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Article Numbering Association (A.N.A.) The co-ordinating body in the U.K. for article numbering using the EAN, ITF-14 and EAN-128 standards. Now renamed GS1.

AIM Automatic Identification Manufacturers Association. This organisation has branches in most countries or regions. It is supported by manufacturers and suppliers of automatic ID equipment and services.

Alphanumeric A character set including numbers and letters.

ASCII The American Standard Code for Information Interchange. This character set is used for standard communication between electronic devices such as computers and scanners.

Bar Width Reduction The thinning of bars within a bar code which compensates for print gain.

Bearer Bars The protective printed lines or box around a bar code which help to support the printing plate and reduce the squashing effect on the bar code image.

Code 128 A full alphanumeric bar code type which can encode the entire ASCII character set.

Code 39 An alphanumeric bar code type which can encode capital letters, numbers and 7 special characters.

Codabar A bar code type which may encode 0-9 and six special characters. Four different start and stop patterns are used to signify different uses.

CPI Characters per inch.

EAN European Article Number. The international standard for coding retail goods.

Film Master A primitive source of bar code images, now redundant.

Font The design or typestyle of a complete character set of printers type.

Guard Bars The bar space patterns at the start, centre and end of EAN and UPC codes. Used as a reference point for the scanning device.

GS1 The co-ordinating body in the U.K. for article numbering using the EAN, ITF-14 and EAN-128 standards.

HIBC The Health Industry Bar Code. The format for coding goods within the U.S. health industry using conventional symbologies.

Interleaved 2 of 5 A numeric-only bar code symbology. Characters are encoded in pairs with the bars representing the first character and the spaces representing the second.

ISBN International Standard Book Number. Represented by the ISBN/EAN bar code on books.

ISSN International Standard Serial Number. Represented on magazines and periodical publications by the ISSN/EAN bar code.

Magnification The method of describing bar code width and height in some symbologies. 100% magnification is also called "nominal size".

Micron One thousandth of a millimetre (1µ)

Narrow Bar The width of a single module or narrowest bar in some symbologies.

Nominal Size The standard size for a bar code of a given symbology.

Numeric Representation using only the digits 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 0.

OCR-A and OCR-B Character sets or fonts both of which may be machine or human read. Used for the human readable information in barcoding.

Parity A way of encoding bar/space patterns using an odd or even number of modules bars or spaces. The parity may be calculated by the scanner to provide an error check.

PostScript The high-quality image description language developed by Adobe Systems Inc. which uses vectors to describe graphical elements.

Printer Compensation A method of adjusting bar width to compensate for a bias on a print device.

Quiet Zone The light space at either side of a bar code which is needed by the scanner to detect the start and end of the code.

Raster A series of dots or cells arranged in a regular grid.

Reflectance The ability of a surface or printed area to reflect light.

Start Character The specific bar/space pattern which indicates the start of a bar code.

Stop Character The specific bar/space pattern which indicates the end of a bar code.

Truncation The reduction in bar height below nominal height or that normally specified.

Transposition The switching of the order of a pair of digits. The most common error in keyed data entry.

Uniform Code Council (U.C.C.) The U.S. organisation which administers the UPC and other retail specifications.

Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) The standard bar code type for retail products in the U.S.

Verifier A device used to measure the bars and spaces of a bar code and report on their accuracy in relation to the specified tolerances.

Wide/Narrow Ratio The ratio between the narrow bar and the wide bar widths in certain bar code symbologies.

X dimension The nominal width of a narrow bar.

Zero Suppression The method of shortening a bar code number by eliminating 0's.




Bar Code Uses

Bar Code Structures

Getting a Good Scan

PostScript Imaging of Bar Codes

Quality Checking




Code 128

Code 39

ITF (Interleaved 2 of 5 )


Glossary of Bar Code Terms