How do I place a DesignMerge Variable 2D Bar Code in a document?

The Meadows 2D Bar Code Module is currently available as an optional module in DesignMerge for InDesign. This module provides the ability to place a 2D barcode in a document. The bar code can then be made variable by simply tagging the frame containing the bar code as a variable item.




If you are in a hurry, please have a look at the following web page, which hosts a video describing how to create variable 2D bar codes:





In order to create a 2D bar code, you must have previously installed the Meadows 2D Bar Code Module. In addition, you must install the 2D Bar Code Font. The 2D Bar Code Font is available on the following web page (




To create a Variable 2D Bar Code in a document, you must first place a Static Meadows 2D Bar Code in the document. This sets the size and position of the bar code in the document. Please follow the steps below to create a static 2D bar code:

  1. Place a text frame in the document where you would like to display a 2D Bar Code.

  2. Use the InDesign Selection (pointer) tool to select the text frame that you just created.

  3. Open the DesignMerge menu and select Options > 2D Bar Code Module > Create. This will open the Create 2D Bar Code window.

  4. On the Create 2D Bar Code window:
    4a. Select the Type of 2D Bar Code you wish to create (QR Code, PDF 417, or Data Matrix).
    4b. Enter some sample Data that is representative of the variable data you want to encode.
    4c. Select the parameters you would like to apply to this type of 2D Bar Code.
         Note: If you are not familiar with the individual parameter settings, just leave them set to Auto.

  5. Then, when ready, click the OK button to create this 2D Bar Code.

  6. The 2D Bar Code will now appear in the selected text frame. Also, if your document is showing frame edges, you will see an icon indicating this box contains a Meadows 2D Bar Code.

Now that you have placed your static 2D bar code, you can make it variable using DesignMerge Pro.


To make the Meadows 2D Bar Code a Variable, do the following:

  1. Use the InDesign Selection (pointer) tool to select the text frame that contains the Meadows 2D Bar Code.

  2. Open the DesignMerge floating panel if it is not already showing.

  3. Select a Link for the 2D Bar Code (and assign a Rule, if desired).
    DesignMerge Catalog Users: You must also enter a Search Key for this link.
    When selecting a Link, please select a Variable Link whose Link Type is Text or Article.

  4. When ready, click the Tag Box/Frame button on the DesignMerge floating panel. 

  5. If your document is showing frame edges, you will now see an icon indicating a DesignMerge Variable Box Link has been assigned to the text frame containing the Meadows 2D Bar Code.

  6. When ready, start up a DesignMerge merge session as you normally would. The assigned Variable Box Link will deliver data to the Meadows 2D Bar Code Module which will then encode that data and place a new 2D Bar Code in the text frame to represent that data.
NOTE: The Variable Box Link will process the data before the Link passes the data to the Meadows 2D Bar Code Module. This allows you to set up the Variable Link to add any required Prefix or Suffix and to specify what action to take if the Link is empty (when a record does not have data for this Link).
You can also assign Link Rules to the Variable Box Link. For example, you can use a Link Rule to apply various Character Styles to vary the color of the Variable 2D Bar Code. For more information about setting up Variable Links and Link Rules, see Tutorial #1a (The Basics) and Tutorial #1b (Using Rules) in the DesignMerge Tutorial Manual, available in PDF format in the DesignMerge product folder on your system.