Barcode readability

Copper Contributor


I've finally figured out how to create a barcode in Excel, but my POS won't read it. I've adjusted the size and It still isn't reading. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, but I attempted to work w/ tech support and was told that "Here there is no issue with the application, it is the issue with the formula related issue which is out of our support boundary." I'm wondering if it is the type of font that I chose to use for the barcode? Is that a possibility?  The only formula that I've seen to use is ="*"&A2&"*". If someone could assist me I would greatly appreciate it.

3 Replies



Field codes: DisplayBarcode

DisplayBarcode is used to insert a standard bar code into a document. It supports 10 different types of barcode. Depending on the one you choose, the barcode type accepts alphanumeric data of different formats and lengths. As a field code, you can right-click and choose Toggle field codes to go between the code and the barcode image. See the example for several types of barcodes. For the specification, see DISPLAYBARCODE.

Hi @NikolinoDE,

I am having a similar issue but in Word 365. Our goal is to use DISPLAYBARCODE within a Mail Merge template to train nurses how to use a scanner to practice administering meds from a sheet of 10 qr/barcodes. The scanner reads the patient’s medical record number (6 digit QR) but not the medication (9 alpha/numeric/special QR nor CODE39).


  • The scanner successfully reads the barcodes from a printed .xlsx (using Free 3 of 9 font, not DisplayBarcode)
  • The issue persists when pasting the string directly  DisplayBarcode formula (rather than linking out to the linked cell)
  • The issue persists when I paste the string and apply the barcode font
  • Both QR and and CODE39 templates fail

Thanks for any insight into this.


It appears that you are encountering issues with using the DISPLAYBARCODE field in a Word 365 Mail Merge template to generate barcodes that can be read by a scanner, specifically for medication information in QR or CODE39 formats. If the scanner successfully reads barcodes from other sources but not those generated using Word's DISPLAYBARCODE field, it may be related to how Word is rendering the barcodes.

Here are some steps and considerations to troubleshoot this issue:

  1. Barcode Font:
    • Make sure that you have selected a barcode font when formatting the DISPLAYBARCODE field. Barcode fonts are specifically designed to be readable by scanners. Common barcode fonts include Code 39, Code 128, and QR Code.
  2. Check Formatting:
    • Ensure that you have applied the correct barcode font to the DISPLAYBARCODE field in your Word document. You can do this by selecting the field and then applying the barcode font from the font dropdown menu in Word.
  3. Font Size:
    • Check the font size of the DISPLAYBARCODE field. Barcode fonts often have specific size requirements for optimal scanning. Ensure that the font size matches the scanner's requirements.
  4. Encoding:
    • For QR codes, encoding is crucial. Make sure that the data you are encoding is correctly formatted for the QR code. There are various QR code formats, and the data must be structured accordingly.
  5. Testing with Known Barcodes:
    • Test the scanner with known barcodes that are generated using the DISPLAYBARCODE field in Word. This can help determine if the issue is specific to the barcode generation in Word.
  6. Barcode Scanner Compatibility:
    • Verify that the barcode scanner you are using is compatible with the barcode format you are generating (e.g., QR or CODE39). Different scanners may have limitations or requirements for barcode formats.
  7. Printing Quality:
    • Ensure that the printed output maintains the barcode's integrity. Printing quality, including resolution and scale, can affect the readability of barcodes.
  8. Check Scanner Settings:
    • Review the settings of the barcode scanner, especially any settings related to barcode symbology (e.g., QR, CODE39) and scanning mode. Some scanners may have configurable options.
  9. Scanner Firmware/Software Updates:
    • Check if there are any firmware or software updates available for your barcode scanner. Updated firmware or software may improve compatibility.
  10. Seek Manufacturer Support:
    • If the issue persists, consider reaching out to the manufacturer of the barcode scanner for guidance and support. They may be able to provide specific recommendations or settings for use with Word-generated barcodes.

Remember that barcode generation and scanning can be sensitive to various factors, and compatibility issues can occur. It is essential to ensure that both the barcode generation in Word and the scanner settings align correctly for the best results.

My knowledge of this topic is limited, I entered your question in various AI. The text and the steps are the result of various AI's put together.


My answers are voluntary and without guarantee!


Hope this will help you.

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