Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (2022)

Placing Code 39 / Code 128 Barcodes on the PDF forms

(Video) Code 39 barcode generator

This tutorial shows how to add Code 39 barcodes to a PDF form using AutoMailMerge™ plug-in for the Adobe® Acrobat®. Use the same instructions with other similar barcode types such as Code 128. Use a different method for creating QR and PDF417 barcodes.
Tutorial Overview
We are going to create the product inventory labels in PDF format for 12 models of chairs. Each product label will be filled with a barcode, an image, and a text description for the product.The data for each product label will be read from an Excel spreadsheet.
The tutorial is going to show how to:
  • Download a barcode font and install it under Microsoft Windows.
  • Create a text field for the barcode on a PDF form template.
  • Prepare data in Excel.
  • Run mail merge to create barcodes using data from an Excel spreadsheet.
The output from the mail merge will be 12 separate PDF files for each product. The barcode field in this tutorial is using the Code 39 symbology to encode a "Product ID" field from the input spreadsheet. The Code 93 is a variable length, discrete barcode symbology that is widely used in many industries and is the standard for many government barcode specifications, including the U.S. Department of Defense. Code 39 is defined in American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard MH10.8M-1983, and is also known as USD-3 and 3 of 9. Here is a link to Wikipedia article about Code 39 barcode.
The Code 128 barcode font can be used in exactly the same way as Code 39 font.
Input Document Description
The tutorial is using an Excel spreadsheet as a mail merge data source. The spreadsheet contains product information for 12 different models of chairs. There are 5 data fields (columns) in the spreadsheet: "Image", "Title", "Subtitle", "Price" and "Product ID". The data from each row needs to be placed on the PDF form to create individual PDF "product label". The text from the "Product ID" column will be used for the barcode.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (1)
You need a copy of the Adobe® Acrobat® DC along with the AutoMailMerge™ plug-in installed on your computer in order to use this tutorial. You can download trial versions of both the Adobe® Acrobat® and the AutoMailMerge™.
Step 1 - Download Barcode Code Font
Go to "Google Fonts" repository to download the "Libre Barcode 39 Text" font. If Code 128 symbology is required, get the "Libre Barcode 128 Text" font.
Open a web-browser and go to "" web-page or use the above links.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (2)
Search for the specific barcode font. As an example, enter "39" in the search box. Find the "Libre Barcode 39 Text" font in the searching results. Click "+" to select the font.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (3)
Click on the "1 Family Selected" bar in the bottom of the screen to expand the collapsed window.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (4)
Click the icon to download the font.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (5)
The downloaded file will appear in the bottom of the screen (depends on the browser used). Note that if you are using a different web-browser, than the file may appear in the "Downloads" folder. Open the downloaded "" file.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (6)
Step 2 - Install the Downloaded Barcode Font
Extract "LibreBarcode39Text-Regular.ttf" font file into some folder.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (7)
Open the folder where you have extracted the "LibreBarcode39Text-Regular.ttf" file. Right click on the file. Select "Install" from the pop-up menu. The font will be automatically installed.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (8)
Once the installation is completed, the "Libre Barcode 39 Text Regular" font will be added to the fonts list. It would be placed into C:\Windows\Fonts folder: .
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (9)
Create a PDF Form
Step 3 - Start Adobe Acrobat
Start the Adobe® Acrobat® application. Select the "Tools" from the main toolbar. Select the "Prepare Form" tool to open a form editor.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (10)
Step 4 - Select a PDF form template
Select an existing PDF file that will be as used as a template for the PDF form. It is common to design documents in the text editor such as Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, or in any other similar application and then export it into PDF format. The form editor is used only to add fillable forms fields to allow using the document in the mail merge process.
Click here to download the Template PDF file that have been used in the tutorial.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (11)
Step 5 - Add a Text Field
Place a text field at the location where a barcode needs to be positioned. Once a PDF file is opened in the "Prepare Form" tool, click the "Add an Text field" icon.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (12)
Move cursor to a page location where you want to place a text field (barcode). Press and hold left mouse button and drag a rectangle where you want to place a barcode. You will be able to change the position of the field later.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (13)
Type a name of the field into a "Field Name" box. Field names are used to uniquely identify each field on a PDF form. We are going to name this field "Product ID". It is a good idea to use the same name for both form and data fields to simplify the field mapping. It is not a requirement, but saves time and make the process more transparent. Click "All Properties" to specify text field properties.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (14)
Step 6 - Set Text Field Appearance
  • Select "Auto" from the "Font Size:" menu.
  • Select "Libre Barcode 39 Text" from the "Font:" menu. If the barcode font is not listed in the "Font:" list, then restart the computer.
  • Choose black text color.
  • Choose border and background color ("Fill color"->"No Fill" works the best for most applications).
Next, select the "Options" tab.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (15)
Select "Center" from the "Alignment:" menu. Uncheck all options. Click "Close" to save.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (16)
Step 7 - Save the PDF Form
Optionally, add one or more text fields at page locations where variable text needs to be placed. Click the "Add a Text field" icon and place the text field onto the form. See "Populating PDF Forms With Images and Text" for details on how to put images and text on the PDF forms.
Click "Save file" to save changes to the file. Now a previously static PDF document became an interactive PDF form.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (17)
Step 8 - Preparing Data in the Microsoft Excel
We are going to use an Excel spreadsheet to store the data for the mail merge. Prepare your data in the Microsoft Excel. Below is a spreadsheet example that contains product information for 12 different models of chairs. There are 5 data fields (columns) in the spreadsheet: "Image", "Title", "Subtitle", "Price" and "Product ID". The text from the "Product ID" column will be used for the barcode.
Click here to download the Microsoft Excel file that have been used in the tutorial.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (18)
Run Mail Merge
Step 9 - Open a PDF Form
Start the Adobe® Acrobat® application and using "File > Open..." menu open a PDF form template that was prepared.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (19)
Step 10 - Open the "Mail Merge" Dialog
Select "Plug-Ins > Mail Merge..." to open the "Mail Merge" dialog.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (20)
Step 11 - Setup Mail Merge Settings
Press the "Edit Settings..." button to configure the mail merge parameters.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (21)
Step 12 - Select a Data Source
Press the "Browse..." button in the "Data Source" screen to select an input data file.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (22)
Select "Microsoft Excel Worksheet (*xls.*xlsx)" from the list:
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (23)
Select prepared data source file (use file prepared at the step 8). Click "Open".
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (24)
Select a sheet from the list. Click "OK".
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (25)
Step 13 - Map Form to Data Fields
Click "Guess Mapping" in the "Data Source" screen. The software will automatically select field correspondence based on field names.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (26)
The confirmation dialog will appear on the screen. Click "Yes" to proceed.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (27)
The dialog showing the number of field mappings will be displayed. Click "OK".
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (28)
Step 14 - Examine the Field Mappings
Examine the field mappings that have been guessed and click "Next >" to advance to the next screen.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (29)
Step 15 - Specify Field Options
Optionally, use the "Specify Field Options" screen to control if output form fields should remain editable or not. Make sure to check "Flatten output PDF documents" option to make output documents non-editable. Click "Next >" to advance to the next screen.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (30)
Step 16 - Specify Output Options
Use "Select Output Options" screen to control where and how to save output PDF documents. Click "Browse..." to specify an output folder. Optionally, specify the file naming options. Check the "Output a compound document that will contain all filled forms" option if it is necessary to put all output files into a single PDF. Click "Next >" to proceed.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (31)
Skip the rest of the screens by clicking "Next>" button multiple times, click "Finish" on the last screen.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (32)
Step 17 - Save Settings
Optionally, save mail merge settings into the *.mms file for later reuse by pressing the "Save Settings" button. Use the "Load Settings" button to load them back at a later time. Click "OK" to advance to the mail merge process.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (33)
Step 18 - Start Processing
Press the "Run Mail Merge" button in the "Confirm Processing" dialog to start a mail merge process.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (34)
The "Mail Merge Results" dialog will appear once the processing is completed. Click "OK" to close this dialog and open an output folder.
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (35)
Step 19 - Examine Output Files
Examine output files by opening them in the Adobe Acrobat. There are 12 individual PDF files created in this tutorial:
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (36)
Here are the examples of the output PDF product labels generated by the mail merge. The Product ID thas been encoded using Code 39 barcode symbology:
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (37)
The following examples are for Code 128 barcode font:
Creating Code 39 Barcode In a PDF Form (38)
You can find a list of other step-by-step tutorials here:
(Video) How to add barcode in fillable pdf form using Adobe Acrobat Pro
AutoMailMergePopulate PDF forms from data filesAutoSplitSplit, merge and rename PDF filesAutoExtractExtract data from PDF into Excel filesAutoPortfolioLitigation ToolsEmail-to-PDF ConversionAutoDocMailAutomatically email PDF documents via text searchAutoRedactRedact text and images in PDF documentsAutoBatchExecute Acrobat actions from command-line scriptsAutoPagexAdvanced page editing tools for Adobe AcrobatAutoMassSecureSecure PDF files with individual passwordsAutoInkWrite, draw and fill forms using pen inputAutoDocSearchSearch, Extract and Organize PDF files
(Video) How to add a barcode to a fillable pdf form in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC 2022
(Video) How to create a #Code39-Barcode

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(Video) Add Barcodes and QR Codes in Core and Universal PDFs

(Video) How to Create Barcodes in Excel (The Simple Way)


How do I create barcodes in PDF? ›

Add a barcode field
  1. Open the form in Acrobat. ...
  2. Choose Tools > Prepare Form.
  3. Click the Barcode icon in the toolbar.
  4. Drag a rectangle to define the barcode area, and then double-click the barcode field to open the Properties dialog box.
  5. In the Value tab, do one of the following: ...
  6. In the Options tab, do all of the following:
20 Sept 2022

Does Adobe have a barcode generator? ›

Fast and easy creation of custom QR 2D barcodes with the Softmatic QR Designer for Adobe InDesign 2021 or higher. You can choose from all the most frequently used types of barcodes, including QR-Code, EAN-8, EAN-13, UPC-A, UPC-E, ISBN, ISSN, JAN-8, JAN-13 and many, many more..

How do I read a barcode from a PDF? ›

Often there is a need to read barcodes from PDF documents.
The recognition process includes the following steps:
  1. Open the source PDF document and render its pages to raster images.
  2. Process the obtained images through class BarCodeReader to detect and decode barcodes.
  3. Further processing of the decoding results.

Can I make my own scannable barcode? ›

Creating your own custom codes is pretty simple and cheap. All you need is a computer, some software or font packs, a scanner, and a label printer. Once you have your setup, the costs are about the same whether you choose to create 100 barcodes or 1000.

Can you generate barcodes for free? ›

A barcode generator is a free and easy-to-use way to create barcodes for the items in your inventory.

How many characters are in a Code 39 barcode? ›

CODE39. CODE 39 is the barcode developed by Intermec Corporation in 1975. Up to 43 characters including numbers, letters and some symbols can be included in the barcode. Since letters can be handled, CODE 39 is indispensable in the industrial fields and used in industries such as automotive and electronics.

Can I turn a PDF into a QR Code? ›

Create your own PDF QR Code in 3 easy steps.

Click 'Create QR Code' -> Choose 'PDF QR' type. Upload your PDF or paste the URL to the file. Customize the look and design of the QR Code as you like. Click on Next—and you're done!

What is barcode PDF? ›

PDF417 is a stacked linear barcode format used in a variety of applications such as transport, identification cards, and inventory management. "PDF" stands for Portable Data File. The "417" signifies that each pattern in the code consists of 4 bars and spaces in a pattern that is 17 units (modules) long.

How many number of barcodes are supported in Adobe forms? ›

There are three barcodes that are so called read-only barcodes (i.e. PDF 417, QR Code and Data Matrix).

How do I know if a barcode is readable? ›

Print your barcode and take it to a retail store. Ask if you can scan your barcode at the register. (Bribe the cashier with snacks.) The scanner should pick up your barcode and beep, confirming that the barcode is readable.

How do I copy a barcode from PDF to Word? ›

About This Article
  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Reader.
  2. Click Edit.
  3. Click Copy File to Clipboard.
  4. Open the Word document.
  5. Right-click the document.
  6. Click Paste.
7 Feb 2022

Can you manually read a barcode? ›

Although barcodes are designed to be "read" by scanners and interpreted by computers, it is possible with practice to look at a UPC barcode and translate it into a 12-digit number.

Can Excel generate barcodes? ›

You can generate a wide range of barcodes on excel such as: Code 128. Code 39. UPC/ EAN.

How do I use Code 39 barcode in Word? ›

For Code 39, all you have to do is add the start symbol (*) to the front and back of the text. For example, if you download a Code 39 barcode, then you would type *Hello* to create a scannable barcode that will read the word Hello when scanned.

What can be used instead of barcodes? ›

Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is a fully automated alternative to barcode scanning that has seen large scale growth in adoption rates across many industries.

Do barcodes cost money? ›

Resellers supply legitimate, legal barcodes for a one-off cost. Many of them supply both UPC-A and EAN-13 barcodes. There are several reputable places to buy UPC-A and EAN-13 codes.

How much do barcodes cost? ›

GS1 Company Prefix Pricing
Number of items needing a barcode/GTIN**Initial feeAnnual renewal fee
3 more rows

What is the best free barcode scanner? ›

Here are the 7 Free Best QR Code Reader Apps for Android and iOS in 2022 –
QR Code Scanner AppOperating SystemPrice
Barcode ReaderiOS and AndroidFree
NeoReader QR & Barcode ScanneriOS and AndroidFree (Continuous scan – $1.99)
QuickMark Barcode ScanneriOSFree
QR Droid and QR Droid PrivateAndroidFree
3 more rows
21 Sept 2022

Can a barcode be without numbers? ›

you can put in the notes that a barcode is present without printed numbers, but without a barcode scanner you're not gonna be able to find them.

How do barcodes get generated? ›

How are barcodes generated? Barcodes are generated using software. Stores decide what information (quantity, color, type) they want to collect with the barcode and choose the barcode format. The software will automatically generate a machine-readable barcode.

What is the minimum size for a barcode? ›

The minimum recommended size is 80% of the nominal size, or 1.175" w x . 816" h. Size may vary depending on package design and printing conditions. In general, larger UPC's scan better.

How do you tell if a barcode is 39 or 128? ›

A Code 39 barcode encodes 39 characters in total. Code 128 has a higher density than Code 39. Code 39 does not include a check digit, while Code 128 does.

Does Code 39 have a check digit? ›

Code 39 does not require a checksum or check digit, although a Modulo (Mod) 43 check digit can be added for increased data integrity.

Can Adobe Acrobat create QR codes? ›

Acrobat also allows you to create barcodes and QR codes with the Prepare Form tool .

What Adobe program makes QR codes? ›

With a document open in InDesign, select the Object menu. Choose Generate QR Code. On the Content tab, select the Type of code you want to generate (Web Hyperlink, Plain Text, Text Message, Email or Business Card)

What is the format of a barcode? ›

The basic Code 128 barcode format consists of a start code (which sets the initial character set to A, B, or C), the code data, a checksum digit, and a stop code, which marks the end of the barcode. As with other linear barcodes, there are blank quiet zones on either side.

What are the two types of barcodes? ›

Barcodes are available in two different types: Linear barcodes and two-dimensional matrix barcodes.

How do I remove the bar code from a PDF? ›

How do I remove a QR code? Click the boxes of the codes you wish to delete or select all of your QR Codes at once by clicking the box to the left Selected at the top of the screen. Choose Actions and then select Delete from the dropdown menu. Confirm delete in the popup box.

Is there a limit to barcodes? ›

The maximum data limit is 1556 bytes. Error correction is built into these barcodes to increase readability, so even if one or more cells are damaged, the data can still be read. A Data Matrix barcode can store up to 2,335 alphanumeric characters.

Can 2 barcodes be the same? ›

The answer to this is also YES. Although the manufacturer may have one barcode for the product, the reseller (retailer) may put their OWN barcode on the product, thus having the same product with 2 separate barcodes. Can a barcode be copied? Yes.

How many barcodes can be generated? ›

If you're talking about UPC barcodes, there are 11 digits to the standard UPC code, giving you a hypothetical 10^11, or 100 billion possible barcodes.

What makes barcodes unreadable? ›

The most common causes of unreadable barcodes are low contrast, quiet zone violations, improper reading position, print or mark inconsistency, and damage or distortion.

How small can a barcode be and still scan? ›

UPC bar codes can range from 0.8 to 2.0 magnification. At 0.8, the bar code is reduced to 80 percent from the nominal size. At this magnification, the bar code is 1.175 inches wide by 0.816 inches high. This is the smallest that a bar code can be and still be scanned.

Does it matter what size a barcode is? ›

Adjusting the height of the barcode does not affect its scanability because the width is not affected by this change. In general, you should leave the height at its default option unless there's some specific reason to change it.

Can you convert text to barcode? ›

You can also create barcodes in Word, PowerPoint, Wordpad, TextEdit, and pretty much any app that allows you to change the font. Once you download the font and install it on your computer, enter the text in your program of choice and change the font to the barcode font.

How do I convert numbers to barcodes in Word? ›

How to convert text or numbers to a barcode in Microsoft Word
  1. Highlight the text to be converted.
  2. Select Format, Font from the menu bar.
  3. Select 3 of 9 Barcode from the Font list and click OK.

Can I copy and paste a barcode? ›

The barcode may be copied to the clipboard for subsequent pasting into another application – such as Word.

Do barcodes work if printed? ›

Can a UPC Bar Code Be Printed in Color Ink or on Colored Paper? Many large retail chains now fine or disqualify vendors who supply products with bar codes that do not scan. If you print a UPC symbol with color ink or on a colored background, you run the risk that the symbol will not scan.

What information is not stored on a barcode? ›

What information is not stored on a barcode? Barcodes contain details about a product such as the size, type, and manufacturer. However, it doesn't contain price information, which is often stored in a database.

Can I scan a barcode and print it? ›

Simply Scan an Old Label or Enter a Code and Print!

Using any Zebra printer, barcode scanner and even a Zebra keyboard (KDU ) will enable you to scan or type a barcode code and print a high quality barcode label-in just seconds.

How can I create my own barcodes? ›

To create a barcode

Select the barcode type: EAN-13, UPC-A, Code 39, or ITF. Fill in the product category information in the barcode data box. Click on the barcode title box and barcode note if you want to add them in the barcode. Add a name for the barcode in the title box and more details in the note box.

How do I create a barcode for a document? ›

How to create QR code for a word document? A step-by-step guide
  1. Go to QRTIGER QR code generator online. ...
  2. Select the file or URL category and upload your document.
  3. Generate and customize your QR code. ...
  4. Test and download your word document QR code. ...
  5. Deploy in print and digital platforms.
4 Nov 2022

How can I create barcodes for free? ›

Free Barcode Maker and QR Code Generator
  1. 1 Select Type of Code. Select a barcode symbology, or "type." ...
  2. 2 Type Your Text. Enter the information you would like to encode into the barcode or QR code.
  3. 3 Enter Your Email. After selecting “Generate,” you will receive an email with your high-resolution barcode.

What is the most common barcode format? ›

UPC CODES: The UPC-E barcode is a universal product code and the most used in the United States.


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