Create a barcode field

Barcode fields translate a user’s form entries into a visual pattern that can be scanned, interpreted, and incorporated into a database. Barcodes are helpful when users submit the form on paper or by fax.

The advantages of using barcodes are that they save time, eliminate the need for responses to be manually read and recorded, and bypass data-entry errors that can occur.


One of the ways in which you can improve a PDF form barcode is by creating custom scripts. Writing such scripts requires a basic competency with JavaScript and a familiarity with PDF-specific JavaScript.

To add a barcode field:

  1. Open the PDF in Nitro Pro
  2. On the Forms ribbon, in the Form Fields group, click Barcode
  3. On the page, drag the pointer where you want the field to appear
  4. Double-click on the field and do one of the following (depending on your preferences):
    • In the Properties context tab, name the field and set its appearance settings
    • In the Properties dialog, name the field and set its appearance settings
  5. Do either of the following:
    • If you’re using the Properties context tab, in the More group, click Properties and then Options
    • If you’re using the Properties dialog, click the Options tab
  6. In the Options tab, do all of the following:
    • Symbology: choose what style of barcode will be rendered - PDF417, QR Code, or Data Matrix.
    • X Dimension: choose the value for the X dimensions
    • Error correction: choose the error correction level (will vary depending on the style of barcode to be rendered)
    • Y/X Ratio: this option is only available when PDF417 is chosen - choose the ration between the Y and X axis for the barcode
    • Compress before encoding: select this checkbox if you want to apply this compression. Do not select this option if a handheld scanner is used to capture data from returned forms.
  7. In the Calculate tab, do one of the following:
    • Select the top radio button , and then select a format (XML or Tab Delimited). Click the Select button and select the fields that you want to be encoded in the barcode field. If you want to include the field names in the barcode data, select Include field names.

    • Select Custom Calculation Script, click Edit, and then enter your custom JavaScript code in the JavaScript Editor dialog box.

To edit a text field:

  1. Open the PDF in Nitro Pro
  2. On the Form ribbon, in the Form Fields group, do either of the following:
    • Click the field type that corresponds to the field you want to edit
    • Click Select Fields
  3. Double-click the field to begin editing its attributes