ISBN Barcode Generator
Making ISBN Barcodes
To create the ISBN barcode, first click the “plus” button at the bottom left corner of the window, then click the “ISBN–13” item in the popup menu. The barcode will be created:
Double–click the new barcode or press Enter to open the ISBN barcode generator with the newly created barcode. There will be a barcode preview and the parameters panel on the right side of the window. You can zoom the barcode in using Ctrl-+ key on Windows, or Cmd-+ key on Mac, or using the zoom options in the View menu.
The “Content” panel at the right lets you configure the ISBN data encoded into the barcode. From the top to bottom you can adjust:
- Prefix — either ‘978’ or ‘979’ — the ISBN prefix to use;
- Main data — the ISBN code itself — 9 data digits and the check digit;
- Price — the price of the item as a decimal number, like “10.20”;
- Price type — lets you select a country to configure the country–specific price display in the addon;
- Text type — helps adding an extra text with the ISBN number on top of the barcode;
- Format type — here you can configure the appearance of the ISBN digits in the text displayed above the barcode.
Let’s reconfigure the price to be 12.56 CAD and also show the ISBN text above the barcode:
What I did is I entered the price as a decimal number “12.56” into the Price field and switched the Price type field to “Canada”. The addon displays “61256” which is the price representation for Canada. I also enabled the top text by changing the Text type field and configured the Text format control to display the ISBN number the proper way.
If for any reason the country–specific pricing doesn’t work for you, you can always switch the Price type selector to the Custom mode and enter the 5 addon digits “as is” into the Price field:
Barcode generator detects if you enter incorrect data and displays an error message to help you fix the problem. There is a Fix errors button that sometimes helps to do things faster. For instance, you can enter the full ISBN code, including prefix into the Main data field. Barcode will report an error:
If you click the Fix errors button, Barcode will detect that the Main data field has enough digits and the first three look like a prefix. It will then setup the prefix and truncate the main data, so all the parameters become valid, and you get a proper ISBN barcode and proper barcode data:
This is a useful feature if you need to copy and paste the ISBN number from a 3rd party application. You can also enter numbers with spaces or dashes — Barcode will sort it out, too.
If you don’t need the addon, simply switch the Price type selector to None. This will hide the addon, leaving just the main block visible.
Once the barcode data is configured, you can switch to the second tab in the right panel to setup the visual appearance of the barcode:
As the ISBN barcode is based on EAN-13 barcode, the visual parameters are the same. From the top to bottom you will find:
- Human readable text — lets you show or hide the numbers below the barcode and above the addon, you can also change the font family and size here;
- Addon — here you can configure the addon text appearance and the distance between the main block and the addon (measured in bars);
- Size and proportions — this block lets you setup the barcode height and scale;
- Other — exactly as with UPC and EAN barcode generators, you can enable the light margin indicator on the right;
- Output — here you can adjust the bars width, setup the DPI for raster output and finally configure the color of the barcode.
When done, switch to the right most tab to configure the quiet zone around the barcode. There must be at least 5mm (0.2 inches) on both left and right sides of the barcode to make sure the scanner can detect and read it. You can adjust that with the margins parameters of the Marks panel:
You can also enable the light margin indicator on the second tab and then you will probably don’t need to add extra space on the right, at all.
When the barcode is finished, use the buttons at the top left corner of the window to save or print the barcode. Another option is to simply drag it with your mouse directly to the application where the barcode is needed.
Then click the Back button in the toolbar or press the Escape key to return to the barcodes list. Barcode generator automatically saves the changes you made, so the next time you will return to exactly the same barcode you’ve just configured.
Note that you may copy, rename and delete barcodes in the list. See the barcode management tutorial for more details.
Batch ISBN Barcodes Generation
If you have a list of ISBN numbers and need to generate barcodes, you can automate the process by clicking the batch processing button:
There you can enter the ISBN numbers you have and get your barcodes generated using the one you have as a reference. See the batch processing tutorial for more detailed instructions.
ISBN Barcodes Overview
International Standard Book Number (ISBN) codes are assigned worldwide to help publishers identify certain works, such as books or audiobooks. The original ISBN format was created in 1965, and ISBN–13 code has been used since 2007. Each country has its own specific entity that assigns ISBN codes, and does not have the right to assign ISBN codes to publishers outside of its own borders.
ISBN–13 is based on EAN–13 (International Article Number) code.
The ISBN codes, which are assigned as 1, 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000 or 100,000 numbers, identify individual publications and the publisher of the document. ISBN-10 format codes can easily be converted to ISBN–13 codes by simply adding the prefix 978.
Two– and five–digit add–ons may also be included on a given publication. Two–digit codes are often used to detail the issue number or release date of periodicals such as newspapers and magazines, while five-digit codes are used to provide the price of a book when it is scanned by a barcode reader. The first number of the five–digit price code informs users on the currency used in the price, while the remaining four digits name the full price. For example, 51399 would mean the price of a given book is U.S. $13.99.