About DesignMerge USPS Intelligent Mail Bar Code Support

ABOUT DESIGNMERGE PRO SOFTWARE

 

DesignMerge® Pro is a powerful suite of variable-data printing and data publishing software for that includes the ability to automatically produce variable USPS Intelligent Mail Bar Codes.

 

Other major features of DesignMerge include automatic copy-fitting, advanced conditional programming (Rules), and multi-up imposition support. DesignMerge supports all of the major variable data output formats, including PostScript, PPML, PDF/VT, and Creo VPS and is compatible with printers from every major vendor.

 

In addition, DesignMerge can also be extended to produce variable 2D Bar Codes (QR Codes, PDF417, and Data Matrix) and other types of Linear Bar Codes (Code 128, UPC, Code 39, etc.). DesignMerge is great for creating personalized publications such as invitations, business cards, certificates, custom catalogs, etc.

 

For more information about DesignMerge, go to http://www.designmerge.com.

ABOUT THE FONT FOR USPS INTELLIGENT MAIL BAR CODES

Before you use the Intelligent Mail bar code, you need to download and install the correct font. For information about acquiring the Intelligent Mail barcode font, see the Where do I find the USPS Intelligent Mail Bar Code font? Knowledgebase Article.

ABOUT DATA FOR A USPS INTELLIGENT MAIL BAR CODE

When processing a data file for a mailing, the most common case is that the database already contains a data field for USPS Intelligent Mail Bar Code data. Typically this data has been converted by a CASS Certification or other pre-sorting process. However, in some cases the data may contain non-converted data (the data that you wish the barcode to represent). The latter case is not very common, however, the good news is that DesignMerge software supports both scenarios!

For example, if your data has been converted to the Intelligent Mail barcode format, it will consist of only alphabetical characters, like the example below:

FDFTTTFTATTTDAADFFTFADTATAAFDTDFFAATADDTDDTFDATAFFFTFTTDDFTFDFTAD

Data that has not yet been converted to the Intelligent Mail barcode format will consist of only numeric characters, like the example shown below:

0070012345612345678960602123478

Depending upon the type of data you have, your choices will be one of the two described below:

 

1) DATA ALREADY CONTAINS CONVERTED USPS INTELLIGENT MAIL BARCODE FORMAT

If you have previously CASS Certified or otherwise pre-processed your mailing list, then it is very likely that a data field containing the encoded Intelligent Mail Barcode data (all capital letters, as described above) has already been created for you. In this case, the solution is very straightforward. Just assign in your document a DesignMerge Variable Link that points to the USPS IM data field in your database, and then apply the USPS Intelligent Mail font, and you are ready to go! You can skip the rest of this document.

 

2) DATA HAS NOT BEEN CONVERTED TO USPS INTELLIGENT MAIL BARCODE FORMAT

In this case, the data must be encoded before it is mered into the document. DesignMerge provides a special Keyword Link for this process ( _BARCODE_USPS_IM_ ). When you create a Variable Link of this name, and point it to the raw data to be converted, DesignMerge will convert this data on-the-fly while merging. The Intelligent Mail Bar Code Keyword Link is a standard feature of DesignMerge. 

The data that should be in the field that you assign to the _BARCODE_USPS_IM_ Keyword Variable Link will be considered valid data if the data contains a minimum of 20 digits, a maximum of 31 digits. Additionally, this Keyword Variable Link will assume the data is organized as follows: Barcode ID (2 digits), Service Type (3 digits), Mailer ID (6 or 9 digits), Zip+4+DP (0. 5, 9, or 11 digits). This means the numeric data for an Intelligent Mail barcode should contain either 20, 25, 29, or 31 digits. NOTE: The data layout described here is for general information. Please visit the USPS resources for more complete details regarding the data requirements for Intelligent Mail bar codes.

To use the DesignMerge USPS Intelligent Mail Bar Code Keyword Link, follow the steps below

  1. Open the document where you wish to use this Keyword Link.
     
  2. Set up the DDF for this document, if you have not already done so.
     
  3. Open the Variable Links window (one way to open this window is to select Setup > Variable Links from the DesignMerge menu).
     
  4. On the Variable Links window, click the New button.
     
  5. On the New Variable Link window, open the Keyword Links popup menu, select _BARCODE_USPS_IM_, and then click OK
     
  6. Confirm the new "_BARCODE_USPS_IM_" Variable Link is selected in the list on the left side of the Variable Links window.
     
  7. On the right side of the Variable Links window, select the Field that contains the data you would like this Keyword Link to convert.
     
  8. Click the OK button to close the Variable Links window.
     
  9. You may now assign this _BARCODE_USPS_IM_ Link to placeholder text in your document, indicating where you wish to display this barcode.
     
  10. Assign the appropriate USPS Intelligent Mail barcode font to this linked text.

Again, remember that you also need to use the correct bar code font. For information about acquiring the FREE Intelligent Mail barcode font, see the Where do I find the USPS Intelligent Mail Bar Code font? Knowledgebase Article. 

A video is also available demonstrating how to use a DesignMerge _BARCODE_USPS_IM_ Keyword Link: http://www.designmerge.com/demo/videos/uspsim_video2.htm

For additional information about the USPS Intelligent Mail Barcode, go to the following USPS sites:
https://ribbs.usps.gov/onecode_solution/documents/tech_guides/USPSIMB_QandA.pdf

https://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=intellmailmailpieces

 

 

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