Design Your Next Label in Five Minutes with BarTender
The Fastest, Easiest Way to Design Professional Quality Labels
This portion of BarTender's web page takes you through a sample design session with the BarTender, covering some of the key design
features along the way. In the end, you will see how easy it is to design a sophisticated label in just five minutes.
Introduction to BarTender
This first part will be useful to beginners, but experienced Windows users will likely want to skip to the next section.
Unless you are modifying an existing label design, you will start with a blank BarTender screen, as shown below.
Since we won't typically see the whole screen at once during this tutorial, let's review its main components now.
(1) The top-most area is the "Title Bar," which identifies the program (BarTender) and the name of the label design being worked on
(currently "Format1," because this is the first label we are working with and we haven't saved anything yet).
(2) Next is the "Main Menu Bar," containing "pull-down" menus for accessing commands and options that control BarTender.
(3) Next are the "Tool Bars," with short-cut buttons to the most commonly used BarTender functions and commands. Up to three tool bars
can be displayed, and they can be moved away from the screen edge and resized.
(4) Below that is the horizontal "ruler" (a vertical ruler also runs down the left-hand side) that makes it easy to see just exactly where
your cursor and label components are.
(5) To the left of the vertical ruler on the left hand edge of the label design area is the positioning "tool bar".
(6) In the middle is the label design area (which will start out blank for this design session).
(7) Just below the bottom of the label design area is the horizontal scroll bar, used to "pan" left and right when you are zoomed in to
perform fine work on just a portion of the label. (Near the bottom right side of this next image is the bottom part of the vertical scroll bar,
similarly used to control panning in the vertical direction.)
(8) Finally, at the very bottom, is the "help line," which offers quick one-line hints to guide you through your work.
Each section below begins by displaying the time at the completion of that section's procedure(s).
Finish creating your first text object by
Start by clicking on the "T" (short for "text") on the tool bar. (Because of the slowish speed of graphics transmission by modem, we show
only portions of the BarTender screen.) The animation below shows the steps for creating the text object. (See the step numbers listed
below the animation for an explanation.)
Step 1: Move your cursor to the desired position. (Notice the cursor changes from the arrow shape to the same "T" image from the
tool-bar, indicating "text creation mode." The cursor "cross-hairs" indicate where the center of your new text will be.)
Step 2: Click mouse button number 1 to create the new text. (The cursor changes back into select mode.)
You can keep the default "Sample Text," or easily edit it as follows.
Step 3: Single click on the text with the text-edit cursor (or simply double-click on the text with the regular arrow cursor).
Step 4: Type in the desired data.
Step 5: Press Enter to complete your text edit.
This entire process, four mouse clicks and the typing of the text, required 17 seconds.
Flowing or "merging" data into your label design from other software is easy, but beyond the scope of this tutorial. For an overview of
Bar Tender's data input capabilities, see the sections accessible from the previous web page called Printing Labels From Your Existing
Database and also Specifications and Feature summary.
Move and resize your text by
Step 1: Place mouse cursor over text and click and hold the mouse button. (Black "handles" appear, indicating that the object is
"selected." The cursor shape also changes to indicate "move mode.")
Step 2: Simply move your mouse to the desired new position for the text.
Step 3: To resize the text, select a corner handle and "drag" it as desired.
(Moving the text took us 2 seconds; resizing it took 4.)
Use your mouse to place and size bar codes, boxes, and more text by
Our tests showed 2 minutes and 20 seconds to make the following additions and changes to our label design:
(1) Add two bar codes.
(2) Change the language of one of the bar codes.
(3) Add two more text fields.
(4) Draw a rectangle around some of the items.
To create our bar codes, we simply click on the bar code tool. As with the creation of text, the mouse cursor changes shape when you
move it back into the label design area, reminding you which object type you are about to create.
The animation below will show you how to create and size a bar code. (See the step numbers below the animation for an explanation.)
Step 1: Click and release the mouse cursor to create a new bar code.
Step 2: Now, let's arbitrarily change the bar code data to "754." (As when we changed the text before, you can either double-click on the
bar code with the regular mouse pointer, or single click on it with the text edit cursor (which requires first clicking on the bar code button in
the tool bar.)
Step 3: Drag a side handle to change the height or width, or a corner handle to change both at the same time.
Newly created bar codes default to the Code 3-of-9 language. To select a different language, simply double-click on the bar code you wish
to change to display the bar code "property page." Next, click on the down-arrow to the right of the Symbology option and select a
different symbology from the drop-down list. (See the step numbers below for more details.)
To change the selected bar code from Code 3-of-9 to Interleaved 2-of-5,
Step 1: Click on the down arrow of the Symbology option to display the list of the available bar codes.
Step 2: Next, click on the desired symbology in the list, in this case Interleaved 2-of-5.
We are now going to draw a rectangle around a few of the items we've added to our label. Click on the rectangle tool in the tool bar to
enter "rectangle drawing mode." (See the animation below, and the subsequent step numbers for more details. Note that the one text and
one bar code object we are enclosing are in fact part of our evolving label design, although their creation was not shown above.)
Step 1: Place the "cross-hairs" of your cursor where you want to start the first corner of your rectangle and click and hold your mouse
Step 2: Drag your mouse cursor diagonally to the desired position for the opposite corner of your rectangle and release your mouse button
to complete your rectangle.
Import almost any picture format by
Select the Create Picture button from the tool bar (or from the "Create" pull-down menu).
Select whichever one of your available picture images you wish to import. (The ones displayed here are just a few we had in house.)
It took us 20 seconds to find, select, import and place this black-and-white image from a graphics file called DISKETTE.PCX.
Add more text, customize as desired, and you're ready to print by
To complete our design, we performed the following procedures (in another 2 minutes and 10 seconds).
(1) Imported a second graphic as the company logo.
(2) Changed the type size and style of the "Specialty Magnetics, Inc." text.
(3) Changed the color of this text and placed a black rectangle behind it and the logo in order to "reverse out" this portion of the label.
(4) Added the 3-line paragraph below the diskette image.
(5) Separated the text "754" from the bar code, moved it and attached the text sub-string "Item:" in front of it.
(6) Resized the "754" bar code and the rectangle around the Assembly Lot Number to include both bar codes. (Rectangles are easily
resized using the mouse, just as we did with bar codes and text.)
And we're done! All we have to do now is print (see below).
And here we go!
Click on the "Print" tool-bar button, or execute the File, Print command to start printing.
The length of time it takes to print will depend on the type of printer, the complexity and size of your label and the type of communication
connection between your PC and printer.
(We recommend parallel port connections for users printing large amounts of graphics or TrueType fonts that change from label to label.
Multiple identical labels and labels where the changing portions are based on bar codes and text built-into the printer will almost always
print out at the full-rated speed of the printer, even over a serial port.)
The 16-bit version works with Windows 3.1x and Windows 95. The 32-bit version works with Windows 95/98/2000 and NT 4.0 and higher.