Barcode / Unicode

Today's laser printers are already very powerful, but almost all are not able to generate barcodes independently. Some of the simpler codes already have corresponding fonts, but their use is not without its pitfalls, because the fonts are only available in certain size and width ratios, and because you have to take care of things like start or stop characters and check digits yourself.

Some printer manufacturers offer extensions for barcode printing for some of their models. These so-called barcode SIMMs or barcode DIMMs are memory modules with additional programs that are executed by the printer's processor. It is in the nature of things that these memories are very printer-specific and must be replaced when the printer is changed.

The advantage of such a solution is its ease of use. The barcodes are selected like a font. Fonts can be addressed by practically any application program. In this font, only the user data to be coded is transferred, all other tasks, such as scaling, start/stop characters and check digits, are taken over by the program in the printer.

Samples for barcodes

The barcode converter offers an alternative to the use of such printer extensions and also makes printers barcode-capable for which there are no SIMMs or DIMMs.

It behaves in the same way towards the print data stream as some of the common barcode SIMMs and DIMMs and can therefore be used immediately without any changes to the application. It can be used with Windows applications as well as with SAP on host environments, because the converter also supports the standard printer descriptions for barcode printing available there.

In addition to the most common linear barcode types such as EAN 8/13/128, UPC A/E, Code 39, Code 128 and the various 2 out of 5 codes, the two-dimensional codes DataMatrix, PDF417, QR, Aztec and Maxicode are also supported. Stacked codes in the GS1 application environment can also be printed. The barcodes can be scaled and rotated as required. The converter generates very compact control sequences for printing the barcodes, so that the network load only increases insignificantly.

In addition to barcode generation, the converter also offers a very efficient and powerful mechanism for exchanging character strings and/or control characters, which can also be used to make printer-specific adjustments. This makes it quick and easy, for example, to use the printer's own tray controls or the subsequent use of duplex printing.

Also included is support for UTF-8 encoded data streams. UTF-8 encoded characters are automatically recognized and converted into the printer's 8-bit character tables. This allows even older printers with this coding to be operated multilingually.