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       barcode - a stand alone program to run the barcode library


       barcode [-b - | string] [-e encoding] [-o - | outfile] [ other-flags ]


       The  information below is extracted from the texinfo file, which is the
       preferred source of information.

       The barcode program is a front-end  to  access  some  features  of  the
       library  from  the  command  line.   It  is  able to read user supplied
       strings from the command  line  or  a  data  file  (standard  input  by
       default) and encode all of them.


       barcode accepts the following options:

       --help or -h
              Print a usage summary and exit.

       -i filename
              Identify  a  file  where strings to be encoded are read from. If
              missing (and if -b is not used) it defaults to  standard  input.
              Each  data  line  of  the  input file will be used to create one
              barcode output.

       -o filename
              Output file. It defaults to standard output.

       -b string
              Specify a single ‘‘barcode’’ string to be encoded.   The  option
              can  be  used multiple times in order to encode multiple strings
              (this will result in multi-page postscript output or a table  of
              barcodes  if  -t  is  specified).   The  strings  must match the
              encoding chosen; if it doesn’t match the program  will  print  a
              warning  to  stderr  and generate ‘‘blank’’ output (although not
              zero-length).  Please note that a  string  including  spaces  or
              other special characters must be properly quoted.

       -e encoding
              encoding  is  the name of the chosen encoding format being used.
              It  defaults  to  the  value   of   the   environment   variable
              BARCODE_ENCODING or to auto detection if the environment is also

       -g geometry
              The geometry argument is of the form ‘‘[<width> x  <height>]  [+
              <xmargin>   +   <ymargin>]’’   (with   no  intervening  spaces).
              Unspecified margin values will result in no margin;  unspecified
              size  results  in  default size.  The specified values represent
              print points by default, and can be inches, millimeters or other
              units according to the -u option or the BARCODE_UNIT environment
              variable.  The argument is used to place the  printout  code  on
              the  page.  Note that an additional white margin of 10 points is
              added  to  the  printout.  If   the   option   is   unspecified,
              BARCODE_GEOMETRY  is  looked up in the environment, if missing a
              default size and no margin (but the default 10 points) are used.

       -t table-geometry
              Used  to print several barcodes to a single page, this option is
              meant to be used to print stickers. The argument is of the  form
              ‘‘<columns>  x  <lines>  [+  <leftmargin>  +  <bottommargin>  [-
              <rightmargin> [- <topmargin>]]]’’ (with no intervening  spaces);
              if missing, the top and right margin will default to be the same
              as the bottom and left margin.  The  margins  are  specified  in
              print  points  or  in  the  chosen  unit (see -u below).  If the
              option is not specified,  BARCODE_TABLE  is  looked  up  in  the
              environment, otherwise no table is printed and each barcode will
              get its own page.  The size (but not the position) of a  barcode
              item  within  a  table  can  also  be  selected  using  -g  (see
              "geometry" above), without struggling with external and internal
              margins.   I  still think management of geometries in a table is
              suboptimal, but I  can’t  make  it  better  without  introducing

       -m margin(s)
              Specifies  an internal margin for each sticker in the table. The
              argument is of the form ‘‘<xmargin>,<ymargin>’’ and  the  margin
              is  applied  symmetrically  to  the sticker. If unspecified, the
              environment  variable  BARCODE_MARGIN  is  used  or  a   default
              internal margin of 10 points is used.

       -n     ‘‘Numeric’’ output: don’t print the ASCII form of the code, only
              the bars.

       -c     No checksum character (for encodings that allow  it,  like  code
              39, other codes, like UPC or EAN, ignore this option).

       -E     Encapsulated postscript (default is normal postscript). When the
              output is generated as EPS only one barcode is encoded.

       -P     PCL output. Please note that the Y direction goes  from  top  to
              bottom  for  PCL,  and  the  origin for an image is the top-left
              corner instead of the bottom-left

       -p pagesize
              Specify a non-default page size. The page size can be  specified
              in   millimeters,   inches   or   plain  numbers  (for  example:
              "210x297mm", "8.5x11in", "595x842").  A  page  specification  as
              numbers  will  be  interpreted  according  to  the  current unit
              specification (see -u below). If libpaper is available, you  can
              also  specify the page size with its name, like "A3" or "letter"
              (libpaper is a standard component of Debian GNU/Linux,  but  may
              be missing elsewhere). The default page size is your system-wide
              default if libpaper is there, A4 otherwise.

       -u unit
              Choose the unit used in size specifications. Accepted values are
              ‘‘mm’’,  ‘‘cm’’, ‘‘in’’ and ‘‘pt’’. By default, the program will
              check  BARCODE_UNIT  in  the  environment,  and  assume   points
              otherwise  (this  behaviour is compatible with 0.92 and previous
              versions. If -u appears  more  than  once,  each  instance  will
              modified  the  behaviour  for the arguments at its right, as the
              command line is processes left to right. The program  internally
              works  with  points, and any size is approximated to the nearest
              multiple of one point. The -u option affect  -g  (geometry),  -t
              (table) and -p (page size).


       The  program  encodes  text  strings  passed either on the command line
       (with -b) or retrieved from standard input. The text representation  is
       interpreted  according  to  the following rules. When auto-detection of
       the encoding is enabled (i.e, no explicit encoding type is  specified),
       the  encoding  types  are  scanned to find one that can digest the text
       string.  The following list of supported types is sorted  in  the  same
       order  the  library  uses when auto-detecting a suitable encoding for a

       EAN    The EAN frontend is  similar  to  UPC;  it  accepts  strings  of
              digits,  12  or 7 characters long. Strings of 13 or 8 characters
              are accepted if the  provided  checksum  digit  is  correct.   I
              expect  most users to feed input without a checksum, though. The
              add-2 and add-5 extension are accepted for both the  EAN-13  and
              the  EAN-8  encodings.  The following are example of valid input
              strings: ‘‘123456789012’’  (EAN-13),  ‘‘1234567890128’’  (EAN-13
              wih  checksum),   ‘‘1234567’’ (EAN-8), ‘‘12345670 12345’’ (EAN-8
              with checksum  and  add-5),  ‘‘123456789012  12’’  (EAN-13  with
              add-2), ‘‘123456789012 12345’’ (EAN-13 with add-5).

       UPC    The UPC frontend accepts only strings made up of digits (and, if
              a supplemental encoding is used, a blank to  separate  it).   It
              accepts  strings  of  11  or  12  digits (UPC-A) and 6 or 7 or 8
              digits (UPC-E).

       The 12th digit of UPC-A is the checksum and is added by the library  if
       not  specified  in  the input; if it is specified, it must be the right
       checksum or the code is rejected as invalid.  For UPC-E,  6  digit  are
       considered  to  be  the middle part of the code, a leading 0 is assumed
       and the checksum is added; 7 digits are either considered  the  initial
       part  (leading  digit  0  or  1,  checksum  missing)  or the final part
       (checksum specified, leading 0 assumed); 8 digits are considered to  be
       the  complete  code,  with leading 0 or 1 and checksum.  For both UPC-A
       and UPC-E, a trailing string of 2 digits or 5  digits  is  accepted  as
       well.  Therefore,  the following are examples of valid strings that can
       be encoded as UPC: ‘‘01234567890’’ (UPC-A) ‘‘012345678905’’ (UPC-A with
       checksum),  ‘‘012345’’  (UPC-E),  ‘‘01234567890 12’’ (UPC-A, add-2) and
       ‘‘01234567890 12345’’ (UPC-A, add-5), ‘‘0123456  12’’  (UPC-E,  add-2).
       Please  note  that when setting BARCODE_ANY to auto-detect the encoding
       to be used,  12-digit  strings  and  7-digit  strings  will  always  be
       identified  as  EAN.  This  because I expect most user to provide input
       without a checksum. If you need to specify UPC-with-checksum  as  input
       you  must  explicitly  set  BARCODE_UPC  as a flag or use -e upc on the
       command line.

       ISBN   ISBN numbers are encoded as EAN-13  symbols,  with  an  optional
              add-5  trailer.  The  ISBN  frontend of the library accepts real
              ISBN numbers and deals with any hyphen and, if present, the ISBN
              checksum  character  before encoding data. Valid representations
              for   ISBN   strings   are   for   example:   ‘‘1-56592-292-1’’,
              ‘‘3-89721-122-X’’ and ‘‘3-89721-122-X 06900}’’.

       code 128-B
              This   encoding   can   represent  all  of  the  printing  ASCII
              characters, from the space (32) to DEL (127). The checksum digit
              is mandatory in this encoding.

       code 128-C
              The  ‘‘C’’  variation  of  Code-128  uses  Code-128  symbols  to
              represent two digits at a time  (Code-128  is  made  up  of  104
              symbols  whose  interpretation is controlled by the start symbol
              being used).  Code  128-C  is  thus  the  most  compact  way  to
              represent any even number of digits. The encoder refuses to deal
              with an odd number of digits because the caller is  expected  to
              provide  proper  padding  to  an  even  number of digits. (Since
              Code-128 includes control  symbols  to  switch  charset,  it  is
              theoretically  possible  to  represent  the  odd digit as a Code
              128-A or 128-B symbol, but this tool doesn’t currently implement
              this option).

       code 128 raw
              Code-128   output  represented  symbol-by-symbol  in  the  input
              string.  To override part of  the  problems  outlined  below  in
              specifying code128 symbols, this pseudo-encoding allows the used
              to specify a list of code128 symbols separated by  spaces.  Each
              symbol  is represented by a number in the range 0-105.  The list
              should include the leading character.The checksum and  the  stop
              character  are  automatically  added by the library. Most likely
              this pseudo-encoding will be used with BARCODE_NO_ASCII and some
              external program to supply the printed text.

       code 39
              The  code-39  standard can encode uppercase letters, digits, the
              blank space, plus, minus, dot,  star,  dollar,  slash,  percent.
              Any  string that is only composed of such characters is accepted
              by the  code-39  encoder.  To  avoid  loosing  information,  the
              encoder refuses to encode mixed-case strings (a lowercase string
              is nonetheless  accepted  as  a  shortcut,  but  is  encoded  as

       interleaved 2 of 5
              This  encoding  can only represent an even number of digits (odd
              digits  are  represented  by  bars,  and  even  digits  by   the
              interleaving spaces). The name stresses the fact that two of the
              five items (bars or spaces) allocated to each symbol  are  wide,
              while  the  rest are narrow. The checksum digit is optional (can
              be disabled  via  BARCODE_NO_CHECKSUM).   Since  the  number  of
              digits,  including the checksum, must be even, a leading zero is
              inserted  in  the  string  being  encoded  if  needed  (this  is
              specifically stated in the specs I have access to).

       code 128
              Automatic  selection between alphabet A, B and C of the Code-128
              standard. This encoding can represent all ASCII symbols, from  0
              (NUL)  to  127 (DEL), as well as four special symbols, named F1,
              F2, F3, F4. The set of symbols available in this encoding is not
              easily  represented  as  input  to  the  barcode library, so the
              following convention is used.  In the input string, which  is  a
              C-language  null-terminated  string, the NUL char is represented
              by the value 128 (0x80,  0200)  and  the  F1-F4  characters  are
              represented  by  the values 193-196 (0xc1-0xc4, 0301-0304).  The
              values have been chosen to ease their representation  as  escape

       Since  the  shell  doesn’t  seem  to  interpret escape sequences on the
       command line, the "-b" option cannot be easily used  to  designate  the
       strings  to  be  encoded. As a workaround you can resort to the command
       echo, either within back-ticks or used separately to create a file that
       is  then  fed  to  the  standard-input of barcode -- assuming your echo
       command  processes  escape  sequences.   The   newline   character   is
       especially  though  to  encode (but not impossible unless you use a csh

       These problems only apply to the command-line tool; the use of  library
       functions  doesn’t  give any problem. In needed, you can use the ‘‘code
       128  raw’’  pseudo-encoding  to  represent  code128  symbols  by  their
       numerical  value.  This  encoding  is  used  late in the auto-selection
       mechanism because (almost) any input string can  be  represented  using

              Codabar  can  encode  the  ten  digits and a few special symbols
              (minus, plus, dollar, colon, bar, dot).  The  characters  ‘‘A’’,
              ‘‘B’’,  ‘‘C’’  and  ‘‘D’’  are  used to represent four different
              start/stop characters. The input string to the  barcode  library
              can  include  the  start and stop characters or not include them
              (in which case ‘‘A’’ is used as start and ‘‘B’’ as stop).  Start
              and  stop  characters  in  the  input  string  can be either all
              lowercase or all uppercase and are always printed as  uppercase.

              Plessey   barcodes   can  encode  all  the  hexadecimal  digits.
              Alphabetic digits  in  the  input  string  must  either  be  all
              lowercase or all uppercase. The output text is always uppercase.

       MSI    MSI can only encode  the  decimal  digits.  While  the  standard
              specifies   either   one   or  two  check  digits,  the  current
              implementation in this library only generates one check digit.

       code 93
              The  code-93  standard  can   natively   encode   48   different
              characters,  including  uppercase  letters,  digits,  the  blank
              space, plus, minus, dot, star, dollar, slash, percent,  as  well
              as  five  special  characters:   a start/stop delimiter and four
              "shift characters" used for  extended  encoding.     Using  this
              "extended  encoding"  method, any standard 7-bit ASCII character
              can be encoded, but it takes up two symbol lengths in barcode if
              the  character  is  not natively supported (one of the 48).  The
              encoder here fully implements the  code  93  encoding  standard.
              Any  characters  natively supported (A-Z, 0-9, ".+-/$ encoded as
              such - for any other characters (such  as  lower  case  letters,
              brackets,   parentheses,  etc.),  the  encoder  will  revert  to
              extended encoding.   As  a  note,  the  option  to  exclude  the
              checksum  will  eliminate  the two modulo-47 checksums (called C
              and K)  from  the  barcode,  but  this  probably  will  make  it
              unreadable  by 9 These checksums are specified to be used at the
              firmware level, and their absence  will  be  interpreted  as  an
              invalid barcode.


       While  the  default output is Postscript (possibly EPS), and Postscript
       can be post-processed to almost anything, it is sometimes desirable  to
       create  output directly usable by the specific printer at hand.  PCL is
       currently supported as an output format for this reason.   Please  note
       that  the  Y  coordinate  for  PCL  goes  from top to bottom, while for
       Postscript  it  goes  from  bottom  to  top.  Consistently,  while   in
       Postscript  you  specify  the bottom-left corner as origin, for PCL you
       specify the top-left corner.

       Barcode output for PCL Printers  (HP  LaserJet  and  compatibles),  was
       developed  using PCL5 Reference manuals from HP.  that really refers to
       these printers:

       LaserJet III, III P, III D, III Si,

       LaserJet 4 family

       LaserJet 5 family

       LaserJet 6 family

       Color LaserJet

       DeskJet 1200 and 1600.

       However, barcode printing uses a very small  subset  of  PCL,  probably
       also  LaserJet  II  should  print it without problem, but the resulting
       text may be horrible.

       The only real difference from one printer to another really depends  on
       which  font  are  available  in the printer, used in printing the label
       associated to the bars (if requested).

       Earlier  LaserJet  supports  only  bitmaps  fonts,  so  these  are  not
       "scalable".  (Ljet  II  ?),  Also  these  fonts, when available, have a
       specified direction, and not all of them are available in both Portrait
       and Landscape mode.

       From  LaserJet  4 series, (except 4L/5L that are entry-level printers),
       Arial scalable font should be available, so  it’s  the  "default  font"
       used by this program.

       LaserJet  III  series printers (and 4L, 5L), don’t feature "Arial" as a
       resident  font,  so  you  should  use  BARCODE_OUT_PCL_III  instead  of
       BARCODE_OUT_PCL.,  and  font the font used will be "Univers" instead of

       Results on compatible printers,  may  depend  on  consistency  of  PCL5
       compatibility, in doubt, try BARCODE_OUT_PCL_III

       PJL commands are not used here, as it’s not very compatible.

       Tested Printers:

       Hp LaserJet 4050

       Hp LaserJet 2100

       Epson N-1200 emul PCL

       Toshiba DP2570 (copier) + PCL option

       Epson EPL-7100 emul. HP LaserJet II: bars print fine but text is bad.


       The  current  management  of  borders/margins  is far from optimal. The
       ‘‘default’’ margin applied by the library interferes with the  external
       representation,  but  I  feel it is mandatory to avoid creating barcode
       output with no surrounding  white  space  (the  problem  is  especially
       relevant for EPS output).

       EAN-128  is not (yet) supported. I plan to implement it pretty soon and
       then bless the package as version 1.0.




       Alessandro Rubini <> (maintainer)

       Leonid A. Broukhis <> (several encodings)

       Andrea Scopece <> (PCL output)