How to Use a Barcode Scanner

by Amanda Kondolojy

Whether you have worked in retail, are master of the self-checkout or just a fierce cataloger, chances are good that you have dealt with a barcode scanner at some point. These scanners are easy to use and are great for transmitting coded data from a barcode to a computer.

Find the barcode on the item you wish to scan. Most grocery items have this barcode on the bottom left corner. However, these barcodes can be placed virtually anywhere, so if you can't find it in a familiar location, search all around.

Point the barcode scanner at the barcode. If you are using a mobile scanner, point it directly at the barcode so that the red scanning light runs across the length of the barcode. If you are using a stationary scanner, push the barcode on top of the red scanning light so that it runs across the barcode in the same manner.

Engage the scanner. Some scanners will read the barcode automatically when they detect it, but others must be engaged. To engage the scanner, ensure that the red light is lined up with the barcode and then press the engage button. This is normally located on the back of a hand-held scanner or on the side of a non-mobile scanner.

Check your monitor to make sure the item has scanned correctly. All barcode scanners must be hooked up to a monitor of some sort to work well. Ensure that the monitor displays the correct item. If not, try to scan it again. If the monitor still isn't working, you may have a problem with the scanner and should take appropriate troubleshooting steps.

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