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Using Symbol Encoded Barcode Fonts | FAQ

IDAutomation provides symbol encoded fonts as an optional installation within several barcode font packages, including Code 39, Code 128, DataBar, 2D Fonts and the Universal Font Package. All IDAutomation symbol encoded fonts created December 2014 or later contain the letter Y or the word "Symbol" in the font name. The table below describes the advantages and disadvantages of each.

NOTE: An issue was discovered with Microsoft Office where the font name may truncate under certain conditions in font preview mode. This is corrected in all 2016 and later versions of IDAutomation Symbol fonts.

  Standard Fonts Symbol Encoded Fonts
Advantages
  • Provide the highest level of compatibility with all applications and embedding utilities.
  • Provide the highest level of compatibility with cross-platform use.
  • Within the Code-39 font package, allows easy printing of the space character by using a space.
  • The symbol encoding within the font will usually show the font in its own name, making it easier to select the desired font within an application, as shown below.
Disadvantages
  • Within the Code-39 font package, an underscore _ or = character must be used to generate the barcode representing a space character.
  • Standard fonts usually show the font in its own name with a preview, which can make it difficult to select the desired barcode font within some applications, as shown below. This is because the characters representing the name are actually barcode symbols within the font.
  • May not be compatible with all applications and cross-platform use, such as moving a document from Windows to Mac.
  • There is a known issue with Microsoft Office where the font selection preview will not display the entire font name. The font name will be truncated depending on the height of the font. More truncation occurs in taller versions of the font. This issue is improved in all 2016 and later versions of IDAutomation Symbol fonts. In some cases, the names may still appear truncated in taller fonts.
    Symbol Encoded Font Dialog
  • When typing in the barcode, pressing enter after the stop character will create a space, and this space will show as a barcode, creating a symbol that will not scan. To work around this issue, the font type must be changed to a standard text font directly before and after the start and stop characters.
    This issue is improved in all 2016 and later versions of IDAutomation Symbol fonts.
  • Within the Code-39 font package, the space character may not always display or print a barcode symbol within some applications. This is because some applications force a space to appear even if a symbol exists within the font.
  • When switching from a Symbol Encoded Font to a standard text font such as "Arial" to view the contents, wing-dings or unrecognizable characters may appear or the area may contain blank spaces. To resolve this issue, use the font named "IDAutomation Symbol Text" as the selected font.
  • Symbol fonts are usually only available in TTF form and do not usually include sizes larger than L to maintain application compatibility.
Screen Shot Example Standard barcode fonts in the font selection drop down. Symbol Encoded Fonts in the font selection drop down.
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