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The Basics of Decoding a Barcode

Every single product comes with a barcode that is usually read by a 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.

In order to read the barcodes efficiently, you should be able to understand it structure first.

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. Common characters are letters, asterisks, and the like.

Data is represented by a pattern of black bars and white spaces which can be either narrow or wide. The widths can vary in four different ways.

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.

The barcode that is easily read manually is the 12 digit UPC. There are certain barcodes that have numbers printed below it while some do not have it. We’ll teach you how to “read” the bars to calculate the 12 digit number that the barcode represents. The first thing to do is to search for the sets of long lines that extend down past all of the others and there should be three sets consisting of two lines each. The lines break up the data into two sets called the left and right so these lines are not the ones being read by the scanner. Secondly, be certain that you can determine the various bar and space widths. For now, we’ll refer to these as numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 in order of smallest to largest. Starting with the left part, start with the first space you see and write down its corresponding size. Do this step to all bars and spaces until you reach the center lines. Divide these sets into four following the pattern white-black alternatively. Begin with the first black bar on the right part. The set pattern is reversed but it is still in fours.

You now have two sets of numbers. These four-digit numbers correspond to a single digit. You can easily look for the corresponding values in the internet to learn more here. Now you finally have your 12 digit UPC number! Be sure to check your work to see if you got the correct number. This c# barcode scanner should do the trick.