Questions?   salesinfo@azalea.com  

code 39 faq

common questions about Code 39 barcodes

This FAQ covers Code 39 (code 3 of 9) barcodes. Technical questions about our software are answered on our tech support page.

Code 39 barcode

Help! How do I get started with Code 39 barcodes?
If you're building a Code 39 inventory-management, badge or ID card barcode project from scratch, gather all your information before you begin. This FAQ is a great place to start, and we've created a quick outline of barcode project basics here.

If you're working with a business or trade partner who requires a Code 39 barcode, ask them to provide you with their comprehensive barcode specifications. Will the barcode have letters, numbers, or be alphanumeric? What size should the barcode be? Are there special characters in the barcode? They should be able to answer these and other questions for you before you give them a barcode.

Code 39 is one of the oldest and most popular bar code symbologies. The Code 39 character set includes both letters and numbers, making it useful in a wide variety of settings. Code 39 can be used for ID, inventory and tracking purposes. The data a Code 39 barcode contains can be of variable length, and the barcode symbol can vary widely in height and width.   return to top

How do I calculate a Code 39 check digit?
The Code 39 mod 43 checksum is based on the value associated with each Code 39 character. The character values in the center column of the Code 39 character set table are added together and divided by 43. The check digit is the character associated with the remainder.

1. Take the value (0 through 42) of each character in the barcode excluding start and stop codes.

2. Sum the values.

3. Divide the result by 43.

4. The remainder is the value of the checksum character to be appended.

(from Wikipedia)

Example: the optional Code 39 mod 43 check digit for JAZZ is D.

  • J=19 A=10 Z=35 Z=35
  • 19 + 10 + 35 + 35 = 99
  • 99 / 43 = 2, remainder 13

The character with the value of 13 is D. Therefore the barcode with the check digit is JAZZD

  return to top

How do I make a Code 39 barcode?
Making a Code 39 barcode is easy. Simply add an asterisk (*) before and after the data- letters, numbers, or letter and numbers- you want to encode. The asterisk is the Code 39 start and stop bar. For example, *1234* or *AZALEA*. Then format your data into an Azalea Code 39 barcode font.   return to top

How do I make a Code 39 barcode in an Adobe application?
Create a text field within your Illustrator, InDesign, PhotoShop or other Adobe design application project. Open C39Tools, create your Code 39 barcode, then copy. Switch back to your design project and paste into the waiting text field. Highlight the entire string of barcode data, then use the program's font menu to format it into one of the 27 Azalea Code 39 barcode fonts. Adjust the point size of the barcode up or down and you're done!   return to top

How do I make a Code 39 barcode in Microsoft Access?
Make Code 39 barcodes in Access using C39Tools. You can create and print Code 39 bar codes from within any Access database with the right Code 39 barcode fonts and proper sample code. Use the Azalea user-defined function or call our external DLL.

Both approaches add the start and stop bars and calculate the necessary check digit for you.   return to top

How do I make a Code 39 barcode in Microsoft Excel?
Use the barcode fonts in C39Tools to make Code 39 barcodes in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. C39Tools includes 27 different TrueType fonts that make Code 39 bar codes in Excel. The Azalea Code 39 plug-in (.XLA file) includes new user-defined functions that make your Code 39 barcode printing a snap.

Call C39Tools from within your spreadsheet and with a few simple steps you'll quickly create hundreds or thousands of Code 39 barcodes. Export to your label template or print directly from your spreadsheet. Simple, powerful and fast.   return to top

How do I make a Code 39 barcode in Microsoft Word?
There are two quick ways to make Code 39 bar codes in Microsoft Word. If you have just one or a handful of Code 39 barcodes to create, use the C39Tools wizard to create your barcodes one at a time, then paste into your Word label or document template.

If you've got tens, hundreds or thousands of different Code 39 barcodes to create, call C39Tools within your Excel spreadsheet or Access database, convert your data into barcodes with just a few steps, then 'mail merge' your barcodes into your Word document or label template. Simple, fast and efficient.

Open C39Tools, enter your data and preview your barcode. Choose 'Copy', go to your Word label or document template and paste. Format into a barcode font via the drop-down font menu. Voila!   return to top

How do I make a Code 39 barcode in SAP Crystal Reports?
The barcode fonts in Azalea's Code 39 software, C39Tools, make it easy to quickly create a Code 39 barcode within your SAP/Business Objects Crystal Report. C39Tools includes a custom User Function Library (UFL) and twenty-seven different Code 39 TrueType barcode fonts that together make Code 39 bar codes within Crystal Reports. The UFL adds the start and stop characters to your data- format your barcode field into a Code 39 barcode font and you're ready to print and scan!

  return to top

How do I print a Code 39 barcode?
Printing Code 39 barcodes is easy when you use the barcode fonts in C39Tools. Simply create your barcode, drop it into your spreadsheet, database or report, format into an Azalea Code 39 barcode font and you're ready to print.

Code 39 barcodes should always be printed in black on white or light background. Leave a clear border around each barcode, and be sure that you check your printed barcode for scannability before deploying or distributing it.   return to top

How do I use a Code 39 barcode font?
Many people look at a Code 39 bar code and think graphic not font. But barcode fonts are quick, flexible and easy to use. Azalea's barcode fonts make Code 39 barcodes in most document, labeling, design and graphic applications, and can be printed to a wide variety of printers. Once installed, bar code fonts show up in the available font list of all your favorite programs.

Code 39 barcode fonts are easy to use. Use the bar code fonts in C39Tools to print barcodes from within your spreadsheet, database, reports, and custom applications. C39Tools includes both TrueType and Type 1 (PostScript) Code 39 barcode fonts. The secret is to take advantage of our free sample code which adds the necessary Code 39 start and stop characters for you.

  return to top

What is a Code 39 barcode?
Code 39 (sometimes called 'Code 3 of 9') barcodes are industry standard bar codes used for inventory and tracking purposes. Code 39 barcodes are alphanumbeic symbols that can be of variable lenghth and can be used with or without human-readable characters above or below the bars.

The individual characters in Code 39 barcodes have 9 modules made up of black and white bars. There are five bars and four spaces in each Code 39 character. There are 44 characters in the standard version of Code 39. The standard 44 character version of Code 39 supports the uppercase letters A-Z, the numbers 0-9, several math-related punctuation marks ( $ % + - . / ), and the space character. The asterisk (*) reserved for the start bars and stop bars. Full ASCII Code 39 barcodes can encode both uppercase and lowercase letters but are twice as wide as standard Code 39 barcodes.

Code 39 barcodes (Code 3 of 9 barcodes) are some of the oldest and most popular barcodes. With Azalea C39Tools, Code 39 barcodes can be made in desktop applications like Microsoft Excel or Crystal Reports. It's easy when you om Code 39 barcode fonts.   return to top

What is a "full ASCII" Code 39 barcode?
ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A full-ASCII Code 39 barcode can encode lowercase letters, some punctuation symbols and control characters, represented by sets of two Code 39 characters. A standard Code 39 barcode encodes only letters and/or numbers. Here's a helpful Code 39 Full ASCII chart.   return to top

What is the Code 39 character set?
The standard version of Code 39 has forty-four characters with the asterisk (*) reserved for the start bar and stop bar. This standard 44 character version of Code 39 supports the uppercase letters A-Z, the numbers 0-9, several math-related punctuation marks ( $ % + - . / ), and the space character.

A full-ASCII Code 39 barcode can encode both upper- and lowercase letters, some punctuation symbols and control characters, represented by sets of two Code 39 characters.   return to top

What is the Code 39 check digit?
Code 39 barcodes sometimes use an optional modulo 43 check digit. This calculated mod 43 checksum is based on the value associated with each of the Code 39 characters. Using it requires this feature to be enabled in the barcode reader. The code with check digit is referred to as 'Code 39 mod 43'.   return to top

What is the wide bar to narrow bar ratio in a code 39 barcode?
Code 39 barcodes use two widths of elements. The bars are either wide or narrow, and the spaces are either wide or narrow. The ratio between the wide bars and the narrow bars can range from 2:1 to 3:1. Likewise the wide:narrow ratio of the spaces can be 2:1 to 3:1.   return to top

What is C39Tools?
C39Tools is a barcode font collection that prints Code 39 bar codes in popular Windows and Macintosh programs. C39Tools has 27 different bar code fonts that work in spreadsheets, databases, or your own custom applications.

C39Tools supports standard Code 39 barcodes and Full ASCII Code 39 barcodes. The fonts are in TrueType and Type 1 PostScript format. C39Tools comes with free sample code for applications like Microsoft Excel, Business Objects Crystal Reports, Microsoft Access, Visual Basic, and C/C++. If you need only one or two Code 39 barcode symbols, C39Tools comes with a free wizard utility. Simply copy and paste your barcode through the clipboard.

C39Tools can be used to create labels, packing slips, invoices, RMA forms, etc. Use it to print barcodes on your desktop laser printer or to create camera-ready artwork for a print job.   return to top