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Granted it may not be the most cutting edge technology around, but barcodes continue to be the workhorse of machine-readable formats. Using them on a web page may not immediately make sense, but if you think outside the box a little you can find all sorts of uses for them. Maybe you simply want to print barcodes to place on the products you inventory or the computers you manage, or maybe you'll use them to encode the GUID or primary key of a database record so you can easily locate that record later on, or what about the fact that these days even the cameras on mobile phones have the resolution needed to capture barcode information. I don't know... I'm just thinking here, but whatever you want to use them for, the first step is finding an easy way to generate them.

This sample shows you one method for easily generating 1D barcodes that use the Code 39 symbology. It handles uppercase letters (A to Z), digits (0 to 9), the space character, and a few symbols (-, :, $, /, +, %). It's simple, easy to generate, and is supported by almost all barcode readers. Its only real drawback is its low encoding density... which means that the barcodes generated via Code 39 are longer then barcodes generated using other symbologies.


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