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A key sequence is typically used where the user wants to invoke a specific keyboard action when reading the data from a barcode with a barcode scanner. Requirements to encode a key sequence within a barcode are outlined in the following.


Symbology must be Code 39. Do Not Use Code 39 (Full ASCII).

A Code 39 barcode inserted on a label template.

The desired scan output of a barcode using a Wedge barcode scanner needs to have an 'ALT'+C sequence encoded in the data when read by the scanner. The 'ALT' key is represented in a barcode field formula using the '$L' literal string.

Wedge Barcode Scanner
Using the Wedge Reader Conversion Chart to Referenc the 'ALT' ASCII conversion  Wedge Reader Conversion Chart. Fig.1
To determine this, refer to the Wedge Reader Conversion Chart (Fig.1) in the Loftware Label Manager User Guide (access through Design32 Help Menu). The 'ALT' keyboard value is represented as ASCII 'FF' in this chart. 

Next referencing the ASCII Code 39 Reference Table (Fig.2) in the same guide (access through Design32 Help Menu). The ASCII value 'FF' is represented as '$L' in the Code 39 conversion. The barcode label field formula would have to contain a '$L' & 'C' as part of the formula to produce the required output. In addition the user would need to enable Code 39 Full ASCII on their wedge or serial barcode scanner.


Sample formula:

Test_Input & "$L" & "C" & "STATIC"

Using the ASCII Code 39 Reference Table to look up 'FF' conversion to Code 39ASCII Code 39 Reference Table Fig.2



The example to follow demonstrates the use of the code "$M" character encoding in a barcode formula.

"$M" character represents a carriage return keystroke.

How to Construct a Barcode Containing a Keystroke Character:

  1. Create a label and add a barcode
  2. Set the barcode Symbology to Code 39 (not Code 39 (Full ASCII))
  3. Set the Max # Char to - 15
  4. Set the barcode Data Source to Formula

  5. Create the formula (as shown) using "$M" to represent the 'Enter' (carriage return) key 
    Test_Input & "$M" & "STATIC"
  6. Add a text box and name it "Test_input".

  7. Go to View | On Demand Print
  8. Enter the word INPUT in to the field "Test_Input"
  9. Print the the label
  10. Test with a barcode scanner that has Code 39 Full ASCII enabled
  11. The scan results should show output like this:


    'INPUT' would be the keyboard entry used when printing the label; the "$M" represents a carriage return, which moves the next data segment, 'STATIC', to the next line in the actual scan output.



  • Barcode must be Code 39 and NOT Code 39 (Full ASCII) symbology
  • Requires a barcode scanner that has Code 39 Full ASCII enabled to be able to translate the key sequence within the barcode correctly
    (refer to the scanner's documentation on how to accomplish this)
  • ASCII Code 39 and Wedge Reader Conversion Charts are included in the Reference Tables section of the Loftware Label Manager (LLM) Online User's Guide and can be access through the Design32 application by navigating to HELP | Loftware Label Manager Online User's Guide

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Article Number



LLM 10.x, 11.x


All supported LLM/LPS environments