Bar codes help keep track of packages, retail items, documents and more. No universal barcode works for everything, so it is important to know about the different types of barcodes.
There are several different types of barcodes that are used for various applications. Each barcode addresses different types of information, specific to category of product. The width of the barcode along with the placement of the lines dictates the information contained in the code. The different types of barcodes are numeric, alphanumeric, and two-dimensional.
Numeric bar codes include 12 different options. The 12 different numeric-only barcodes are:
This is an older type of barcode most often seen in libraries, and occasionally seen in blood banks.
This code is used to label telecommunications equipment.
This is the retail product code for Europe.
This is a smaller version of the retail product code for Europe used for smaller products.
Industrial 2 of 5
This is an early barcode and is generally no longer in use.
Interleaved 2 of 5
This is a small numeric code very commonly used in industry.
This code is commonly used in the United States and is a version of the Plessey code.
This is an older code most commonly used in retail.
This is the barcode the United States Postal Service uses to automatically sort mail.
This is a universal product code used on nearly all of the retail items sold in America and Canada.
Standard 2 of 5
This code is an older code which is not commonly used.
This code is a smaller version of the UPC-A code, for use on small products.
Alphanumeric barcodes have 4 different choices.
This code is one of the most commonly used world-wide because of its high capability and reliability.
This is a general code used worldwide.
This is a compact version of Code 39
This code is the United States Government specification-the same as code 39.
The two dimensional codes have 7 options.
This code allows for large data storage.
This code is good for small codes and will store large amounts of data.
This is a code used for the United States Postal Service and is fixed length for automatic package sorting.
This code is commonly used for order confirmation.
Along with the three different major types of barcodes, there are sets of standards and guidelines for all of them. These standards include:
Bookland EAN encodes ISBN numbers
The codes used to mark all books internationally.
ISSN and the SISAC Barcode
International Standard Serial Numbering
This is the Optical Industry Association's product code used to code retail optical products.
This is the data formatting model for Code-128 that is very commonly used.
UPC Shipping Container Symbol
Knowing the types of barcodes will assist in getting the correct barcodes for products and the right barcode scanners and equipment.