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Apache LibreOffice – OpenOffice Barcode Tutorial

LibreOffice & OpenOffice Tutorial

This tutorial describes how to use IDAutomation’s barcode fonts in Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice by The Document Foundation. The solutions described here are compatible
with LibreOffice 5, OpenOffice 4.0 and Star Office 8.

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Office for the Use of Barcode Fonts

The following will prepare LibreOffice and OpenOffice applications such as Calc,
Base, Impress or Writer for use with IDAutomation’s barcode fonts.

  1. The default method in these Office applications is to display font names in their own font as a preview. This works well for text fonts; however, barcode fonts viewed this way make it difficult to pick the correct option. To allow viewing
    of barcode font names in Calc, Base or Writer choose Tools – Options
    – View, deselect the “Show Preview of Fonts” checkbox and choose OK. The program will need to be closed and reopened for this change to take effect.
    Prepare Calc, Base or Writer for use with barcode fonts.
  2. The additional items below do not have to be performed when
    using the Code
    39 Barcode Fonts
    . If a checksum is required for Code 39 or another barcode type is needed, perform the steps below to install the macros.
    These macros will reformat the data to the barcode fonts and handle
    any required checksum calculations.
  3. By default, the Macro Security Level is set to Medium, which gives the user the option to confirm if a macro is to run.  To verify this setting choose Tools – Options – Security – Macro Security and
    to confirm the
    level is set to Medium and choose OK.
    set macro security
  4. Download and extract the IDAutomationVB.bas file.
    Note: With all 2D font packages, such as QR-Code and Data-Matrix, the .bas file
    will reside in the IntegrationOpenOffice VB folder of the product zip file.
  5. Choose Tools – Macros – Organize Macros – LibreOffice Basic.
    add VB macro
  6. In the area, click on the name of the desired file and choose New. This will embed the macros and Visual
    Basic source code into the file.
    embedding bar code macros into the Calc file
  7. Remove the Sub Main and End Sub lines that are automatically
    remove sub
  8. Click on the Insert Basic Source button and choose the file
    IDAutomationVB.bas provided in the

    . Basic Source for all 2D fonts will be provided within that
    particular package in the “IntegrationOpenOffice VB” folder.
    insert basic source
    This will automatically add the code into the editor window.
  9. Choose File – Save and File – Exit to exit the VB editor.
  10. Shut down all LibreOffice applications and install the IDAutomation
    barcode fonts. If unsure of what barcode font type to use, IDAutomation
    recommends the
    Code 128 Barcode
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Creation in Calc

  1. If the tasks in the Prepare LibreOffice
    section have not been completed, do so now.
  2. When opening the spreadsheet with the macros imported, a Security
    Warning will appear, choose “Enable Macros”.
    Enable Macros
  3. Open Calc and Create an area in the spreadsheet column for the barcode.
  4. Size the column to make sure it is wide enough to contain the
    entire barcode.
  5. Format the column so that any text appearing in it will be centered.
    This is necessary to create the white space (often called the quiet
    zone) before and after the barcode.
  6. Enter the formula in the cell that will format the data to the barcode font – this is where the barcode will appear. For use with
    the Code 39
    , enter the formula of

    =”*” & A2 &

    in the cell.
    Enter Code 39 formula.

  7. If unsure of which function or barcode to
    use, IDAutomation recommends using the Code 128 fonts,
    using the formula for OpenOffice


    and LibreOffice




    refers to the cell location
    of the data to be formatted and encoded in the barcode.

    code128 calc barcode
    After entering the formula, the modified text that is to be formatted
    and encoded for the barcode font should appear in the cell with
    the formula.
    barcode in calc

  8. Apply the applicable barcode font to the cell and size the cell
    so there is at least 4 times the white space before and after the
    barcode based on the thickest bar in the barcode.
    Center the barcode and widen the column.
  9. To create barcodes for other cells in the column, select the
    original cell and choose Edit – Copy and select the new cell or
    cells, then choose Edit – Paste.
    Copy and Paste the first cell down the column
  10. To allow for easier scanning of barcodes in cells, select the
    bar-coded cells and choose Format – Cells – Borders and set the spacing
    to 4 points.
    formatting the barcoded cells

Mail Merge Creation in Writer

To create barcodes in a Writer mail merge using macros,
it is necessary to use Calc as the data source. The field used for the data source in Writer should be the column in Calc where the formula has been applied, which is used to format the data to the barcode font.
IDAutomation suggests using the last column of the spreadsheet in order to avoid any merging problems. To set up the Calc spreadsheet with the macros, please refer to the Calc Tutorial.

  1. In order to import the encoded data calculated in the Calc spreadsheet to
    Writer, the Calc file will need to be saved in dBASE (.dbf) Format. The .ods
    file will not retain this encoded information, the cells will only show a “0” in the encoded field. If the following pop up is received, click “Keep Current
    Format” to continue saving in dBASE format.
    Save in dBASE format
    If you receive an error message that a JRE must be installed to proceed, visit for
    download information.
  2. When asked what character-set to save the DBase Export, select Western
    Europe (Windows-1252/WinLatin 1).
    Select Western Europe (Windows-1252/WinLatin 1)
  3. To begin the mail merge go to Tools – Mail Merge Wizard.
  4. First, select the starting document for the Mail Merge. In this
    example, the current document will be used. Click Next.
    start mail merge
  5. The following screen will default to Letter. Click Next.
  6. On the Insert Address Block screen, click Select Different Address
    List. The next screen will list the available Calc spreadsheets available to use.
    address list
  7. Select the Name and Table from the list provided or choose data from a different location by clicking Add. A new table may also be created by selecting Create. Once the selection has been made,
    Click OK.
    select calc sheet
  8. On the Insert Address Block screen, select “This document shall
    contain an address block” and click “Match Fields”.
    select merge fields
  9. Start with the first ‘Address elements’ field and match the fields wanted to the spreadsheet attached. Click OK.
    match fields
  10. Now click on More and select Edit.
    arrange elements
  11. Remove the address elements not mapped to the spreadsheet. Click
    OK twice, then click Next.
    Remove empty fields in the Address Block
  12. The salutation should be disabled on the next screen.
    Disable Salutation
  13. Skip Adjust Layout because it will be easier to move the barcode area on the next Edit Document screen, where the text box created may be manually aligned on the original Writer document.
  14. Edit Document will open a page with the frame example. This will be the time where the barcode font will be applied to the encoded data as well as adding any additional information to the document such as data fields if needed.
    Highlight the encoded Data
    Highlight the encoded data and apply the barcode font.
    Apply the barcode font.
  15. Click Return to Mail Merge Wizard and the mail merge will be completed.
    Return to Mail Merge Wizard
    If specific
    notes need to be applied to individual pages in the merge, the Personalize
    Document screen will allow users to add notes to single pages.
  16. The Print screen will save the document or print it out directly.
  17. After the merge is performed, print and scan the barcode(s)
    to verify the correct data is encoded. If a scanner is needed to
    verify barcodes, IDAutomation suggests the easy-to-use
    Barcode Scanners
  18. When distributing the mail-merge, the font should be embedded
    in Writer and the Calc data source must be accessible.
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in Base

Unfortunately, barcodes can not be generated directly out of Base, but
barcodes can be generated by attaching to a spreadsheet created in Calc either
saved as .xlsx or then saved as a dBASE (.dbf)
Format as outlined in Step 1 above.

  1. Using the file created in Calc, verify that the file has been saved with
    the encoded text string not having the barcode font applied yet.
    Encoded Data Saved in Calc File
  2. Open Base and the Database Wizard, select “Connect to an existing
    Database” and then “Spreadsheet” from the dropdown menu and
    Click Next:
    Choose Spreadsheet from existing Database options
  3. Browse to the spreadsheet that includes the encoded data created in Calc:
    Select the encoded spreadsheet
  4. Register the database on the following screen, click Finish and save the
    Register Database
  5. Base will open the main screen with the new database data embedded.
    Embedded Table from Calc
  6. Click on Reports on the left panel and click on “Use Wizard to Create
    Report”, then choose the fields for the report, update the Label names if desired. Options for Grouping, Sorting, and Layout follow to choose.
    add fields to report

    1. Open the report to verify that the data is complete and accurate:
      Verify Data in Report
    2. Close out the preview and go back to the main report window. Right Click
      on the Report and select Edit.
      Edit Report
    3. Highlight the text below the Barcode Column heading and apply the
      IDAutomation Font, as in this example the Code 128. Center the barcode so that there is enough white
      space on each side of the barcode and increase the font size if needed:
      Apply Barcode Font
    4. Close the file and reopen the report in preview mode to see the barcode:
      Barcode Applied to Database Report
  7. Optional way to set up a report is to select “Create Report in Design View”.
    Create Report in Design View
    1. Drag Fields onto Design View and align them as desired for the report.
      Add Fields to Design View
    2. Apply the appropriate barcode font to the field that has the previously
      encoded data
      Apply Barcode Font
      and Align the barcode center
      Align the barcode center
    3. Save and close the design view, then open the preview to verify the
      barcodes appear
      Design View Preview
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The Following
Barcode Macros are Available:

The barcode macros listed below are supplied in
the file named “IDAutomationVB.bas” which
is provided in the
download package.

For all functions listed below, the DataToEncode
is the string data type. Other data types, such as numbers or dates,
may need to be converted to the string data type to be properly encoded.
All parameters are required. For example, use Code128(“123456”; 0;
0) instead of Code128(“123456”). For all number symbologies, such as POSTNET and UPC, dashes or spaces may be imputed for easier readability,
the dashes and spaces will be filtered out before the barcode is generated.
For UPC-A, UPC-E & EAN-13, the +2 and +5 add-on codes may be created
by adding the data to the end of the string.

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