What are the different types of barcodes?

The first barcode system was developed back in 1951 and was based on Morse code. Since this time billions of barcodes have been used, and there have been a variety of advancements to the system as a whole. Understanding the different types of barcodes that are available will allow businesses to choose the ones that will provide the features that are needed. This page contains the most popular barcode systems that are available today.

Code 39 Barcodes

The Code 39 barcodes are often used in healthcare, electronics, and government environments. The barcode is quite basic in how it functions, and contains the entire 128 ASCII character set. This type of barcode can be as long as needed to contain all the information that is desired. Of course, the more information that is needed in one code, the longer the label will have to be, so there is a practical limit.

Code 128 Barcodes

The Code 128 is a step up from the Code 39 option, and includes some additional characters. It also offers an option for automatic switching so those who use this option can adjust the barcode length. This type of barcode can be used in many different situations where additional information is needed in the code.

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Interleaved 2 of 5 Barcodes

In this type of system uses numbers only in the barcode. Every two digits are combined to create a single symbol. This makes it so the number of digits for the barcode must be even, which is why a zero is seen at the beginning of the number in many cases. Interleaved 2 of 5 is most commonly used in manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution centers.

Quick Response (QR) Codes

While this option is not typically called a barcode, QR codes the same base concepts and is used in the same way as barcodes. QR codes are designed to fit in a square and contain a variety of dots and designs that can be scanned. This option can contain URLs and other data, which makes it a very popular option in marketing and other areas of use.


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