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How do barcodes work?



06-05-12     2659 day(s) ago    

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Ben

Best Answer

History of Barcodes and Barcode Standards



A barcode is designed to eliminate manual entry and error. Imagine an employee working in a data entry facility that manually enters (keyboard entry) customer ID numbers from an ID card into a database search to pull up customer information. Manually entering hundreds of ID numbers could take a tremendous amount of time and may even cause entry errors.

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In this situation, a barcode can be used. The user can generate barcodes of all customer ID numbers and print the information on the ID card, then use a scanner to scan the barcode and quickly process the information as if it were being typed into the database search.

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To generate the barcode, use a barcode font, component, or application.
To scan the barcode, use a hand held or software barcode scanner.


Once the barcode is created, connect the scanner to the computer or device, open an application (text editor or browser) and scan the barcode. The data will appear where the cursor resides. The process is very similar to using a keyboard to manually enter information into a text area.
A question asked by many users that create and scan barcodes is, “How does the scanner know when to begin and end a barcode scan?” There are special characters designated as start/stop characters that appear at the beginning and end of a barcode. It informs the barcode scanner when to begin and end a scan.

In the case of the database entry search, the scanner simply places the data into a particular field that is used for a search. The application handles the data it receives.


Here is an example of scanning a barcode off of a phone and monitor and into a text editor using a barcode scanner:


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