Frequently Asked Questions

The chances are the questions you want to ask have been asked before. Browse through the most common questions below, if you still can’t find the answers you need then contact us directly and we will respond promptly.

Barcode Printing

Can I use plain paper labels in a direct thermal label printer?

No. The labels must be coated with a thermally senstive layer that selectively turns black when passed under the print head. You need a Thermal Transfer printer for paper labels, uses a printer ribbon.

Do I need a special font to print extended code 39?

No, you use a conventional code 39 font. Code 39 uses special pairs of characters to represent the value of a single encoded ascii character. The bar code scanner must be specially configured to interpret the pairs as a single ascii character. There is usually a programming option for \'Extended\' or \'Full ascii\' code 39.
A fulll table of special character pairs and their associated ascii value is detailed in the code 39 specification, which can be obtained from Here are some common examples:
$M represents Carriage Return
$J represents line feed
$I represents tab

I have used your Code 39 font to print barcodes in an Excel spreadsheet table., but when I print them out they will not scan. Can you help?

There are two common causes for this.
Firstly, for your data to be printed as a code 39 bar code it must begin and end with a *. This is a requirement of the code 39 symbology. If you haven\'t already done so, use Excel\'s \'insert -  function\' to prefix and suffix your data accordingly.
The second common problem is the size of the print. It is advisable not to publish bar codes at less than 12 point size unless you have a very high quality printer. If you are printing large bar codes, make sure the full barcode is visible in the cell. It is easy to miss the last part of a barcode that is hidden under an adjacent cell.

My newly printed barcodes will not scan very well. I'm using a thermal transfer printer. What's the problem?

There could be several reasons:
1. Make sure you are using ribbon approved by the printer manufacturer.
2. If there are feint areas, gaps or voids in the printed label give the print head a clean. If that doesn't work increase the heat setting on the print head.
3. The resolution of the bar code may not match the resolution capability of the scanner. Try printing the barcode slightly bigger or smaller and see if the readability improves.
4. Where possible avoid printing bar codes sideways (in \'ladder\' format as the label comes out of the printer). This subjects the barcode print accuracy to the speed variations of the feed motor. With thermal printers, always try to print bar codes in \'picket fence\' format, not \'ladder\'.
5. You may have a defective element in the print head. Print a test pattern that contains a solid black horizontal line. If the line prints out broken by one or more thin white lines the print head needs replacing.

Hand labelling guns

How do I load a Sato Kendo Labelling gun correctly?

Have a look at the following video for step by step instructions.

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