Excel Tutorial: How To Create A Barcode In Excel


Barcodes play a crucial role in business and data management, allowing for efficient tracking of inventory, sales, and other essential information. In this Excel tutorial, we will walk you through the process of creating a barcode in Excel to streamline your business operations. Whether you're a small business owner or a data management professional, understanding how to generate barcodes in Excel can be a valuable skill that can enhance your efficiency and accuracy in managing information.

Key Takeaways

  • Barcodes are essential for efficient tracking of inventory, sales, and other important business information.
  • Understanding how to generate barcodes in Excel can enhance efficiency and accuracy in managing information.
  • There are different types of barcodes commonly used in businesses, each serving a specific purpose.
  • Installing a barcode font in Excel is necessary for creating and customizing barcodes.
  • Utilizing barcodes in Excel for data management requires best practices and testing for functionality.

Understanding Barcodes

Barcodes are an essential tool for businesses to efficiently track and manage their inventory. By encoding information in a visual pattern that can be scanned and read by a machine, barcodes allow for quick and accurate retrieval of data. In this tutorial, we will explore the definition and purpose of barcodes, as well as the different types commonly used in businesses.

A. Definition and purpose of barcodes

Barcodes are machine-readable codes that consist of a series of parallel lines of varying widths and spacing. These codes are used to represent data such as product numbers, serial numbers, and batch numbers. The purpose of barcodes is to streamline processes such as inventory management, point-of-sale transactions, and supply chain logistics.

B. Types of barcodes commonly used in businesses

  • 1. UPC-A: Used for retail products and consists of 12 numerical digits.

  • 2. Code 39: Widely used in non-retail environments and can encode alphanumeric characters.

  • 3. Code 128: Supports the entire ASCII character set and is used in industries such as healthcare and logistics.

  • 4. QR Code: Contains data in both vertical and horizontal directions and is commonly used for marketing and mobile payments.

Installing Barcode Font in Excel

When working with Excel, there may be a need to create and use barcodes for tracking inventory, managing assets, or streamlining data entry processes. To generate barcodes in Excel, it is essential to install a barcode font that will allow you to encode the data into a visual representation that can be easily scanned.

A. Explanation of the need for a barcode font

Barcodes are a widely used method for identifying and tracking items in various industries. They provide a quick and accurate way to input data and can significantly improve efficiency in processes such as inventory management and point of sale transactions. However, Excel does not have built-in functionality to create barcodes, so it is necessary to install a barcode font that can be used to generate and display barcodes within the spreadsheet.

B. Step-by-step guide on how to install a barcode font in Excel

1. Choose the appropriate barcode font

There are several types of barcode fonts available, each designed for specific barcode symbologies such as code 39, code 128, or QR codes. Select the barcode font that corresponds to the type of barcode you need to create in Excel.

2. Download and install the barcode font

Once you have selected the appropriate barcode font, download the font file from a reputable source. After downloading, install the font on your computer by right-clicking the font file and selecting "Install" from the context menu.

3. Verify the installation

After installing the barcode font, open Excel and navigate to the font selection drop-down menu. Verify that the newly installed barcode font is available for use in Excel. If the font is not listed, close and reopen Excel to ensure the font is properly installed and accessible.

4. Create a barcode in Excel

With the barcode font installed, you can now use it to create barcodes within Excel. To do so, simply select the cells where you want the barcode to appear, and choose the barcode font from the font selection drop-down menu. Enter the data you want to encode, and the barcode font will automatically convert it into a scannable barcode.

By following these steps, you can install a barcode font in Excel and begin generating barcodes to suit your business needs.

Creating a Barcode

In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of creating a barcode in Microsoft Excel using an installed font and provide tips for customizing the barcode to suit your specific needs.

A. Step-by-step tutorial on how to create a barcode using installed font
  • Step 1: Install a barcode font

    Begin by installing a barcode font on your computer. There are various barcode fonts available for download online. Once you have downloaded the font, install it on your system by following the font installation instructions provided by the font developer.

  • Step 2: Open Excel and select the cell where you want to insert the barcode

    Open Microsoft Excel and select the cell where you want to insert the barcode. Make sure the cell is large enough to display the entire barcode.

  • Step 3: Change the font to the installed barcode font

    With the selected cell still active, change the font to the installed barcode font. This can be done by selecting the cell, navigating to the font options in the Excel toolbar, and choosing the installed barcode font from the dropdown menu.

  • Step 4: Enter the data and format the barcode

    Enter the data that you want the barcode to represent in the selected cell. Once the data is entered, the barcode will automatically be generated using the barcode font.

B. Tips for customizing the barcode to suit specific needs
  • Tip 1: Adjust the font size and cell dimensions

    If the generated barcode is too small or too large, you can adjust the font size and cell dimensions to resize the barcode accordingly. This can be done by selecting the cell, navigating to the font options, and changing the font size. You may also need to adjust the cell dimensions to ensure the entire barcode is visible.

  • Tip 2: Add additional formatting options

    Depending on your specific requirements, you may want to add additional formatting options to the barcode, such as color or border styles. These formatting options can be accessed through the Excel toolbar and can help customize the barcode to better fit your needs.

  • Tip 3: Use barcode generating software

    If you require more advanced barcode customization or need to generate multiple barcodes at once, consider using specialized barcode generating software. These tools offer a range of customization options and can save you time when working with barcodes in Excel.

Using the Barcode in Excel

When it comes to using barcodes in Excel, there are a variety of methods for inputting data and best practices for utilizing barcodes for efficient data management.

A. Methods for inputting data into the barcode
  • Manual data entry:

    Manually inputting data into the barcode can be done by typing the information into the designated cell.
  • Using a barcode font:

    Installing a barcode font allows users to type the data into a cell and then apply the barcode font to transform it into a scannable barcode.
  • Using a barcode generator add-in:

    Some users prefer to use a barcode generator add-in, which provides a user-friendly interface for creating barcodes directly within Excel.

B. Best practices for utilizing barcodes in Excel for data management
  • Consistent formatting:

    It is important to maintain consistent formatting for barcodes to ensure that they can be accurately scanned and interpreted.
  • Verification and testing:

    Before utilizing barcodes for data management, it is essential to verify and test the scanning process to confirm that the barcodes can be accurately read.
  • Integration with inventory or asset management systems:

    Barcodes in Excel can be effectively utilized for inventory or asset management by integrating them with dedicated software or systems.

Testing and Troubleshooting

Once you have created a barcode in Excel, it is important to test its functionality to ensure it is working correctly. Additionally, it is common to encounter issues when working with barcodes, so knowing how to troubleshoot these problems is essential for a smooth experience.

A. How to test the functionality of the barcode
  • Print the barcode

    After creating the barcode in Excel, the first step is to print it out to ensure that it is formatted correctly and that all the necessary elements are present. This will also allow you to check if the barcode is visually scannable.

  • Scan the barcode

    Use a barcode scanner to test the functionality of the barcode. Ensure that the scanner can read the barcode accurately and that it is linked to the correct data in your Excel sheet.

  • Verify data accuracy

    Once scanned, verify that the data retrieved from the barcode matches the information you have in your Excel sheet. This step is crucial to confirm that the barcode is functioning correctly.

B. Common issues and troubleshooting solutions
  • Barcode not scanning

    If the barcode is not scanning, ensure that it is printed at the correct size and with sufficient contrast. Additionally, check for any damage or smudging on the barcode that may hinder scanning.

  • Data mismatch

    If the data retrieved from the barcode does not match the information in your Excel sheet, double-check the formatting of the barcode and the associated data. It is possible that there is an error in the link between the barcode and the data.

  • Incorrect barcode type

    Ensure that you are using the correct barcode type for your specific needs. Different barcode types have different capabilities and data storage capacities, so using the wrong type can lead to issues with scanning and data retrieval.


In conclusion, barcodes play a crucial role in streamlining business operations, improving accuracy, and increasing efficiency. By implementing barcodes, businesses can easily track inventory, reduce human error, and expedite the checkout process.

This tutorial provides a comprehensive guide on how to create a barcode in Excel, offering users a cost-effective and user-friendly solution for generating barcodes without the need for specialized software. By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this tutorial, users can harness the power of barcoding to enhance their business processes and drive productivity.

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