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No, no need for plugins. The scanner scans the code, translates it to normal text, which can be entered into a field. If I open a notepad doc, and scan a barcode, it will input the barcode as normal text in the notepad doc.

There's a difference between laser barcode scanners (the handheld ones used at checkouts) and phone/tablet barcode scanners that use a camera. The former doesn't take an image (it doesn't have a camera), it scans the code using the laser and converts it internally to a human readable format. (ie text). The camera scanner takes an image and OCR's that to convert it to text. 

The handheld barcode scanner functions like an input device similar to a keyboard. Doesn't matter whether it's USB connected or BT. The downside of a barcode scanner is that it's limited to the barcodes it's designed to recognise. The camera barcode scanner is more flexible in that sense and can easily be upgraded to recognise new codes (ie QR codes).

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  • 1 month later...

I've created a number of FM solutions that included barcode functionality. I've not used camera based scanners, just the handheld type.

It can get complex it you need it to, but in it's most simple form...it's essentially a code, say your record ID, that is printed using a barcode font. I typically use code 39 (aka: code 3 of 9) which simply requires an asterisk before and after the code. When it's scanned, it comes in as if keyed in on a keyboard. Simple!

Most of the scanners I've worked with came pre-programmed with a carriage return at the end of each scan. You can usually program the scanner yourself and take that out or change it to something else. I personally like it because I use it as part of my scan script. User activate script, layout comes up in find mode, they scan and beep it finds the record!

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  • 6 months later...

I am incorporating barcode scanners into some of my layouts and just yesterday  received a bluetooth CT-20 scanner.  Available on Ebay for about $70.  Setup was reasonably straight forward and seems to connect quickly to iphone5 when I turn it on.  I need to change some of my scripts to improve functionality with FM.  Will let you know how I get on.

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