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Issue Pasting Barcodes into Excel

A minor problem with spreadsheets is that they normally display and print a grid pattern around all cells. Cell grid lines can be confused by a barcode reader as part of a barcode. This problem can easily be corrected simply by turning grid lines off before printing the spreadsheet. In Excel this is done by selecting "Options" and "Display..." from Excel's main menu and then clearing the "Grid lines" check box.

Another small problem is that most spreadsheet programs will automatically draw a border around images both while displayed on screen and when printed on a printer. If there is no leading or trailing "Quiet Zone" at either end of your barcode, the border appears to a barcode reader as part of the barcode and thus it will probably be unreadable. The easiest way to avoid this problem is to enable the Include Quiet Zones option in B-Coder's Preferences menu. Another solution is to remove the unwanted border with a formatting command in the spreadsheet. In Microsoft Excel you can get rid of borders around graphics by selecting "Format" & "Patterns" from Excel's main menu. This will display a dialog box where you can instruct Excel to remove a border from a selected graphic.

If your barcodes are still not pasting correctly, it may be because the version of Excel you're running is automatically converting the barcodes as Enhanced MetaFiles instead of regular MetaFiles. Try performing a Paste > Special and selecting Windows MetaFile. If the above does not work, we recommend importing the barcode image from a disk file instead of pasting it directly into the cell:
To generate and import a barcode created with B-Coder into an Excel worksheet, perform the following steps:

  1. Generate your barcode in B-Coder Pro as you normally would. After your barcode is visible in the B-Coder window, select "Save barcode As..." from the FILE menu.
  2. In the File Save dialog box, enter a file name for the barcode making sure that you use the file name extension ".WMF". For example, you might use the file name: "BARCODE.WMF". At this point, your barcode now exists on disk as a standard Windows metafile.
  3. Open up Excel and select "Picture" and "From File..." in Excel's INSERT menu. When the File Open dialog box appears, locate the file that you saved in B-Coder (i.e. the file BARCODE.WMF), highlight it and click the "Insert" button.

Your barcode should appear in Excel's window and you can place the barcode where you would like it to appear by simply dragging it with your mouse.

Note: Although you can resize the barcode in Excel, it is recommended that you do not change the width of the barcode after you import it into Excel.


Categories: Troubleshooting, Microsoft Excel

Last Updated: 2011.07.05

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