Printing labels

I use linux since 1994. I pride myself into thinking I know well what kind of tool linux can be.

I am accustomed with (and get quite thrilled about) the notion that I will learn something new every day of my life, right until the last one.

Yet, I still get surprised by discoveries like's tips of how to print labels with Linux. This was one function on which I had given up all hope when it came to Linux. Well, it feels very good to be proven wrong, sometimes.

I guess that my fault in the wrong perception was that I was expecting label printing functionality to be attached to graphical document creation applications. And I didn't find any. Which brings me to the fact that this is probably one missing (but nevertheless important) feature in KDE's set of apps. Perhaps an independent GUI application for printing labels, and some research in what kind of support is needed from the printing subsystem, will allow to add this functionality as a generic, unix-like tool (one tool for each small job). Oh well, another thing to add in my <exaggeration>250GB</exaggeration> TODO file.


...that article is missing to even mention the leading application for printing labels on Linux. It is a KDE application. Its name is KBarcode. Their homepage has some enlightinging screenshots. It comes with a rather complete good documentation.

Why, oh, why is it that some of the most shining gems that were grown in the KDE ecosystem do not at all have a good visibility in the wider software world (and some do not even have in the somewhat "inbreed" Open Source / Free Software szene)??

Does our general PR really suck so badly?

Or is it just that in this specific case the "KBarcode" name is bad?

OK, let's at least get the word out here. Let at least the 200 readers of KDE developer blogs know these points:

KBarcode is an excellent, world-class barcode and label printing application for KDE. (I do not even know of a thingie that comes anywhere close to it on the Windows platform. DISCLAIMER: I am not familiar with proprietary software that costs more than 1000.- EUR).

KBarcode can be used to print a lot more things that are *not* barcodes, and do not include anything like a barcode! Everything from simple business cards, adress labels, price labels, postcards, up to very complex labels with several barcodes (e.g. article descriptions).

KBarcode ships with an easy to use WYSIWYG label designer. It includes a setup wizard. It supports batch import of data for batch printing labels (directly from the delivery note). It bundles *thousands* of predefined labels. It sports database management tools. It is translated into many languages.

Even printing more than 10.000 labels in one go is no problem for KBarcode. Data for printing can be imported from several different data sources, including SQL databases, CSV files and the KDE address book.

Last, but not least, it includes a (simple) barcode generator (similar to the old xbarcode some of you may know). *All* major types of barcodes like EAN, UPC, CODE39 and ISBN are supported. Even complex 2D barcodes are supported (this one is using third party tools). The generated barcodes can be directly printed or you can export them into images to use them in another application.

Yes, and KBarcode is Free Software licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL.

By Kurt Pf. at Fri, 08/11/2006 - 17:05