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Barcode Types and Uses

When customers order tags, most of the time they don’t care what type of barcode they use – it just has to work. In most cases, your barcode scanner will likely support any 1D barcode. So why should you choose one barcode symbology over another?

We choose to use Code 39 (sometimes called Code 3 of 9) and Code 128 for our customers for one reason. If a customer ever wants to print their own barcodes for any purpose, they can using freely available barcode fonts:

This way the barcodes they print will match the rugged labels on the products. But we will print any barcode on our labels and badges as required by the end user.  So for those of you out there interested in what the differences are between some of the barcodes, here is a table with an overview of the different types of 1D and 2D barcode types and their uses.

1D Barcode TypeDetailsImage
1D Barcode TypeDetailsImage
Channel CodeDesigned for strings of 2 to 7 digits.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567
CodabarLibraries, blood blanks, and airbills.
Alphabet.
Test Data: ABCDABCDABCD
Code 11Telephones.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567
Code 128
(ISO 15417)
Used worldwide for packing and shipping.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
Code 16kHealth care industry.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
Code 2 of 5
Data Logic
Product packaging and commercial film.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567
Code 39
(ISO 16388)
Name badges, inventory, and industrial applications.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
Code 39
Extended
Name badges, inventory, and industrial applications.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
Code 49Created at Intermec, now public domain.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
Code 93Higher density and data security than Code 39. Used mostly by the Canada Post.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
DatabarGlobal supply chain industry.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567890
Databar
Stacked
Global supply chain industry.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567890
EAN-14Traded goods.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567890
ITF-14Non-retail packaging.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567890
ISBNBooks.
Numeric.
Test Data: 123456789
MSI PlesseyUsed for inventory and warehouse shelves.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567890
PLANETUnited States Postal Service.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567890
PostnetUnited States Postal Service.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567890
UPC-ARetail product marking in USA and Canada.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567890
UPC-ERetail product marking in USA and Canada. Compressed code for labels with limited space.
Numeric.
Test Data: 1234567
USPS
Intelligent Mail
United Stated Postal Service barcode, which replaced Postnet and PLANET.
Numeric.
Test Data: 12345678901234567890
2D Barcode TypeDetailsImage
2D Barcode TypeDetailsImage
Aztec Code (ISO 24778)Transportation ticketing.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
Code OneUsed in health care industry fir medicine labels and recycling industry to encode container connect for sorting.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
Data Matrix (ISO 16022)For marking ultra-small items.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
Grid MatrixStandard for electronic industry.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
Maxicode (ISO 16023)Used by United Parcel Service.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
MicroPDF417 (ISO 24728)For codes too small to be used in PDF417.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
Micro QR CodeSmaller version of the QR code.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
PDF-417 (ISO 15438)Transport, identification cards, and inventory management.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345
QR Code (ISO 18004)Consumer advertising and packaging, can be scanned with a mobile phone.
Alphanumeric.
Test Data: ABCDE12345

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    Phone: 858-627-9700
    Fax: 858-627-9702
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    9123 Chesapeake Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92123
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    sales@telaeris.com