Terry Burton edited this page Apr 15, 2018 · 19 revisions


The UPC-A barcode symbology is used for identification of retail goods at point of sale inside of the US. It usually carries a GTIN-12.

Also known as: UPC, UCC-12, Universal Product Code.


  • UPC-A+2 is an extension of UPC-A that includes a two-digit add-on.
  • UPC-A+5 is an extension of UPC-A that includes a five-digit add-on.
  • UPC-E is a barcode symbology derived from UPC-A that is designed for small packaging.
  • UPC-A Composite is a variant of UPC-A that should be used when a CC-A or CC-B GS1 composite 2D component is required.
  • A UPC-A symbol can be converted to an EAN-13 symbol by prefixing the GTIN-12 with 0 to make the equivalent GTIN-13.

Standards: ISO/IEC 15420, BS EN 797, GS1 General Specifications.

Data and Options

  • The data field for a UPC-A may contain eleven or twelve digits, optionally followed by a space then two or five digits if an EAN-2 or EAN-5 add-on is required.
  • Alternatively, the data field may contain seven or eight digits of a UPC-E to produce the equivalent UPC-A symbol.
  • If eleven digits of primary data are supplied then the check digit is calculated automatically. Otherwise the provided check digit will be verified.
  • The includetext option should normally be supplied.


Identical symbols, input provided with and without a check digit:

Data:    788581014974
Options: includetext
Encoder: upca
Data:    78858101497
Options: includetext
Encoder: upca

A symbol that includes a five-digit add-on:

Data:    788581014974 54499
Options: includetext guardwhitespace
Encoder: upca

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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