Recommend a vector-based EAN-13 barcode font
February 17, 2010 3:16 PM   Subscribe

Are there any vector-based barcode fonts? If not, can you recommend software for creating such a font?

We have reporting software at work that automatically generates PDFs and emails them out. I've been asked to include some UPC barcodes (EAN-13 format, to be exact) on one of these reports.

When sending out a PDF with a typeface that the end user is unlikely to have installed, we embed the font into the PDF. However, this doesn't seem to working in this case - the barcode doesn't appear in the report. I contacted tech support for our reporting software and they told me this was a known issue caused by the fact that the barcode font was a bitmap font and not a vector-based font (despite being a TrueType font).

So: I need to find a vector-based barcode font for EAN-13. Alternatively, if such a font doesn't exist, we need a tool that can generate such a font.

What I can't use is a tool that generates the barcodes themselves. There are loads of such tools out there, but they're useless in this context because the barcode must be automatically generated as part of the PDF.
posted by Ritchie to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
Best answer: What font are you using now? In my experience, almost ALL barcode fonts are Postscript, Truetype, or more recently OpenType - all of which are vector formats.
posted by luriete at 4:32 PM on February 17, 2010


(in fact, it's been over a decade since I've seen bitmap barcode fonts used for any application)
posted by luriete at 4:32 PM on February 17, 2010


Response by poster: Ah, I see where you're headed. A moment ago I downloaded some demo barcode fonts from ID Automation, and tried a few of them out on the PDF. They all worked. So it seems like it was just that the barcode font we were using (and I'm not sure where it was sourced from) was a bitmap font for some reason.
posted by Ritchie at 6:05 PM on February 17, 2010


The traditional Barcode number fonts are called OCR-A and OCR-B
posted by carlh at 6:22 PM on February 17, 2010


The traditional Barcode number fonts are called OCR-A and OCR-B

No, those are Optical Character Recognition (OCR) fonts. They're designed to make letters that are easy for computers to differentiate (think of 0 and O) while still being human readable.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:59 PM on February 18, 2010


"No, those are Optical Character Recognition (OCR) fonts. They're designed to make letters that are easy for computers to differentiate (think of 0 and O) while still being human readable."

I've used the professional Barcode Producer software for years to create barcodes for my clients products. The software uses OCR-B.

*shrug*
posted by carlh at 6:48 AM on March 2, 2010


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