Can you import Label Designs from a different bar code software into BarTender Follow


BarTender Content Team


 I want to import my labels from this labeling software that we have been using. Is this possible?


We indeed get this question quite often. We have a short, and a long answer for this.

Short answer: In a word no, sorry but this is not possible as a direct feature. Most of the leading labeling software developers have tried to find a way of doing this over the years but quite simply, the different ways in which we produce our software and the features within means that it simply cannot be achieved 100%. So it's simply not possible.

Long Answer: Below follows greater detail as to why the answer is no to this question... 

a) All label software's have features that the other programs do not. For example, a user could create a label file in BarTender with a connection to SAP IDocs which only we support. Then how would a different label software "import" this functionality? Not possible, so what would result? 

b) We all do the same things differently. For example, we all support ODBC connections with Queries, but, internally, we all have slightly different code sequences to handle the Query. This can cause the Query to malfunction. 

c) You may have MANY label files, which would actually be better served by having just a few label files but using a database with different records. Consolidating and controlling a company's data in a database is almost always the better solution in the long-term. The change to a new label software can be taken as an opportunity to reorganize a your label printing in a proper manner with a proper database. Not always, but very often. 

d) Even when such an utility does exist, it will only only be able to convert about 60% of a label file about 60% of the time. This may sound like better than nothing, but it actually is a negative. Why? Because after running a label file through a conversion process, then getting the resultant, converted file in the second label software, some user still needs to open the label file and examine it/tweak it VERY CAREFULLY. Serial numbers could be misconverted, "best before" dates could be misconverted, check digits could be misconverted, etc. The user ends up spending more time hunting and pecking within converted label files, than they would have if they had just created the label from zero initially. 

Is there at least some way I can redesign the label?

However, at Seagull Scientific we have always tried to make BarTender as easy to use as possible so that users can quickly redesign labels. One feature we introduced already with version 7.00 was the Toolbox which was specifically aimed at making label design even quicker. If you cannot see this feature in your copy of BarTender go to Menu "View > Toolbars" and click on "Toolbox". 

Another feature that may appeal to you is the ability to set the background of the label to a color or picture such as a label designed in another software package. By doing this, you can quickly copy the original label by overlaying bar codes, text boxes etc and then on completion, changing the background back to be blank thus leaving the newly designed label details only. 

To use this feature click through the New Document Wizard (which appears when you first open up BarTender) until you come to the Label Background screen. You then click on Picture and select the file from the folder where you have your label design stored which was created in the other label package. 

** For a list of supported image formats, look to our article on Supported image formats.

Template images:

Although this will not populate the label, this option under our "File > Page Setup" dialog will allow a user to set up a splash image that will help them lay out their objects in BarTender. Then, at print time, the template image won't print, and the result will only be what the user placed on the label. Find below a screenshot of this feature:



** If you still require some help, you might be interested in our Professional Services offerings, which are paid-for services offered by Seagull Scientific such as Training on various BarTender Suite topics or Help with designing BarTender documents (which includes designing your BarTender documents according to your previous designs created with your old label design software). You may reach out to your BarTender reseller for more information or email

Do you have feedback or questions on this article? We encourage you to post them on our Community Forums