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Using Barcodes and Other Soft Fonts


iDocs is designed to emulate the output of a Hewlitt Packard Laserjet 4 printer. LJ4 printers had a small number of fonts installed in them, so that the font itself did not have to be downloaded to it to be used; it had merely to be referenced in the pcl stream. The Laserjet 4 printer resident fonts are:

  • Albertus Medium
  • Antique Olive
  • Arial
  • CG Omega
  • CG Times
  • Clarendon Condensed
  • Coronet*
  • Courier (non-proportional)
  • Garamond
  • Gill Sans
  • Letter Gothic (non proportional)
  • Line Printer (not really a font) (non proportional)
  • Marigold*
  • Times New Roman
  • Univers
* Shown in a larger size than the other fonts.
  Font list may not display correctly unless Microsoft Internet Explorer is used to view this page.

Non-proportional fonts are fonts the characters of which are a uniform width (monospaced). Thus columns of numbers will line up correctly if rendered in a non-proportional font. All other fonts are proportional, meaning the characters are not of uniform width.

Line Printer font is not really a separate font but rather a monospaced utility font rendered by the printer. Your web browser is mapping Line Printer font in the above list to another installed font to display this page.

In a LaserJet 4 printer all other fonts are referred to as soft fonts. With a soft font each grapheme is a small raster image. Soft fonts are downloaded to printer memory at the start of each print job. Using soft fonts consumes bandwidth to the printer and increases the size of the pcl file. However, if the font is not printer resident there is no other way to use the font. Bar codes on the Laserjet 4 printer are implemented as soft fonts.

To use a soft font with iDocs one must install the font in the /qdls/formfmg directory (the FORMFMG folder). The font file will have an extension of .sfp. One must then specify the soft font in the mapped field definition (below). Soft font files are obtained from inFORM Decisions sales and support.

Specifying a Soft Font

An optional iBar module licience is required to utilize the bar code soft fonts.

To specify a soft font, first map the field using iMap or iDocs greenscreen field mapping. Then, select the mapped field for update and tab to the font field. Press F4 to select the font. Instead of specifying a font from the list of printer resident fonts, press F7 to display all installed soft fonts. Select the soft font from the list with option 1.

Because soft fonts are raster images they can not be resized, so it is not possible to specify a font size or style (bold / italic). If one wishes to widen a barcode one technique is to map the field more than once, positioning the barcoded fields so that the bars are parallel. The effect is a wider barcode.

Notes on Specific Fonts

  • MSI Barcode: To be identified as an MSI barcode ( Modified Plessey ) font the sfp file name must begin with the letters “MSI”. Due to restrictions of the barcode the maximum length of any barcdoded data is 12 characters. iDocs will calculate and append the check digit.
  • GS1-128 Barcode: This is implemented with a UCC128 soft font. The barcode string must contain any application identifier without the usual bracketing parenthesis. The application identifier and the barcode data must be in one contiguous mapped field, no embedded blanks. The checksum character is calculated by iDocs and should not be part of the barcode string. No human readible output is generated, just the barcode. Human readible output should be created by mapping the barcode string again with appropriate formatting.
  • USPS Intellegent Barcode: The Intelligent Mail barcode carries a data payload of up to 31 digits. The sfp file name must be USPS.sfp

                   Intelligent Mail Barcode Data Fields 
Type            Field                     Field Length (in digits)
Tracking        Barcode Identifier        2 (2nd digit must be 0–4) 
Code            Service Type Identifier   3
                Mailer Identifier         6 or 9
                Serial Number             9 (when used with 6 digit Mailer ID)
                                          6 (when used with 9 digit Mailer ID)
Routing Code    Delivery Point ZIP Code   0, 5, 9, or 11
Total                                     31 maximum
Valid length data should be:
1) 20 characters numeric (without routing code)
2) 25 characters numeric (with length of routing code = 5)
3) 29 characters numeric (with length of routing code = 9)
4) 31 characters numeric (with length of routing code = 11)
All data should be numeric characters. No blanks are allowed. Below are some example from a spool file:
Valid Usps:   1212312345612345678912345678901   (length = 31 with length of routing code = 11)
Invalid Usps: 044 031376985619365776725552439   (blank character in string data)
Valid Usps:   34160265194042788110              (length = 20 with length of routing code = 0)

Scaling Barcodes

Scaling Barcode is a iBar option for scale-able bar coding available in iDocs/iBar Version 6.80. (A Human Readable Text option was added in version 6.85.) This is Java based and does not utilize the standard iDocs soft fonts. It enables the use of QR, MaxiCode and other 2 dimensional bar codes. Click here for a list of supported Scale-able Barcode Types. Note: Each bar code must be licensed by entering the appropriate registration code on the Module Registration Screen. Contact your Sales Person for additional information regarding iBar and Scaling Bar Codes.

NOTE: QR scalable barcode can support to print 2 spool text lines into one QR code: To Row can be >= From Row. And it should be 2 lines only with a maximum of 256 characters Version 6.98 3/16/2021.

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pub/barcodelaserprinting.txt · Last modified: 2021/03/16 12:53 by kkramer