(QR Code only) QR Codes have built-in error correction logic that allows the scanner to detect damaged or distorted barcodes and to automatically recover the data in them. This is done by adding redundant "ECC" data to the barcode according to a sophisticated coding scheme. The extent of damage the barcode that can be recovered depends on the amount of extra ECC data encoded in the barcode, so better ECC makes for larger barcodes.

QR Mask

(QR Code only) This is for highly-specialized applications. Leave on Automatic unless specifications call for it.

Fit Barcode to Width

See here.

Narrow Bar Width

(Only if Fit Barcode to Width is NOT set) Barcodes are composed of many units -- small lines or squares. The barcode's overall size is the total of all the units. For most barcodes, different units may have different widths which are multiples of the basic Narrow Bar Width. This setting allows you to control the width of the narrowest units.

Barcode Width

(Only if Fit Barcode to Width is set) See here.

Barcode Height

See here.

Left/Right Margin
Top/Bottom Margin

See here.

RotationAngle

Barcodes can be rotated in 90-degree increments to match your layout.

Barcode Color

Sets the color of the bars and any human-readable text. Barcodes require dark bars on light backgrounds for successful scans, so it's best to stick to black or dark blue.

NB Avoid colors that are blends or shades of basic colors, since most printers render those as halftones. The halftone patterns can confuse scanners.

Transparent Background

Causes the barcode's background to be transparent, i.e. only the barcodes themselves and human-readable text are printed. Use this if you have a layout where you want to keep the existing light background, but note that the background that you print backgrounds on must be relatively plain to avoid confusing the scanners. Also, beware of textured or halftoned backgrounds which can confuse scanners.

Background Color

(Only if Transparent Background is NOT set) Sets the color or the solid background rectangle for the background. Stay with very light shades or, ideally, white. Beware halftoned colors which could confuse scanners.

Print Text

See here.

Font

(If Print Text is set) Used to set the font for human-readable text.

Text Alignment

Allows you to center-, left-, or right-align the text with respect to the barcode.

Text Distance

Allows you to set extra distance between the barcode and the human-readable text.

Text Placement

Allows you to place text above or below the barcode. Below is conventional.

Print Check Digit Text

(Only if Generate Check Digit is set) Allows you to control whether the check digit is printed in the human-readable text. Even if this option is not set, the check digit will still be generated in the actual barcode.

Display Stop/Stop Character

Whether the human-readable text will have stop and stop character symbols (typically *) printed at the beginning and end of the human-readable text. Even if this option is not set, the check digit will still be generated in the actual barcode.

Text Filter and Format

Used to format the human readable text. This only affects the human-readable text, not the data in the barcode.

You may enter characters and spaces exactly as they should print, with ?'s where data characters should appear and ^'s to skip data characters. Enter \? (backslash and question mark) to print an actual ? and \^ for an actual ^

For example, let's assume the barcode data is 2009
This format: Year ???? will print Year 2009
This format: Year '^^?? will print Year '09

NB USPS OneCode's (Intelligent Mail) specification for human-readable text calls for the text to be left-aligned and to have blanks between the various subfields. So, if you had 31-digit data like 0123456709498765432101234567891 you would use ?? ??? ?????? ????????? ????? ???? ?? to print 01 234 567094 987654321 01234 5678 91