If you’re using the Information Rights Management features that are included in Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007, you might be interested in using barcodes to track Office 2007 documents as they get printed.

The IRM features enables Sharepoint to generate unique barcodes for every document that is saved to a document library. This enables you to track physical as well as digital documents as they are sent around or what have you.

 But here’s a tip that I couldn’t find in any of Microsoft’s IRM documents:

You need Office 2007 Pro Plus and up. You will not get the rich IRM features with Office 2007 Pro Standard, instead users will have to navigate through the menus to find an almost hidden link to include just the barcode number in the document. The users can also not be forced to print the documents with the barcode. With Office 2007 Pro Plus and up there is a Button Group under the Insert Tab that enables users to insert the entire barcode image and number as well as Sharepoint being able to force users to include the barcode on print outs.

Original Reference: James Morgan on Collaboration

 Update: A friendly tip from a sponsor –

Putting barcodes on your documents through Microsoft Office 2007 is something a lot of people would like. Want to be able to organize your papers into an inventory  system with your new barcodes? The next items you would need would be some good barcode scanners and barcode printers to serve your needs. Find some quality barcode software and you are on your way to being completely organized with your documents and all because of barcodes. Now, don’t you feel smart?