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Barcode Types

Explaining the Different Barcode types

Here’s a simple explanation of how barcodes work: Consider them a more technologically advanced method of transferring strings of characters. They are essentially license plates with data files attached to them. These character strings create their own language (symbology) and can be used to represent a wide range of data through a scanner to the computer. For standardizing the encoding and storage of these characters, each barcodes symbology follows an algorithm.

Using a Different Language: Barcode Symbologies vary in terms of capacity and linearity, making some more suitable for specific applications and industries. The advancement of barcode technology is unstoppable. For example, the recent boom in 2D barcoding has proven successful because it allows you to search directly from your smartphone and retrieve a wealth of information. Why not find out more about how barcodes will help you?

Code 128

This form of barcode is derived from the ASCII 128 character set (0-9, a-z, A -Z, and some special characters), is widely used in packaging and shipping applications around the world. Users can optimize Code 128 for barcode length by using its automatic switching setting.

Universal Product Codes (UPC)

These barcodes, which can be found on nearly every retail product, were originally designed for grocery stores to allow for quick receipt printing and inventory tracking. A producer will receive a specific company number to pair with their individual product numbers after obtaining a UPC number.

PDF417

Many forms of identification, including your driver’s license, use this stacked, linear 2D barcode. Because of its advanced capabilities, such as encoding links to multiple data files, it is also the preferred standard by the USPS and the Department of Homeland Security. It can, however, be quite large – four times larger than other 2D barcodes like Datamatrix and QR Codes.

Quick Response (QR) Codes

QR Codes, the most recent trend in barcoding, are becoming increasingly common as marketing tools for linking to web-based content. While they are not as lightweight as Data Matrix, they are often used on promotional materials and storefronts to lead to special promotions or product information.

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