What is a PDF417 barcode generator

Barcode types: an overview

Barcodes have been around for over 50 years and there is no end in sight. Back then, the codes were made by using UPC- and EANCodes on products have gained in importance and thus, for example, accelerated customer processing at supermarket checkouts many times over. Many different types of barcodes have been developed since then.

One-dimensional (1D) or linear barcodes

1D barcodes are one of the most common types of barcodes. You will therefore often come across them in everyday life. For example, 1D barcodes are generally used for every product that you buy in the form of a UPC (Universal Product Code) or EAN (European Article Numbering).

One-dimensional barcodes can only contain a very limited amount of data. Since they can be recognized with frequently used optical laser scanners, they are still widespread. But that is quickly changing with mobile scanning solutions that can read many types of barcodes with an SDK in every app.

Code 25

  • Type: Lines with two different weights
  • Max. Numeric characters: Variable
  • Max. Alphanumeric characters: Not available
  • Application: Industrial
  • ISO / IEC certificate: ISO / IEC 16390

Code 128

  • Type: Lines with many different weights
  • Max. Numeric characters: Variable
  • Max. Alphanumeric characters: Variable
  • Application: Very common. Especially when identifying products (EAN)
  • ISO / IEC certificate: ISO / IEC 15417

GS-1

The GS-1 barcode is derived from the Code 128 barcode. It is particularly widespread in industry, as it was defined and introduced here as a new standard. This code can be used to encode frequently used data together with an identifier. Examples include expiration dates, batch numbers, or serial numbers. The identifier tells you which data is following and it is even possible to concatenate several types of data.

Two-dimensional (2D) barcodes or matrix codes

Two-dimensional barcodes consist of a grid of "pixels", each of which can have an on (black) or off (white) state. These pixels usually have a fixed width and height. A visual anchor called a marker or symbol makes it easier for readers to find the code. You probably know the squares in the corners of a QR code. However, there are many more patterns in this type of barcode, such as the centered squares of the Aztec code or black edges of the Data Matrix code.

PDF417

  • Type: Stacked lines with many different weights
  • Max. Numeric characters: Variable
  • Max. Alphanumeric characters: Variable
  • Application: logistics, tickets, visas, ID cards
  • ISO / IEC certificate: ISO / IEC 15438

📌 Learn more about the PDF417 barcode.

Data matrix

  • Type: Pixel matrix with an L-shaped border as a marker
  • Max numeric characters: 2335
  • Max. Alphanumeric characters: 3116
  • Application: industrial, healthcare
  • ISO / IEC certificate: ISO / IEC 16022

📌 Learn more about the Data Matrix Code.

QR code

  • Type: Pixel matrix with markers in the corners
  • Max. Numeric characters: 7089
  • Max. Alphanumeric characters: 4296
  • Application: Marketing
  • ISO / IEC certificate: ISO / IEC 18004

Aztec code

  • Type: Pixel matrix with a marker in the center
  • Max. Numeric characters: 3832
  • Max. Alphanumeric characters: 3067
  • Application: transportation, healthcare, logistics
  • ISO / IEC certificate: ISO / IEC 24778

Other types of 2D barcodes

Other 2D barcodes use dots or colored triangles to be more efficient. However, these standards are not very common. Therefore, the industry mainly focuses on the above 3 types of two-dimensional barcodes.

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