Barcode Tutorial for Adobe Indesign
IntroductionMany people use Indesign for making complete books. Each book needs a cover and most covers need a retail barcode like EAN or ISBN on it. In the following sections we'll show you how to create an ISBN barcode with Softmatic BarcodePlus and then add the barcode to an Indesign document.
Note: This tutorial is best suited if you have to work with individual barcodes in Indesign. We've also prepared a tutorial that shows how to data merge barcode images into Indesign using our batch barcode generator, Softmatic BarcodeFactory - ideal for barcodes in pricelists, catalogs, mailings etc.
What you needAdobe Indesign CS4, CS5 or CS6. The screenshots below show BarcodePlus and Indesign CS6, the latest version of Indesign at the time of writing. All screenshots are from the Windows versions of Indesign. The explanations, however, do apply to the Mac version as well.
Creating the BarcodeIn this tutorial we'll create an ISBN 13 barcode for use on a book cover. First step is to create the barcode. Launch Softmatic BarcodePlus and select Code ISBN 13 from the list of codes.
Enter the following ISBN into the Data to Encode control: 978-1-935182-47-4. Hit <Enter>. You'll see the barcode in the preview window. Enter the pricing information 54999 into the Add On control.
Now make the following settings:
EAN Size: SC1
Light Margin Indicator: Yes
File Format: EPS (If you are using the trial version: PNG)
Bounding Box Markers: No
The application window should look like this:
Click Save... to save the barcode to a file.
Importing the Barcode into IndesignAlready in Indesign we've prepared a simple one-page document:
We want to put the barcode onto a separate layer (see below for best practices). Create a new layer and name it "Barcode".
Now select File > Place... and navigate to the folder where you saved the barcode. The mouse cursor changes and drags a preview of the barcode as you move it around. Move the cursor to the top left corner of the empty white box at the lower right corner of the cover. Click once to link the barcode to the document. Do not click-drag as this will scale or distort the barcode!
Tip: If Indesign renders the barcode coarse or blocky (like a low resolution photo), right-click on the canvas, and select Display Performance > High Quality from the context menu.
Use the cursor keys or the mouse to center the barcode in the box:
Right now the barcode is not yet embedded into the document. From the View menu, open the Links panel. The panel should list the imported EPS file. In the panel, click the panel menu and select Embed Link. The status changes to Embedded.The barcode is now part of the document.
As a precaution you should lock the layer to prevent accidental changes to the barcode.
The completed Indesign CS6 document can be downloaded here. For CS4/CS5 we've prepared an IDML file.
Tips & TricksWhen working with barcodes in Indesign, please consider the following best practices:
Barcode Data Merge in IndesignWe've prepared another tutorial that shows how to import large amounts of barcodes into Indesign via data merge. Click here.
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