Terry Burton edited this page Aug 22, 2016 · 13 revisions

Symbologies Reference

Point of Sale

GS1 DataBar

Supply Chain

Two-dimensional Symbols

One-dimensional Symbols

Postal Symbols

Pharmaceutical Symbols

Less-used Symbols

GS1 Composite Symbols

Raw Symbols

Partial Symbols

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The PDF417 barcode symbology is 2D stacked-linear barcode that can encode full 256 character extended-ASCII.


  • Compact PDF417 is a shortened form of the PDF417 barcode that is used in applications where the space for the symbol is restricted.
  • MicroPDF417 is a smaller variant of the PDF417 barcode.
  • HIBC PDF417 is a variant of PDF417 that should be used when encoding HIBC formatted data.

Standards: ISO/IEC 15438, DD ENV 12925, AIM USS - PDF417.

Data and Options

  • The data field can contain any extended ASCII data.
  • When the parse option is specified, any instances of ^NNN in the data field are replaced with their equivalent ASCII value, useful for specifying unprintable characters.
  • The eclevel option is used to specify the error correction level, from 1 to 5. The default is to choose a standard level of error correction that is determined by the encoded data length.
  • The columns option specifies the number of columns (or groups of bars) in the output symbol, from 1 to 30.
  • The rows option specifies the minimum number of rows in the symbol, from 3 to 90.
  • If rows is unspecified the encoder will select a number that creates a symbol that is the minimum size to represent the given data.
  • The rowmult option is used to specify how tall each bar is, with respect to the minimum module width. The default is 3.
  • Deprecated: Use Compact PDF417 instead. The compact option is used to create a compact/truncated PDF417 symbol that has fewer bars per row that a standard symbol and hence is more narrow.
  • The raw option denotes that the data field is providing the input as a pre-encoded codewords in ^NNN format, suitable for direct low-level encoding.
  • The ccc option identifies this symbol as a CC-C 2D component of a GS1 Composite symbol.


Data:    PDF417
Encoder: pdf417

Data:    P^068F417
Options: parse columns=2 rows=15
Encoder: pdf417

Data:    Strong error correction
Options: columns=2 eclevel=5
Encoder: pdf417

Data:    ^453^178^121^239
Options: raw columns=2
Encoder: pdf417