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Barcode software identifies or decodes barcode symbology, generates output strings corresponding to barcode values, creates barcode fonts, prints bar codes, and/or performs barcode tracking. Barcode software can analyze or print many different barcode symbologies, including universal product code (UPC) barcodes, Code 128 barcodes, Code 39 barcodes, interleaved 2 of 5 barcodes, PDF 417 barcodes, and many more types of barcodes that are used in applications ranging from shipping to inventory control to cataloging books by ISBN number.

Barcode software is used to create, print, and analyze barcodes for companies and other organizations that manufacture, store, distribute, sell, and ship products. Barcode printing software comes with special fonts for creating and printing barcodes on labels and forms. Barcode printing software typically comes with a set of both TrueType and PostScript fonts, and can print barcodes using the common UPC barcode font for retail applications. Barcode software can also print Code 39 barcodes, also called 3 of 9 barcodes, which are used for identification, inventory, and tracking applications. The Code 39 or 3 of 9 barcode font includes all of the different widths and densities of the barcode lines.

Barcode software is a necessary component to processing the digital signals from handheld barcode decoders, scanners, and readers. Barcode scanning software is used to recognize and decode barcodes and organize them in databases, spreadsheets, or other digital archives. Barcode inventory software and barcode tracking software are used in shipping and distribution applications, enabling decentralized warehouses and delivery vehicles to coordinate where products are in the shipping process and allowing customers to monitor the status of deliveries. Barcode software is also used by libraries and video or DVD rental stores to monitor products and customers who have checked out products. Barcode reader software interprets the different symbologies used, including both one- and two-dimensional codes.