Enter and Search for Barcodes

When scanning barcodes to enter data in Freezerworks, have you ever noticed strange or extraneous characters such as “=”, “|”, or “¨”?  Do you ever have difficulties searching for data that was scanned into Freezerworks?  These issues may be related to barcode formats such as ISBT or Codabar that contain control or start/stop characters, or may result from the scanner itself inserting a <TAB> or other character after the scanned barcode.

To search for scanned data:

In any search dialog, use the “contains” comparison rather than “is equal to”.

For example, if a Codabar barcode such as D1234567 was scanned into Freezerworks but you were not aware that the “D” existed, then searching for “Barcode is equal to 1234567” would not produce any results.  Instead, use “Barcode contains 1234567” to locate the record.

Similarly, a <TAB> or other character may not even be visible after scanning a barcode.  If you scanned such a barcode into Notepad, you might notice 12345¨, but you would never see the “¨” in Freezerworks.  Again, search the field using “contains 12345” to locate this record.

To parse scanned data in Freezerworks Unlimited:

Create a Calculated Field that will parse out the unwanted characters.

Create a User Defined Field to accept the scanned barcode (i.e., ISBT Barcode scans in as =W123456789012).
Create another User Defined Field and enable the “Calculated Field” property (i.e., ISBT Parsed should display 123456789012).
In the User Defined Field for ISBT Parsed, switch to the Calculated Fields tab to define how the data should be parsed.

  1. Double-click “Parse” in the Operators column.
  2. Select “ISBT Barcode” from the Field list.
  3. Enter Starting Position as “3” and Number of   Characters as “12”. This will remove the first two characters from the scanned ISBT Barcode.
  4. Place both the ISBT Barcode and ISBT Parsed fields onto your Samples Entry format.
  5. Scan the ISBT Barcode into the ISBT Barcode field, and when you leave the field, ISBT Parsed removes the first two characters.

To parse data while scanning:

Some scanners can be programmed to remove unwanted characters when scanning a barcode.  This involves locating a Programmer’s Guide for the specific scanner model, and programming a rule.  The rule will parse the unwanted characters during the scan, and then only the wanted characters would appear in Freezerworks.  Dataworks has some experience doing this with the Symbol scanners.  Be sure your institution’s QA procedures allow for adjusting your scanner in this manner.