How to Create a Carriage Return Barcode for Microsoft Excel
By Ken Burnside
Microsoft Excel can be used as a limited database for transcribing numbers into other formats. One useful format is the standard bar code, which is simply a font that can be installed within Windows. There are two types of bar code fonts, called "code-39" and "code-128". "Code-128" bar codes have specific carriage return and "space" symbols, while "code-39" bar code fonts do not. When creating bar codes that need a carriage return, the "code-128" font is the one that's required.
Download the "Code-128" bar code font if it isn't already installed on your system; Windows Vista and Windows 7 both come with a code-128 font as part of their default font packages. Right click on the .zip file and uncompress the contents.
Copy the contents into the FONTS folder for your system; this is usually in the C:\WINDOWS\ folder.
Make sure that Number Lock is turned to "On" (this is the "NumLock" key on your keyboard.
Start Excel, then enter the ID information you want to convert into bar code format in column A. Insert an ASCII carriage return symbol by holding down the "Alt" key and entering "0109" with the numeric keypad.
Enter the formula "=A1" in cell B1. Select cell B1 and change the font to "Barcode-128."
Copy cell B1 and paste it down for as many rows as you entered ID numbers in Step 4. You will end up with two columns, one of them with the numerical data for your products, and the other with the matching bar code, properly formatted.
Ken Burnside has been writing freelance since 1990, contributing to publications as diverse as "Pyramid" and "Training & Simulations Journal." A Microsoft MVP in Excel, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alaska. He won the Origins Award for Attack Vector: Tactical, a board game about space combat.