Types of Barcodes: An In-Depth Guide

Types of Barcodes: An In-Depth Guide

As technology continues to advance, barcodes have become an integral part of our daily lives. They are used in retail, inventory management, healthcare, and many other industries. In this guide, we will discuss the different types of barcodes and their uses.

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UPC (Universal Product Code) Barcodes

UPC barcodes are commonly used in retail and are found on most products sold in stores. They are a standardized barcode that identifies a product and its manufacturer. The UPC consists of 12 digits, with the first six digits representing the manufacturer and the next five digits representing the product.

EAN (European Article Number) Barcodes

EAN barcodes are similar to UPC barcodes and are used primarily in Europe. They consist of 13 digits, with the first three digits representing the country code, the next eight digits representing the manufacturer, and the final two digits representing the product.

Code 39

Code 39 is a commonly used barcode in non-retail settings. It can encode alphanumeric characters and is used for inventory management, track and trace, and other applications. Code 39 barcodes consist of a series of bars and spaces, with each character being represented by a different pattern.

Code 128 Barcodes

Code 128 is a more complex barcode that can encode all 128 ASCII characters. It is used for a variety of applications, including shipping labels, inventory management, and asset tracking. Code 128 barcodes can be variable in length and can be compressed to save space.

QR Code (Quick Response Code)

QR codes are a type of 2D barcode that can store much more information than traditional 1D barcodes. They are commonly used in marketing, advertising, and mobile applications. QR codes can be scanned with a smartphone camera and can contain text, URLs, and other types of data.

DataMatrix Barcodes

DataMatrix is another type of 2D barcode that is commonly used in healthcare and other industries where space is limited. They are square-shaped barcodes that can store large amounts of data in a small space. DataMatrix barcodes are commonly used to track medical devices, drugs, and other healthcare-related items.


In conclusion, barcodes are an essential part of modern technology and have a wide range of applications. The type of barcode used depends on the specific application and the amount of data that needs to be encoded. With this guide, we hope that you have a better understanding of the different types of barcodes and their uses.




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