Before you spend money on special fonts or software, you should take a look at one of the best hidden native features of Microsoft Office—creating and printing barcodes. You can print several different kinds of codes from within Word. 1D codes like CODE128, CODE39, UPC A and UPC E, and EAN are available, and the big daddy of 2D barcodes, the QR code, is also included. This guide will show you exactly how to take advantage of these features.
The above method is a great way to print lots of barcode labels without spending a lot of money or using new software or hardware. It's also helpful when you're doing a large batch of barcodes. You will find lots of software and hardware that is more "barcode friendly," but those will all cost money, and some can be really expensive when using a database. For example, the Zebra GC420 line of thermal printers comes with some great barcode software for free, but if you want to hook it up to a table like we did here, it's going to cost you around $400 per computer.
Now that you know the basics, you can start to play around with different ideas. There are even more controls available for the barcodes. For a complete description, go to this website from Microsoft that explains how to write MERGEBARCODE fields and options.