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Excel/Excel and barcode scanner


Good Afternoon Tom, hopefully you can help me as I have seen your advice and help all over the internet. I will try to explain in short detail on what I'm trying to accomplish, I have a sample room in an R&D department and I want to scan parts in and out of the room as someone needs them. I plan on using excel to do this but haven't a clue on how to start. I would like to be able to scan a part and cell that has a date in or date out would come up corresponding to the part and the user could simply type the date in the correct field if they were taking it out or returning it. Please let me know what other info you need.

Thanks in advance for the help

Master Spas Inc


First, I don't own any barcode scanners and never have.  I have talked to a few people that have used them so I understand how they have been used in some instances.   Basically, for the systems I have knowledge of, the barcode scanner acts as an input device - a keyboard if you will.  The user scans in a marking/barcode and the barcode scanner types the number as input to the computer.  So the scanner itself or any associated software handles sensing the code and translating it into a number.

If you select a cell in Excel and scan in a barcode on say your part, then the coded number will be "typed" into that cell.  Usually the barcode sends a return/enter character at the end.

So you would have the editing of a cell trigger a macro that does some work for you such as finding that number in a list.  

In the past, I have helped people write some code to react to the scanning of the number into a specific cell and doing some limited processing related to that number.  They however already had defined their layout and the action they wanted triggered.

So hopefully that provides you the background information  you are seeking.

Tom Ogilvy

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Tom Ogilvy


Selected as an Excel MVP by Microsoft since 1999. Answering Excel questions in Allexperts since its inception in 2001. Able to answer questions on almost all aspects of Excel's internal capabilities. If seeking a VBA solution, please specify that in your question itself so I give you the answer you want. [Excel has weak protection - if you are distributing an application, I don't answer questions on how to protect your project from your users.]


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Master of Science (MS) degree Operations Research (ORSA)

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Microsoft MVP in Excel.

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