Barcode Generator

Barcode: An Overview

Barcodes are a method of representing data in a visual, machine-readable form. Initially, barcodes represented data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines, but they have evolved to include patterns of dots, concentric circles, and hidden images. These are widely used in retail for product tracking, inventory management, and automated checkout systems.

Types of Barcode Formats

Barcodes come in various formats, each designed for different uses and industries. The most common types include:

  1. UPC (Universal Product Code):
    • Primarily used in retail, UPC codes are numeric barcodes with 12 digits.
    • They are ubiquitous in grocery stores and retail shops.
  2. EAN (European Article Number):
    • Similar to UPC, but typically 13 digits long.
    • Used widely in global retail.
  3. Code 128:
    • Highly versatile alphanumeric code capable of encoding all 128 characters of ASCII.
    • Common in shipping and packaging industries.
  4. QR Codes (Quick Response Codes):
    • Two-dimensional barcodes that can store a significant amount of data, including URLs.
    • Can be scanned using smartphones, making them popular for marketing and information sharing.
  5. Data Matrix:
    • Also a 2D barcode, used primarily for marking small items due to its small size.
    • Common in electronics and healthcare for tracking and verification.
  6. PDF417:
    • A stacked linear barcode symbol format used in a variety of applications, particularly transport, identification cards, and inventory management.
    • Can encode large amounts of data.
  7. Code 39:
    • An alphanumeric barcode that is widely used in the automotive industry and in the Department of Defense.
    • Known for its simplicity and ease of implementation.
  8. ITF (Interleaved 2 of 5):
    • A numeric-only barcode used for encoding numbers in the width of the bars and spaces.
    • Often used in warehousing and distribution.
  9. Aztec Code:
    • 2D barcode used in transportation tickets and identification labels.
    • Known for its compact size and robustness.
  10. MaxiCode:
    • Used primarily by the United Parcel Service for managing and tracking shipments.
    • A fixed-size matrix barcode that appears as a hexagon.


The variety of barcode formats and types reflects the diverse needs of different industries and applications. From simple retail requirements to complex industrial needs, barcodes have become an integral part of modern tracking, inventory management, and data encoding systems. Understanding these different barcode formats is crucial for selecting the right type for specific applications.