Humbug is a multi-platform barcode generator which can be used alongside our Germinate Scan application to generate sheets of user-defined barcodes to aid in the recording of data in the field or glasshouse. Humbug and Germinate Scan are primarily suited for the recording of categorical data categories which could include traits such as flowering time.

Humbug users define these categories using a simple to use and intuitive desktop application then print out sheets containing a barcode for each data category required. These barcodes can then be scanned using Germinate Scan and saved to text file.

The main UI of Humbug.
Potato images courtesy of the Commonwealth Potato Collection.

How it works

Using Humbug is really simple. Define your barcodes, optionally add images and export to PDF. Here's an example PDF created using Humbug.

Define barcodes
Define barcodes

Enter each barcode individually or simply import a list from several supported file formats or the clipboard.

Add images
Add images

Add a visual representation of what the barcode represents to make the association process simpler.


Once complete, simply export the generated sheet of barcodes to a PDF and print it. It's that easy.

Bulk image renaming

Humbug also allows you to automatically rename images based on a barcode in the image.

Imagine you have taken hundreds of photos in the field - each one containing a barcode that identifies the plant in the photo. Usually, you would have to sit down and rename them individually. Humbug can do the work for you. It searches the image for a barcode and, if found, automatically renames the image based on the barcode so you don't have to spend hours of your valuable time.


Humbug has been developed by the Information & Computational Sciences Group at the James Hutton Institute.

Sebastian Raubach
Sebastian Raubach

Bioinformatics Software Developer

Paul Shaw
Paul Shaw



The map below shows where in the world users have been running Humbug.

Map data is updated once every 24 hours. We use the geolocation service at ipstack.com to map IP addresses to cities. It’s not always accurate, but we think it gives a fairly good overview.


Any questions? Please get in touch!

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Download Humbug for Windows, Linux and Mac.