Magnetically Encoding Zebra Cards from Microsoft Word

Magnetically Encoding Zebra Cards from Microsoft Word

Article ID: 47199002




 This solution is useful for:

  • All Performance and Value Class Card Printers
  • Magnetically Encoding Cards 

Applies To

Zebra Performance Class and Value Class Card Printers  (P100i, P110i, P110m, P120i, P330i, P430i)


Driver settings for the printer must be set appropriately.  See procedure below for more information.


Within Microsoft Word, you can instruct your Performance or Value Class card printer to encode data to the magnetic tracks. This can prove useful when simply sending images already stored on the computer to print but needing the magnetic tracks to be encoded. It also provides an excellent form of troubleshooting with non-Zebra tools.


Configure the Driver

You must start the process by ensuring that the driver is configured properly. Go to printers and devices and right click on your printer, selecting properties > Device Settings > Encoder settings > Properties. Confirm that the driver coercivity matches your cards (high coercivity corresponds to black magnetic stripes while low coercivity corresponds to brown magnetic stripes) and remember what start data and end data tokens are selected.


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Design and Print the Card in Microsoft Word

Open up a new Microsoft Word document and include the following lines of simple text. Notice that we are using our tokens to indicate what data is to be encoded on each track.


With these commands written, you can proceed to design the rest of your card.  Keep in mind that these values will not show up in the card design.  Instead, they are interpreted as commands for the driver to encode each track and are subsequently discarded.  In our example, we have imported a picture from the computer and placed these commands in a text box.  We proceed to print through the standard Microsoft Word print menu.

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Confirm the Card has Encoded
The driver can be used to check the encoded data.  Go to printers and devices and right click on your printer, selecting properties > Device Settings > Tools > Properties.  Select all three magnetic tracks and select 'Read'.  This resulting data should corresponds to the data entered in the Microsoft Word file.

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Helpful Information

Troubleshooting Magnetic Encoding Issues  Read More>>

+ Product Codes

  • P100i
  • P110i
  • P120i
  • P330i Card Printer
  • P430i Card Printer
  • Value Class Card Printer