Barcode Scanner FAQ


Q: Does ComicBase support any barcode scanners other than the ones you sell?

A: Any USB barcode scanner that can reliably read Code 3 of 9, EAN 13 (+2/+5), Codabar, and UPC codes should work, providing it (a) transmits all the human-readable digits in the barcode (including the smaller "supplemental" digits to the right of the main barcode--and (b) adds no other characters to the scan. We can’t offer technical support for any scanners other than the Manhattan or ComicBase-branded scanners we sell, however, so you’d have to contact your scanner’s manufacturer if you need help setting it up to read those codes.

Q: How do I use the scanner within ComicBase?

A: To get straight to a comic from anywhere in the database, just use the Jump command (Ctrl + J), and bleep in the book’s barcode.

If you're using the old Manhattan Contact CCD scanner, place the barcode scanner directly on the barcode and pull the trigger. Laser scanners scan best from about 7-12 inches away.

Once scanned, it’ll take you straight to that book. After that, you can just type a “1” to say that you’ve got one copy of that comic in stock (this is referring to our one-key-data-entry feature). So basically: Ctrl + J, <bleep!>, 1, repeat…

If you’re working with ComicBase Archive or Professional, you can also use the barcode scanner with the Items menu in ComicBase 2020 and later to Add By Barcode or to use the Sales Terminal. With those versions, simply choose the appropriate command under the Items menu, bleep in the barcode of the comics you want to add or sell and ComicBase will adjust your inventory appropriately. Check the small box at the bottom of the screen to view the issues afterward.

Q: My books aren’t coming up when I scan the code…

Possibility #1:

Make sure you are entering the barcode into the search field on the main screen (Ctrl-J will place the cursor there automatically). Or if you're using ComicBase Professional or ComicBase Archive Edition, use the Items > Add by Barcode (Ctrl + I) command).

Possibility #2:

If you are still having problems using your barcode scanner, here are a few other possibilities:

  1. A very few publishers don’t use full periodical barcodes for their comics--specifically, they lack the "supplemental" digits at the far right of the main barcode which are usually used to designate the issue number, variation, etc.

    Our latest generation of scanners (The DX3 Laser Scanner and the ComicBase Wireless Scanner) do a great job of determining whether barcodes have supplementals so long as they're held far enough away from the code to see the whole code at once. The standard setup sheets included with or older ComicBase’s scanners forced the scanner to keep looking until they see the supplemental (since this prevented the far more common problem of mis-scans from a missing supplemental). With these particular barcodes, it’s usually best to hand-enter the digits. The manual included with those barcode scanners will also allow you to configure your scanner to not require these settings if you'd prefer.
  2. If ComicBase doesn’t have a UPC for that comic, it may be we don’t yet know its barcode. You can enter it yourself into the database with your barcode scanner.

    If you’d like to really help us out, right-click on the comic in question after adding the code and use the Send New or Corrected Data” command, so we can add it to our master database so that it will appear in the next week’s update. That way, everyone else will get to benefit as well.
  3. If the barcode is in the database but your scanner is still not taking you to the correct issue, check whether your scanner is transmitting the barcode properly.

    You can check this by opening up Notepad or Microsoft Word and scanning in the book’s barcode. Then, compare the digits to the ones in our database. If the UPC doesn’t match our UPC, it’s likely that their scanner isn’t configured properly. Most of the time, this takes the form of not transmitting the “supplemental” (small digits at right) of the barcode:
    • For the scanners we sell, reset your scanner using the appropriate Quick Setup Guide.

    • If you are not using a barcode scanner we carry, refer to your scanner’s manufacturer or user guide for support. Explain that it’s just a matter of getting their scanner to transmit all the digits properly—after your get your scanner set up to do that, ComicBase will work great.