Thursday, May 25, 2017

Let's Talk About Code 128 Barcodes

What are they? What data goes in them? What is a "GS1-128" barcode? Are there specs and standards?

Find all the answers in the Code 128 FAQ!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Printing Better Barcodes

Printed barcodes only need to do one thing: scan correctly. Find out what you need to do to print accurate, scannable barcodes.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What's the Best Way to Share Barcodes?

In a PDF! When you need to share barcodes with a client, customer or coworker, save them to a high-quality PDF document.

Friday, May 19, 2017

How to Size Barcodes

Making scannable barcodes that fit into your label, template or package design is critical. Barcodes that are too small or too large may be unreadable for scanners. Find out how to create barcodes that are just right!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What Exactly Is the Deal With Barcodes and 666?

This is a perennial favorite of ours here at Azalea. Is it true? False? Somewhere in between? We did the research so you don't have to!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Did you know you can make Interleaved 2 of 5 (ITF) barcodes in Excel?

Whether you need to create standard I 2 of 5 or ITF-14 barcodes, we've got the macros to get you barcoding!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Code 128 & GS1-128 Barcodes in Excel Spreadsheets

Today's the day you get those Code 128 and GS1-128 barcodes DONE! We have the Excel macros you need to finally finish that barcoding project.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

How to Make Code 39 Barcodes in Excel

Need to create Code 39 barcodes by tens, hundreds, or thousands in your Excel spreadsheet?

Our C39Tools for Windows comes with free macros to quickly get you batch-barcoding Code 39s right in your Excel project.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Flashback to the Birth of Retail Barcodes

"Something was on the horizon in 1973 that would revolutionize the grocery shopping experience."

The Raleigh News & Observer has a look back to the 1970s, when barcodes on retail products were still just a twinkle in IBM's eye.

~ The News & Observer

Monday, September 26, 2016

Azalea Software and the New National Museum of African American History & Culture

Azalea's founder Jerry Whiting has always been a collector of fine photography and hard-to-find images from America's 20th century civil rights era.

In 2007/2008, the newly-approved Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture - still at the blueprints stage - put out a call for historically significant items to build its collection. Jerry was thrilled at the opportunity, and in addition to donations from his personal collection, gifted three stunning photos from his Azalea collection of Henri Cartier-Bresson work to the NMAAHC.

'Saint Francisville, Louisiana'

'Civil Rights Demonstration, Washington, DC'

And 'Easter Sunday, Harlem'

We are so very proud to be a small part of the NMAAHC. Take a moment to explore it: online, or if you're lucky, in person. It's beautiful, troubling, moving, and a vital piece of our shared American history.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Fun New Excel Macro With An Excellent How-To

flipText is a small Excel macro that easily reverses the order of text in a spreadsheet. While converting "stressed" to "desserts" is fun, Excel power users have more complicated project needs. Those needs are addressed in the comprehensive How-To that accompanies the flipText macro.

The How-To clearly explains, step-by-step, how to copy an Excel macro from one spreadsheet into another.

Most Excel users have never really worked with custom macros before, so the idea of copying a macro is beyond many people's comfort zone. The flipText macro is fun enough to get your attention, and from there we hope you'll find using macros less intimidating!

To help distribute this tutorial, we released flipText as open source software under a Creative Commons license.The flipText macro and its invaluable how-to can be downloaded from our website here:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Creative UPCs

There's no real reason to get creative with UPC barcodes on retail packaging.

Which makes it that much more delightful to see manufacturers doing silly, whimsical or just plain goofy stuff to their UPCs.

It's fun for the sake of fun!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Endangered Zebras' Barcodes May Help Save Them

Vicki Croke at The Animalist has an interesting piece up about the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust using zebras' individual 'barcodes' to identify and track Grevy's zebra populations in Kenya.

Photo: Vicki Croke

According to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, technology may soon make identification even easier: “software is being developed that will allow the stripes of a Grevy’s in a photograph to be read like a barcode and automatically identified.”

Technology is amazing.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

We Don't Have An Office But If We Did..

While this one is my favorite color, it's a touch on the broody side. And it's in St. Petersburg, Russia, which has 123 days of snow cover per year. No thank you.

This one's a little better, though it's somehow office parky.

This one now, this one I like. Sure it's tiny. But it's ADORABLE.

A few ferns out front, some wisteria climbing the wall, I'm so there.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Code 39 Barcodes in SAP Crystal Reports

Azalea has had a long and happy relationship with SAP/Business Objects Crystal Reports - years and years. We love talking to Crystal customers on the phone; they really know their stuff!

The Windows version of most of our software packages are compatible with Crystal, making it a super snap to build barcodes into reports.

Check out how to make Code 39 barcodes in Crystal (it really is SO easy):

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Grandfather of the Modern Barcode, Norman Joseph Woodland, Has Died

From lecturer in mechanical engineering at Drexel University to technical assistant on the Manhattan Project to inventor of the original concept of barcoding (inspired by Morse code), Norman Joseph Woodland led a very interesting life. He passed away on December 9th, 2012, at the age of 91.

DC Velocity has an interesting piece on the man whose ideas helped slingshot the manufacturing, distribution, shipping and retail industries directly into the future.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

QRs For the Socially Inept

Shy customers at Harry's Bar in Singapore have a new way to stalk strike up a convo with someone they have their eye on: QR code tags hung on beer bottles, of course!

Buy the target object of your affection a bottle of brew, hang your customized QR tag over the neck of the bottle and send it their way. Bing bang boom, you're headed to the nearest hotel together. It's SCIENCE.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pair An Orphaned CueCat With Nerd-Toy Arduino & What Do You Get? Barcodes!

Hack a Day has a user-generated how-to for mashing up a CueCat with an Arduino board and making barcode-scanning magic happen.
It's not practical, and it doesn't save time or money but some things are worth doing because they're just weirdly cool.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Barcodes and Beer, Hurray!

Tim Nudd at AdFreak has a great piece about Guinness beer's latest QR code shenanigans: a QR that only appears when your glass is full of the brewed brown goodness.

Fiendishly clever!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

How to Make UPC Barcodes in Excel

Needing a UPC barcode for your product/s really is a measure of success. It means you're working with established retailers or distributors who are fully engaged in the retail channel, upping the chances that your widget will be a winner. You're probably just days away from becoming a thousandaire! Hurray! Congratulations!

Once you've got your raw UPC numbers from GS1 (or from us!), you're ready to turn them into UPC barcodes. When you've got a lot of products, you'll have a lot of UPC numbers. And when you have a lot of UPC numbers the best place to manage them is in an Excel spreadsheet. And when your UPC numbers are in an Excel spreadsheet, UPCTools makes it easy, easy, easy to quickly turn them all into those lines and spaces we all know and love.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Azalea's Code 128 Software in Excel

When you've got a zillion Code 128 barcodes to create, you don't want to have to make them one at a time. That's one zillion opportunities for typos, transposed digits or fat-fingering your keyboard into barcodes that are wrong, wrong, wrong. And if it's wrong, what's the point? Barcodes are here to make our lives easier, like robot servants and indoor plumbing.

The best way to make a buncha' barcodes at once is to make 'em all at once in Excel. Following this week's theme of video tutorials, we've created an overview of how our Code 128 barcode software, C128Tools, functions within an Excel spreadsheet.

Monday, February 06, 2012

How to Copy Excel Macros

If you're anything like me, trying to use the advanced features in an Excel spreadsheet can be like trying to fly the space shuttle when you're used to riding a moped. Macros, user-defined functions, formulas, WHAT DO THEY ALL MEAN?!

A macro - a built-in call, action, or process - in an Excel spreadsheet is actually one of the most useful functions you can access. And there are a zillion macros out there already written for you! Azalea's barcode software can even be used within Excel, if you utilyze our easy macros.

This vid will get you started:

What Kind of Barcode Do I Need?!

Figuring out which barcode type (or 'symbology') to use for your data can be confusing.

Do you need a UPC barcode? A Code 128? An Interleaved 2 of 5 (ITF), Code 39, POSTNET or Codabar or PDF417?

If this is all gobbledygook to you, check out our super handy video tutorial for tips and tricks on how to pinpoint which barcode you should use for which project.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Microsoft Finally Willing to Admit the Existence of QR Codes

More than that, actually. While the proprietary Microsoft Tag will continue to exist, our favorite Redmond behemoth has walked back their belief that the closed-system, not-free, Microsoft-created, MS-server-reliant should by rights will rule the 2D world.

Because 2012 Windows phones include NFC capability, their MS Tag now includes support for (free, open-source, non-proprietary) QR codes and the sweet future-tech du jour of NFC (near field communication).

From the horse's mouth.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Experts Agree: Don't Be Dumb About QR Codes

Mashable's got an urgent warning for scanners of QR codes- that code is infected! With a VIRUS!

And Kaspersky Lab would like you to know about the malicious malware being distributed via QRs.

My two cents: QRs themselves cannot be "infected"- they're a static pattern of black on white which contains a URL, plain text, a phonebook contact or other data expressed in letters, numbers and punctuation.

However, if you allow your phone to follow a link within a QR code, it can take you to a site on the internet where nasty viruses, malware, adware, bugs, bots, trojans or worms may lurk, ready to creep onto your phone and ruin your day. So be smart about it! Pay attention to the source of the QR. Don't visit questionable links. Don't approve weird downloads to your phone. Have fun out there.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Free 2012 Calendars With Visual Puns and Easter Eggs From Azalea Software, Inc.

Come to and get your 2012 calendars. This is the 10th year (who's counting?) we've done calendars and this year doesn't have a theme like years past. All Jerry wanted to do was have fun.

So, in honor of 2012 being a leap year this year's calendars have visual puns, not-so-hidden clues, and multiple mixed messages waiting for you to discover.

Don't take my word for it. There are press releases (so it's gotta be true): press release #1   press release #2

Monday, August 08, 2011

Where Did That Amazing Thrift Dress Come From? Scan It & Find Out!

Zachary Sniderman at reports on the Oxfam Curiosity Shop, a temporary shop within a London department store that benefitted Oxfam's charity efforts.

Find the perfect swanky item of clothing, scan the QR on the tag, and view a video of the celebrity donor's personal story about when and where they wore it. While the Curiosity Shop closed in April, hopefully we'll see more collaborations of cool clothes, cool technology, and an excellent cause.

Monday, July 11, 2011

QR Codes and Tattoos: Have I Died & Gone to Heaven?

A tattooed Frenchie named Marco got a marketing QR code inked on his chest. The QR is encoded with a URL, where an animated version of the tattoo sings.

HOW AWESOME IS THAT? I'm planning my next tattoo as we speak.

Friday, June 24, 2011

UPC Art : Form or Function?

An interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal has some really nice examples of gussied-up UPC barcodes. Which is more important- for a barcode to look pretty, or for it to function as it should, scanning accurately time after time? Clearly, done correctly, it can do both.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Gray Lady Hips to QR Codes

You're the Boss, the small business tips column in the New York Times online today has a fun read about Ayara, a Thai restaurant in LA incorporating QRs into their menu.

And they remembered to optimize their QR landing pages for mobile phones- hurray!