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QR code webcam to Excel or Google Spreadsheet (ZBar)

How to scan a QR-code from webcam to Excel or Google spreadsheet in real-time. Also, how to scan a regular barcode from webcam to Excel or Google spreadsheet in real-time.

 

QR code webcam to Excel or Google Spreadsheet


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(Note: The ZBarSpreadsheet software in this post is free. In another article I wrote about QuickMark which is a different program that works with Excel but not with Google Spreadsheet.)

UPC barcodes appear on grocery store items and retail packaging. Code39 barcodes are the type that appear on UPS and Fedex shipping labels and on boxes for inventory control. Two-dimensional codes, the kind with "dots" such as the QR-code, are most often used to transfer information from the QR code to a smartphone, tablet or some other mobile device. However, when you use this webcam program to scan either a barcode or a QR-code the data is typed into Microsoft Excel or a Google spreadsheet (or other program) in real-time.

Why you might want to use a QR code for data capture:

  • A webcam can more easily read a QR code than a barcode: QR codes are designed to be quickly and easily read by cameras and webcams at any angle or rotation. Regular barcodes can be read by cameras, but they have to be positioned just right with the barcode positioned almost perfectly horizontal.
  • QR codes have built in error correction, barcodes don’t: When a standard barcode is unreadable, well, it’s simply unreadable. A QR-code has built in error correction that allows it to be accurately read even if it is partially defaced.
  • You don’t have adequate space for a (variable width) barcode, but you have space for a (fixed size) QR-code: Standard barcodes grow wider for each additional character in the barcode, but a single QR code can stay fixed in size even if the number of characters vary.
  • A QR code can store more data than a barcode: Standard Code 39 barcodes grow wider for each encoded character and have typical limit of 25 characters. A single QR code can contain thousands of characters but stays square and fixed in size.
  • Data Calculations: The scanned data appears in the spreadsheet in real -time so that you can perform calculations on the scanned data, if necessary.
 

ZBar Installation

ZBar is an "open source" (FREE) program for reading bar codes from webcams, video streams, and image files. ZBar reads the most popular types of bar codes including the QR codes, UPC codes and Code 39 bar codes. ZBar is small, fast and takes little memory.

ZBarSpreadsheet is a small program that works with ZBar to automatically type, in real-time, any scanned data into a spreadsheet or other program. ZBar Spreadsheet terminates each scan with a "down arrow" keystroke to advance to the next row of the spreadsheet.

First, download and install ZBar bar code reader from this direct link

Then, download ZBarSpreadsheet ZIP file from this direct link and follow the steps below:

  1. Press [Ctrl+J] in your browser to display downloaded files.
  2. Click on the ZbarSpreadsheet.ZIP file to display the contents.
  3. When the contents are displayed, locate and click the "Extract all files" link
  4. Browse to the folder containing the ZBar files, usually it is "C:\Program Files (x85)\ZBar"
  5. Click the [Extract] button

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ZBar and ZBarSpreadsheet work from a Command Window (CMD).

  1. Click the Windows button and from the list of Windows programs, select "ZBar Command Prompt"
  2. When the Prompt appears, type "zbarSS" to start the zbarSpreadsheet program
  3. A ZBarSpreadsheet dialog will appear with instructions.
  4. Wait for the ZBar and ZBarSpreadsheet programs to load. Thris could take 40 seconds or so. The status appears in the lower right corner of the screen.

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QR code to Excel or Google Spreadsheet – How To

  1. When the ZCam software is finished loading, a live video screen will be displayed.
  2. ZBarSpreadsheet will prompt you to click on the first row of the spreadsheet to be populated, then click OK in the dialog box to dismiss it.
  3. After following the instructions, each bar code or QR code you hold up to your webcam will be automatically entered into an Excel or Google Spreadsheet

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23 Responses to "QR code webcam to Excel or Google Spreadsheet (ZBar)"

good

Wow!! Thanks for this super tutorial. I downloaded and set it up in less than 5 minutes. And it works super!!! It even scans the QR codes pretty fast as well.
Thank you 🙂

Not working. Only come ZbarSpreadSheet window. Time is counting but not opening video window. Plz help

how can i have it tab over to the price box in my spread sheet so enter the price of the qr code i scan. i would like to scan one code and have it input the item in the first box and the price in the second

How to select a cam? just hangs but the EXE works great but only displays the code from bar code and not type it as keyboard strocks

Hi. Please try these permissions instructions from Microsoft
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2623670

I get an access denied error when the camera .exe is loading. I’m running windows 10. Ideas?

Hi. Please try these permissions instructions from Microsoft
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2623670

can anyone tell me how to connect Zbar with excel sheet?

Unfortunately, under Win7/64bit, this program is not working.
The program can’t access the temporary created file under zbar/zbarcam 1/zbar.txt
And fails to inizialize the zbar camera/reader.

Hi. Please try these permissions instructions from Microsoft
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2623670

Can your program read multiple lines of data in a QRcode and split the data so that each line of data is put into adjacent cells on the same row.
e.g QR data – 1234/456
B145
GR16378

Excel Row – A=1234/456, B=B145, C=GR16378

Data is split with CR/LF

its says zbar.txt access denied ….. what to do now?

Hi. Please try these permissions instructions from Microsoft
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2623670

the zbar command prompt shows me

\ZBar>zbarcam 1>zbar.txt
Access is denied.

after I typed ZbarSS
why?

Hi. Please try these permissions instructions from Microsoft
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2623670

Thanks! It’s very usefull. It works like a charm.

Can this be used with an Android phone?

Sorry, no. MS Windows only.

it appear :

C:\ program……\zbar\zbarcam 1\zbar.txt
access is denied

The dialog window appear : Unable to open zbar.txt, please help me

Hi. Please try these permissions instructions from Microsoft
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2623670

well, i am being denied access to the spreadsheet and the camera and to the zbar.txt.

help

Hi. Please try these permissions instructions from Microsoft
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2623670

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