A tutorial on how to install and use a Barcode Scanner. These days the barcode scanners are really easy to install compared to a few years ago when the majority of scanners were only available with Serial cables. Keyboard Wedge Interfaces made things simpler but now with USB its easy.

Barcode Scanner from Datalogic

For this tutorial we will refer to the entry level scanner from Datalogic – Datalogic Quickscan QW2120 USB Barcode Scanner. The majority of the popular brand scanners work the same so irrespective of which scanner you purchase you can follow this tutorial.

When opening the box you will find the scanner and a detachable USB cable. There might also be a quick start guide in the box but in the majority of cases these have to be downloaded.

Installing the Barcode Scanner

Insert the RJ connector into the base of the scanner and the other end into an empty USB socket on your PC/Laptop. The operating system on your PC will auto detect the scanner, give you the name of the device and install the necessary drivers. When done it will give you a message that the device was installed and is ready to use. As simple as that.

Using the USB Barcode Scanner

Once the scanner is installed and detected by the operating system it will be ready to use. When the trigger is pulled or scan button pushed a red light will be emitted from the scan window.

Open any document or software that you need to scan the info into, place the cursor in the correct field and scan the barcode. When the barcode has been read and properly decoded, the scanner will give an audible “good read” beep and in the case of the Datalogic QW2120, place a green dot on the barcode indicating a good read.

Once the good read indication has been given the scanner will transmit the scanned data to the PC and will be displayed on the screen.

Programming the Barcode Scanner

The majority of scanners can be programmed to suite the application that it will be used with. “Prefixes” and “Suffixes” are the most common parameters that need to be programmed.

Prefixes are simply parameters that need to be sent after you scanned to appear or perform some function in front of the barcode.

Suffixes are parameters that appear or perform some function after the barcode has been sent to the PC. The mostly used Suffix is “CR” Carriage Return which is the same as pushing the Enter key on your keyboard after the scanned data has been sent and displayed on your screen.

Using CR as suffix will for example if using Excel, move the cursor to the next field after the scanned data appears on your screen. The CR suffix is mostly preset on scanners and works directly out the box.

To see all the possible programming options that are available for your specific scanner the user guide needs to be looked at.

Scan Stand Options

If your scanner comes with a “Scan Stand” as in the Datalogic QW2120, it will add an extra feature. When the scanner is placed in the scan stand it becomes auto-sensing which means that when a barcode is presented to the scanning area, the scanner will activate and read the barcode.

When the scanner is removed from its scan stand it becomes manually operated again – meaning that you will pull the trigger to activate and read the barcode.


As can be seen from the above explanation installing and using barcode scanners is an easy exercise and not complicated at all.

Please contact me if you need help with or more information on Barcode Scanners.

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