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Changes for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May 2018.

With that in mind, a great deal of thought has been given to why we need various pieces of data, and how we use it.
A number of changes have been made to the Neon Sine Software website.

Updated and expanded Privacy Policy

  • This describes more clearly what Personal Data we collect, how we use it, how we protect it, and when we delete it.

Added Website Terms and Conditions

  • This is a new page, and also refers to the privacy policy.

Updated Shop Terms and Conditions

  • This page now refers to the privacy policy. Customers have to check a box to agree to the terms before ordering.

Added Personal Data Query Form

  • This enables customers to ask us what Personal Data we have about them.

Added Personal Data Change Form

  • This enables customers to ask us to alter and correct the Personal Data we have on record. It also allows them to ask us to delete some of the information.

A minimal amount of address information is collected during ordering

  • We just ask for the country and state/county now.

The option to comment on our blog posts has been removed

  • This removes another place where Personal Data could be collected without consent.
  • We may add this option back in future, but blog posts are not a high priority at the moment.
  • 2 May 2018 — This was added back after further changes to this website.

It is no longer possible to create an account from the ‘My Account’ page

  • Customers can only create accounts when placing an order, where they also have to consent to the terms and conditions. (Creating an account is still optional.)

The option of purchasing non-subscription keys has been removed

  • This should eventually mean fewer requests to replace lost licence keys from many years ago, and therefore less need to retain and process Personal Data.

 

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Keep Light Margins Clear for Reliable Barcode Scanning

  • The blank spaces before and after the barcode are known as the light marginsquiet zones or clear areas.
  • Their purpose is to allow a barcode scanner to reliably detect the start and end of the barcode.
  • Therefore, you should avoid the temptation to reduce the size of these areas or place anything in them.

Keep Barcode Light Margins Clear

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How to Make a Batch of UPC-A Barcodes

Introduction

In this guide, we will show you how to make a set of five UPC-A barcodes, which demonstrates the Batch Save feature in Just Barcodes.

If you only wish to make a single UPC-A barcode, you should follow the EAN-13 Guide instead, but select UPC-A at the appropriate time, and enter a UPC-A number instead of an EAN-13 number. (UPC-A numbers are one digit shorter in length than EAN-13 numbers.)

Before You Begin

We will assume that you already have some UPC-A barcode number which you wish to use. If you need to obtain barcode numbers for your own products, we recommend that you visit the GS1 website – www.gs1.org/barcodes/ean-upc.

Although it may appear that there are quite a lot of settings to adjust, and a lot of steps, many settings are left at their default values. You can also save the settings for future use, so apart from changing the barcode numbers, there won’t be as much to do next time.

Creating Your UPC-A Barcodes

Step 1 – Create a folder to store your barcodes.
In this case, we created one on the desktop called UPC-A Demo.

Step 2 – Download and Install Just Barcodes.
If you already have Just Barcodes installed, step this step.
Otherwise, download it from the Downloads Page on this website, then install it.

Step 3 – Open Just Barcodes.
If you are using the trial, click OK to close the reminder window.
(During the free 30-day trial, and there are no restrictions in the barcode quality during that time.)

Step 4 – Configure the Symbology and Scaling.
Change the Symbology setting to UPC-A, and also make sure the Scaling settings are set for 100% for magnification and height.

Just Barcodes UPC-A and Scaling

Step 5 – Check the Human Readable settings.
Make sure that Visible is checked, and the Arial font is selected.

Just Barcodes UPC-A Human Readable

Step 6 – Check the barcode Options.
The Auto calculate check digit must be checked.

Just Barcodes UPC-A Options

Step 7 – Set the Output Options.
The Output Options need to be set to suit your needs. We will increase the resolution from the default of 300 to 1200 dpi, as shown below.
This will give us a higher quality final image. You will normally want to set this to match the resolution of the printer you plan to use. That way, you will get the best quality barcodes.

Just Barcodes UPC-A Output Options

Step 8 – Select Batch Save from the File Menu.

Just Barcodes File Batch Save

Step 9 – Set the Batch Save Options.
Then enter your barcode numbers, set the output folder (we chose the UPC-A Demo folder created earlier on the desktop) and configure the other settings as shown below.
If the sample file name looks different, go to the ‘Destination File Names’ tab and load the defaults.
Finally click the Start button.

Just Barcodes UPC-A Batch Mode Settings

Step 10 – View the Resulting Barcodes.
The barcodes should be generated very quickly, and the Log section should show that no errors have occurred.

Just Barcodes UPC-A Batch Log

Your output folder should now contain the corresponding barcode images:

Just Barcodes UPC-A Batch Mode Images

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How to Make an EAN-13 Barcode

Introduction

In this short guide, we will show you how to make an EAN-13 barcode.

If you wish to make a batch of barcodes, you should follow the UPC-A Batch guide, but select EAN-13 at the appropriate time, and enter EAN-13 numbers instead of an UPC-A numbers. (EAN-13 numbers are one digit longer than UPC-A numbers.)

Before You Begin

We will assume that you already have an EAN-13 barcode number which you wish to use. If you need to obtain some barcode numbers for your own products, we recommend that you visit the GS1 website – www.gs1.org/barcodes/ean-upc.

Although it may appear that there are quite a lot of settings to adjust, most are actually left at their default values. You can also save the settings for future use, so apart from changing the barcode number itself, there won’t be as much to do next time, when making more barcodes.

Creating Your EAN-13 Barcode

Step 1 – Download and Install Just Barcodes.
If you already have Just Barcodes installed, step this step.
Otherwise, download it from the Downloads Page on this website, then install it.

Step 2 – Open Just Barcodes.
If you are using the trial, click OK to close the reminder window.
(During the free 30-day trial, and there are no restrictions in the barcode quality during that time.)

Step 3 – Configure the Symbology.
Change the Symbology setting to EAN-13, as shown below.

Just Barcodes EAN-13

Step 4 – Set the Barcode Number.
Enter your barcode number into the Number box (just below the Symbology setting you selected in the previous step). In this demo, we will use the number 501234567890.

Step 5 – Configure the Scaling.
Adjust the Scaling settings if necessary. We will stick with the defaults, using 100% for magnification and height, as shown in the previous screen shot.

Step 6 – Check the Human Readable Settings.
Adjust the Human Readable settings if necessary. (These control the text under the barcode.)
We will use the defaults of Visible being checked and the Arial font being selected, as shown below.

EAN-13 Human Readable

Step 7 – Check the Barcode Options.
Adjust the barcode Options if necessary. Again, we will stick with the defaults with Auto calculate check digit being checked as shown below.

EAN-13 Options

Step 8 – Set the Output Options.
The Output Options need to be set to suit your needs. We will increase the resolution from the default of 300 to 1200 dpi. This will give us a higher quality final image. You will normally want to set this to match the resolution of the printer you plan to use. That way, you will get the best quality barcodes.

EAN-13 Output Options

Step 9 – Check the Preview.
If you wish to have a look at quick your barcode before proceeding, click on the Preview tab under the Output section.

Step 10 – Use the Barcode.
Then click the Copy Image image button near the bottom of the screen, and paste the barcode into Photoshop, where any other text and images can be added, to create artwork for your product. (Alternatively, we could have saved the barcode image as a TIFF or BMP file, and opened that file in Photoshop.)

Here is our demo document, featuring the barcode we just created.

Barcode copied from Just Barcodes to Photoshop