Label Purchase Guidelines

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Guidelines for barcode-containing labels:

  1. Barcodes should be clearly replicated in a human-readable format. The value read by a scanner should be readable by a human as well. Note that XYZ123, 123, ZYX 123, and ZYX0123 are all very different values.
  2. Avoid padding with leading zeroes. These may be handled differently by different applications. In order to keep the character strings all the same length, start the series at a high value. For example, instead of beginning a series at 000001, begin at 100001. Thus, the character string will always be six characters long, and the printed labels will format consistently.
  3. Avoid non-printing characters. Humans, and sometimes machines, can't always tell if that hole represents a space, tab, linefeed, of any of the dozens of other possibilities.
  4. Use big numbers if possible. XYZ1234567890 is less likely to cause unanticipated problems than XYZ1 is.
  5. Don't try to be too clever. You'll learn to hate "L090207" (or was it L927? Maybe L0902007?). Dumb numbers with a locally-meaningful prefix, such as UAM or UAMMAMM, will be much more sustainable.
  6. Check the Barcode Series Spreadsheet very early in the ordering process. Avoid anything that even remotely looks like it could be, or ever could become, a conflict. Duplicate barcodes will not be accepted.
  7. Talk to the Arctos folks before doing anything else. Really. It's free, and we're here to help. Ordering unusable barcodes is not free, and we'll make fun of you for doing that.
  8. Enter the series of barcodes into Arctos and update the Barcode Series Spreadsheet before placing an order or printing your barcodes.