Tips on Printing Barcode Tags

Here are some tips to help ensure that you print your tags in such a way that the barcode will scan easily.

  • Don’t print too dark – it is better to print a little light than too dark. Don’t print on the “High Quality” setting, print on the normal setting. This is especially true for inkjet printers. Some cardstock papers can “soak up” the ink when it is sprayed too dark, causing the edges of the barcode to be fuzzy and not scan. The edges of a barcode need to be crisp.
  • Align your print cartridges – printer cartridges in inkjet printers can get out of alignment, especially when you change cartridges. This can cause the edge of the barcode not to be clean and straight. There should be a utility that came with your printer software that allows you to align the print cartridges.
  • Don’t use designer cardstock – Designer cardstock that is “fiberous” can soak up ink from an inkjet and cause the edges of a barcode to be fuzzy. Use a standard dense cardstock. Avoid carstock with a “slick” surface, as it can cause ink to smudge.
  • Don’t “scale” the printing – when actually printing the barcodes/tags, the consignor should not adjust the scaling on the page. they should print at 100%, just like the tag is generated. If they use a “shrink to fit” option, or if they change page scaling to something other than 100% it can adjust the size of the barcode, which adjusts the “gaps” between the dark bars and can cause the barcode to be unscannable.

Following these guidelines should greatly reduce the number of “unscannable” barcodes.  If you have concerns on whether or not your tags will scan you can Contact Us.