Chapter 1. Introduction

DataMatrix Font & Encoder 5.0 is the ultimate tool box to print DataMatrix symbols. Data matrix is a variable-size, two-dimensional symbology capable of encoding large amount of data. The barcode consists of an array of data cells within a distinct perimeter pattern. Although it is capable of encoding 2000 characters, data matrix is best for encoding small amount of data when space is a primary concern. Data matrix is a space efficient symbology. When encoding small amount of data, it produces more compact barcodes than many other two dimensional symbologies.

Both fonts and encoder functions are updated in this release, based on the feedback received from customers using previous version. Both 32-bit and 64-bit encoder DLLs and applications are included in the package. Windows 2000 or above is required to run run encoder GUI, or to call the encoder DLL. True type fonts can be used in other platforms such as OS/X or Linux.

This package includes the following contents:

  • One true type font targeting laser printers and bar code printers - mrvdatamatrix5.ttf.

  • Scalable PCL font to be used on PCL-compatible printers.

  • DataMatrix Encoder GUI, a GUI program to create barcode strings based on data entered. The program can export barcode images in a variety of formats, such as PNG, EMF, SVG and EPS.

  • A Windows native DLL that allows you to add DataMatrix printing to your own application.

  • A Crystal Reports extension DLL that adds DataMatrix Code printing functionality to Crystal Reports 9.0 and above. Both 32-bit and 64-bit Crystal Runtimes are supported.

  • An ActiveX Control that can be inserted into Microsoft Office programs or integrated into your custom application.

  • Examples demonstrating how to add DataMatrix printing functionality to your applications in a variety of programming environments, such as Access, Word, Excel, and .Net.

1.1. What's New

Version 5.1

  • Added support on fine tuning encoder behavior. Allow user to specify the encodation mode selection method; and allow user to specify whether the encoder increases the size automatically if the size specified is too small. The support is implemented by enhancing existing size ID parameter.

  • Added support to encode Unicode strings into a datamatrix barcode.

Version 5.0

  • New font design. Some software calculate line heights incorrectly and causes gaps between two rows. In this release, the font is redesigned to work around such problems.

  • Image creating support. This package allows your application to create image files directly, without the presence of the font.

  • complete 64-bit support. This release aims seamless integration with 64-bit applications, not just "work on 64-bit Windows" as our competitors claimed. All DLLs and Executables have both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. For example, 64-bit Office 2010 is supported.

  • ActiveX Control. This package includes an ActiveX control that you can insert directly into Microsoft Office programs, such as Word and Excel. You can also use the control in your custom applications.

  • 64-bit Crystal Reports support is added. Previous version can only be deployed on a 32-bit Crystal Report runtime.

  • Updated VBA module to support 64-bit Microsoft Office products.

1.2. Backward compatibility

In version 5.x, the data matrix font is updated to make it work more consistently among a large number of applications. In order to achieve this, the font is redesigned and no longer remains backward compatible Whit early 3.x versions. You can't use the version 5 fonts in conjunction with an encoder from the early version, and vice versa. We changed font names and encoder file names to reflect this change. Keep in mind that some knowledge base articles, and forum discussions are for earlier versions. They are likely not applicable on the new version.

1.3. Installing DataMatrix Font & Encoder

In order to provide seamless application experience, the installer is greatly enhanced. The setup actually comprise two installers - the 32-bit version that installs 32-bit only files, and 64-bit version that installs both 32-bit and 64-bit components. Therefore, in any supported Windows system you always get the right files installed.

1.3.1. To Install From a CD

  1. Insert the program CD into your CD drive. The setup starts automatically. Or if the auto-run feature isn't enabled on your system, click the Windows Start button and choose the Run command. Type D:\Setup.exe in the dialog box and click the OK button (Note that D represents the letter assigned to your CD-ROM drive. If your drive is assigned to a different letter, use it instead of D).

  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.

  3. Your will be prompted to enter the License To and Registration Code. The License To and Registration Code information are found on the back of the CD case.

1.3.2. To Install from Direct Download

  1. Click the Download link to start the download.

  2. When the browser prompts, do one of the following: A. To run setup immediately, click Open or Run This Program from Its Current Location. B. If you decide to run the setup at a later time, click Save or Save This Program to Disk.

  3. If you chose Save This Program to Disk in Step 2, locate the file where you saved it, and double click on it.

  4. Follow the setup instructions.

  5. Your will be prompted to enter the License To/ Registration Code. The License To and Registration Code information can be found in the email we send to you after order completes.

1.4. Limitations of Trial Version

A trial version is provided on our web site that can be downloaded freely. In trial version, barcode created will have additional text "DEMO" encoded at the end. The full version does not have the limitation.