13 Replies Latest reply on Aug 27, 2016 6:28 AM by David Moyer

    Barcode font



      i am using a free barcode font (idautomation) however I have a few issues.

      1 when the user doesn't initially have the font installed it seems to change the font on the layout even after the proper font is installed. On each users machine.


      2 when printing the barcode seems to come out blurry on the label printer.


      not sure where to move with this?

        • 1. Re: Barcode font

          I've used that font and haven't seen any issues with blurry out put.


          You have to add the font in FileMaker as well as install it into the machine's operating system or FileMaker will do a font substitution.

          • 2. Re: Barcode font

            If you're open to a barcode solution based on container fields instead of fonts, Barcode Creator is a possible alternative. (Disclosure: I wrote it, and I get paid when people buy it.) There's no font management involved, and it's easy to increase the resolution if the print output is ever fuzzy.

            • 3. Re: Barcode font

              Phil, thanks for that. I will try to stick to the font just for now as I only have 3 users.

              Phil, did u use a merge field to display the font or is the a particular size that should be used to keep it from blurring.

              Also it's the FREE version of the font.

              • 4. Re: Barcode font
                Mike Duncan

                +1 for Barcode Creator

                • 5. Re: Barcode font

                  That's ok, jb! Other people tend to 'plug' their products. This is the preferred location for such (at the request of the community when this forum was set up):

                  Product Announcements


                  Good answer, tho!  I'll Mike's endorsement.


                  • 6. Re: Barcode font

                    don't mean to labour on this and I am about to embark on reading a 2hr document on filemaker an barcodes but could someone tell me if I am wrong.

                    I thought it was a simple matter of just changing the field in filemaker (e.g. product code) to display using a barcode font. thats it!

                    so i am just dropping the product code field onto a layout, changing the font and thats it..

                    • 7. Re: Barcode font

                      but your opening statement says you have a few issues...

                      Using a custom font (not built into the OS's) is rarely issue free when you consider so many variables. I suppose that's why there are plug-ins and other solutions.


                      Create an Idea to include barcode fonts in FM.


                      • 8. Re: Barcode font
                        Mike Duncan

                        It depends on 1) the barcode symbology you are using and 2) the barcode reader you intend to detect them with. If you can print and scan them back in, then ok, but it may not be a standard.


                        A lot of readers require leading and trailing characters to designate the actual content, and a lot of symbologies have requirements as to the format of the data to be encoded. Code 128 type C, for example, has an algorithm applied and start and stop characters along with a checksum.


                        That's where a solution like Barcode Creator can take care of a lot of the headache for you, so you just plug in the data and get your properly formatted barcode back. It supports lots of different barcodes and is easy to incorporate into your solutions.


                        You could also use a javascript solution to return a container png image of the barcode. I put one together a little while back you can get from my github repo here: GitHub - SoliantMike/FM-js_Barcode: FileMaker solution that uses Javascript to produce barcode images


                        Hope this helps


                        • 9. Re: Barcode font
                          Mike Duncan

                          Also, IDAutomation has a sample file you can download that has several custom functions as well, since you're using their font. You may want to look at those as well.



                          • 10. Re: Barcode font

                            yes the font install issue is ok now  so now the only issue is that when i print the label (with the product field as a merge field and set to the barcode font) that its a little sketchy (and then won't scan).

                            So really I am at the stage where I just would like to know if there is any special considerations for the filemaker layout field using this font, certain font size etc?

                            thats the only issue thankfully I'm left with.

                            The barcodes themselves are internal and simple ones.

                            • 11. Re: Barcode font

                              I didn't use a merge field as I recall, but would be surprised to find that this would have resulted in blurry output. Please note that you don't have to use merge fields for output anyway.

                              • 12. Re: Barcode font

                                the size may depend on the specs by the font creator, would it not? I'd also check whether the theme is making the 'text' not as dark as needed to print/scan or other variables. Merge Field or Field shouldn't matter, but the size and layout format may matter. some fonts (not just barcodes) do NOT scale well. Check your setting for printer, too. Does it resize the page in any way that might make the font seem fuzzy? Can you print to PDF to test?


                                • 13. Re: Barcode font
                                  David Moyer


                                  I don't have a scanner to test, but this worked for (looks good to) me ...

                                  - download free code39 from https://www.barcodesinc.com/free-barcode-font/

                                  - install this font on the machine (Windows for me)

                                  - start with just plain text on your layout:  *123AaBb* (the asterisks are start/stop characters for your scanner)

                                  - select all of this text and change the font to "free 3 of 9", point size of 36 to start

                                  - print it on plain paper.

                                  - set your scanner to read code39 with start and stop characters.

                                  I've printed barcodes on all kinds of printers, including label printers.  You should be able to make something work.

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