|Codabar format is commonly used in
libraries, blood banks, and the air parcel business. The variable-length
format allows encoding of the following 20 characters: 0123456789-$:/.+ABCD.
The start and stop characters of a Codabar message must be A,
B, C, or D.
|Code 25, also known as "Code
2 of 5," is a discrete, variable-length numeric code format.
Code 25 format consists of two thick bars in a total of five
bars for each encoded character. It is used primarily for inventory
handling, identification of photo-finishing envelopes, airline
ticketing, and baggage and cargo handling.
|Code 39, also
known as "Code 3 of 9," is the most popular format
used in the nonretail market for inventory and tracking. The
format consists of three thick elementsbars or spacesin a total
of nine elements for each encoded character. This bar code is
used extensively in manufacturing, military, and health applications.
The discrete, variable-length format will accept the following
The asterisk (*) is used as the start/stop character and cannot
be used in the body of the bar code.
You can also add a check digit that helps to ensure the security
of the bar code. Code 39 supports Modulo 43 and xxx-nnnnnnn-c
check digit formats used by US Customs for import/export shipping.
| Code 128 is a
variable-length, high-density, alphanumeric format that is used
in the shipping and labeling industry. This code has 106 bar
and space patterns. Each pattern can have one of three meanings,
depending on which of the three character sets is employed.
One character set encodes all uppercase and ASCII control characters;
another encodes all uppercase and lowercase characters; and
the third set encodes the numeric digit pairs 00 through 99.
The character set used is determined by the start character.
Code 128 also lets you encode the following four function codes:
FNC1reserved for use in European Article Numbering (EAN)
FNC2used to instruct a bar code reader to link together the
message in a bar code symbol with the message in the text symbol
FNC3used to instruct a bar code reader to perform a reset
FNC4used in closed system applications
A variation of Code 128 format is EAN-128. This symbol uses
the same code set as Code 128; however the function codes FNC2
to FNC4 cannot be used, and FNC1 is used as part of the start
code. An advanced option of Code 128 in Barcode wizard lets
you enable or disable the EAN-128 format. Cod 128 is fully supported
in ASCII text.
|The European Article
Numbering (EAN) system is the European version of the Universal
Product Code (UPC). This code is now called the International
Article Number; however, the EAN abbreviation remains. EAN codes
are found on European retail items.
EAN-8 encodes eight numbers, consisting of two country-code
digits, five data digits, and one check digit. In Barcode wizard,
you must enter seven digits, and the eighth digitor the check
is automatically generated.
An optional two- or five-digit number can be added to the main
bar code. This number is designed for use on publications and
periodicals, and appears as an additional bar code to the right
of the main bar code.
EAN-13 is the
European version of the Universal Product Code (UPC (A)).
The difference between EAN-13 and UPC (A) is that EAN-13 encodes
a 13th number into the left six number of a UPC (A) symbol.
The 13th number, combined with the 12th number, represents
a country code.
An optional two- or five-digit number may be added to the
main bar code. This number is designed for use on publications
and periodicals and appears as an additional bar code to the
right of the main bar code.
ISBN (International Standard Book Number) codes are printed
on books. This format is not a separate bar code type. ISBN
codes have a specific structure and are encoded using EAN-13
bar codes. The bar code is formed by a fixed three-digit country
code of 978, followed by the 10-digit ISBN number. The 10th
digitor the check digitis discarded. Enter the digits using
the x-xxxx-xxxx format. ISBN codes must be numeric.
|UPC (Universal Product Code)
symbols are used for retail applications in the United States
and Canada. UPC(A) is a 12-digit format. The symbol consists
of 11 digits of data and one check digit. The first digit usually
represents the type of product being identified. The following
five digits are a manufacturer's code, and the next five digits
are used to identify a specific product. UPC(A) codes must be
Like UPC(A), UPC(E) is used for retail applications; however,
since the bar code is smaller, it is better suited to smaller
items. This format is also called "zero-suppressed,"
because UPC(E) compresses a 12-digit UPC(A) code into a six-digit
code. UPC(E) suppresses the number-system digit, trailing digits
in the manufacturer's code, and leading zeros in the product
identification part of the code.
An optional two or five-digit number may be added to the main
UPC(A) or UPC(E) bar code. This number is designed for use on
publications and periodicals, and appears as an additional bar
code to the right of the main bar code. UPC(E) codes must be
|PDF417 is a high-capacity
two dimensional bar code developed by Symbol Technologies, Inc.
A PDF417 symbol can hold approximately 2000 characters of information,
whereas a traditional linear bar code has difficulty holding
more than 30 characters.
PDF417 symbols are constructed from 4 bars and 4 spaces over
17 modules. The symbol size is from 3 to 90 rows. There is no
specified minimum or maximum for X or Y dimension. With at least
the recommended minimum level of error correction, the recommended
Y dimension is 3X. With less than the minimum recommended level
of error correction, the recommended Y dimension is 4X. A quiet
zone of 2X is specified on each side of a symbol. Because of
delta decode techniques the symbology is immune from uniform
bar width growth.
The key characteristic of PDF417 is its large information capacity.
This also explains its name. "PDF" stands for Portable
Data File. PDF417 is designed with enough capacity to contain
an entire data file of information. With traditional linear
bar codes, the bar code contains only a key or "license
plate". The bar code is read to extract the key, and the
key is used to look up the information about the object which
has been marked. For example, you read the bar code on a can
of peas, get a product number, and use this to look up the needed
information, such as price and weight, in a database.
With PDF417, no external database access is needed, because
the PDF417 symbol can hold all the information needed an entire
portable data file. A box can be labeled, for example, with
a single symbol detailing all the individual items in the box.
PDF417 is used today in a wide variety of applications, including
logistics & transportation, retailing, healthcare, government,
identification, and manufacturing.
|MaxiCode is an
error correcting two-dimensional matrix symbol developed by
UPS. It is designed specifically for sortation and tracking
applications. MaxiCode symbols are constructed of codewords
represented by 6 elements that are hexagonal in shape. Generally
the 6 elements are arranged in three rows of two elements. Each
MaxiCode symbol is of a fixed size, having 866 hexagonal elements
arranged in 33 rows around a central finder pattern. Each row
has a maximum of 30 elements. Each MaxiCode symbol including
quiet zones shall be 32X wide by 35Y. Each element is a hexagon
measuring 0.035 inch (0.89 mm) vertically and 0.040 inch (1.02
mm). The size of a MaxiCode symbol is 1.1 inch (28.14 mm) by
1.05 inch (26.65 mm). A quiet zone of 1 X/Y is specified on
each side of a symbol or isolated packet.