Skip to content
logo Knowledgebase

Report Designer - To add a bar code to a document

Created on  | Last modified on 


In Sage Accounts you can print bar codes onto your documents based on references you enter in the Sage Accounts database.


Within the product record there's a Bar Code box where you can enter a bar code reference. You can then print the bar code reference onto documents such as invoices, or, in Sage 50 Accounts, product labels, sales orders and purchase orders. Alternatively, you can print bar codes based on other information, for example, product codes or supplier account references.

You can choose from a range of standard bar code types to add to your documents. In addition, you can also customise the appearance of bar codes. This article explains how to add a bar code to a document.


This article assumes that you have located the report or layout that you want to amend and opened it in Sage Report Designer.

TIP: If any of the panes mentioned in this section are not visible, open the View menu and select the required pane. If the pane doesn't appear, you can reset the Report Designer view to its default. For further information about this, please refer to our help article.

Default bar code label

In Sage 50 Accounts Professional, the following label prints bar codes:

  • Product Bar Code - BARCODE

To access this label, click Products and services module, then click Labels.

You can also add bar codes to any report, label, letter or layout as required.

Add a bar code to a document

If you intend to print the variable STOCK.BARCODE as a barcode, from the Variables pane, click and drag the variable STOCK.BARCODE onto the document. The variable appears on the document with the format set to a bar code. You can then proceed to the following section Bar code properties.

  1. In Report Designer click Toolbox then click Add Barcode.
  2. Click the area of the document where you want the bar code to appear.
  3. In the Expression Editor in the Fields pane locate and double-click the required table, for example, STOCK.
  4. Double-click the variable you want to print as a bar code, for example, BARCODE then click OK.
  5. To amend the bar code properties, on the document, click the new barcode and in the Properties pane click the finder button for the Barcode Format.
  6. Amend the bar code properties as required then click OK.

    If required, you can resize the bar code or move it to the required area on the report.

Bar code properties

To customise a bar code, select the bar code, then from the Properties pane select Barcode Format and click the finder button . Alternatively, right-click the bar code and choose Change Barcode Format. Within the Edit Barcode Format window the following options are available:

The unit of measurement used is that held within Tools > Options > Measurement.

Symbology There are different types of bar codes designed for different uses, displays, printers and readers. From the Symbology drop-down list, choose the bar code type you require.
Only show common symbologies Report Designer v1.3 and below - By default, only the most commonly used bar code types appear. To see the full list of bar code types, clear this check box.
Include Checksum Also known as a check digit, a checksum is a single digit added to the end of the bar code, used to check that the bar code has been read correctly when scanned. To remove the checksum, clear this check box.

Not all types of bar code support a checksum.

Text Location You can choose to display the bar code text above the bar code, below the bar code or not at all.

Text is important if the printed bar code becomes damaged or if the print quality is poor.

Text Spacing If required, use this option to change the space between the text and the bar code.
Bar Colour If required, use this option to change the colour of the bars in the bar code.

The optimum colour for bar codes is black bars with white spaces between.

Bar Width If required, use this option to change the width of a single bar.

The size of each bar code symbol is subject to upper and lower limits.

Bar Height If required, use this option to change the height of the bar code.

The size of each bar code symbol is subject to upper and lower limits.

Wide: Narrow If required, use this option to change the ratio between the size of wide bars and that of narrow bars.

Not all types of bar code support this option.

Anti-Alias Image To minimise distortion in the image and improve the bar code quality, select this check box.

This may affect the print speed.

Resolution This option controls the fineness of an image, which is measured in dots per inch (dpi). The higher the dpi the finer the bar code.

High-resolution bar codes may affect the print speed.

Rotation If required, use this option to change the angle at which the bar code is printed to match how it is fed to the reader.
Preview This displays a preview of a bar code based on your current settings.

The example uses values 0-9, but you can enter any value you want to check.

Save changes to your document
  1. Click the Report menu then click Report Properties and enter a new name and description for the document then click OK.
  2. Click File then click Save As.
  3. In the File name enter a file name for your amended document then browse to the required location for your document and click Save.
  4. Click File then click Exit.



Simple, automated and all in one place
Manage your employees’ taxable benefits easily and accurately, with online submissions to HMRC. The deadline for P11D submission is 6 July 2024. Want to know more?

Leave your details and we'll be in touch