Programming, tutorials, mechatronics, operating systems, and other tech stuff

How to add barcode to PDF created with PHP FPDF

This time, i'm about to explain how to add barcode to your generated pdf file. This tutorial requires you to understand the basics how to make / generate pdf file in PHP using FPDF library beforehand. So please read Generate Printable Invoice in PHP using FPDF library if you haven't done so.

Why and what is barcode?

Barcode is an optical, machine-readable numeric data consisting of series of black and white bars with varying thickness. Commonly used in label which requires fast-reading done by machine or computer. Barcode can minimize user's manual input so instead of showing only numeric id on your, let's say, invoice. You can also provide barcoded id. So the user, especially in fast-paced transaction environment can just scan it using barcode reader instead of manual input with keyboard. And here's how to add barcode to your generated PDF file in PHP FPDF library.

Barcode support for PHP FPDF library.

There are no built-in barcode support in PHP FPDF library. However, with a custom class, we can add a barcode support. Here i have prepared a barcode class in my github repository you can download right away here:
There are a lot of barcode standard format, but here we will only use 2 format. EAN13, and UPC_A format which is a commonly used barcode standard.
EAN stands for European Article Number which is a barcode symbology standard and numbering system used in global trade to identify a specific retail product type, in a specific packaging configuration, from a specific manufacturer. While the UPC stands for Universal Product Code which is also a barcode symbology that is widely used in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, in Europe and other countries for tracking trade items in stores. Both can hold 12 digit of integer (last digit in EAN13 is a check number so you can only keep 12 digit). For more explanation about barcode standard, you can look it up in wikipedia.

Using custom PHP FPDF class to make a barcode.

First, you need the PHP FPDF library, here i used  FPDF version 1.7 which you can download here.
Then download or copy-paste the fphp_barcode.php file from my repository to your local webserver.
Open the file and make sure that the second line refer to your fpdf.php file which comes with your fpdf library. On my case, the folder structure looks like this:
         |  |-fpdf.php
 So the "require" path should look like this:


Next, make a new file in the same directory as your fpdf_barcode.php file named barcode-test.php then copy this script into it.


$pdf = new PDF_BARCODE('P','mm','A4');


//EAN13 test

//UPC_A test


Save it then see the result in your browser. If nothing goes wrong, it should be like this:

Now, what does the code above do?
First line, we include the fpdf_barcode.php file, not the usual fpdf.php file. We're using a custom class here.
Next, make a PDF_BARCODE object, not FPDF object. With the same parameter as usual. Then add a page. And at the last line, don't forget to output the result. (Please read this fpdf basic if you haven't done so).
With these lines, you are properly made a single page blank PDF file.

//call the fpdf_barcode.php, not the usual fpdf.php. We're using a custom class here.

//define a PDF_BARCODE object, not FPDF object. With portrait orientation, milimeters unit, and A4 size.
$pdf = new PDF_BARCODE('P','mm','A4');

//add a page

//the content goes here

//Output the result

In the pdf_barcode class, there are 2 methods called EAN13 and UPC_A. As the name implies, the former is to make a EAN13 barcode and the later is for UPC_A.

For EAN13, use :
$pdf->EAN13(float x, float y, string barcode [, float h [, float w[, int font_size]]])

And For UPC_A :
$pdf->UPC_A(float x, float y, string barcode [, float h [, float w[, int font_size]]])

x is the abscissa of barcode. Which means the horizontal position of the top-left corner of the barcode.
y is the ordinate of barcode. The vertical position of the top-left corner of the barcode.
barcode is the value of barcode, consists of 12 digits integer.
h is the height of barcode. Default value is 16.
w is the width of a bar. Default value is 0.35.
font_size is the font size of the number below barcode.

So, this line :

Means that we make an EAN13 Barcode at position of 10mm from left and 10mm from top of the page. The barcode contains 123456789012 and the height is 5 and the bar width (not the whole barcode width) is 0.5. And the text which says the integer value below the barcode have a size of 9 points.

If by any chance you're still confused after following this tutorial, please do enjoy this video-version of this tutorial. And if you want the source code, feel free download it from the link provided in the description or ask me in the comment section of aforementioned video.


Post a Comment