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Home > Font Encoders > FileMaker Pro Barcode Plugin Font Encoder and Tutorial

FileMaker Pro Barcode Font Encoder Plugin

  • This is an IDAutomation Barcode Displayed on a FileMaker FormEasily integrates into FileMaker databases, reports and forms as a dynamic calculated field.
  • Supports many linear barcode types including Code 128, GS1 DataBar, Code 39, Interleaved 2 of 5, UPC, EAN, Postnet and Intelligent Mail.
  • 2D plug-ins for Data Matrix, PDF417 and QR-Code are available in their associated Font and Encoder packages for FileMaker versions 8.5 and above.
  • Compatible with FileMaker and FileMaker Pro Advanced versions 4 and higher for Windows and Mac environments.
  • Time-saving templates designed to scale for large or small databases, developers and standard users alike.
  • Encode functions within a barcode to accommodate a wide variety of needs.
  • Includes a database example with a barcoded form and report that may be easily modified to support barcode types by changing the calculated field.
  • Free to use with the evaluation or purchased version of any IDAutomation barcode font.

Download the IDAutomation FileMaker Barcode Font Plug-In filemaker_barcode_methods Support

FileMaker Barcode Plug-In Overview

How to Create Barcodes in FileMaker Pro using Barcode Fonts

View Video Full Screen on YouTube

This FileMaker Barcode Font Plug-In easily integrates into FileMaker databases, reports and forms as a dynamic calculated field, without using special scripts when used with purchased or evaluation IDAutomation barcode fonts. This FileMaker encoder tool supports many linear barcode types, such as Code 128, Code 39, Interleaved 2 of 5, UPC, EAN, Postnet, Intelligent Mail and more. The 2013 version of the plugin tool now includes GS1 DataBar, Data Matrix, PDF417 and QRCode. This tutorial covers barcode fonts, plug-ins and extensions for FileMaker versions 7 and higher on Windows and Mac platforms.

Installation assistance and tutorial for FileMaker Versions prior to 8.

FileMaker Pro Barcode Font Integration Tutorial

"With the plug-in I was able to make the barcodes and print them on Avery 6464 labels. The site also has a pretty good tutorial (with lots of pictures) on how to implement a Barcode solution using their fonts and plug-ins. I'd recommend this plug-in it works fine. - ISO FileMaker Magazine Forum

IDAutomation's barcode fonts may be easily integrated into FileMaker as dynamic calculated fields without the use of scripts. The barcode fonts and encoder tools used in this tutorial are compatible with FileMaker Pro Advanced 10 and up.

Support Forum for FileMaker Pro Plugin Download FileMaker Plugin

Installation and Setup:

  1. First determine which barcode font to use: 
  2. Install the selected barcode font and restart FileMaker to verify that the fonts are available by viewing them in an application, such as Word or Excel that allows font selection. If it is not visible, restart the computer and try again. If the fonts still do not appear, refer to IDAutomation's barcode font problems and resolutions.
  3. Download the FileMaker Barcode Font Plug-In if using barcode fonts other than Codabar or Code 39. Codabar and Code 39 are self-checking and do not require the use of the plugin.

    • Windows
      • FileMaker Versions 8 and Up: Open the downloaded file and copy IDAutomation.fmx from the "Windows Plugin\Version 8 and above" folder to the Extensions sub folder of the FileMaker folder. Example: "C:\Program Files (x86)\FileMaker\FileMaker Pro 10 Advanced\Extensions". It will require administrative rights to add the plugin to the Extensions folder.

    • Mac
      • FileMaker 8 and Up: Open the downloaded and copy the IDAutomation.fmplugin file from the "Mac Plugin\version 8 and above" folder to the 'Extensions' folder inside the FileMaker folder. Example: "Applications-FileMaker Pro 10 Advanced-Extensions".

  4. If FileMaker is running, restart the application.
  5. To verify that the plug-in is enabled, either create a "New Database" or Open" a preexisting one off of the File menu.
  6. Then select Edit - Preferences - Plug-in on a Windows platform. On Mac OSX, select FileMaker Pro Advanced - Preferences - Plugins. Click on the Plug-Ins tab to ensure that the IDAutomation plug-in is enabled. Click the checkbox in front of the plugin to enable, if not already.
    Activate the FileMaker Barcode Font Plug-In

Working with Self-Checking Barcodes

Self-Checking Barcode Fonts are the easiest to work with because they do not require any encoding other than adding the start and stop characters to make the barcode scannable. To encode numbers and uppercase letters, consider Code 39; strictly numbers, consider Codabar.

  1. With a database open, choose File - Manage - Database - Fields. For the field name, enter Code 39 Barcode as in this example or other descriptive name. For the field type, select Calculation, and then Create.
    Name the FileMaker Barcode Field
  2. On the Specify Calculation screen, in the field that was named on the previous screen, for this example, enter "*" & Field & "*" for Code 39 or "A" & Field & "B" for Codabar so that the start/stop characters are appended to the beginning and ending of the field will be encoded. Then at the bottom, choose TEXT as the calculation result. The calculation that is entered depends on the font used.
    Append Start and Stop Characters to Code 39 or Codabar Barcode Fonts in FileMaker
  3. FileMaker 9 and Prior: Apply the barcode font by right-clicking on the Barcode Field and selecting the appropriate barcode font. FileMaker 10 and above, while in layout mode highlight the Barcode field and choose Format - Font - Configure/More Fonts and select the appropriate font. In this case, select IDAutomationHC39M for the Code 39 font.
    "It is simple and easy to integrate IDAutomation's fonts into FileMaker Pro and as a Developer, I can't spend hours with a simple Barcode - which in fact - technically spoken - is quite complex. Therefore, it makes sense to first use the Demo font and then simply buy the product. - Alexis Gehrt, Database Designs, Laax-Murschetg, Switzerland
    Apply the barcode font
  4. In the layout view, the Field Name will be barcoded, but when switched to Preview View, the data itself is barcoded.
    Barcoded field and data

Working with High Density Linear Barcodes

High Density barcodes, such as Code 128, Interleaved 2 of 5 and DataBar, require additional encoding over and above what self-checking fonts require. To encode numbers, punctuation, uppercase and lowercase characters on a Windows platform and inside the USA, Code 128 is suggested. When creating complex barcodes, such as GS1-128 or encoding functions such as Return or Tab, the Universal Barcode Font should be used with the IDAu_Uni_C128 function of the plug-in extension.

  1. With a database open, after creating the new field as outlined above, choose External Functions from the view of functions on the Calculation screen and select the IDAu function that formats the data for barcode font chosen. In this example, the IDAu_Code128 function was used in conjunction with the Code 128 Font. Double-click on the function to have the formula appear in the formula box.
    • Replace the text "parameter" with the field to be encoded in the barcode from the Current Table options. Be sure to keep the parenthesis as is and only change the parameter name.
    • Select TEXT as the Calculation Result and click OK. If database size is a concern, select Storage Options and choose not to store the result in the database.
       FileMaker Barcode Formula in a Calculated Field
  2. IDAutomation's Code 39, UPC, EAN, MSI and Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode fonts all have an equivalent Human Readable version that may be used to display the text interpretation of the encoded data. If Human Readable fonts are not being used but there is still a need to have the text interpretation appear below the barcode, select Insert - Field to add a special field that consists of the data that will be encoded. This example used "IDAu_Code128HR( Employee Number )" as the calculation field.
    Barcode Field Layout in a FileMaker Report
  3. With the barcode fields now in the FileMaker report, choose View - Browse Mode to confirm that the data is being pulled dynamically from the fields and properly formatted to the barcode font. Make sure that the data changes after moving to the next record. When using the FileMaker Barcode Font Encoder Plug-in, strange characters may appear in the field data, prior to applying the font. This is normal encoding for the barcode font. When using the Universal Barcode Font, a large amount of letters will appear and this is normal as well.
    The FileMaker Report in Browse View Mode for Universal Fonts

Working with Universal Barcode Font

When working on a Mac OSX platform, the Universal Barcode Font creates multiple Linear barcode types, such as Code 128, GS1-128, Interleaved 2 of 5, Code 39, MSI, Codabar, Postnet, Planet and USPS Intelligent Mail from a single font and is the preferred font when creating barcodes outside of the USA to avoid language and locale incompatibilities.

2D Barcodes: DataMatrix, PDF417 or QR-Code

To encode large amounts of data, 800 characters or less, consider the Data Matrix or PDF417 symbology. Select QR-Code to create meCards or VCards.

  1. Go to File - Manage - Database and create a new Field Name and choose "Calculation" as the Type field and click Create.
     Create the PDF417 Barcode Field
  2. Choose External Functions from the view of functions and select the IDDM for Data Matrix, IDPD for PDF417 or IDQR for QR-Code function that formats the data for barcode font chosen. Double-click the function so the formula appears in the formula box. Select TEXT as the Calculation Result and choose OK. If database size is a concern, select Storage Options and choose not to store the result in the database.
    Choose the external function for the 2D barcode symbology.
  3. With the database form or report open, choose View - Layout Mode. Choose Insert - Field and select the field named Barcode from the list of fields and choose OK. After the barcode field appears on the form, size the edges appropriately, if necessary, so the barcode can fit on it. If this field is not large enough, the barcode will display a rectangle instead of a barcode or a corrupted barcode may be created that will not scan.
    FileMaker Barcode Field Layout
  4. While in Layout Mode, which can be selected under the View Menu, highlight the Barcode field and choose Format - Font - Configure/More Fonts.
    Add the IDAutomation font to the default menu.
    On the next screen, select the appropriate barcode font and move it over to the Appear in Menu column and click Apply to have the barcode font applied to the field selected. If the fonts are not in a readable format, deselect the "Show Fonts in Typeface" check box.
    Install the barcode font
    Once the font has been moved, it will be listed under Format > Font for future barcoding needs.
    Select the font from the menu
    The "Inspector" window that can be accessed under the View menu will also allow users to configure and apply the barcode font.
    Select a font using the Inspector window
  5. Change to Preview Mode and confirm the barcode is complete.
    PDF417 barcode in preview mode.
  6. Choose Format - Align Text - Center to move the barcode to the middle of the field, and then select the 12-point font size or other size of choice.
    Barcode in FileMaker Report Layout
    "We just purchased the product. I am using your fonts with FileMaker and doing a software inventory for the Government. It works great and I have found it very easy to set up. Thanks again" - David Sinclair, APV4 Contractor (FPI)
  7. Choose View - Browse to verify that a barcode displays in the FileMaker form or report. After printing, the barcode may be accurately scanned with an affordable barcode scanner.
    This is an IDAutomation Barcode Displayed on a FileMaker Form
  8. If the FileMaker application that is being created is also going to be distributed, the FileMaker Barcode Font Encoder Plug-in and appropriate barcode font must also be distributed along with the database.

Creating GS1-128 Barcodes

The best way to generate GS1-128 barcodes is using the IDAu_Uni_C128 function with the IDAutomation Universal Barcode Font. In the example below, the ~202 adds the FNC1 character before the data and the |1 is the parameter that sets the "apply tilde" to true, enabling the encoder to interpret the ~202 correctly.
Universal Barcode Formula for GS1-128

Human-readable text may be generated beneath the GS1-128 barcode by inserting a new field and selecting the plug-in function of IDAu_Uni_C128HR. In the example below, the following string was used in the calculation field IDAu_Uni_C128HR("~2020110614141543219").
Create a GS1-128 Barcode with the Universal Font

Functions and Combining Multiple Fields

Combining multiple fields into a single FileMaker barcode is easily achieved when ApplyTilde is enabled. For example, the following would encode "File" <Return> "Maker" <Tab> "Pro":

IDAu_Uni_C128 ("File~013Maker~009Pro" & "|1")
IDDM_EncDM("File~013Maker~009Pro" & "|1")

Combining two data fields with a tab between:
IDAu_Uni_C128 (Field_1 & "~009" & Field_2 & "|1")

With supporting symbologies, tabs may also be added by copying an actual tab out of an application, such as Microsoft Word and adding quotes around it, for example        .
Enter a tab in quotes to encode a tab in the barcode.

Barcode Function Method Names

The barcode functions listed below are available in the FileMaker Barcode Font Encoder Plug-in and are only valid when used with the font listed in the "Font to Use" column. Functions beginning with IDAu_Uni should only be used with the IDAutomation Universal Barcode Font Advantage package.

Some of the barcode functions below have multiple parameters. When this occurs, use the '|' (pipe) as the dividing character for these additional parameters. If the additional parameters are omitted, defaults will be used.

Barcode Type Functions & Notes Font to Use
When using the IDAutomationC128 or IDAutomationI25 fonts outside of the USA, consider using the Universal Barcode Font with the appropriate Universal Function to avoid language and locale incompatibilities.
Code 128 IDAu_Code128(DataToEncode)

Standard encoding: IDAu_Code128(Field_1)
GS1 Encoding: IDAu_Code128("" & Field_1)

NOTE: Consider using the Universal Barcode Font with the IDAu_Uni_C128 function in the following situations:

  • When the IDAutomationC128 font is used outsize of the USA, to avoid language and locale incompatibilities.
  • When creating barcodes for GS1-128 or when encoding FNC1 functions.
  • When encoding functions such as the return or tab.
IDAutomationC128 *


Text Interpretation IDAu_Code128HR(DataToEncode) Text Font
Code 128 IDAu_Code128a(DataToEncode) IDAutomationC128 *
Code 128 IDAu_Code128b(DataToEncode) IDAutomationC128 *
Code 128 IDAu_Code128c(DataToEncode) IDAutomationC128 *
Interleaved 2 of 5 IDAu_I2of5(DataToEncode) IDAutomationI25 *
IDAutomationHI25 *
Interleaved 2 of 5 IDAu_I2of5Mod10(DataToEncode) IDAutomationI25 *
IDAutomationHI25 *
* When using the IDAutomationC128 or IDAutomationI25 fonts outside of the USA, consider using the Universal Barcode Font with the appropriate Universal Function to avoid language and locale incompatibilities.
Code 39 IDAu_Code39(DataToEncode) IDAutomationC39
Code 39 IDAu_Code39Mod43(DataToEncode) IDAutomationC39
Code 93 IDAu_Code93(DataToEncode) IDAutomationC93
Codabar IDAu_Codabar(DataToEncode) IDAutomationCB
USPS Postnet & Planet IDAu_Postnet(DataToEncode) IDAutomationPOSTNET
MSI Plessey IDAu_MSI(DataToEncode) IDAutomationMSI
UPC-A IDAu_UPCa(DataToEncode) IDAutomationUPCEAN
UPC-E IDAu_UPCe(DataToEncode) IDAutomationUPCEAN
EAN-13 IDAu_EAN13(DataToEncode) IDAutomationUPCEAN
EAN-8 IDAu_EAN8(DataToEncode) IDAutomationUPCEAN
Universal Barcode Font Functions
Function Name Notes and Examples Fonts to Use
Code 128 IDAu_Uni_C128(DataToEncode | ApplyTilde)

Standard encoding: IDAu_Uni_C128(Field_1)
GS1-128 Encoding:
IDAu_Uni_C128("~202" & Field_1 & "|1")
NOTE: Parentheses may not be used to encode the FNC1 character within this function.
or IDAutomation DataBar
IDAu_Uni_C128HR(DataToEncode | ApplyTilde)
This method returns the human readable text for Code 128 barcodes, such as with GS1-128.
Text Font
Additional Code 128 Functions:
or IDAutomation DataBar
Code 39 IDAu_Uni_C39(DataToEncode| N_Dimension | IncludeCheckDigit)
Standard encoding: IDAu_Uni_C39(Field_1)
N=2 with check digit:
IDAu_Uni_C39(Field_1 & "|2|1")
N=3 with no check digit:
IDAu_Uni_C39(Field_1 & "|3|0")
or IDAutomation DataBar
Codabar IDAu_Uni_Codabar(DataToEncode| N_Dimension, StartChar, StopChar) IDAutomation_Uni
or IDAutomation DataBar
Interleaved 2 of 5 IDAu_Uni_I2of5(DataToEncode| N_Dimension | IncludeCheckDigit)
Standard encoding: IDAu_Uni_I2of5(Field_1)
With check digit:
IDAu_Uni_I2of5(Field_1 & "|2|1")
N=2.5 without check digit:
IDAu_Uni_I2of5(Field_1 & "|2.5")
or IDAutomation DataBar
MSI Plessey IDAu_Uni_MSI(DataToEncode| N_Dimension | IncludeCheckDigit) IDAutomation_Uni
or IDAutomation DataBar
USPS IntelligentMail IDAu_USPS_IntelligentMail(DataToEncode) IDAutomation_Uni
(XS, S or M size)
USPS Planet IDAu_Uni_Planet(DataToEncode | IncludeCheckDigit)
USPS Postnet IDAu_Uni_Postnet(DataToEncode | IncludeCheckDigit)
DataBar Font Functions
The methods listed below are only to be used with the IDAutomation GS1 DataBar Font.

Function Name

Notes and Examples

Font to use

DataBar IDAu_DataBar(DataToEncode) IDAutomation DataBar 34
DataBar Expanded IDAu_DataBar_Expanded(DataToEncode| Segments)
Standard encoding:
6 segments:
IDAu_DataBar_Expanded(Field_1 & "|6")
IDAutomation DataBar 34
DataBar Limited IDAu_DataBar_Limited(DataToEncode) IDAutomation DataBar 13
DataBar Stacked IDAu_DataBar_Stacked(DataToEncode) IDAutomation DataBar 13
DataBar Stacked Omnidirectional IDAu_DataBar_Stacked_Omnidirectional(DataToEncode) IDAutomation DataBar 34
DataBar Truncated IDAu_DataBar_Truncated(DataToEncode) IDAutomation DataBar 13
2D Font Functions
2D plug-ins for Data Matrix, PDF417 and QR-Code are available in their associated Font and Encoder packages.

Function Name

Notes and Examples

Font to use

Data Matrix IDDM_EncDM(DataToEncode | ProcessTilde | EncodingMode | PreferredFormat)
Standard encoding: IDDM_EncDM(Field_1)
Beginning with GS1 FNC1 in ASCII format:
IDDM_EncDM("(01)" & Field_1 & "|1|3")
Format symbol to type 29 in binary format:
IDDM_EncDM(Field_1 & "|0|0|29" )
or IDAutomation2D
PDF417 IDPD_PDF417(DataToEncode | EcLevel | TotalColumns | TotalRows | Truncated | PDFMode | ApplyTilde)
Standard encoding: IDAu_PDF417(Field_1)
Error Correction 2, Total Columns 5:
PDF417(Field_1 & "|2|5")
Mode = Text and ApplyTilde enabled:
PDF417(Field_1 & "|2|5|0|0|1|1")
or IDAutomation2D
QR-Code IDAu_QR(DataToEncode | ProcessTilde | EncMode | Version | ErrorCorrectionLevel)
Standard encoding: IDAu_QR(Field_1)
ProcessTilde enabled & Encoding mode Alpha-Numeric:
IDAu_QR(Field_1 & "|1|1")
Version 15 & Error Correction of L:
IDAu_QR(Field_1 & "|0|0|15|2")

Barcode Function Method Definitions and Descriptions

  • DataToEncode: A string value that represents the data that is being encoded. Within FileMaker, fields may be specified directly and text should be represented in double quotes. Additional parameters are optional and are separated with the "|" pipe character.
    • Example:
      Standard encoding: IDAu_Code128(Field_1)
      Encoding GS1-128: IDAu_Uni_C128("~212" & GS1_Data_Field & "|1")
  • N_Dimension: Determines the width of the wide bars, which is a multiple of the X dimension. The X dimension is determined by the font point size. Valid values are 2, 2.5 and 3. The default is 2.
    • Example: IDAu_Uni_C39(Field_1 & "|3")
  • IncludeCheckDigit: If this value is 1, a check digit will be calculated automatically and included in the barcode, if appropriate, for the chosen symbology.
    • Example: IDAu_Code39(Field_1 & "|1")
      Universal Font Example: IDAu_Uni_C39(Field_1 & "|3|1")
  • ApplyTilde: In IDAu_Uni_C128, if the ApplyTilde option is set to 1, the tilde will be processed to allow encoding of ASCII characters and generation of GS1-128 barcodes. Note: Parentheses may not be used to encode the FNC1 character within IDAu_Uni_C128.
  • ProcessTilde: In Data Matrix and QR-Code when set to 1, the tilde will be processed to allow direct encoding of ASCII characters according to the format dnnn. For example; ~d009 is used to encode a tab and ~d013 encodes a return.
  • IDAu_Code128: IDAu_Code128 only functions properly on FileMaker when the system regional setting is set to "English" and the 1252 Latin-1 codepage. To overcome these issues, IDAutomation recommends using the Universal Barcode Font with the IDAu_Uni_C128 function. Within IDAu_Code128, the FNC1 character may be included with the "" ASCII 202 character.
  • PDF417 Parameters:
    • EcLevel As Integer - This is the Error Correction Level and acceptable values are 1-8.
    • TotalColumns As Integer - This sets the number of Columns.
    • TotalRows As Integer - This sets the number of Rows.
    • Truncated As Integer - Set to 1 for truncated and 0 for non-truncated.
    • PDFMode As Integer - The default of 0 is binary mode; 1 is text mode which only encodes ASCII 9, 10, 13 and 32 - 127.
    • ApplyTilde As Integer - Set to 1 for enable the Apply Tilde and 0 to disable.


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