How To Create a Barcode in Excel

More than 45% of small businesses in the United States don’t have a system in place for tracking inventory.

This can lead to missing products and waste that can be difficult to control. That’s often the reason businesses go into debt.

You should consider barcode scanning to improve your process and start tracking inventory.

Continue reading to learn how to create a barcode in Excel to determine if this tool will help your company! 

What Is a Barcode Used For? 

Many people use a barcode system for inventory management since it makes the process more efficient. 

Barcodes are simply a shortened way to identify a product. Retail stores and vendors often use barcodes to differentiate products by price, collection, and brand. Barcodes stay consistent with products and help with tracking inventory.

Not only are barcodes on products, but they also get used for invoices, accounting, and other clerical needs.

Below, you can read about the steps that will help you create an original barcode. 

Open Excel

The first step in learning how to create a barcode in Excel is to open a new document.

If you don’t have Excel already downloaded, you must follow Microsoft Office’s instructions. You may need to update your computer once the installation is complete to ensure you have the latest version. 

Although you have yet to formulate a barcode, you must select a folder and save your file under a recognizable name. Saving now will prevent you from losing work and ensure that you don’t forget to save at the end. Many people make the mistake of creating a barcode for something quick, closing out, only to make it again. 

Download the Barcode Font

The most frequently used barcode font in Excel is code 39, you’ll need another code if using another platform.

Code 39 can be downloaded from Free Barcode Font, ID Automation, and Square Gear websites. You’ll follow the instructions on your preferred site and then help make the font compatible with Excel. Don’t get concerned if Excel requests you to restart the computer, this is a normal part of the process. 

If you discover the font you downloaded isn’t working, you may need to try another. Look at the reviews of the company you want to download the code from to ensure it’s a suitable choice. 

How to Create a Barcode in Excel With Columns 

After you’ve successfully downloaded your barcode font, you can start filling in your Excel page.

You’ll start with 2 columns; the first should get labeled as ‘text’ and then the second column should be labeled ‘barcode.’ The alphanumeric data will get entered in the ‘text’ column, it is the foundation for each barcode. Once the process is complete, your barcodes will appear next to your designated text for each product. 

Some people recommend adding a third tab to record any notes you think are important. 

Format Your Text Column

If you’re looking for barcode tips, save the formatting for the end.

After you enter all of the text and note data in Excel, you must then format. Right-click on the ‘text’ column, and select ‘format cells-number-text.’ These formatting setting will prevent endless numbers from appearing and gets rid of leading zeros. 

Within the cell, type [=”*”&A2&”*”] into the first blank row in the barcode column. If the first column is empty, it will display two asterisks when you click outside of the sell. Make sure all of your info in the text column is accurate and fully entered. 

Format Your Barcode Column

Your formula won’t develop the barcodes automatically, there are a few more adjustments to make.

Highlight your ‘barcode’ column and select the ‘home’ tab to change the font settings. Drop the font menu and scroll down until you see the barcode font you previously installed. Select the barcode and move back to your ‘text’ column

From there, enter your alphanumeric data for the text. Code 39 will encode 1 through 9 and A to Z. Once the text is entered and you click outside the cell, the row with automatically populates with barcodes. 

Protect Your Work

Whether you’re creating a product list, wanting to print UPCs, or tracking inventory, barcodes can help.

Closing without saving your work can be a dangerous move. Businesses should do their best to remain consistent with procedures and to protect work. If you don’t save or use auto-save, you run the risk of losing your unique code. 

Keep in mind that the only versions of Excel you can create barcodes on must be 2010 or more recent. Excel software from the early 2000s isn’t compatible with barcode fonts and will show an error. 

Other Barcode Fonts

Since barcodes get used for various purposes, there are unique fonts that will align with your goals. 

For example, if you want to create a barcode for shipping and supply chain purposes, you should use code 128 instead. This code will appear different, but there aren’t any character-length restrictions. Film cartons use code I2of5 for labeling 35mm film rolls. 

If you want to keep your business relevant in the tech community, QR codes are best. QR codes are a type of barcode that navigate people to your website, app, or information. 

Improve Your Business With Barcodes 

Learning how to create a barcode in Excel can save you time and money while making inventory processes more efficient. 

Long product codes can keep your team at the computer for a while and increase the risk of making errors. If you already use Excel to document product numbers, this simple tool can make your processes pain-free. After you start implementing Excel barcodes, you can determine if you need to take the next steps in streaming inventory. 

Avoid putting off this project. The more products you move without proper tracking, the more money you could lose. 

Make sure you check out our blog for more content about improving inventory and business processes! 

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