Sharing data between objects (Video - 6:09) Follow

Kai Kohler

Applies to: BarTender 2016 & Versions 10.1, 10.0


With BarTender, the objects in a label template can be linked to the same data source, enabling accuracy in your label data, and efficiency in production.

In this video, you will learn how to share data between the text, RFID and barcode objects in your label template.

For more information on sharing data between objects please review the following:

Named Data Sources

Object Value

Global Data Fields




David Nijjar
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I found this a little confusing; the previous topic "Overview of Data Sources" was a good start, but didn't give enough information to prepare me to easily understand this topic. Here I want to fill in some missing information for anyone who is confused by this video.

1) [mostly review from previous video]
A text object can have one or more data sources.
*Each* data source has three tabs of properties: the Data Source tab, the Data Type tab, and the Transforms tab. (see, for example, 0:51 in this video). Each data source has its own three tabs worth of properties; if an object has (say) three data sources, each will have its /own/ three tabs worth of properties.

Each text object can have one or more data sources.
` (For example, at 0:51 in this video, the shown text object (called Text4) has two data sources, which you can see on the left pane of the text properties dialog box, under the node called Data Sources).
` A data source represents information that this object print onto the label. For example, a data source might get its data from a database, or your computer's clock.

A data source has a type, which is seen on the first tab of three under "Type" (see 0:51 in the video). Three common types include: "Embedded Data", "Database Fields", and Named Data Sources.
` (Note: it is confusing, but a data source has a "type" (shown on the first tab), and has a "data type" which is different (and is shown on the second tab)).

If a data source has the type of "Embedded Data", then this means the data that will be printed is whatever you type in the "Embedded Data" box (again, see 0:51). If the data source has the type of "Database field", then what will be printed is what information this data source pulls from a database at the time of printing.

If a text object has more than one data source, then what will be printed is: whatever data its first listed data source has at the time of printing, followed immediately by what data the second data source has at the time of printing, and so on. (You can rearrange the order of the data sources an object has).

(This technique is used at around 3:09 of the video. The first data source has the text "20", and the second data source pulls two numbers from someplace else, making what prints out a year such as "2015" or "2013" etc).

This was the most confusing part for me.

A data source can be named, or can be unnamed.

By default, a data source is unnamed. Conceptually, you can think of unnamed data sources as "belonging to the object it is in". For example, suppose you make a text object, and then make a new data source (in that text object) with the type "Embedded Data" and then type "Hello! I'm text in a text object!" in the Embedded Data box. This data source starts off as being unnamed. Conceptually, this data source (ie the one you just made with the text you wrote) really only "belongs" to that one object, and nowhere else.

But, AS SOON AS YOU NAME A DATA SOURCE (ie in the first tab, under the "Name" field), IT CONCEPTUALLY DOES NOT "BELONG" TO THAT OBJECT. Instead, it "belongs" inside a "pool" of all named data sources in your document; (you can see all named data sources in this "pool" in the Toolbox (usually the left-side pane of your document) under the Data Sources tab).

As soon as you name a data source, then that data source goes "into" this pool, and then object with a named data source is referencing ("linking" or "pointing to") the data source in this "pool".

If an object has a named data source, then if you change something about that named data source by going to the object that "has" a named data source, (say, by changing its text (ie its Embedded Data)), then IT CHANGES THE NAMED DATA SOURCE IN THE POOL. (I find it a little bit weird that you're allowed to change a named data source by going to an object that links to a named data source; I would have expected you to have had to go directly to the "pool" of named data sources instead, but there you go).

This is why if you have two objects that link to the same named data source, and change the named data source by opening up the properties of one object and making a change, then it changes the original data source. (This is talked about at 2:13 of the video).

5) Hopefully, now the difference between "Link to Existing Named Object" type, for a data source, and the "Object Value" type, will make perfect sense, as will the rest of the video from about 2:57.

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