QR code trouble

Good evening,

At work we have QR codes to scan tools out on a computer. Each tool has 3 different fields and as such has 3 QR codes. One for part number, one for serial number and one for location.

At the moment we have to scan the first one, press tab on the keyboard, scan the second, press tab, scan the third.

Is there a way to generate a QR code with the tab function in? So we can compress 3 code scans and 2 keyboard tab presses into just 1 scan?

It’s a work computer so I don’t have access to the QR code software.


Possible, but dependent on the software driving the inventory system in use - it would also have to recognise the 3 fields embedded in the single QR code.

Basically, the part never changes, the serial number never changes but the location status (in inventory / booked out) can change.

So the inventory system works by finding the tool in the system using the 3 fields. They never change.
The tool can then be assigned to a certain vehicle and person using a 4th and 5th field so it can be accounted for.

At the moment it’s a hassle and a bit of a faff scanning 3 codes and pressing tab. Plus the time saved when checking multiple tools out a day over the course of a year would be considerable.

1 QR code that could find the tool then the other 2 fields done manually would be perfect. For instance
PN 123 TAB SN 456 TAB LO Shelf A

I’m after a string of characters that the computer would recognise as someone pressing tab in the keyboard

I seem to remember using ^t as a shortcut for tab - not sure if it would work for you or if it was a specific shortcut in the software I used.

QR codes are designed to hold a multitude of data, including just plain text, and there’s no reason tabs cannot be included. I was able to generate one via https://www.qrcode-monkey.com/#text which included tab characters.

That’s the website I’m using! How do you enter a tab character?

I’m using Safari on a Mac so I used control-option-tab to insert them. If you’re using Windows you can fire up character map and just copy the tab character, I’d imagine.

In that case, fields 1,2 & 3 can definitely be embedded into one QR code, with two more narrowing in on the vehicle & person it has last been assigned to. But the scanning/inventory software will have to match.

That’s what I thought. I’m struggling entering “tab” in string format so that when it scans, the computer recognises it as a tab.

After a quick serach online, try entering; ~d009
(as in; tilde d zero zero 9) to produce a tab command in the QR code encoding.

So using your example of “PN 123 TAB SN 456 TAB LO Shelf A”, try “PN 123~d009SN 456~d009LO Shelf A”

No luck :pensive: this is what that scanned as

(I used abc def instead)

Did you try the one with tabs in it as I suggested?

In character map, there is no “tab” character

Hmm, let me see what I can find.

If you hold down alt and type 09 on the numpad it should insert a tab iirc.

It’s the one of two I remember, the other being bullet point alt and 0149 :frowning:

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Or you could open Notepad and hit tab, select it then copy and paste?

So holding down alt and pressing 9 produces the symbol in the picture below as copy and pasting a tab in notepad…

Interestingly when I took this photo on my iPhone it came up as abc def. It had the tab in it. Could it be were using windows 7?

We had to embed tab characters into a barcode in our application (this is years ago mind), from memory it was a lot of effort to track down the proper sequence of characters needed based on the specific barcode font used and how the scanner handled it.

How are you scanning the QR code? Is it a hand-held scanner?

Yes. A micro scan HS41X

Okay I’ve done some investigating and I can’t find anything specific, however I can find that in the preferences you can specify a preamble and a postamble, which is effectively a means of always prefixing/postfixing any scan with special character/s, which includes the option of a tab character.

Have a look at the preferences for the scanner software and see if you can add a postamble of tab. This means you still scan 3 QR codes, but at least it should auto-tab for you between each scan.

Sorry I couldn’t find more for you, but I’ll keep looking.

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