image For several versions now the XMPie’s suite of desktop tools for creating highly personalised and relevant documents has been able to support numerous variants of 1 and 2 dimensional barcodes. Code128, Code39, Codabar, EAN8, EAN13, INT2of5, MSI, OneCode, PostNet, UPCA, UPCE, PDF417, AztecCode, DataMatrix, MaxiCode, MicroPDF and QRCode to be precise!

From directly inside InDesign CS3 and CS4 XMPie’s uDirect plugin has the ability of generating and placing a barcode within the design. I blogged about this a while ago. However this is limited to using those barcodes within the printed piece. I was thinking about how you could use them online, or in an email communication, or even creating them on-mass to use in another process.

Most people seem to be content in creating single QRCodes that are then used. But what about if you want a QRCode to contain a personalised URL, or a unique piece of information linked to that the recipient?

Well, here’s one idea to create barcodes on mass by using XMPie:Individual_QRCodes_r00092_p001

  • Fire up InDesign with the XMPie plugin activated. (you can always get the 30-day free trial from www.xmpie.com)
  • Create a new document of say 50mm by 50mm
  • Connect to your database of recipients, or simple create a Counter and use that
  • Create a new image ‘Content Object’, call it QRCode, and set the expression to use the fields of your choosing.
  • Place the QRCode content object on the page and change the Dynamic Graphic Properties to ‘Fill proportionally and Centered’
  • Save the document
  • Select ‘Dynamic Print’ in the XMPie Palette and choose, JPG (or PDF) as the output format.
  • Select your output destination and records, and hit ‘OK’
  • Job done. You should have individual JPG/PDF files in the output destination folder named {filename}_r{record number}_p001.jpg

The only real drawback here is that the files are not named in a fashion that relates to their contents. It would be great if you could produce them based on an element in the database, like you can with personalised images through uImage. Having said that, you can still work productive in this manner, it just needs more careful thought.

Another reason to use XMPie I think!
[message type=”info”]Full disclosure: At the time of writing this article the author was employed by XMPie, a Xerox Company. [/message]