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Barcodes on Labels Printed from the Desktop App – Allow Visitors and Staff to use them for Sign In/Out

Our desktop software uses a Template Designer embedded into the desktop app to facilitate printing of visitor labels and staff badges. This template designer is extremely versatile and can create very attractive badge and label designs. As a result, however, there are a lot of options, not only for design but also data management. This can sometimes cause users confusion when setting up badges or sticky labels with barcodes that can be scanned by others to sign in and out with a barcode reader. There are some steps you need to know to leverage this functionality.

To add a barcode that will work for this purpose, and really just about any purpose, there are some steps you need to take to ensure that the data bound to the barcode is encoded properly and can be read by most scanners and especially ours, the Motorola FC-75.

First, after adding the barcode to the label and placing it where you want you need to make sure it’s set to use the correct barcode type. Click on the barcode to select it and then click on the arrow in its upper right hand corner to open its most relevant properties.

Use the window that opens up to bind the desired field from the database whose value you want to represent with the barcode to the barcode object. For use with our system this is usually the UserID.

For use with the FC-75 and most other scanners, the rest of these settings should be set as you see in the following screenshot, with the exception of Orientation, which will be different depending on your layout.

Now, this is the tricky part. At this point your barcode will print, and it will even be assigned the correct value, sort of. It will even scan, but the system will not recognize the user it is assigned to and will ask them for authentication credentials, which in most cases visitors do not have. There is an option for barcode objects that is on by default in this module. It is called checksum generation. When this is on, it appends an H (or other letter but usually an H) to the end of the number string represented by the barcode. The FC-75 actually reads this letter along with the rest of the information in the barcode, which causes our system to fail to match the UserID to the visitor or user to whom it belongs, because that letter is not present in the field in the database. To fix this, with the barcode selected in the template, look to the properties table in the lower right hand corner of the Template Designer application. There you will see all kinds of properties for style, behaviors etc. but right now we are worried about one setting in particular and it is nearly impossible to locate on your own. Its title is Calculate a Checksum but the field is not wide enough to show the entire name.

Here is a closer look. The property is nested under the Symbology property in the Behavior section and must be set to no.

Once the barcode is set this way and it is bound to the UserID field it will be functional for use with EIOBoard by the visitor or staff it was printed for.

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