Barcode Information & FAQ

Barcodes in General

Describes the most commonly used barcode types. Sample barcodes and application notes.

NEW Barcode Software Comparison Table.

NEW Barcode Cheatsheet - Annotated PDF with all common barcodes on a single page.

Linear and stacked barcodes

Code EAN 8
Code EAN 13
NEW Code EAN 13 SC Sizes
Code EAN 13 w/ Add-on
Code ISBN 10, ISBN 13
Code UPC-E
Code UPC-A
Code UPC-A w/ Add-on
Code PZN 7, PZN 8 (pharma code)
Code Laetus (pharma code)
Code 39
Code 39 Extended, Full ASCII
Code 128 A, B, C
Code 128 EAN / UCC / GS1
NEW Code ITF-14
NEW Code Databar GS1
NEW Anatomy of a Databar GS1 coupon barcode

2D and matrix codes

PDF417
Datamatrix
QR Quick Response ("cellphone barcode")
Aztec

Barcode Tutorials

Barcode Tutorial for Adobe Illustrator
Barcode Tutorial for Adobe Indesign (importing and placing individual, single barcodes)
NEW Barcode Tutorial for Adobe Indesign (data merging and importing multiple barcodes at once)

Barcodes for Developers

NEW Calculating EAN-8 / EAN-13 barcode check digit with C#
NEW Calculating EAN-8 / EAN-13 check sum with VB .NET
NEW Creating EAN-13 barcodes with C#, sample & tutorial
NEW Creating EAN-8 barcodes with C#, sample & tutorial
NEW Creating Code 128 barcodes with C#, sample & tutorial
NEW Creating QR barcodes with C#, sample & tutorial

Barcode FAQ

Barcodes in General

1. We are manufacturing a product (in the USA or Canada) and need a barcode for retail.
2. We are manufacturing a product (outside the USA or Canada) and need a barcode for retail.
3. We are manufacturing a product (in the USA or Canada) and need a barcode for retail abroad (e.g. Mexico).
4. We are manufacturing a product (outside the USA or Canada) and need a barcode for retail in the US or Canada.
5. Is it safe to buy a UPC / EAN number from one of those UPC / EAN Resellers?
6. Where can I lookup a barcode number? Can I search for products by EAN or UPC number?

Barcode Printing

1. What print quality / resolution is needed for barcode printing?
2. What's the easiest way to print barcodes in Microsoft Office?

Barcode Scanning

1. What type of barcode scanner is suited best for occasional or test scans?
2. Do I need special software to scan barcodes?
3. I'm using a PC (Windows or Linux). How do I connect a barcode scanner to my computer?
4. I'm using a Mac. How do I connect a barcode scanner to my computer?
5. I'm scanning a Code 39 barcode. Why are some characters swapped (e.g. Y and Z)?
6. I have chosen a barcode type for my application. Will all scanner models read it?
7. I have printed a Code 128 barcode but my scanner won't read it.
8. NEW How do I encode keyboard function keys into a barcode?

Barcode Symbologies

1. What type of barcode can I use to encode letters?
2. Obsolete
3. Can I use Code EAN for other purposes than retail?
4. Do you have a list of the Code 128 bitpattern?
5. How do I calculate a Code 128 checksum?
6. Do you have a list of the Code EAN bitpattern?
7. How do I calculate a Code EAN checksum?
8. Do you have a list of the Code 39 bitpattern?
9. How do I calculate a Code 39 check character?
10. NEW What type of barcode can I use to encode umlauts and accented characters?
11. NEW How do I put GS / RS / EOT Group Separators and Record Separators into a barcode?