Scan Linear Barcode

What are barcodes?

Barcodes represent data visually, in a way that computers can read. Barcode scanners read data incredibly quickly โ€“ย eliminating manual data entry and errors.

For example, imagine you were logging the arrival of new stock items into a spreadsheet. Typically stock items have an SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) which can be very long.

If you were doing this manually, you would have to enter or find the item's SKU - e.g. ffiF11-1000985-staq-item1 and then update the stock count.

This kind of task is obviously best done by a computer, and so a barcode encodes data into a set of parallel lines.

An example of a linear barcode

Supported barcode types

There are many different types of barcodes but they generally fall into two types โ€“ Linear and Matrix.

At the moment, Glide can only scan linear barcodes, but we hope to support matrix codes like the QR code in future.

The types of linear barcodes we currently support are:

  • โ€‹Code 128 - Text and numbers

  • โ€‹Code 39 - Only numbers

  • โ€‹Codabar - Text and numbers

  • GS-1 13-digit - Only numbers (encompasses UPC + EAN)

Scanning a barcode

The barcode action will write the value that is scanned to a column. Here, we've set it to the Item SKU column.

You can add the action to an image, action text, button or as part of a custom action. In the video above, we've added it to a floating button in our inventory app.

When the barcode scanner is first used, it will ask your permission to use the camera.

  • Step 1: align the barcode with the grey horizontal bar in the middle.

  • Step 2: adjust the phone until the bar turns green

  • Step 3: wait a second or two for the barcode reader to read the data

If the bar goes orange, the barcode reader has recognized that there is a barcode near โ€“ย but you need to adjust the phone further until the barcode is stable and clearly visible.


As we mentioned above, only certain barcodes are currently supported. Please let us know if you require support for a different type of barcode.

Higher resolution cameras are obviously better. Any modern smartphone should perform fine, but cameras that are 720p resolution or below may experience issues. We're working on improving this.

You can make your own barcodes with many different services online. Here are just a few: