Step 2: Barcode Types

ABBYY FineReader Engine 8.0 CLI for Linux recognizes the following types of barcodes


Codabar is a self-checking, variable length barcode that can encode 16 data characters. It is used primarily for numeric data, but also encodes six special characters. Codabar is useful for encoding dollar and mathematical figures because a decimal point, plus sign, and minus sign can be encoded.

Code 128

Code 128 is an alphanumeric, very high-density, compact, variable length barcode scheme that can encode the full 128 ASCII character set. Each character is represented by three bars and three spaces totaling 11 modules. Each bar or space is one, two, three, or four modules wide with the total number of modules representing bars an even number and the total number of modules representing a space an odd number. Three different start characters are used to select one of three character sets.

Code 39

Code 39, also referred to as Code 3 of 9, is an alphanumeric, self-checking, variable length barcode that uses five black bars and four spaces to define a character. Three of the elements are wide and six are narrow.

Code 93

Code 93 is a variable length bar code that encodes 47 characters. It is named Code 93 because every character is constructed from nine elements arranged into three bars with their adjacent spaces. Code 93 is a compressed version of Code 39 and was designed to complement Code 39.

EAN 8 and 13

The European Article Numbering (EAN) system is used for products that require a country origin. This is a fixed-length barcode used to encode either eight or thirteen characters. The first two characters identify the country of origin, the next characters are data characters, and the last character is the checksum. These barcodes may include an additional barcode to the right of the main barcode. This second barcode, which is usually not as tall as the primary barcode, is used to encode additional information for newspapers, books, and other periodicals. The supplemental barcode may either encoded 2 or 5 digits of information.

Industrial 2 of 5

Industrial 2 of 5 is numeric-only barcode that has been in use a long time. Unlike Interleaved 2 of 5, all of the information is encoded in the bars; the spaces are fixed width and are used only to separate the bars. The code is self-checking and does not include a checksum.

Interleaved 2 of 5

Interleaved 2 of 5 is a variable length (must be a multiple of two), high-density, self-checking, numeric barcode that uses five black bars and five white bars to define a character. Two digits are encoded in every character; one in the black bars and one in the white bars. Two of the black bars and two of the white bars are wide. The other bars are narrow.

Matrix 2 of 5

Standard 2 of 5 is self-checking numeric-only barcode. Unlike Interleaved 2 of 5, all of the information is encoded in the bars; the spaces are fixed width and are used only to separate the bars. Matrix 2 of 5 is used primarily for warehouse sorting, photo finishing, and airline ticket marking.

PDF 417

PDF 417 is a variable length, two-dimensional (2D), stacked symbology that can store up to 1,850 printable ASCII characters or 1,100 binary characters per symbol. PDF 417 is designed with selectable levels of error correction. Its high data capacity can be helpful in applications where a large amount of data must travel with a labeled document or item. Available as Add On


The Postnet (Postal Numeric Encoding Technique) is a fixed length symbology (5, 6, 9, or 11 characters) which uses constant bar and space width. Information is encoded by varying the bar height between the two values. Postnet barcodes are placed on the lower right of envelopes or postcards, and are used to expedite the processing of mail with automatic equipment and provide reduced postage rates.


This type of barcode is a 19 digit barcode with a 20th check digit. For a total of 20 digits. It typically is used for carton identification. Both for internal carton numbering and also for using the ucc128 barcode on your cartons being shipped out to your customers.


The Universal Product Code (UPC) compresses the data characters and the checksum into six characters. Only tags with a number system character of zero can be encoded into UPC-E. In addition, the original ten data characters must have at least four zeros. This bar code is ideal for small packages because it is the smallest bar code.

IATA 2 of 5

IATA 2 of 5 is a barcode standard designed by the IATA (International Air Transport Association). This standard is used for all boarding passes.