ANSI X3.182 1990 Bar Code Print Quality Guideline.
In 1990 the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) publised the standard X3.182 as Bar Code Print Quality Guideline. That document outlines quality parameters based on the optics of bar code scanning systems.Quality parameters for checking the quality of bar codes had to do with:
- Did the bar code meet the required format structure?
- Did it have the right characters in the right positions?
- Did it have the correct number of encoded characters?
- Did the background and bar contrast (color) or reflectance meet the correct criteria for a bar code scanner to “see” the bar code? (At that time, scanners where primarily based on helium neon lasers which “see” everything as if it had red glasses on.)
- Did the widths of the bars and spaces meet the industry specifications?
- Were the quiet zones wide enough?
- Was the height of the bar code correct?
Print Quality Bar codes In General Purpose Printers
“There is a wide variety of software packages for creating symbols using general purpose printers. Unfortunately, many of these packages are capable of producing symbols with totally unacceptable quality.”General purpose printers, especially laser printers, are excellent for producing bar code labels on sheets of pre-cut labels (such as “Avery” labels) or on continuous feed labels. Obviously, for anyone needing extremely high quantities of bar codes on a daily basis thermal transfer printers with their high speed would be better, but for many users general purpose printers, especially laser printers, are preferably.
Laser printers are also perfect for creating bar codes on documents, such as medical and legal records, coded “mail-merge” letters, etc. Imagesetters, such as Linotronic printers, are used to create high quality, 2540+ dpi, film positives and negatives for commercial printing.
With general purpose printers, including laser, desk top, ink jet, ion deposition, dot matrix and imagesetter, the software used is critical to ensuring readable symbols.
UCC Guidelines for Producing Quality Symbols, April 1998 ,The software used should be able to satisfy the requirements
How To Print High Quality Bar Codes With EaseSoft Barcode Controls
Most printers have resolution, for example, 300dpi, 600dpi,1200dpi. The resolution means the printer can print how many dots in one inch. When we print a bar code, we need to specify the narrow bar (module) width. How to set the bar code narrow bar width? Most barcode scanners can scan the width in centimeters of the narrow bars which is 13 mils. The user should be able to specify an integer multiple of the printer dot width. For a 600dpi printer the actual dot width is 1/609.6* = 0.00164″. The module width should be specified as an integer multiple of printer dots, i.e. 8 dots per module gives a width of 13.12 Mils and a Magnification Factor of 100.95%, 7 dots per module gives a width of 11.48 Mils and a Magnification Factor of 88.33%.
Print Barcode With EaseSoft Barcode .NET Windows Forms Control
EaseSoft Barcode .NET Windows Forms Control has a Picture property with the resolution setting. You can set the resolution for the barcode picture based on your printer resolution. For example, for a 600dpi printer, then set the resolution as 600, then the barcode resolution will match printer exactly, it can print a perfect barcode. The following is c# code snippet to print a barcode width GDI+:
private void Print_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
PrintDocument pd = new PrintDocument();
EaseSoftBarcode.EaseWinControl barcode1= new EaseSoftBarcode.EaseWinControl();
barcode1.TextToEncode="This is a test for EaseSoft Barcode Control";
pd.DocumentName = "Printing a Barcode";
pd.PrintPage += new System.Drawing.Printing.PrintPageEventHandler(this.PrintPageEventHandler );
private void PrintPageEventHandler(Object obj,PrintPageEventArgs ev)
Graphics g = ev.Graphics;
Print Barcode With EaseSoft Barcode ActiveX Control
EaseSoft Barcode ActiveX Control can create an enhanced metafile picture property for the barcode. Metafile picture is vector grahics. A vector image is a set of drawing commands that precisely defines the edges of each bar and specifies how to fill in the area created within the defined edges. Vector images are completely device independent as they are a set of precise commands instead of a collection of dots. You can print one 1″ by 1″ barcode on a 100, 600 or 2540 dpi printer! When a vector image is sent to a general printer the printer’s software converts it to a raster image so that it can print it. The following is the VB code snippet:
Printer.Print ” EaseSoft Barcode ActiveX Control Printing”
Printer.PaintPicture Barcode1.Picture,1024, 1024
‘Eject the page…
That’s it, very simple.
Bar Width Reduction
The software you select also needs to have an option for “Bar Width Reduction.” This is important when printing to any printer that has “dot spread”. This includes ink jet printers and “wet ink” printers (but not laser printers). For these printers one dot of bar width reduction is recommended per bar width. For instance for a 300 dpi ink jet printer with a module width of 13.12 Mils (4 printer dots per module width) Bar Width Reduction of one dot would be 3.28 Mils or 25%.
Bar Width Reduction is also required when bar codes are going to be printed on a commercial (wet ink) press. In this case the artwork containing the bar code is usually output on film from an Image setter. Image setters have resolutions of 2400+ dpi so the required bar width reduction can be specified exactly. The actual amount of reduction required is determined by the paper and ink used and this should be specified by the printer. If printing to a smooth hard surface, such as a glass bottle, Bar Width Gain may be required. Again, you should consult your commercial printer for his recommendations before generating the bar codes.