How to Make Barcodes in Excel

By Joanne Mendes

Barcodes can easily and quickly be created using Microsoft Excel. The spreadsheet application can take a formula and automatically generate a barcode. Creating the barcodes in Excel allows you to have a spreadsheet of the codes that can be modified, sorted and edited.

Step 1

Download a barcode font package into Excel. There are several barcode font packages available on the Internet; some are free while others can be purchased. To find Excel barcode font packages recommended by Microsoft, visit the Microsoft Office Marketplace and search for “Excel Barcodes.”

Step 2

Open a new spreadsheet in Excel. Type in the formula you will be using for the barcode in column A. The formula should only contain numbers or letters with no spaces in between.

Step 3

Format column B so that it will be wide enough to hold the entire barcode by clicking on the line dividing the column B and C headings and dragging the line to the right. Make sure there is plenty of room for the barcode; it will need to have blank space on either side. Highlight column B by clicking on the heading and click the “Centered” icon so the barcode will be centered within the cell.

Step 4

Double-click on the formula in column A. Right-click and choose “Copy.” Paste the formula into the adjoining cell in column B.

Step 5

Highlight the formula in column B. Click the “Font” pull-down menu and scroll down to the barcode font and click. The formula will change into a barcode. Highlight the barcode and adjust its size using the pull-down font size menu. The standard barcode size is 12 point.

Step 6

Check the barcode in column B with the formula in column A to make sure that it has formatted correctly. Formatting mistakes are quite common when creating barcodes, so check each code. If unrecognizable characters have appeared instead of a barcode, check the formula in column A for any spaces or unrecognized characters.

Tips & Warnings

  • It’s a good idea to create one or two barcodes and check them before creating an entire page. Print and scan the barcodes to make sure they work.
  • To create a barcode in Excel, you will need to download a barcode font package. There are several barcode font packages available on the Internet; some are free while others can be purchased. To find Excel barcode font packages recommended by Microsoft, visit the Microsoft Office Marketplace and search for "Excel Barcodes."