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    Symbology Background Information

    Numeric-Only Symbologies

    • UPC-Based Symbologies:
      • UPC-A: Used with consumer products in U.S., 12 characters
      • UPC-E: Short version of UPC symbol, 6 characters
      • EAN-13: Used with consumer products internationally, 13 characters
      • EAN-8: Short version of EAN-13, 8 characters
      • JAN Codes: Same as EAN-13, used in Japan
      • Bookland: Used to mark books with ISBN number
    • UPC-Based Extentions
      • 2-Digit Ext.: Used to indicate magazines and newspaper issue numbers
      • 5-Digit Ext.: Used to mark suggested retail price of books
    • 2 of 5 Symbologies:
    • Pulse Width Modulated Symbologies:
      • Plessey Code: Old symbology, used for shelf marking in retail enviornments
      • MSI: Variation of Plessey code, with similar applications
      • Modified Plessey Code: Same as MSI
      • Anker Code: Used in European POS systems before EAN was implementated
    • Code 11 (USD-8): Used to identify telecommunications equipment
    • Postnet: Printed by U.S. Post Office on envelopes
    • Codabar (aka Ames Code/USD-4/NW-7/2 of 7 Code): Used in libraries and blood banks

    Alphanumeric Symbologies

    • Code 128 Based Symbologies
      • Code 128: Very dense code, used extensively worldwide
      • UCC/EAN-128: Used to encode shipping/product information
      • SISAC: Used to encode serial items/periodic magazines
    • Code 39 (aka USD-3, 3 of 9): U.S. Government and military use, required for DoD applications
    • Code 93 (aka USS-93): Compressed form of Code 39

    2-Dimensional (2D) Symbologies (Coming soon!)

    • Code 49
OTHER SYMBOLOGIES... It is our intention that this eventually be the most comprehensive reference of symbologies on the net--both actively used as well as now-obsolete symbologies. We have more information coming soon, and if you have technical information regarding other symbologies not listed here, please forward the information to us so that we may include it in the list.

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