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Frequently Asked Questions

Have Questions? Please review the following set of common questions our clients ask. If you don't see your question, please contact us!


What is B-Coder and what does it do?

B-Coder quickly and easily generates high quality barcodes that can be pasted into other Windows applications or saved locally in popular image file formats. Barcodes are always completely accurate and readable. B-Coder also comes with Add-Ins for Microsoft Word that allow you to create your barcodes directly from your document, including automically merging data into labels with unqiue barcodes.

What is the difference between B-Coder and a barcode label program?

The main difference lies in the more open and accessible nature of B-Coder. Instead of requiring you to learn how to design and edit in an entirely new environment, B-Coder allows you to stick with the programs you are already familiar with: Microsoft Word, Illustrator, and any other Windows applications you use. This gives you full barcoding capabilities in a familiar setting, reducing headaches and training time.

B-Coder also allows you to print accurate and readable barcodes to any printer. Many dedicated label programs are only designed to work with specialized (and expensive) barcode label printers. Barcodes generated with B-Coder can be printed via standard laser or ink-jet printers on "Avery" or similar labels. B-Coder can also be used when you want to print barcodes on documents, business cards and forms in addition to labels.

What is the difference between B-Coder Pro and B-Coder Lite?

While both programs allow you to generate high quality barcodes, B-Coder Pro allows the user to automate barcode production in programs such as Microsoft Word and Access. This is because it supports the DDE command language not supported in the Lite version. In addition B-Coder Pro supports all the major barcode symbologies, including the 2-D symbologies (such as PDF417). Also, B-Coder Lite is NOT currently compatible with Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Can B-Coder paste barcodes into any other program?

Yes, barcodes generated in B-Coder can be pasted into any Windows application that accepts graphics, including Word, Access, PageMaker, Illustrator, Photoshop, Corel Draw and more. Because some programs convert the barcode into a raster image, you may wish to resize the barcode in B-Coder to ensure readability. Barcodes can also be saved in popular graphic formats like Windows Metafile (WMF), EPS, TIFF, bitmap, GIF, and more.

Can I use B-Coder with Microsoft Access?

While it is possible to use B-Coder with Access, it is much easier and more efficient to use our ActiveX Control. B-Coder uses macros to copy and paste barcode images into an OLE field in your table. This means that your database grows in size and that if you modify the data in your table you must rerun the macros to update the images. Furthermore, since the VBA macros must be modified to work with the fields in your database, many novice users have trouble setting it up. The ActiveX control does not require any code and can be added to a form or report in Access just like a textbox control, simply set the Control Source Property of the control to a field in a table or query, then run your form or report. Thats all there is to it! The ActiveX control even comes with its own sample Access database.

Do I have to use a specific printer with B-Coder?

No. One of B-Coder's advantages is the ability to print accurate and readable barcodes to any Windows printer, includeing laser, inkjet, dot matrix and thermal printers. In fact, barcodes generated by B-Coder (in the default WMF format) will print to the highest possible resolution of any printer – even 2500+ dpi image setters!

Are barcodes generated by TALtech software better than barcode fonts?

Yes. In short, barcodes generated by TALtech software are much better than barcode fonts. In fact, GS1 (formally the Uniform Code Council) does not recommend the use of fonts.

" Barcode fonts have been known to create EAN/UPC symbols with serious design defects. The problems may be caused by the design of the font, an operator input, or a combination of both."

"Extreme caution should be used when producing EAN/UPC symbols with barcode fonts."

- UCC Guidelines for Providers of EAN/UPC Symbol Design Software.

Fonts have limited ability to manipulate the size of individual characters (distortion), spacing between the characters (kerning) and the possibility of font or resolution substitution at the output stage. However there are many other problems with barcode fonts. The user cannot specify the module (bar) width exactly in printer dots. Fonts do not support Bar Width Reduction. Nor do they support many of the features specific to bar code symbols such as Bearer Bars, Quiet Zones, independent symbol height and module (bar) width specification, symbol rotation and support for binary data (including ACSII nulls in Code 128, Code 39, Code 93 and PDF 417).

In addition, most fonts do not automatically calculate and add check digits and other security features to barcodes. To add check digits you would need a separate application that calculates the check digits first before you create the barcodes.

Are the generated barcodes 100% to spec and readable?

All of our barcode software products create the highest quality barcodes possible in Windows. We use Windows Metafile as the default file format. Since the barcodes are stored in this vector based format, they can print to the highest resolution of any printer, have a very small file-size, and are printed and generated very quickly. Our software will also add the correct check digits automatically if your barcode symbology (type) requires them.

Will I receive updates to products that I have already purchased?

Minor Update
Occasionally we will update a product to fix a problem or we will add a new feature. For all minor releases - you can simply download the latest version of your software, uninstall the existing copy and then install the new version. You should not need to reenter the unlock key and there is no cost for the update.

Major Update
TALtech may charge an upgrade fee for major upgrades. Once you've paid the upgrade fee you are entitled to free minor upgrades for that release stream. For example, if you pay the upgrade fee for B-Coder 4.0 (from B-Coder 3.x), you will be entitled to all minor upgrades in the 4.x release stream.

Is Technical Support available if I need help?

Yes. Not only is the software extremely easy to use, it also comes with unlimited FREE technical support by phone, fax and email, a clearly written manual and on-line help. To ensure your satisfaction, all TAL software products are covered by a 90-day unconditional money-back guarantee.

PC Has No RS232 Ports? What to Do?

The Short Answer:

Purchase a “RS232 to USB Adapter” at any office supply store or http://www.Amazon.com (typically under $10) and follow the instructions that come with it to install it. (Look for ones that use either a FTDI or Prolific chipset.) After you install it, look in the Windows Device Manager to see what COM Port number was assigned to the adapter (typically COM3, COM4, etc.) and then use it just like a built in RS232 serial port.

The Long Answer:

Although USB stands for “Universal Serial Bus,” the USB interface does not work like old school RS232 serial ports. Like RS232 serial ports, the USB ports on a PC are designed for interfacing external devices. However, any device that is designed to connect to a USB port must come with a Windows device driver that provides a software interface to the device. Practically any device can be designed to connect to a USB port as long as the device is supplied with an appropriate driver.

As a result of the USB interface design, there is no way for a software application to open up a USB port and communicate with any device the same way that you can with a RS232 serial port. Any software that communicates with a particular piece of USB hardware must do so through the driver that was designed to work with the hardware.

Many new laptop computers and some desktop models are now shipped without RS232 serial ports and are equipped with multiple USB ports instead. Fortunately, if you have a device that connects to a RS232 serial port, and you need to connect this device to a PC that does not have any RS232 serial ports, there are many solutions available that are both easy and inexpensive. A number of companies sell single port and multi-port USB to RS232 adapters that connect to a PC through a USB port.

All of these adapters are supplied with a Windows device driver that gets installed on your PC. The device driver software causes the PC to treat the USB to RS232 converter as if it were a built-in RS232 serial port installed on the motherboard of the computer. To accomplish this, the driver for the adapter creates a “Virtual COM port” in Windows that behaves exactly like a physical COM port built into the motherboard.

Single-port USB to RS232 adapters are available at most computer or office supply stores and on line at Amazon.com for under $10. Multi-port add-on adapters also are widely available at reasonable prices. All of these products will work just fine with any Windows-based serial communications software including our WinWedge, TCP-Com, COM-File and BC-Wedge software products.

 

All you need to do is to:

• Purchase the USB to RS232 adapter
• Install the driver that comes with it
• Plug the adapter into a USB port on your PC
• Determine the COM port number by looking in the Windows Device Manager
• And, finally, connect the RS232 device to the adapter.


The new serial port should be automatically recognized by Windows and assigned a COM port number (typically COM3 or COM4). Even though the new serial port is not built into the system, Windows will treat the port as if it were, and any standard serial communications software will be able to communicate through the port exactly the same way as if it were a built-in COM port.
 

Note:

Although a search on Amazon.com or the Internet for “USB to RS232 Adapter” will turn up dozens of different makes and models, there are two primary companies that make the chipsets and the driver software for the majority of adapters. One is FTDI and the other is Prolific. Both of these companies produce very high quality driver software for all versions of Windows. In addition, if your adapter uses a chipset from one of these companies, and your PC is connected to the Internet, Windows will automatically download and install the driver for the adapter the first time you connect the adapter to a USB port on your PC – literally “plug and play”. Chipsets from other companies may not be as reliable or as easy to install as those from FTDI or Prolific.

 

The following adapters on Amazon.com are good choices:

https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Converter-Prolific-Chipset-CB-DB9P/dp/B00IDSM6BW

https://www.amazon.com/Tera-Grand-Premium-Adapter-Supports/dp/B00BUZ0K68

B-Coder Pro

Single PC License* $399

B-Coder Pro

Dual License (2 PCs)* $649
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* Higher quantity licenses are also available.

Testimonials

"TALtech Bar Code ActiveX Control has all the features necessary to easily add professional-quality bar codes to Windows applications. A well designed product that produces professional bar codes that print quickly and scan accurately. TALtech provides example code within VB projects, and you also get sample VBA applications in Access, Excel and Word. I would like to see more OCX publishers follow TALtech's example."

Visual Basic Programmer’s Journal Editor

"Once again I am very impressed with the prompt and helpful response. Much appreciated. It is great to see a company making a real effort to give good support."

Chris Morriss Symbol Technologies