How To Set Up Barcodes in SOLIDWORKS PDM Data Cards

Article by Rodolfo Gutierrez on Jun 07, 2023

Barcodes are used in SOLIDWORKS PDM data cards as a way to scan and input vaulted file data like Part Numbers without being exposed to errors common with manual entry. Simply point, scan, and easily reference accurate information in another ERP system. Many possibilities with this include inventory management, batch tracking, accounting, cooperation across teams, quality assurance, etc. 


Install a barcode True Type Font (.ttf). 

A simple web search for barcode fonts will produce plenty of options. In this example, I went with the fre3of9x.ttf - extended. (Figure 1) Once downloaded, extract the Zip folder and install the font file (.ttf). 

It is important to test your barcode hardware with your chosen font to ensure they work well together. 

Important: This font type must be installed on all SOLIDWORKS PDM clients.

Installing the Barcode Font Type for SOLIDWORKS PDM Data Cards

Figure 1: Installing the barcode font type

Modify the PDM data card.

Add an Edit-box controlled by a PDM variable to the data card and associate it with the previously installed barcode font. (Figure 2) 

Adding the Edit-box Control in the SOLIDWORKS Data Card

Figure 2: Adding the Edit-box control in the data card


Along with confirming that all workstations have the font type installed, test the efficacy of the barcode with your barcode reader; this will help ensure this new implementation will work.

Test Barcode Implementation

Figure 3: Test barcode implementation

Barcodes in SOLIDWORKS Drawings

Barcodes can also be added to SOLIDWORKS drawings.

In a drawing > Edit Sheet Format > Add note > Link To Property > Model found here. Select the Property name you wish to view as a barcode and change to the barcode font. (Figures 4 & 5) 

Insert a Note Linked to the SOLIDWORKS Barcode Property

Figure 4: In a dwg, insert a note linked to the barcode property

How to Set up Barcodes in SOLIDWORKS PDM Data Cards

Figure 5: Change font of note

Engrave the barcode on a SOLIDWORKS model.

The article below explains how to engrave text (change the font to that of a barcode).

I hope you found this tutorial for setting up barcodes in SOLIDWORKS PDM data cards helpful. Check out more tips and tricks below. 


SOLIDWORKS PDM Preview Tab Mismatch

How to Rotate and Customize a SOLIDWORKS Drawing View

Always Show SOLIDWORKS PDM Icon (Blueberry)

Easy Way to Link Properties to a SOLIDWORKS Drawing

Feature Feud: SOLIDWORKS PDM Rollback vs Checking in a Previous Version



About Rodolfo Gutierrez

Rodolfo Gutierrez is a Mechanical Engineer by profession specializing in SOLIDWORKS, Routing, PDM, Sheet Metal, and Weldments. Lucky husband and goofy dad. Loves productivity hacks.

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