The Million Dollar iPad – Adding Barcodes to Documents
For those of you who’ve already moved to or are in the midst of transferring to a paperless office environment, the time will come when you might need to add barcodes to your documents. By adding barcodes, you permit your digital document items to ultimately be read or input by a scanner. The information can then be placed into a digital format for later access, retrieval, and use.
Unfortunately, there is no reliable all-in-one iPad app of which I’m aware that currently allows you to create a document and easily append a barcode. I’m sure someone will develop such an app as there is a need for that type of digital creation tool. In the meantime, here is the iPad integrated workflow process that I think works best for you. The is one of those methods that actually reads more complicated than it actually is to apply.
STEP ONE: Create the document that you want to ultimately use with a barcode. You can produce the document in your favorite iPad word processing program (for example, UX Write, QuickOffice Pro HD,Pages, or DocsToGo. Alternatively, you can use a PDF creation program like iAnnotate, Save2PDF or GoodReader to create the document. My personal preference is to use UX Write or QuickOffice Pro HD as they provide you with an initial and more flexible word processing environment. They then easily permit you to save your document in PDF format from within the apps themselves.
STEP TWO: Convert your document into PDF format and save it. Here’s a workflow model to help show you one of the options you have: Create your document in UX Write. Then, save that document as a PDF (you do this by tapping the folder with the arrow on the top right of your screen and selecting the “Create PDF” option).
STEP THREE: If you have saved your PDF document in a word processing app, then use the “Open In . . .” option to open the PDF in your preferred PDF creation app. Continuing my example: Open the newly created PDF in UX Write. Tap the folder with the arrow on the top right of your screen. A menu of various apps will now appear that can read the PDF you have created. Tap the PDF Expert icon and the PDF will open and appear in the app.
STEP FOUR: Open your favorite iPad web browser. Naturally, this requires you to have an internet connection. Go to one of the websites that allows you to create online barcodes. Here are three for you to explore:
Online Barcode Generator
Free Barcode Generator
Using one of these sites, create the type of barcode that suits your particular needs.
STEP FIVE: Save the barcode to your Camera Roll. Press and hold on the image you are given and save that barcode as an image onto your iPad. The image will be saved to your Camera Roll.
STEP SIX: From within your PDF creation app and with your chosen document open, paste the barcode from your Camera Roll onto the document. So, continuing with our example: From within the PDF Expert app, tap the Stamp icon (which will now appear highlighted). Tap on your open document in the place you want your barcode to appear. This will bring up a menu that contains, among other things, a “Custom” option. Tap on the “Custom” menu heading. Tap on the “+” sign. Tap on “Image Stamp.” This will provide access to your Camera Roll. Tap on the barcode image from your Camera Roll and select the quality of the image you want to use. Your barcode will now appear on the document. You can move and resize it to suit your needs.
STEP SEVEN: Save a copy of your barcode-adorned document.
STEP EIGHT: When you are ready to use the barcoded document, tap the Send by Email button from the app you have chosen to use. MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOU CHOOSE THE FLATTEN COPY OPTION BEFORE SENDING. By flattening your PDF, you help to prevent manipulation of the barcode, among other things.
Please note that not all word processing and PDF creation programs provide the same options. For the specific purpose of creating PDF documents with barcodes, I find that UX Write and PDF Expert are the most capable for my needs.
The method I have just provided works well when you only have a few barcoded documents to generate. If you have a large quantity of barcodes and documents to create, I would use a desktop or laptop option.
Oh, one last thing – you can use this process just as easily to create documents that have QR codes. The websites I have listed for you give you this option, as well.
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© 2013 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.
Mr. Grossberg is a founding partner of the Southern California law firm of Cihigoyenetche, Grossberg & Clouse. He is a featured speaker and published author on numerous topics including media relations, social media, technology, public speaking, memory, and various other cutting edge concepts. Mr. Grossberg’s “iPad Lawyer” and “Million Dollar iPad” seminars provide business professionals with the ability to truly harness the potential of Apple’s tablet. He is regularly called upon to address the impact of emerging technology and social media, suggest policies and procedures that should be in place, and to discuss liability exposure for this new way of doing business. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.