If you need to include multiple QR codes, such as one for each row in an Excel document or in a mail merge, third-party tools can help.
One tool I found to add QR codes to Word and Excel is offered from OnBarcode. They offer two separate add-ins for Word and Excel, priced at $99 each at the time of publishing. Once you install the software, it adds a new set of buttons to the Add-In ribbon tab in the corresponding program.
Click the Create Barcode button and a small window opens on the right side of the window (Figure 2). Select the QR code barcode type and enter your data. Make sure your cursor is placed in the spot where you want your barcode to appear and click the Generate button. You will now see your barcode (Figure 3). You can go back and modify the properties of the barcode if desired.
OnBarcode is easy to use, but they lack official support for Office 2013 at the time of this writing. The only products supported are Word and Excel and each are sold separately.
My favorite tool for adding barcodes to Office applications is StrokeScribe. StrokeScribe offers an ActiveX plugin with Office add-in. Although StrokeScribe can be used similarly to the OnBarcode product, you can also call the ActiveX plugin from within VBA to create barcodes programmatically. The StrokeScribe offers a free edition or various commercial editions ranging from $50 for a five-user license or $110 for a site-wide license as of publication.
After installing the ActiveX and Office add-in components, you will see a StrokeScribe ribbon tab. Enter text, select a barcode type and click Insert Active X. The nice thing about StrokeScribe is you add an object, not a static image. While OnBarcode codes can be resized, you are simply stretching the image. Quality degrades as the image is smaller. StrokeScribe, on the other hand is able to generate the image for any size. As you can see in Figure 4 you can make the codes quite large. You can double-click the barcode to edit and further tune the settings for the image.
StrokeScribe is easy to use for adding only a handful of barcodes or for filling out your entire spreadsheet with them.
I hope this article helped demystify the ubiquitous QR code and gave you some practical ways to add them to any projects you’re working on.