Transcription,, Inc.and Benjamin Johnson,Technical Support &DevelopmentBARCODE EDUCATIONALGUIDEThe Barcode Educational Guide provides an introduction to IDAutomation Barcode Products, barcodesymbologies, and symbology standards.

ContentsWhat products do we offer? . 2How do barcodes work? . 3Barcode Applications . 4Barcode, OCR, MICR, and Security Fonts. 6Barcode Components . 8Barcode Symbologies . 9Barcode Standards . 10Linear Barcodes . 11Code 39 . 11Code 128 . 12Interleaved 2 of 5 . 12UPCa, UPCe, EAN8, EAN13 . 13Databar . 13Postnet . 13Intelligent Mail . 14Linear Barcode Facts . 14Two Dimensional Barcodes (2D) . 15Data Matrix. 15QR Code . 16Aztec . 16PDF417 . 16Maxicode . 17Facts About 2D Barcodes ., Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development1

What products do we offer? IDAutomation provides automation components to generate barcodes including:Barcode Applications (stand-alone applications: Image Generator and Label Software Application)Fonts (Barcode, MICR, OCR, and Security Fonts similar to Times New Roman, Arial, and Courier New)Barcode Components (ActiveX Controls, and other Development Components –Java, .NET DLLs)Please view the Barcoding for Beginners video: CJW5D5SDAgw IDAutomation provides hardware including: Barcode Scanners and Printers.We are a reseller of most scanners and printers. However, our in-house hardware includes:SC5USBD (USB Wired Scanner compatible with Windows, Linux, UNIX, Mac)SC5USBW (Wireless Scanner with USB Cradle connection compatible with Windows, Linux, UNIX, Mac)SC7USB 2D (USB Wired 2D Scanner)The above scanners are privately labeled to us by Argox, the one below is from Cipher:SC1500 (USB Wired Scanner compatible with Windows, Linux, UNIX, Mac)Some of the vendors that we work with include: Datamax, Honeywell, Symbol Technologies, Metrologic,Zebra, and Intermec. The full list of vendors. As a reseller, IDAutomation provides Inventory Tracking and Point of Sales solutions including:Red Beam Inventory Tracking, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development2

How do barcodes work?A barcode is designed to eliminate manual entry and error. Imagine an employee working in a dataentry facility that manually enters (keyboard entry) customer ID numbers from an ID card into adatabase search to pull up customer information. Manually entering hundreds of ID numbers could takea tremendous amount of time and may even cause entry errors.In this situation, a barcode can be used. The user can generate barcodes of all customer ID numbers andprint the information on the ID card, then use a scanner to scan the barcode and quickly process theinformation as if it were being typed into the database search.To generate the barcode, use a barcode font, component, or application.To scan the barcode, use a hand held or software barcode scanner.Once the barcode is created, connect the scanner to the computer or device, open an application (texteditor or browser) and scan the barcode. The data will appear where the cursor resides. The process isvery similar to using a keyboard to manually enter information into a text area.A question asked by many users that create and scan barcodes is, “How does the scanner know when tobegin and end a barcode scan?” There are special characters designated as start/stop characters thatappear at the beginning and end of a barcode. It informs the barcode scanner when to begin and end ascan.In the case of the database entry search, the scanner simply places the data into a particular field that isused for a search. The application handles the data it, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development3

Barcode ApplicationsBarcode Applications are barcode products that may be used to generate barcode images (JPEG, BMP,GIF, etc). The applications are stand-alone products that are more user-friendly than Fonts andComponents. IDAutomation sells two popular barcoding applications and is a reseller of another.The Barcode Label SoftwareThe Barcode Label Software is a barcode label printing software with a user-friendly label designinterface. This product includes three versions: Free Version, Standard Version and Pro Version (whichgenerates 2D barcodes and connects to advanced database systems). The software can generatebarcode labels based on data directly entered into the software (as embedded data) or link data fromother sources (external data), such as an Excel spreadsheet, CSV file, or database table.Predefined labels can be selected or custom labels can be created.Labels can be printed to thermal and laser printers.Compatible with Windows only.Further Reference:Product PageUser ManualIDAutomation is also a reseller of Niceware’s NiceLabel Software. It is very similar to our Barcode LabelSoftware but has a few more features, including RFID. It is supported by Niceware, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development4

The Barcode Image GeneratorThe IDAutomation Barcode Image Generator is a barcode image generation application that createsbarcodes one at a time or many at a time using the user interface or command line. It supports JPEG,EPS, TIFF, PNG, BMP, WMF and 1 bit per pixel monochrome bitmap image formats. It is one of theeasiest products to use. Barcode data, type, height, color, margins and width can be modified.Compatible with Windows and Mac.The software can import TEXT files to generate multiple barcodes.Supports several barcodes types: Linear and 2D barcodes.Further Reference:Product PageUser, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development5

Barcode, OCR, MICR, and Security FontsBarcode fonts are font files that create barcodes—this is the most popular method for creatingbarcodes.OCR program fonts are used for several purposes where automated systems need a standard charactershape defined to properly read text without the use of barcodes. Some examples of OCR program fontimplementations include bank checks, passports, serial labels and postal mail.Security fonts are used to print secure text, names and currency amounts on highly secure documents,such as a bank check, in a manner that cannot be easily altered and may prevent forgery.MICR E13B and MICR CMC7 fonts are special font that is used on bank checks and drafts to printcharacters for magnetic recognition and optical character recognition systems.About Barcode FontsOf the four font types available by IDAutomation, barcode fonts are the most complex. Unlike fonts suchas Times New Roman, Arial, MICR, and Courier New, barcode fonts require an extra step to ensure thatthe created barcode is scannable.In order to create a scannable barcode, the data must pass through a calculation tool known as a fontencoder (font tool). The font tool produces an output that includes start/stop characters, guard bars (forUPC and EAN), check digit, and encoded data. Start/Stop characters identify the beginning and end of abarcode. Check Digits ensure that the barcode is properly created. Encoded data is data in the form thatonly barcode fonts can understand.Imagine that you need to bake a cake for your cousin's birthday party.You (Barcode Creator)Think of your data as the cake mix, the font tool as the cooking tools (spoon, bowl, and oven), and thebarcode font as the icing for the, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development6

DataThe Font Tool /Font EncoderThe cake mix (data) must be mixed and baked (passed through the font tool) using the tools and oven.Once the cake has baked (encoded data), the last step is to apply the icing (barcode font).Encoded DataScannable BarcodeHere is another example:Further Reference:Barcode FontsFont, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development7

Barcode ComponentsBarcode Components are products that integrate into applications and development environments togenerate barcodes as images. For example, the Barcode Image Generator and Barcode Label Softwareare built by using the IDAutomation .NET Forms Control (integrated into the applications).These products are the most complex to use and are generally recommended for Developers that wantto integrate barcodes into their applications (custom applications). Components are in the form of DLLs,class files, and other component files.Barcode Components include Web, Application and Native Generator products: .NET Forms Control (used in Visual Studio .NET)ActiveX ControlReporting Services CRI (used in SSRS)ASP Server Component for IISJava ComponentASP.NET Server Control (for Web Development)Hosted Service (IDAutomation provides service to host barcode on Web Server)Native GeneratorsAbout Native Generators:Developed by, Inc., Native Generators are components that generate barcodeswithout using barcode fonts, DLLs, or plug-ins. It is code that builds the barcode using Unicode andsystem fonts. Native Generator products have been developed for Crystal Reports, Javascript, OracleReports, Access, FileMaker, Google Docs, PHP, ASP and, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development8

Barcode SymbologiesA symbology/barcode type is a protocol for arranging the bars and spaces that make up a particular kindof barcode. IDAutomation offers several symbologies as fonts, applications, and components. There aretwo major symbology types: Linear Barcodes (1D)Two-Dimensional Barcodes (2D).LinearBarcodes representing data in the widths (lines) and the spacing of parallel lines such as Code128, Code39, and UPC, are referred to as Linear or 1D (one-dimensional) barcode symbologies.Í,BXLÎ !Code 39!V(b23456*RSTKLm(WHolds less than 85 characters (symbology specific character limit)A majority of customers are set up to use Linear barcodes (Linear scanner).Creates a wide barcode.2DTwo-dimensional (2D) barcodes such as Data Matrix, PDF417, and QR Code, may have patterns ofsquares, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns. While maintaining a fairly small size, thesebarcode types hold much more data than Linear barcodes. 2D barcodes can hold hundreds ofcharacters. Can hold hundreds of charactersRequires a 2D barcode scannerWith the same data, creates a smaller barcode than, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development9

Barcode StandardsThe type of barcode that should be used may depend on several variables, including: Standards and mandates Purpose and use Data encoded Printing and/or decoding methodsThere are several types of barcode standards for different purposes. Each type of symbology (orbarcode type) is a standard that defines the printed symbol and how a device, such as a barcodescanner, reads and decodes the printed symbol.If an industry standard has already been established for the intended implementation, thestandard should be implemented. For example, the distribution industry requires companies toplace a UPC barcode on products that they distribute.V(b23456*RSTKLm(WIf a standard does not exist for the chosen implementation, several symbologies are available tochoose from. For example, if a warehouse employee wants to keep track of items in awarehouse using barcodes, he/she may not be required to select a particular barcode type orbarcode standard.Industry standards are usually established when multiple parties or companies are involved inthe ID process. The standard is not necessarily the same as the barcode symbology. Barcodestandards define how to use the barcode symbology in a particular situation. For example, thetwo standards to create ISBN barcodes for books and generate ISSN barcodes for periodicalsboth use EAN-13 to encode data into the barcode, but have different methods depending on thespecific ISBN & ISSN dard), Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development10

Linear BarcodesUntil recently, with the increased popularity of the 2D barcode QR Code, many people were only awareof Linear barcodes—identified by its vertical lines. Linear barcodes are very common and are used forseveral purposes in many industries. In this section, we will define and explain several of the mostpopular Linear barcode types including: Code 39 (Code 3 of 9)Code 128Interleaved 2 of 5 (I2 of 5)UPCa and UPCeEAN8 and EAN13DatabarPostnetIntelligent MailCode 39Code 39 (also known as the 3 of 9 Barcode, Code 3 of 9 and Barcode39) is a common barcode type usedfor various labels, such as name badges, inventory and industrial applications. The symbology of theCode 39 character set consists of barcode symbols representing numbers 0-9, upper-case letters A-Z, thespace character and the following symbols: - . / %. There is an Extended Code 39 that encodes lowercase characters.PRESS PASSJohn Smith*1346780*The Code 39 barcode is the easiest of the alpha-numeric barcodes to use and is designed for characterself-checking, thus eliminating the need for check character calculations. A check character is acharacter that is added to the end of a block of transmitted data and used to check the accuracy of thetransmission.Further Reference:Code 39, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development11

Code 128ⶸ ⴑⶺThe Code 128 barcode is a high-density Linear symbology that encodes text, numbers, numerousfunctions and the entire 128 ASCII character set (from ASCII 0 to ASCII 128.) It is commonly used forseveral implementations; and is also referred to as ISBT-128, GS1-128, UCC-128, EAN-128 and USS Code128 (barcodes standards for Code 128).It has three major character sets: Code 128 A, Code 128 B, and Code 128 C. A fourth set, Code 128 Auto,is the most efficient and uses a combination of A, B, and C. Set A encodes numbers 0-9, uppercase A-Z, and control characters, and special characters.Set B encodes numbers 0-9, uppercase A-Z, lowercase a-z, and special characters.Set C encodes numeric data.Further Reference:Code 128 FAQInterleaved 2 of 5Ë-CYoÌInterleaved 2 of 5 (ITF) is a numeric barcode used for encoding number pairs in a high-density barcodeformat. Interleaved 2 of 5 is designed for character self-checking, which eliminates the requirement forchecksum characters; although checksum characters are required by some ITF specifications becausethey do maximize data integrity. ITF barcodes always contain an even number of digits, because a singleITF barcode character represents two numbers to achiever a higher density than other barcode types.The ITF barcode character set consists of barcode symbols representing double-digit characters 00 to 99in addition to start and stop characters. The complete printed ITF barcode contains a leading quiet zone,a start pattern, Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode representing encoded data, a stop pattern and a trailing quietzone which should be 10 times the width of the short bar, according to ANSI specifications.Further Reference:Common Question regarding Interleaved 2 of 5I 2of 5, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development12

UPCa, UPCe, EAN8, EAN13V(b23456*RSTKLm(WUPC and EAN barcodes have been in use since the 1970s to encode Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN),which uniquely identify a product for retail checkout or tracking purposes. UPC, UCC, EAN, JAN, GTIN-8,GTIN-12 and GTIN-13, ISBN and Bookland barcodes are all created from the same symbology type,commonly known as the UPC/EAN barcode.UPC and EAN barcodes appear on distributable items such as canned goods, magazines, books, andother products. A more advanced barcode type, Databar, has replaced UPC/EAN.Further Reference:UPC/EAN c3c1a1mjmak mlk momnknknkmon ljlk k mnkn kjln a2a1a1The GS1 DataBar barcode symbology is the latest barcode type for space-constrained identification fromGS1, formerly EAN International and the Uniform Code Council, Inc. DataBar barcodes have been utilizedto solve many problems in POS, grocery and healthcare, where items are too small to allow fortraditional barcode types, or where additional information needs to be encoded, such as productweight, expiration dates, country of origin or serial numbers. DataBar is also the only barcodesymbology approved by GS1 to encode GTIN-14 numbers in all retail checkout systems.Further Reference:Databar FAQPostnet(3360933148)The POSTNET (Postal Numeric Encoding Technique) barcode type was developed by the U. S. Post Officeto encode zip code information. POSTNET barcodes on U.S. mail improve the speed, accuracy anddelivery of mail. Some U.S. Post Offices also offer a discount for sending bulk mail that contains thePOSTNET barcode.Further Reference:USPS Postal, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development13

Intelligent sppqrrsrsqpqpqsrpqqUSPS Intelligent Mail (Aka: OneCode, the 4-State Customer Barcode, 4CB and USPS4CB) includes aheight-modulated barcode designed for use in high speed, automated, mail sorting machines that allowboth PLANET and POSTNET barcode information to be combined into a single barcode to track mailings,request address-quality services (including updated address-change information) and return-mailservice.Further Reference:Intelligent Mail FAQLinear Barcode Facts Linear Barcodes use start and stop characters to determine the beginning and end of barcodes.Linear Barcode cannot hold/encode an enormous amount of data.Linear Barcode Scanners are less expensive than 2D Barcode Scanners.Linear Barcodes may require a check character calculation.Code 128 and Code 39 are very popular Linear barcodes types.Code 128, Code 39, and Code 93 can encode alphanumeric data.Code 39, Interleaved 2 of 5, and Postnet do not require check digits.Planet is a Postal barcode type that is the reverse bar height of Postnet.UPCe encodes eleven digits and produces an eight character barcode.UPCa encodes eleven digits and produces a twelve character barcode.SSCC18, SCC14, Intelligent Mail Container are standards of Code 128.Interleaved 2 of 5 and Code 128 C encode numeric data in pairs.Databar has several subsets including: Limited, Expanded, and, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development14

Two Dimensional Barcodes (2D)Two-Dimensional Barcodes have been around a long time. However, the general public has recentlybecome aware of them due to the rise of smart phones and mobile devices that scan the popular, QRCode. 2D barcodes are identified by their square or rectangle shape. Some of the most well-known 2Dbarcodes include: Data MatrixQR CodeAztecPDF417MaxicodeData MatrixAIHLCMHIBKAEONHBBIIKDDLDDLLDLLData Matrix is a very efficient, two-dimensional (2D) barcode symbology that uses a small area of squaremodules with a unique perimeter pattern, which helps the barcode scanner determine cell locations anddecode the symbol. Characters, numbers, text and actual bytes of data may be encoded, includingUnicode characters and photos.The encoding and decoding process of Data Matrix is very complex. Several methods have been used forerror correction in the past. All current implementations have been standardized on the ECC200 errorcorrection method, which is approved by ANSI/AIM BC11 and the ISO/IEC 16022 specification.IDAutomation 2D Data Matrix barcode products all support ECC200 by default and are based on theANSI/AIM BC11 and the ISO/IEC 16022 specifications. The Reed-Solomon error correction algorithms ofECC200 allow the recognition of barcodes that are up to 60% damaged.Error Correction allows the barcode to sustain damage and can without error.Further Reference:Data Matrix, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development15

QR FGBAPKFDGHHHHHHHPHHPPPHPHHHHPPQR Code is a very efficient, two-dimensional (2D) barcode symbology that uses a small area of squaremodules with a unique perimeter pattern, which helps the barcode scanner determine cell locations anddecode the QR Code symbol. Characters, numbers, text and actual bytes of data may be encoded,including Unicode characters and images. IDAutomation's implementation of QR Code is based on theISO/IEC 18004:2006 standard.QR Codes are commonly used with smart-phone devices, such as the iPhone, Blackberry, Android andWindows 7 Phones to direct users to additional information about a particular topic.Further Reference:QR-Code OFKHDPNBFFPFDFNPNHAztec barcodes are very efficient two-dimensional (2D) symbologies that use square modules with aunique finder pattern in the middle of the symbol, which helps the barcode scanner to determine celllocations to decode the symbol. Characters, numbers, text and bytes of data may be encoded in anAztec barcode. The IDAutomation implementation of the Aztec barcode symbol is based on the ISOstandard version released into the public domain by its inventor, Honeywell.Further Reference:Aztec he PDF417 barcode is a two-dimensional (2D), high-density symbology capable of encoding text,numbers, files and actual data bytes. Large amounts of text and data can be stored securely andinexpensively when using the PDF417 barcode, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development16

The printed symbol consists of several Linear rows of stacked codewords. Each codeword represents 1of 929 possible values from one of three different clusters. A different cluster is chosen for each row,repeating after every three rows. Because the codewords in each cluster are unique, the scanner is ableto determine what line each cluster is from. PDF417 uses Reed Solomon error correction instead ofcheck digits. This error correction allows the symbol to endure some damage without causing loss ofdata.Further Reference:PDF417 TNT0SNOSSP0634773243362200316743734256340Maxicode is an international 2D (two-dimensional) barcode that is currently used by UPS on shippinglabels for world-wide addressing and package sortation. Maxicode symbols are fixed in size and aremade up of offset rows of hexagonal modules arranged around a unique finder pattern. Maxicodeincludes error correction, which enables the symbol to be decoded when it is slightly damaged.Maxicode symbols encode two messages; a primary message and a secondary message. The primarymessage usually encodes the postal code, country code and the class of service number. The secondarymessage usually encodes address data, but can encode other types of information as well.Further Reference:Maxicode FAQFacts About 2D Barcodes The Department of Defense uses Data Matrix Barcodes.UPS uses Maxicode barcodes.2D Barcodes can encode hundreds of characters.2D Barcodes require a 2D scanner to scan them.With the same data, 2D Barcodes, compared to Linear barcodes, are smaller.Instead of check digits, 2D barcodes use Error Correction.MicroPDF417 and MacroPDF417 are symbologies derived from PDF417.Acuity CiMatrix / Siemens invented the Data Matrix ECC200 symbology and placed it in thepublic, Inc., Inc. and Benjamin Johnson, Technical Support& Development17

The Barcode Image Generator The IDAutomation Barcode Image Generator is a barcode image generation application that creates barcodes one at a time or many at a time using the user interface or command line. It supports JPEG, EPS, TIFF, PNG, BMP, WMF and 1 bit per pixel monochrome bitmap