Campground Master
Reservation Software for RV Parks and Campgrounds
by Cottonwood Software

Using Bar Code Fonts

If you're using the Point of Sale module, you might want to make up your own bar code labels or price scan-sheets. There are many sources of bar code fonts and bar code label printing software on the internet (try searching with Google). However we have found a couple free bar code fonts that are usable with most scanners. You can download and install either (or both) of the font files below and make your own labels with Word or any other word processor program. These fonts create 3-of-9 bar code (also called "Code 39") out of any text you type.

See below for more information on installing and using these fonts.

Download links:

  • "3 of 9" (wide spacing, may work better for some scanners)
  • "Free 3 of 9" (more compact, but may not scan as well)

Installing fonts:

To install the fonts above, you just need to copy the "ttf" file into the "Font" directory for Windows. On most systems, this folder is C:\Windows\Fonts.

If you download the zip file, you'll need to extract the ttf file from the zip file. Otherwise, simply right-click on the ttf file link, select "Save Target As", and save it directly into the font folder.

Using the fonts:

To create a valid 3 of 9 bar code you have to begin and end it with a special character. Scanners look for this character to know where to start and stop reading the bar code. It is represented in this font with the * character. So, to create a bar code for the text ABC123 you have to type out *ABC123*. Note that bar code readers will not include the *'s in the text they return. They will just give you the "ABC123".

Special note to MS Word users: There is a default setting in Word that changes text surrounded by *'s into bold text. This setting must be disabled for these fonts to work, otherwise the * characters that are necessary for the bar code to scan properly will be lost and the thickness of the bars will be altered. In Word 97 (other versions may differ), go to the Tools menu, and open the AutoCorrect dialog box. On the AutoFormat tab uncheck the box for "*Bold* and _underline_"

Once installed, these fonts will automatically appear in the list of fonts in your word processor. The first one above will appear as "3 of 9" so it will probably be the first font listed (alphabetically). The second one will be called "Free 3 of 9", so you'll have to scroll down to see it. All you have to do is select that font and type the code you want (don't forget the * characters at the beginning and end). To avoid mistakes, though, it's better to type the text in a normal font like Arial or Courier New, then select the text and change the font to the bar code font.

Note that you'll need to use a larger size for the bar code fonts than normal text for them be readable by a scanner. A size of 18 to 24 works well, but you can try a smaller size if necessary to fit your label.

Here's a tip: When making a label, type the code twice like this, using a readable font like Courier New:


(The asterisks were left off of the second line because those are not really part of the code returned by the scanner.)

Now highlight the first line and change it to the bar code font, and enlarge the size if needed. A size of 18 or larger is recommended (our laser scanner was able to read the "3 of 9" font down to a size of 12, but your scanner and printer may produce different results). Adding the second line as normal text allows a human to read the code if necessary, for instance if the scanner has trouble reading it due to smearing or dust. Of course you can add any other information you like to labels, like the description or price.

One other note: The fonts supplied include both numbers and letters, so you may be able to use alphanumeric codes. Campground Master handles this just fine, but some older scanners or other software may only support numbers in a code.

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- J. Hussey,
Whit's End Campground

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