Barcode Introduction > QR Code
Overview of QR Code
QR Code, abbreviated form Quick Response Code, is one of the most widely used barcode type of 2D barcodes. This barcode type was invented by Denso Wave and it was released with the initial aim of being a symbol in 1994. Nowadays, QR Code can contain a considerably greater volume of information than other linear barcodes.
Besides, QR Code image can be split into several small images, and the original data can be decoded by those small images accurately at high speed. Furthermore, it is easily interpreted by scanner equipment, such as QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smart phones.
Generation of QR Code
QR Code Generator for Office Word - An Office barcode add-in that inserts QR Code barcode image into Word documents

QR Code Generator for .NET - .NET Component that generates QR Code for Windows and Web Applications

QR Code Generator for Winforms - A windows forms development tool for QR Code barcode image generation

QR Code Generator for ASP.NET - An ASP.NET SDK to QR Code barcode image in ASP.NET projects

QR Code Generator for Java - Java Class Library that is used for Data Matrix bar code image generation in Java

QR Code Generator for Android - Android development tool to make QR Code in Android Apps
Structure of QR Code
Each QR Code is constructed of function patterns and encoding region. The function patterns consists of quiet zone, finder pattern, separator, timing patterns and alignment patterns, while the encoding region is comprised of format information, data and error correction codewords and version information.
Usage of QR Code
Since QR Code, compared with standard UPC barcodes, has advantage of fast readability and large storage capacity, it is widely applied to all kinds of industries.
In recent years, it is commonly used in advertising, packaging, commercial tracking, entertaining, transport ticketing, product marketing and in-store product labeling. Besides, it can also be applied to store personal information by government. Moreover, it may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards, or almost any object about which users might need information.
Encodable Characters of QR Code
QR Code has a high capacity of encoding data, which contains four encodable character sets:
  • Numeric data (digits 0-9);
  • Alphanumeric data (digits 0-9; uppercase letters A-Z) and nine other characters (space, $ % * + - . / :);
  • Byte data (default: ISO/IEC 8859-1; or other sets as otherwise defined);
  • Kanji character. (Kanji characters can be compacted into 13 bits).
Extended Channel Interpretations for QR code
The Extended Channel Interpretations (ECIs) enables QR Code to encode multiple character sets apart from the default encodable set, and other data interpretations.
Error Correction Level of QR Code
To detect QR Code errors, the Reed-Solomon is recommended to be applied. When the barcode image is partially dirty or damaged, QR Code has the capacity to restore the data. There are four levels of Reed-Solomon error correction for users to select:
  • Level L: 7%
  • Level M: 15%
  • Level Q: 25%
  • Level H: 30%
Size of QR Code
QR Code barcode has forty sizes, each of which ranges from Version 1 to Version 40. And each Version is increasing in steps of 4 modules per side. The increasing formula is "Version N = (17 + 4N)(17 + 4N)" (in modules) (N indicates 1, 2.....40).

For example:

Version 1= (17 + 4 * 1)(17 + 4 * 1) = 21 * 21
Version 40 = (17 + 4 * 40)(17 + 4 * 40) = 177 * 177
Contrastive Analysis between QR Code and Data Matrix
Both QR Code and Data Matrix are two-dimensional barcode, which are able to contain a considerably great volume of information with a small area. However, there are many differences between Data Matrix and QR Code. More details are presented in the following table:
Comparison QR Code Data Matrix
Background Developed by Denso Wave in 1994 Invented by International Data Matrix (ID Matrix) in 1989
Encodable Data
  • Numeric data (digits 0 - 9)
  • Alphanumeric data (digits 0 - 9; upper case letters A - Z) and nine other characters: (space, $ % * + - . / :)
  • Byte data (default: ISO/IEC 8859-1; or other sets as otherwise defined)
  • Kanji character. (Kanji characters can be compacted into 13 bits)
  • ASCII: Double digit numerics, ASCII values 0 - 127, and Extended ASCII values 128 - 255
  • C40: Upper-case alphanumeric, Lower case and special characters
  • Text: Lower-case alphanumeric, Upper case and special characters
  • X12: ANSI X12 EDI data set
  • EDIFACT: ASCII values 32 - 94
  • Base 256: All byte values 0 - 255
Maximum data characters
  • 7,089 numeric characters
  • 4,293 alphanumeric characters
  • 2,953 byte characters
  • 1,817 Kanji characters
  • 3,116 numeric characters
  • 2,335 alphanumeric characters
  • 1,555 8-bit byte characters
  • quiet zone
  • finder pattern
  • separator
  • timing patterns
  • alignment patterns
  • data regions
  • a finder pattern
  • quite zone
  • alignment patterns
  • 40 square versions: ranging from Version1 (21*21 modules) to Version40 (177*177 modules)
  • 24 square symbols: sizing from 10*10 to 144*144 (even values only)
  • 6 rectangular symbols: sizing from 8*18 to 16*16
Application Advertising, packaging, commercial tracking, entertaining, etc Defense, healthcare, finance, logistics management, etc