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Specifications For Popular Bar Codes

This page lists links to detailed bar code specification information for the most popular barcode symbologies. If you have a code not listed here, e-mail the name to the webmaster. If you are looking for information about 2-D barcode, check out the 2-dimensional Bar Code Page.

Codabar

The barcode code is used by libraries, blood banks and air parcel express applications. Codabar is called NW-7 in Japan.

Information about Codabar is available at the following sites (these are direct links to the information):

You can purchase complete, official specifications from AIM Global, Inc

3D Barcode (Bumpy Barcode)

3D barcode really is a linear (1D) barcode that is embossed on a surface. The code is read by using differences in height, rather than contrast, to distinguish between bars and spaces. The code can be used where printed labels will not adhere, or will be otherwise destroyed by a hostile or abrasive environment. They can be painted or coated and still be read. They can be made a permanent feature of a part, making mislabeling impossible. For more information see the Mecco site or the TraceAbility Systems site.

Codablock

Codablock is one of a family of 2D codes called "stacked" barcodes. the codablock symbol is built up from a number of linear barcodes like Code 39.

See the 2-Dimensional Bar Code Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

Code 1 (also called Code One)

Code 1 was the first public domain 2D matrix barcode.

See the 2-Dimensional Bar Code Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

Code 16K

See the 2-Dimensional Bar Code Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

Code 11

You can find some information about Code 11 here. You can purchase complete, official specifications from AIM Global, Inc

Code 39

It was the first alphanumeric symbology. It is now the most commonly used symbology outside the retail industry (retail uses UPC).

See the Code 39 Specification Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

Code 49

See the 2-Dimensional Bar Code Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

Code 6

This is another name for Maxicode.

Code 93

You can find information at Barcode Island.

You can purchase complete, official specifications from AIM Global, Inc

Code 128

See the Code 128 Specification Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

UCC-128 (Uniform Code Council-128) is identical to Code 128 and is used in retail distribution applications for serialized carton tracking.

Data Matrix [Data Code]

Data Matrix is the most popular 2D code for marking small items. It was chosen by EIA for marking small electronic components like integrated circuits. It is used by the pharmaceutical industry for unit dose and product marking. Data Matrix is also used by the United States Postal Service for electronic stamps.

See the 2-Dimensional Bar Code Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

Dense Code

This is another name for Maxicode.

EAN

See the UPC/EAN Bar Code Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

ECC 200

This is the name of a formal specification for Data Matrix developed in 1996. It is the preferred standard for Data Matrix

See the 2-Dimensional Bar Code Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

Interleaved 2 of 5

The code is mainly used in the distribution industry for corrugated carton labeling.

See the Interleaved 2 of 5 Specification Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

MaxiCode

Maxicode was developed by the United Parcel Service for package tracking.

See the 2-Dimensional Bar Code Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

MSI Code

Another name for Plessey code.

NW-7 Code

NW-7 is the name for Codabar in Japan.

See the NW-7 Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

Pharmacode

A security verification system to insure that leaflet, label, container, carton, contents, and other packing materials match and are correct in Pharmaceutical packaging. The sponsor of the code is Laetus Systems. A pdf version of the specification can be found here.

Planet Code

PLANET Code was invented by Sprague Ackley in 1995 for the U.S. Postal Service. PLANET Code is a 3-of-5 variation of POSTNET capable of encoding alphanumeric fields and intended for respondee identification and other mail sorting and tracking uses.

Plessey Code

See the Plessey code specification on BarCode 1 for more information.

PDF417

See the 2-Dimensional Bar Code Page on BarCode 1 of more information.

Postnet [United States Postal Service Code]

You can find information about Postnet and Planet Code at the USPS web site.

Telepen

A history of Telepen can be found at the SB Electronics site.

UCC-128

UCC-128 (Uniform Code Council-128) is identical to Code 128 and is used in retail distribution applications for serialized carton tracking.

See the UCC-128 Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

UPC [Uniform Product Code]

See the UPC/EAN Bar Code Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

UPScode

This is another name for Maxicode.

Vericode

See the 2-Dimensional Bar Code Page on BarCode 1 for more information.

Other Related Specifications

You can purchase many bar code specifications at AIM Global, Inc

Health Industry bar code standards can be found at the HIBCC.


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