How can I print and scan bar codes?
and PocketRep™ support the printing and use of bar codes for ordering. BrokerForce
supports scanning directly into a laptop or desktop while PocketRep is used with
PocketPC, Windows Mobile, or Windows Smart Phone compatible devices.
Following is a discussion of how to print bar codes, how to scan them and what
devices can be used to scan.
Bar Code Printing:
Only laser jet
printers are recommended for printing bar code labels. Ink jet printers
may produce a label that can be scanned for a short while however, they
are unreliable for the 3 of 9 font and the ink tends to flake off of the label
so that they can't be scanned.
Bar code fonts are
similar to like you would choose an Arial or Times Roman font in your word
processor. Common bar code fonts are UPCA, EAN, 3 of 9 and I two of 5.
Always print a
test page on ordinary paper before printing on label stock. It is much less
expensive to test on regular paper than on label stock. Since printing tends to
vary from printer to printer, consider sacrificing a page of label stock as a
template and remove the top left label, a label in the middle, and a label at
the bottom right. You can hold this page up in the light over your test page to
verify that the printer alignment is correct.
margins can be adjusted by clicking on the <Page Setup> button at the top left
on the toolbar in BrokerForce. You can also test the difference of answering
<Yes> to reduce the height of each label if the labels tend to creep
down below the bottom margin of the label after several rows.
Some labels offer
the option of including the month and year that the label was printed. It can be very helpful to know if a label needs to
be replaced if the prices have changed if the label was printed several
Choice of bar code
manufacturer provided you with UPCs and these are in your BrokerForce
product data, you have the greatest choice of labels because you can use
either the UPCA or 3 of 9 barcode fonts. The UPCA barcode is the most easily recognized by scanning
devices. UPCA only supports 12 digit UPC (including the check digit) numbers without any letters or
other characters. In addition to being the easiest to scan, if you scan a
UPC on a packaged product, the scanner will return the same information as
if you scanned a UPC label printed by BrokerForce.
If you are
using UPC numbers, be sure to preview the "Products with Duplicate UPCs"
report before printing labels. When a duplicate UPC is
scanned, the first instance of that UPC is returned. So, if there is
only one duplicate, there is a 50% chance that the wrong item number,
description, and price will be returned. If there is more than one
duplicate, the odds of returning the correct information is not as good.
- If the
manufacturer did not provide UPC data, you are limited to the 3 of 9 font for
representing the vendor's item number as a barcode.
- If using 3 of
9, only upper case letters, numbers, and dashes are supported by the 3 of 9
font supplied with BrokerForce. Barcodes with other characters or spaces will
have spaces in the barcode and will not be recognized by the scanner.
- BrokerForce 3
of 9 bar code reports prioritize the number chosen to create any barcode. In
order of priority, it is SKU, UPC, and then vendor's item number. That is, if
there is a SKU number present, that will be used to create the barcode instead
of a UPC number. If there is a UPC present, that will be shown instead of the
vendor's item number. If both SKU and UPC are present, the SKU number will be
If you only see large
numbers when you preview one of the barcode reports, to install and register
the UPCA and Free 3 of 9 fonts, see Font
Choice of label: BrokerForce supports 3 primary
sizes of labels. Avery 5167 labels are 5/8ths by 1 3/4 inches in length.
This return address label is available at many office supply stores but not
all. The larger, Avery 5160 address label, is commonly available at most
office supply stores.
The label stock
for the 5/8ths by one inch label must be ordered as a custom label or you can
order them in packets of 100 sheets of 112/labels/sheet directly from
BrokerForce. This is the smallest footprint label that is supported by
from the <Reports> drop list on the product form:
Labels 39 Avery 5167 - This label uses the 3 of 9 font for the
option text. It is the only label used for product options (color,
size, frame, fabric, etc) for manufacturers that use the same item or
"style" number but with a different option. Up to 5 option levels are
supported. There is not a UPCA alternative for options.
labels 39 Avery 5160 - This is the standard Avery Address label and
is commonly available at office supply stores. This is a good choice
if the item does not have a UPC number and the vendor's item number is
longer than 8 characters particularly if there is a combination of letters
and numbers. Vendor name and descriptions are complete.
labels 39 Avery 5167 - This label uses the Avery "Return Address"
label and it is generally available at office supply stores. There is
not as much information on this label and if the manufacturer's item number
exceeds 10 characters and includes letters, be sure to test scan any label
that the barcode extends from end to end on the label or has spaces between
bars of more than 1/8 inch.
labels 39 Avery 5167 SKU and Product Labels 39 SKU 5/8x1in - Use
these labels only as a work-around if you are not able to use any of the
other alternatives. BrokerForce can create a 5 digit SKU (stock
keeping unit) number for a manufacturer's products that do not have a UPC or
are otherwise too long for a 3 of 9 font to scan reliably. The numbers
created are unique to your data set and only up to 99,999 items are
supported. This makes for a relatively short barcode footprint that is
easily scanned. Be forewarned: If you delete the vendor's items from
BrokerForce and then re-add them at a later date, you will not be able to
scan labels you printed before. You will have to retag all of those
products with newly assigned numbers!
labels UPCA 5/8x1in - This is a good choice for bar coding a catalog and is easy to scan. The picture at right is enlarged.
This label provides an option of showing a 5 letter abbreviation for the
manufacturer or the month and year the label was printed (shown). This
label does not support volume level pricing.
Labels UPCA Avery 5160 - This larger label supports additional
text, longer item numbers, description, minimums and other information. The
barcode on this is intentionally a little larger for scanning from a greater
distance. The manufacturer's name is shown at top in addition to the month and
year that the label was
labels UPCA 5167 - Similar to the 3 of 9 version above only using
UPCA and is easier to scan.
Labels UPCA 5167(tier) - Supports using BrokerForce price column 5
as the base price and 4 as the first volume level price so that the minimum
quantity is shown for the base price (5). It also displays the price in
column 4 along with the quantity required to be awarded the Qty4 volume
level pricing. This is the smallest tiered pricing label available.
Labels UPCA5167LgBar - The 3 of 9 font is expanded in this version
to make scanning recognition better. It can only be used for short item
numbers, typically less than 9 characters if letters are included. It
can be used for UPC numbers as well.
Labels UPCA 5167 Folded - This UPCA label can be folded onto a
string or hang tag so that the label can be scanned from either side. This
works well for small hang tags or jewelry with UPC numbers.
Labels (Jewelry)2.2 x .5in - A custom label for a Zebra TLP 3742
Labels Avery 6570 and Product Labels Avery 6570 (Tier Pricing) -
Both labels use a UPCA font. These are designed for a standard hang tag that
is the same size as this label. Tier (volume level) pricing is supported
for up to 3 tiers of pricing. Prices must be in descending order by
increasing volume and must begin with the base price of column 5 in
BrokerForce with the second level being price column 4, and the lowest price
that will be displayed on the label in price column 3. The price each is
shown to the right of the base price if applicable. A 5 letter abbreviation
is shown for the vendor at the right of the label above the bar code.
Labels Avery 6570 (SKU) - Similar to the above label however, this
uses a 3 of 9 bar code for a SKU number in BrokerForce.
Product Labels 39
1x2in and Product labels UPCA 1x2in- Custom cut label
available from Labels On
Choice of Scanner: BrokerForce™
supports scanning with
PocketRep™ mobile software or scanning directly into the
program using a corded wedge or wireless scanner.
With PocketRep™, orders are
be scanned into a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or Smart Phone running Pocket
PC 2003, Windows Mobile 5 and Windows Mobile 6. PocketRep™
are synchronized into BrokerForce. Scanning with a PDA using PocketRep
Scanning on a PC or laptop:
Barcodes can be used for entering line item details with a wedge scanner in
BrokerForce. Wedge scanner options run from a durable USB corded
scanner (~ $135) to a Bluetooth wireless scanner (~$450).
Any wedge scanner capable of sending a tilde "~" or pipe "|" prefix and
carriage return suffix is supported. Please consult your scanner
documentation for this information. For most Symbol scanners, please
print and scan the barcodes from top to bottom on this document ==>
Symbol LS 2208
Scan Bookend UPC or EAN
Cards and books often use a Bookland UPCA or EAN font.
If you want to be able to scan these.BrokerForce will recognize the 5 digit
supplemental code as the item number. The EAN, or UPC is ignored.
For PocketRep using a Socket In-Hand scanner to recognize a Bookland font, click
the scanner icon at the bottom right of the <Today> screen on your PDA.
Click <Symbology> and place a check in the <EAN Bookland> symbology check box
The a Symbol LS 2208, print and scan the
following barcode after your LS2208 is already setup. Consult your product
manual for any other type of scanner.
If UPC information has been entered into BrokerForce™ and
that number is printed on the product's packaging, that number should be
recognized by both the scanner and BrokerForce™ as a valid entry.
To scan order details into BrokerForce™ with a wedge scanner, click on the <Order> tab; select a vendor and customer to complete the order header. Place a dot in the <UPC> option at the left side of the order form just above the order details subform if UPC codes will be used otherwise, BrokerForce™ will search for the item information based on the item number. If you want to add additional items without barcodes, remove the dot from the <UPC> option control and select the items from the related drop lists. The <UPC> option dot can be replaced to continue scanning items.
If you have a scanner that can be configured to use a prefix,
make the prefix a tilde "~" (upper left on most keyboards) and set the suffix
to a carriage return.
BrokerForce will recognize this prefix whether or not the <UPC> option has been
selected and appropriately manage the scan. When the user has clicked
inside the line item detail section of an order, and a scan is initiated, the
scan will be entered as an item selection. Consecutively scanning the same
item will increment the quantity of that item by the minimum quantity. If
an item is scanned a second time that is not consecutive, the user will be
warned that the item has already been entered into that order.
Double-click on the record handle (1/4" gray square at left end of item row)
to see the <Item Sales Pop-up> dialog. The <Item Sales Pop-up> dialog
displays the item description, and quantity of the current item in 1" high bold
text that can be seen from up to 10 feet. This enables you to set your laptop on
a table or cart and scan without balancing the laptop in your other hand and is
ideal for using a wireless scanner. The pop up also displays previous
sales of the item to the current customer, vendor inventory of the item.
So, you can use a wireless scanner with your laptop.
Click back into the details section
of your order and, as you scan items, this dialog is updated for that item.
Scanner recommendations 11/21/10
SerialIIO.com provides the ScanFob
2002 wireless Bluetooth scanner. This one works well and is
easy to pair up with a bluetooth device, netbook, or laptop. ~ $300.
You can get a 10% discount with this coupon BRFORCE~10-5sdkHyw1 or 15% when
buying 5 or more with this coupon BRFORCE~15-7JKmwyIOC2.
The Symbol LS 2208
is a reliable, compact, wedge laser scanner. Be certain to confirm that
the scanner you buy includes the USB cord. A 6 foot cord is adequate for
most uses. A longer cord may be used however, this increases the risk of
tripping or tangling. Where to buy ==>
Symbol LS 2008
Another wireless (Bluetooth) scanner for a laptop is the Socket Cordless
The scanner for either an iPAQ or Dell Axim PDA is the Socket In-hand Laser
scanner manufacturer part#
The best price that we typically find on the Internet for the last 3 scnners is from
www.pagecomputers.com. These scanners
may also be obtained on auction sites such as eBay. Since technology changes
quickly, please check with us before you make a purchase.
We do not recommend CCD or CMOS scanners.
They are not as effective as laser scanners and the SD slot may be required for expanded memory.
Device recommendations 10/21/10
Netbooks and tablets offer a lot of lutility, are light, and getting smaller
every day. Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are smaller but do have some
The less expensive 110 does not have a CF expansion slot so, it can not be used
to scan and have expanded memory for PocketRep 6. One can use a ScanFob 2002
wireless scanner if the device supports bluetooth.
Dell Axim X50v and X51v
No longer manufactured, probably available on eBay or otherwise
remanufactured. Not recommended any longer.
Extended battery recommended for all to last through a full day.
We really like to be able to have printing backup versus total reliance on a
If you're using a PDA, consider using a wireless printer that allows "Ad-Hoc"
(device to device) connections. This is easy to setup and works pretty
reliably for trade shows. Netbooks, tablets, and laptops can be connected
with a USB cable. Any printer used for a PDA must support PCL 3.
Check with us before you buy a printer. Brother printers typically don't
work with the PDAs.
A PocketRep PDA can also be cradled to a laptop or desktop and print directly to
a printer that is connected to the computer through the network or a USB cable.
If the PC is connected to the printer by the USB cable, the PC must be alble to
print to that printer and the printer must be shared. Please ask your
network adiminstrator about "Sharing" a printer. The PDA must also be
configured to use the shared or or network IP printer.
Before you start your show:
- If you need data for your show so that someone can enter an "Out of Territory"
order, put in a Data Request
at least 3 business days in advance of your show.
- Run the "Products with duplicate UPCs" and "Products with Bad UPCs" reports on
the <Product> tab in BrokerForce. Take remedial action or you will have
- Run all theWindows updates and current Anti-Virus updates on every computer.
This can really bog you down during the show if they are not current.
- Run the latest BrokerForce program update
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