What is a barcode?
A barcode is a graphic representation of data. What does that mean? It’s just turning a number (like 123456) into an image.
You can read a barcode label using a barcode scanner. The data from the barcode is instantly sent to your open PC application, so data is always error-free and doesn’t have to be typed manually.
Barcodes are used in applications like document tracking, shipping and receiving, inventory control, IT asset tracking and fixed asset tracking.
Barcodes can be linear (1D) or 2D. Linear barcodes are perfect for storing 12 or fewer characters. Use a 2D barcode if you need to store more information than this – like an address, prescription, or flight information.
You can store more data in the 2D barcode,
without taking up more space.
Choosing a Barcode Symbology
The symbology of a barcode is the way the lines and spaces are patterned together. If your business is new to barcoding, we recommend using Code 128. Our free barcode generator offers the following linear symbologies:
Code 3 of 9 Full ASCII (Also called Code 39)
This barcode can be used to store any of the 128 Full ASCII alphanumeric characters, including upper and lower case letters A-Z, numbers 0-9, and punctuation.
Code 3 of 9 Standard (Also called Code 39)
Code 39 Standard is the most commonly used barcode. Use Code 39 to store any of the 43 standard alphanumeric characters, including capital letters A-Z, numbers 0-9, and some punctuation.
Code 128 is the most easily read barcode and can be used to store any alphanumeric characters. If you are considering using barcodes in your company, Code 128 is a good choice.
Interleave 2 of 5
This barcode can only contain numeric information, and is typically used in industrial and master carton labeling.
Codabar is often used in libraries and blood banks.
Code 93 is similar to Code 39, but allows you to store more characters per inch.
This barcode can only store numeric information, and is commonly used in warehousing and inventory control.
UPC-A is a 12-digit fixed-length barcode. This is the most commonly used barcode in retail product labeling. The first 6 digits are unique to your business, and must be assigned to you by GS1 US.
UPC-E is a 6-digit fixed-length barcode. This barcode is a compressed code that is used to mark small packages and paperback books and magazines in retail.
EAN/JAN-13 can only store 12, 14 or 17 characters. The barcode is similar to UPC-A, but allows you to include the first two digits of a country code.
EAN/JAN-8 requires the use of 7, 9 or 12 characters. EAN/JAN-8 is similar to the UPC-E, but also allows you to store the first two digits of a country code.
US Postal Code
The US Postal Code barcode is also called POSTNET, and is used by the US Postal service for mail delivery.
USING QR CODES
If you would like to create a 2D QR code to link customers, prospects and friends to your website, blog, or social media property, try the Wasp QR Code Generator.
For additional information about barcodes, go to:
Barcode: The Ultimate Guide to Barcodes