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Barcode Differences

There are variety of barcodes that have different purposes. Some barcodes keep track of products while others can give you a link to a businesses website. Here is a list of barcodes that are used:

Numeric-only Barcodes

  • Codabar: This is an older code that is used in libraries and some blood banks.
  • Code 11: Used mostly to label communication equipment
  • EAN-13: Is also known as European Article Numbering; An international product code in retail
  • EAN-8: A condensed version of the EAN code; Used on small products
  • Interleaved 2 of 5: Compact numeric code, commonly used in industry, and air cargo
  • MSI: A variation of the Plessey code; Used commonly in U.S.
  • Plessey: Is an older code that was used in retail
  • PostNet: Used for automated mail sorting by the U.S. Postal Service
  • UPC-A: Universal product code used for most all retail products in U.S. and Canada
  • UPC-E: This is a smaller verion of the UPC code that is used on small products

Alpha-numeric Type of Barcodes

  • Code 39: General-purpose code used all over the world
  • LOGMARS: Same as Code 39, used by the U.S. Government

2-Dimensional Barcodes

  • PDF417: Useful for encoding large quantities of data
  • DataMatrix: Perfect for making small codes with a lot of data
  • Maxicode: Used by the United Parcel Service. Fixed length. For use in automated packing
  • QR Code: 2D code that can hold any kind of information; website, phone, etc

Industry Standards

  • Bookland EAN: Used around the world to mark books by encoding ISBN numbers
  • ISSN and SISAC: Also known as the International Standard Serial Numbering and Serials Industry Systems Advisory Committee
  • OPC: Better known as the Optical Industry Association used for marking optical products