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The Basics of Decoding a Barcode

Barcodes are usually read by a specific scanner. In the even that your scanner malfunctions, you can actually read the barcode on your own. A scanner easily reads the barcode in seconds but in theory you do not need it to be able to read the code. Whether you’re just curious to see if you can match up your skills or you need to do an inventory by yourself with the c# barcode scanner, you will learn more here if you continue to read the article.

First, you need to understand its structure so that you can easily read the barcodes.

The quiet zone refers to the margins around the barcode symbols. In order for the scanner to read the barcode easily, the quiet zone should be wide enough. Each margin should at least be ten times wider than the narrowest bar width.

Every barcode has a different set of characters. There are systems that use letters, asterisks, or their own patterns.

The data refers to the pattern of black bars and white spaces that can be wide or narrow. They can have four different widths.

The check digit indicates the number at the end of the data before the stop character. Essentially, it double checks for any printing errors that may have happened when the barcode was being created.

Barcode reading starts with the most common barcode that are 12 digit UPC. While most UPC barcodes have numbers underneath it, some do not. We’ll teach you how to “read” the bars to calculate the 12 digit number that the barcode represents. First, find the sets of long lines that extend down past all of the others – there should be three sets made up of two lines each. These lines are not interpreted as numbers by the scanner, but they do break up the data into two chunks that are read differently – we’ll refer to these as left and right. Second, you should be certain to learn more here the different bar and space widths. For now, we’ll refer to these as numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 going from smallest to largest in size. For the left part of the data, locate the first space and assign its size. Repeat this step for all spaces and bars excluding the center lines. Divide these sets into four following the pattern white-black alternatively. On the right part, do the same thing but start with the first black bar. The set pattern is reversed but it is still in fours.

You now have two sets of numbers. Each of these four-digit numbers can be translated into one digit. You can easily look for the corresponding values in the internet to learn more here. That’s how you determine your 12 digit UPC number. Make sure that you got the right number. This c# barcode scanner should easily do the trick.

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