EPS Barcode Graphic

How to Prepare Your Mail Using Preprinted Barcodes

Mail with preprinted barcodes and mail with barcode labels should be prepared together in the same procedure.



If you have your stationery envelopes printed at Campus Copy Service, all you have to do is specify the SpeedType or chartfield string at the time you place your order. Campus Copy will produce a barcode to print on your envelopes. (That is, you DO NOT need to order a barcode from Mail Services; Campus Copy will produce one for you.) There is no extra charge for this service.

Business Reply Mail

Mail Services provides free Business Reply Mail designs for campus departments.  We will now include a barcoded SpeedType or chartfield string in each design. All you need to do is specify the SpeedType or chartfield string when you place your order.  There is no extra charge for this service. Click here for more information about Business Reply Mail.

Publications, Flyers and Other Mail Pieces

For any mail piece you design that will be sent as outgoing mail, you should consider including a barcode SpeedType or chartfield string. It's the easiest way to get a barcode on your mail. Barcodes, however, are specialized graphic objects that can only be produced using special software. This software is installed at Mail Services, UC Printing Service and Campus Copy Service. For work you have done at Printing Services or Campus Copy, customer service staff there will provide you with an EPS graphic file that you can place in the layout of your mail piece design. For other work, you can order an EPS file from this web site (see next section). When you receive the file, place it in your design as described below.

What About Bulk Mailings?

As we have in the past, we ask that you put a recharge number on the return address of your bulk mailings. Here's why: For any bulk mailing, there will always be some pieces that are undeliverable as addressed. The Postal Service returns these pieces, or an Address Correction Notice, to Mail Services with a fee. We need to know where to recharge that fee. If there is no recharge number on the piece, then we have to do time-consuming research to figure it out. This delays our delivering the returns or notices to you by 1-3 days. So please, PLEASE be sure to include a SpeedType or chartfield string somewhere near the return address in all of the bulk mailings you design. You do not, however, need to include a barcoded representation of that number.


Mail Services provides free barcoded SpeedTypes and chartfield strings for incorporation into your mail piece design. The barcode is provided as an Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) file.

The size of these samples is very close to the actual size of the actual EPS graphic, but their appearance on the screen is limited by the resolution of your monitor.  The actual EPS graphic will print crisply and cleanly.



We provide barcode graphics to enable you to include a barcoded SpeedType or chartfield string in the design of your mail piece. If you would like to use the graphic for some other purpose, please contact Mail Services (643-MAIL) first to discuss your needs. NOTE: You do not need to obtain a barcode graphic from Mail Services for envelopes that you print at Campus Copy Service; Campus Copy will provide one for you.


The barcode graphic is intended for one-time use only. Recharge numbers can change frequently so please do not retain the file for future use. Mail Services provides EPS barcode files for free and you can get a new one quickly and easily by submitting a request from our web site.


Use the appropriate command in your page layout program (PageMaker, Quark Express, etc.) to insert the file into your design. The prefered location for the barcode is in vertical orientation along the left edge. 

Place the label so the TOP of the barcode is adjacent to the left edge.

The label must not intrude into the lower 5/8" of the envelope.

DO NOT place the barcode in any of the following locations:

  • above or below the delivery address
  • in the area where an indicia will be printed or postage applied

  • in the bottom 5/8" of letter or flat size pieces (where the USPS will apply a POSTNET barcode)

  • on the side of the mail piece opposite the side that will have the delivery address.

For best results, print proofs of your design on a PostScript printer. If you print proofs on another type of printer, the text may appear jagged. But the barcode will print correctly when your printer prints the design.

In some programs, the barcode may not display properly on the screen, but it will print correctly when printed on a PostScript printer.

Note to MS Word users: For unknown reasons, MS Word will display and print this image 25-30% larger than it should. This is not a problem because it does not affect the readability of the barcode. However, if you feel you need a smaller barcode, please contact Mail Services (643-MAIL) to discuss your needs.


  • You cannot open this file directly to view or print it. You must insert it into a page layout program first, then you can view or print it.

  • We assume that you will be giving your PageMaker or Quark file to your printer so that the printer will print directly from this file. Do not print a design that includes this barcode and then give it to a printer as "camera ready copy." This could result in an unreadable barcode when it is printed. If you must give your printer camera ready copy, please contact Mail Services (643-MAIL) to obtain a larger barcode.

No Alterations

The barcode graphic should not be altered after it is imported into your page layout. Doing so could make the barcode unreadable, which could affect the cost and timeliness of your mail. Specific concerns:

Size: The barcode we have created is the smallest that can be achieved without unduly sacrificing readability (which is the primary purpose of barcoding in the first place). DO NOT in any way resize this file after placing it in your art work.

Orientation: The enclosed barcode was designed to be placed in a either a horizontal or vertical orientation. Do not rotate the image to an oblique angle; the barcode will be rendered unreadable.

Quiet Zones: The image includes approx. 1/5" of clear space, called a "quiet zone" on opposite ends of the barcode. This space is required for scanners to read the barcode. Do not position other graphic objects over the quiet zones.

Color and Contrast

The barcode graphic is black against a transparent background. The image should be placed in your design over a white or very light background color so that there is sharp contrast between the barcode and its background. We strongly recommend that you keep the foreground color black, but if you must change it, use a dark color.