Barcode labels, mailing labels and bin labels can all be printed from the MicroBiz system. There are a number of features available to assist you with label printing, and this chapter will cover everything you need to know on the subject.
There are many options when it comes to setting up your barcode label printing. MicroBiz can either handle all barcode label printing directly, or integrate with a third-party utility that will handle the label printing. The printing process from MicroBiz is identical, but using a separate program for label printing has certain benefits.
At the time of this writing, MicroBiz currently supports integration with LabelWorks 3.0 and NiceLabel 5. The following chart will brief you on some of the differences between these two options:
MicroBiz with LabelWorks/NiceLabel
Prints directly from MicroBiz
Can change data fields
Can change label layout
Can change label size
Can change font size
Can include company logos
Supports wide variety of printers
In order to print barcode labels for an item, the option for "Print Barcode Labels" must be enabled. This option should be enabled by default, and is found under Inventory Add/Edit, Edit, Stock. See Figure 14-3.
Printing Barcode Labels Using MicroBiz Only
This section will provide you with the information needed to setup label printing within MicroBiz without integrating with another application. The first step is to use a supported barcode label printer. The currently supported label printers are available online at www.microbiz.com. The supported label printers at the time of this writing are:
- Cam Stryper z100
- Zebra TLP 2844
- Blaster Advantage BD2
- Blaster Advantage BD4
After installing your printer to Windows, follow these steps to configure barcode label printing in MicroBiz:
- From the Main Menu, choose Management | Custom System Settings | Hardware and Printer Settings | Printers Tab.
- For "Barcode Label Printer Name", choose Browse and select your printer.
- For "Printer Control Code Setup", click on Browse in the lower-right and select "Standard IBM Emulation."
- Click Save at the bottom of Hardware Settings.
There are a couple of places in MicroBiz from which you can print barcode labels. When receiving items into inventory, the system will prompt you to print the desired number of labels per item received (see Chapter 9 - Purchase Orders for more details).
You can also print barcode labels at any time from the Main Menu by choosing Inventory | Barcode Label Printing, and then selecting the desired method. Many printers will use the "General Bar Code Printer" option.
- Filter numbers 2-8 –This is how you select the item(s) for which to print labels.
- By SKU Number – This option will allow you to choose a single item.
- By Dept. – This option will allow you to choose a single department.
- By Style – This option will allow you to choose a single style.
- By Vendor – This option will allow you to choose a single vendor.
- All Items – This option will select all items.
- Range of SKUs – This option will print all SKUs within the range specified.
- Hardware Setup – This button provides you with a shortcut to configure your printer.
- OK – Uses the selected settings to print barcodes.
- Close – Exits the Barcode Printing window without saving changes.
Once you have set your filters for selecting items, click on the OK button to get to the next screen:
This window (Figure 14-5) gives you one last chance to change your barcode printer by clicking on the "Here" button. The "Number of labels to print" box allows you to enter an exact number per selected item to print, or "Q" to print a label for each selected item in stock.
Printing Barcode Labels Using MicroBiz with LabelWorks
Once LabelWorks has been configured for use with MicroBiz, the printing process is nearly identical. The difference is in the extra features offered by LabelWorks (Figure 14-2, above).
According to their web site, LabelWorks "supports virtually all Windows printers." After your printer has been installed to Windows, both MicroBiz and LabelWorks need to be configured to work together.
Configuring MicroBiz for use with LabelWorks (part one of two)
The first step is to create a sample label file from MicroBiz to be loaded in LabelWorks. Assuming you have not yet configured MicroBiz for LabelWorks:
- From the Main Menu, choose Inventory | Barcode Label Printing | Other Printers/Programs | LabelWorks Program.
- Click on the "SKUs" button and select the SKU for which you want your first label.
- This is for setting up a template, so choose one with many data fields completed.
- Click on the OK button at the bottom of the Barcode Printing window.
- Click OK for the number of labels to print.
- A confirmation window should appear, giving you the location of the BCR.TXT file created (C:\BizWin by default).
Configuring LabelWorks for use with MicroBiz
Once the sample label file (BCR.TXT) has been created by MicroBiz you can use it to create your first label template using LabelWorks. You can create as many templates (label styles or layouts) as you like, but keep in mind that only one can be selected in MicroBiz at any given time.
Follow these steps for configuring LabelWorks:
Once you have opened LabelWorks 3.0 you should be looking at a blank label (Figure 14-6). Choose Edit, Label Properties (F7) to configure your label size, etc.Configure your label properties as needed on this window (Figure 14-7). Click on the OK button at the bottom of the window when done.
Once your label properties are set, it's time to load the data to your label. Choose Data, Connect database to label (Figure 14-8). The Connect Data window should now appear.Click on the icon in the upper-left for "Connect a new database to this label" (Figure 14-9).
The Data Connection Wizard will assist with loading the data to your label (Figure 14-10). On this screen, enter a name for this "database connection" and then choose Next.
Figure 14-11 Figure 14-12
- For the Database type, choose "Text" (Figure 14-11). The data directory is the location in which your "BCR.TXT" file was saved. This path is set under the first option on the LabelWorks tab in MicroBiz (see Figure 14-19), which is C:\BizWin by default. Click Next to proceed.
- Choose Finish to proceed (Figure 14-12).
- A confirmation window will appear (Figure 14-13). Choose Yes to proceed.
- Leave the first option selected and click on the Next button (Figure 14-14).
- You should see "bcr#txt" in the list on this window (Figure 14-15). If not, then the data directory specified in step 7 did not contain the BCR.TXT file. If so, then select bcr#txt and choose Next to proceed.
- All fields should be included by default (Figure 14-16). Click on the Next button.
- Selecting a sort order is not necessary here, so just click on the Next button (Figure 14-17).
- This window allows you to preview the data in the table selected (Figure 14-18). Just choose Next to proceed.
14. You can name your dataset here (the default should be fine), then click on the Finish button (Figure 14-19).
15. Your data is now connected to the label and ready for use! The label is represented in the white area in the upper-left (Figure 14-20).
- The bottom part of the Connect Data window contains your data fields (SKU, Description, Price, etc.)
- The Tools window lets you add custom data (such as company name, logo, etc.) to your label.
16. To place the SKU as a barcode onto your label, choose the barcode button (just above "NoName" and between the "A" and image buttons). Next, click and drag the "NoName" field onto your label (Figure 14-21).
- The barcode can be moved anywhere you like and resized as desired.
- Be careful when resizing, as some barcode scanners require barcodes of specific dimentions.
- The font/size of the SKU can be changed here as well.
17. The item description is listed as "F2" (Figure 14-22). To place this on your label, first choose the text button (the letter "A" above "NoName"). Next, click and drag the "F2" field onto your label.
- The size, position and font properties of this field can all be modified from here.
18. Add any additional fields as desired from the Connect Data window to the label and configure as needed (Figure 14-23).
19. For a listing of each fields available, see the list following the walkthrough. Don't forget that custom fields can be added with the tools window.
- Shown in Figure 14-24 is a company logo (using the image button in the lower-right), company name (using the text button, the "A"), and a US dollar sign (also using the text button).
20. When you are finished configuring your label, choose File, Save.
21. Save your label in the local files path (usually C:\BizWin) and give it a simple name.
The following list describes the different data fields available from the "Connect Data" window:
- NoName – SKU (when used as barcode, displays barcode and SKU text)
- F2 – Description
- F3 – Size (code)
- F4 – Price (Level A)
- F5 – Price Level B
- F6 – Price Level C
- F7 – Price Level D
- F8 – Price Level E
- F9 – Style (code)
- F10 – Color (code)
- F11 – Suggested List Price
- F12 – Vendor SKU
- F13 – Vendor (code)
- F14 – Bin Number
- F15 – Alternate SKU
- F16 – Department (code)
- F17 – PField1
- F18 – Pfield2
Configuring MicroBiz for use with LabelWorks (part two of two)
Now that you have created your label file, it's time to tell MicroBiz where to find it. After configuring these few settings, you should be able to create barcode labels for any item using the same layout used for your test SKU!
From the Main Menu, choose Management | Custom System Settings | Print Settings. Next, choose the LabelWorks tab at the top. Configure the settings on this window to integrate MicroBiz with LabelWorks.
- The default path should be set to your installed BizWin location.
- Used for the "data directory" setting in LabelWorks as covered in the section above.
- Choose the label file that you saved earlier from LabelWorks.
- This setting applies to labels printed from the "Make Labels" prompt directly after a purchase order is received.
- Similar to step one, but two options are available here in case you wish two use different label templates depending on how labels are printed from MicroBiz.
- Similar to step two, but this setting applies to labels printed manually by choosing Inventory | Barcode Label Printing | Other Printers/Programs | LabelWorks Program.
- Browse to the LabelWorks program file here.
- The default path is: C:\PROGRAM FILES\AMERICAN MICROSYSTEMS, LTD\LABELWORKS\LWORKS3.EXE
Click on the Save button to complete the configuration process.
Once the configuration process is complete, barcodes labels are printed the same way as described above for using MicroBiz only, except the option for "LabelWorks Program" should be selected (either after receiving a purchase order, or under Inventory | Barcode Label Printing).
Printing Barcode Labels Using MicroBiz with NiceLabel
Just like with LabelWorks, the barcode label printing process is almost the same regardless of whether you use NiceLabel or not. The extra features offered by NiceLabel also about the same as what you would get with LabelWorks, which is to say that you can use virtually any printer that works in Windows, and you can customize your own barcode label formats.
NiceLabel 5 integration requires the Visual FoxPro ODBC libraries to be installed on your PC. These normally come with Windows, but you may need to install them separately.
- You can check your system32 folder for "vfpodbc.dll"
- If you don't have this file, you can search for it at microsoft.com or contact MicroBiz Support for assistance.
Configuring NiceLabel for use with MicroBiz
Once you have NiceLabel 5 or 6, MicroBiz, and your barcode label printer installed on your PC, you can follow these steps in NiceLabel to get it ready to print from MicroBiz:
- Open NiceLabel 5 or 6.
- If you are prompted with the "wizard" you can click Cancel.
- Choose "File" then "Open" and then browse to your Local Files Path (typically C:\BizWin).
- Choose the "nice2d25x1d25.lbl" file and then click Open (Figure 14-26). Select your desired label printer and choose OK, then a label template should appear.
- Click on the Database button at the top of the screen (Figure 14-27). If you are prompted for a username and password, you can leave these blank and just click OK. If you get "Error opening database" you can click OK (this is normal).
- In the new window click Define under Database Connection Properties (Figure 14-28).
- On the left side of the new window, make sure that ODBC Data Sources is selected (under the OLE DB drivers section).
- On the right side of the window, make sure that "Visual FoxPro Tables" is selected as the ODBC Data Source and that "Microsoft Visual # FoxPro Driver" is the ODBC driver, then click on the Configure button (Figure 14-29).
- In the ODBC Visual FoxPro Setup window, the settings should be as follows (Figure 14-30):
- Data Source Name - "Visual FoxPro Tables"
- Description - (blank)
- Database Type - "Free Table directory"
- Path - set this to your Local Files Path (typically C:\BizWin)
- After configuring the ODBC Visual FoxPro Setup window, click OK, then click on the Test Connection button... the message returned should be "Test connection succeeded. (Figure 14-31)"
Click OK on all remaining windows, then save the label (File, then Save), then Exit NiceLabel. You are done!
Configuring MicroBiz for use with NiceLabel
After configuring the label from NiceLabel, follow these steps to finish the integration from MicroBiz:
- From the Main Menu, choose Management | Custom System Settings | Print Settings.
- Choose the "NiceLabel" tab from the top, then set options 2 and 4 (the only options you can edit) to the "nice2d25x1.lbl" file found in your Local Files Path (typically C:\BizWin), then click on the Save button.
- From the Main Menu, choose Management | Custom System Settings | Hardware and Printer Settings.
- Choose the "Printers" tab from the top, then select your "Barcode Label Printer Name" and Control Codes (typically "Standard IBM Emulation"), then click on the Save button.
- You can now print labels from the Main Menu by choosing Inventory | Barcode Label Printing | NiceLabel!
MicroBiz makes it easy to create mailing labels based on your stored data. This feature is accessed from the Main Menu by choosing Reports | Mailing Labels.
MicroBiz can also print Bin Labels, AKA "Shelf Tags." Please see Chapter 6 - Inventory for more details on this feature.