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EAN - 8

The barcode which encodes the eight digit global trade item number (GTIN-8).

EAN - 13

The barcode which encodes the thirteen digit global trade item number (GTIN-13).


The barcode which encodes the twelve digit global trade item number (GTIN-12).


(International Standard Book Number) is the thirteen digit number starting with 978 to identify a book publication and is used by publishing houses, book traders and libraries. The ISBN number is encoded into an EAN-13 barcode.


(International Standard Serial Number) is an eight digit number which identifies the title of serial publications such as a magazine or journal. The ISSN number (excluding the check digit) is encoded into an EAN-13 barcode.

ITF - 14

Interleaved two of five 14. The barcode symbol used to show GTIN-12, GTIN-13 and GTIN-14 numbers on trade items not crossing a retail point of sale.

GS1 - 128

Formerly called EAN-128, GS1-128 bar codes can carry all GS1 identifiers for products, locations, assets and pallets/logistics units and any additional information required.

GS1 - Databar

Formerly called RSS (Reduced Space Symbology), GS1 DataBar is a family of symbols that are smaller than EAN/UPC and can carry additional information such as serial numbers, lot numbers of expiry dates. From 2010 some types of GS1 DataBar will be scanned at the point of sale.

Data Matrix

Data Matrix is currently the only "2D Matrix" symbol specified for use by GS1 and is becoming increasingly the symbol of choice for many in healthcare. Data Matrix requires camera based scanners and so it is not specified for items to be scanned at retail point of sale.


QR Code

QR code is another 2D matrix code that has grown in popularity. Although used for many years in some industries (car manufacturing for instance), its recent popularity has grown alongside the proliferation of smart phones that are internet enabled where QR codes have been used to give individuals rapid access to web sites.