Microsoft Excel is one of the most common software applications that can be used to generate a broad range of linear and 2D barcode types such as Code 128, Intelligent Mail, Interleaved 2 of 5, Data Matrix and PDF417 among others. While it is possible to install an ActiveX barcode generator into Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel or Access, fonts are an option that allow for a greater flexibility across operating systems and applications that ActiveX simply cannot match.
Even though fonts may be a better implementation than another component such as an ActiveX Control or stand-alone barcode image generator, that does not necessarily mean they are an out-of-the-box solution. With the exception of self-checking barcodes like Code 39 and Codabar, all other barcode types require that the data first be encoded into a special text string that will result in a readable barcode when combined with the appropriate font.
There are many barcode font encoder tools available for use with IDAutomation barcode fonts, but the most popular encoder tool for Microsoft Excel is the Barcode Add-in for Excel 2003, 2007 and 2010. This free add-in will only work with IDAutomation fonts, and has multiple installation options for 32 and 64-bit systems. Once the add-in is installed, it is easily accessible from Excel and will work for any IDAutomation fonts that are currently installed on the system.
You can view a video walkthrough tutorial for the Excel Barcode Add-in to learn more about installation and use of this excellent font encoder tool.