Bulk add barcodes

I need to add 100 barcodes to physical objects. The objects are already in a database.

I can create 100 barcode numbers outside AirTable but then I need to scan each one to add to the barcode to the barcode field in AirTable. Time consuming.

Or I could add the numbers to the barcode field? No I can’t … then the AirTable barcode field will not generate the barcode image to be able to print and attach to the physical object.

Has anybody got any ideas?

Building this process involves using two separate tools outside of Airtable: an integration service called Zapier and a barcode generating API called www.barcodes4.me. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to take an input field, use Zapier to feed that value into a barcode generation API, then upload the resulting barcode directly into your Airtable base.

To start, you’ll need an input field – I used a barcode field in my example. This will be where you type or scan the value which should be encoded into the barcode. Additionally, create one attachment field (for the Zap output) and one formula field (for the Zap input).

Here is the formula in my formula field:

  • http://www.barcodes4.me/barcode/c39/"&{Barcode}&".png?height=300&resolution=4

Here’s how that would look:

This formula builds an API request using the barcode value we input into our barcode field, along with some other parameters.

To change the barcode type of the Zap output, you’ll want to adjust the part of the URL which says ‘c39’ in the formula above, if necessary. For a list of code designators, check this page: http://barcodes4.me/apidocumentation

This wraps up designing our table. Now we just need to make the Zap.

In Zapier, create a 2-step zap with the following steps:

  1. Trigger: New record in Airtable. Point this to the table you’ve just created in the steps above.

  2. Action: Update record in Airtable. As you’re setting up this step, be sure to set the value for ‘Record’ to ‘Use a Custom Value’. This will let us choose a value from the new record detected in Step 1, allowing this Zap to dynamically assign values according to the current record.

    Scrolling further down, we’ll want this step to update 1 field in the record – the attachment field we created in our table. Attachment fields can upload an image from a URL, which is what we generated with our URL formula field. By copying this URL from the formula field into the attachment field, our upload the resulting barcode image directly from the API.

This Zap will run every 15 minutes or so on Zapier’s free plan, so it may take a few minutes to generate code once the record has been created.

I am sure this is a solution but it is way too complicated for me! I am really asking why is it I can’t paste a string of numbers into the barcode field in Airtable and get a print out of the barcode?

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