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Introduction to Barcode Printing

What are barcodes?

A barcode is a body of data encoded by either varying spacing and width of parallel lines (known as 1D barcodes) or by geometric patterns such as dots, hexagons, and rectangles (known as 2D barcodes). The data that can be held range from a few characters for 1D barcodes to several thousand characters to 2D barcodes, making it very effective and powerful for barcode printing applications.

How does barcode printing work?

First, the user will need to create the label format and content, using software designed for barcode printing purposes. One would first select the type of barcode format that is most optimal for their needs, then enter the information to be represented by the barcode. Together, this output will then feed into a barcode label printer, which prints the corresponding input. These label printers can typically support multiple types of barcodes, depending on the users’ barcode printing needs.

How do I connect a computer to the barcode printer?

Setting up barcode printing has gotten more and more user-friendly with the increased interface options between a user’s computer and the barcode printer. Connectivity options now cover both wired selections, including USB, Ethernet, serial, as well as wireless options (including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth). IML printers cover this wide range of options to make barcode printing both simple and flexible.

What are the advantages of using a thermal barcode printer for barcode printing applications?

Barcode printing can be conducted on either conventional office printers (such as laser or inkjet) or on thermal barcode printers. The latter offers some significant advantages, including:

  1. Flexibility: There is a much wider array of labels that a user can choose from to fit their specific printing needs. Furthermore, thermal barcode printers can be outfitted with automatic cutters to customize the desired length of the labels.
  2. Reliability: When using conventional printers for barcode printing, the adhesives of the labels is apt to seep out and thus causing paper jams. Additionally, for high-speed barcode printing applications, inkjet printers are hard-coped to produce labels at the rate required.