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Function documentationPrinting Bar Codes  Locate the document in its SAP Library structure

With SAPscript/Smart Forms, you can format data to print out as bar codes. Bar codes are often printed on labels to allow machine-reading of data for such purposes as inventory of stock, transport, or purchase.

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text

Bar codes code data as a series of lines of varying thickness and/or distance from one another. Sometimes they include a check number, which can be used for detecting and analyzing errors. Sometimes the bar code data is also repeated in human-readable numeric form.

Traditional and New Bar Code Printing

It is important to distinguish between the traditional method of creating bar codes and the new procedure. While the bar codes are generated in the printer with traditional bar code printing, and special hardware is therefore required, with the new procedure, a graphic is generated from the bar code in the system, and sent to the printer, meaning that no special hardware is required. The new print procedure only applies, however, for Smart Forms, and not for SAPscript.

The table below lists the most important differences between traditional bar code conversion and the new procedure:


Traditional Bar Code Printing

New Procedure

Can be used for Smart Forms and SAPscript

Can only be used for Smart Forms

Bar codes are generated in the printer.

Bar codes are generated in the SAP system and sent to the printer as graphics.

The print file is larger due to the graphic created.

Special hardware is required

No special hardware is required

To format or control bar codes, print controls must be changed in the printer commands.

Bar codes can be simply changed using the font maintenance transaction (SE73).

For all SAP releases

By default, bar codes can be created with the new procedure as of SAP Web Application Server 6.40.

With the appropriate Support Package and Patch Level, the new bar code printing works as of SAP R/3 4.6C.

Supports most bar code symbologies

Supports only the most important bar code symbologies (see also SAP Note 645158)

Bar codes are only simulated for PDF conversion.

Bar codes are correctly reproduced after PDF conversion.


For more detailed descriptions of each type of bar code printing, see the following:

New Bar Code Printing for Smart Forms

Traditional Bar Code Printing for Smart Forms and SAPscript


This graphic is explained in the accompanying text SAP Printing Guide Start Page


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