IDAutomation.com, Inc., Computers Hardware, Software & Services, Tampa, FL Contact IDAutomationView your cart in the IDAutomation Store  
Loading
Home > Barcode FAQ > GS1 DataBar Barcode FAQ & Tutorial

GS1 DataBar Barcode FAQ & Tutorial

GS1 DataBar Barcode Symbology Overview

GS1 DataBar Expanded Stacked BarcodeThe GS1 DataBar barcode symbology is the latest barcode type for space-constrained identification from GS1, formerly EAN International and the Uniform Code Council, Inc. DataBar barcodes have been utilized to solve many problems in POS, grocery and healthcare, where items are too small to allow for traditional barcode types, or where additional information needs to be encoded such as product weight, expiration dates, country of origin or serial numbers. DataBar is also the only barcode symbology approved by GS1 to encode GTIN-14 numbers in all retail checkout systems after January 1, 2010 and is required by the Joint Industry Coupon Committee (JICC) to be used for DataBar Coupon Barcodes.

GS1 renamed the RSS Symbology to GS1 DataBar to avoid confusion with popular RSS XML Feed technology. The new name does not change the standard, however, and any documentation that refers to RSS Symbology is the same as GS1 DataBar. GS1 also recently renamed several barcode standards based on Code 128, such as EAN-128 and UCC-128, to GS1-128.

UPC to DataBar POS Barcode Comparison

The following is a comparison of a UPC-A barcode encoding the GTIN-12 data "123456789012" with DataBar barcodes encoding the same data for use in POS systems. The GTIN-12 is converted to GTIN-14 by adding zeros to the beginning of the number. The below DataBar Expanded Stacked barcode encodes the 14-digit GTIN and "Sell by Date" in about the same space as a standard UPC symbol. The DataBar Expanded Stacked barcode may also be sized to consume less space.

Table1. UPC to DataBar POS Comparison.

UPC-A

DataBar-14

DataBar Stacked

DataBar Expanded Stacked

Encodes GTIN-12:
123456789012
Encodes GTIN-14:
(01)00123456789012
Encodes GTIN-14:
(01)00123456789012
GTIN + Sell by Date; 4 Segments:
(01)00123456789012(15)991231
UPC-A Barcode Encoding GTIN-12 "123456789012" DataBar-14 Barcode Encoding GTIN-14 "(01)00123456789012" DataBar Stacked Barcode Encoding GTIN-14 "(01)00123456789012" DataBar Expanded Stacked encoding GTIN plus Sell by Date

The above GTIN barcodes were created at 96 DPI with the DataBar Barcode Image Generator.

DataBar Barcode Specification Details

In all DataBar barcode types, the first 13 digits of the GTIN-14 may be encoded with the required Application Identifier (AI) of 01 and a non-visible DataBar check-digit. The last digit of the GTIN-14 is a MOD 10 check-digit which is not actually encoded in the DataBar symbology. If the full 14-digit GTIN is needed after reading the symbol, it may be generated with a MOD10 calculation.

The following is a summary of the different symbologies within the GS1 DataBar Barcode Specification as they relate to IDAutomation products that print or create GS1 DataBar barcodes. The images below may be printed for testing purposes and were created with the GS1 DataBar Barcode Image Generator.

GS1 DataBar / GS1 DataBar Omni-directional

GS1 DataBar (previously RSS-14), also known as GS1 DataBar Omni-directional is capable of encoding up to 20,000,000,000,000 (20 trillion) values. This symbol was approved for use in POS environments after January 1, 2010.

  • There is an implied AI of 01 that should not be part of the DataToEncode, except when using DataBar Expanded.
  • A linkage flag determines if there is a Composite 2D barcode associated with the barcode. The encoder selects either a "1" (true) or "0" (false) value as the first character in the barcode based on the IsComposite encoder property and should not be included in the DataToEncode.
  • The next 14 characters in GS1 DataBar are the 13 data characters plus a MOD 10 check-digit. The check-digit is not actually encoded in the barcode but should be included as part of the DataToEncode property. If the check-digit is not known, a zero may be used.
  • If less than 14 characters are entered in the DataToEncode property, zeroes are padded to the front after the linkage flag. Non-numeric characters are stripped from the DataToEncode property.

    Fig. 1. DataBar Omni-directional Barcode Encoding GTIN "20012345678909":

      GS1 DataBar Omni-directional Barcode Encoding GTIN "20012345678909"

    Note: The human readable text under this barcode does not display the linkage flag of zero.

GS1 DataBar Truncated

GS1 DataBar Truncated (RSS-14 Truncated) has the exact same data characteristics as the GS1 DataBar barcode, but the bar height is set to the minimum of 13 times the X dimension.

  • The DataBar Barcode Font Package contains a 13x font specifically for this purpose. This symbology is not approved for use in POS systems.

    Fig. 2. DataBar Truncated Barcode Encoding "00012345678905":

      DataBar Truncated Barcode Encoding "00012345678905"

GS1 DataBar Stacked

GS1 DataBar Stacked (RSS-14 Stacked) barcodes have the same data characteristics as GS1 DataBar. The data to encode is split in half and encoded as a split-level barcode, and this format is used if the width of the barcode is an issue.

  • The height of the top row of the GS1 DataBar Stacked barcode is 5 times the X dimension, and the height of the bottom row is 7 times the X dimension. The DataBar Font Package contains a stacked font that is an exact match for these specifications. The barcode contains a separator pattern which contains no data and has a height equal to one X dimension. Because the GS1 DataBar Stacked symbology cannot be scanned omni-directionally, it is not approved for use in all POS systems.

    Fig. 3. DataBar Stacked Barcode Encoding "00012345678905":

      DataBar Stacked Barcode Encoding "00012345678905"

GS1 DataBar Stacked Omni-directional

GS1 DataBar Stacked Omni-directional (RSS-14 Stacked Omni-directional) barcodes have the  same data characteristics as GS1 DataBar. This symbol was approved for use in POS environments after January 1, 2010.

  • The data to encode is separated to create a split-level barcode, and the height of each row is ascertained from the bar height property of the control. The barcode contains a separator pattern which contains no data and has a height equal to 3 times the X dimension. The IDAutomation DataBar Font Package contains a stacked font named DataBar 34 for this specific purpose.

    Fig. 4.
    DataBar Stacked Omni-Directional Barcode Encoding "00123456789012":

      DataBar Stacked Omni-directional Barcode Encoding "00123456789012"

GS1 DataBar Limited

GS1 DataBar Limited (RSS-14 Limited) barcodes have the same data characteristics as the GS1 DataBar barcode, although it may only include values up to 4,000,000,000,000 (4 trillion).

  • This symbology is specifically designed to be read by wands and handheld laser scanners, and cannot be read efficiently by omni-directional scanners. The sample below is encoding the data 15012345678907:

    Fig. 5. DataBar Limited Barcode Encoding "15012345678907":

      GS1 DataBar Limited (RSS-14 Limited)

DataBar Expanded Barcode Specification Details

GS1 DataBar Expanded

GS1 DataBar Expanded (RSS-14 Expanded) is a variable length, expanded version of the DataBar barcode symbology which is capable of encoding the 14-digit GTIN, and additional data such as expiration dates, country of origin and serial numbers - up to 74 numeric or 41 alphabetic characters.

  • Omni-directional is not normally part of the title of this symbology, even though it is omni-directional and approved for POS use after 1-1-2010. This symbology does allow for the linkage flag, which determines if there is a 2D composite barcode associated with the linear barcode. This symbology may be used in a variety of ways, and has specific encoding methods for particular Application Identifiers (AI's) and encodes data more efficiently for certain AI combinations. AI's must be entered manually to ensure the proper encoding method is used. When using this barcode symbology with IDAutomation products, parentheses must be placed around each AI as in the examples below.

    Specific AI formats are optimized to create the most efficient barcode. The following is a table of optimized AI combinations:
  • Data containing AI's -- (01) and (3103); Example: (01)90012345678908(3103)001750
  • Data containing AI's -- (01) and either (3202) or (3203); Example: (01)90012345678908(3202)000156
  • Data containing AI's -- (01) and (392x) where x ranges from 1 to 3 Example: (01)90012345678908(3922)795
  • Data containing AI's -- (01) and (393x) where x ranges from 1 to 3 Example: (01)90012345678908(3932)0401234
  • Data containing AI's -- (01) and either (310x) or (320x) where x ranges from 1 to 9 and either AI's (11) or (13) or (15) or (17); Example (01)90012345678908(3103)012233(15)991231

    Fig. 6. DataBar Expanded Barcode Encoding "(01)98898765432106(3202)012345(15)991231":

      DataBar Expanded Barcode Encoding "(01)98898765432106(3202)012345(15)991231"

GS1 DataBar Expanded Stacked Omni-directional

GS1 DataBar Expanded Stacked Omni-directional (RSS-14 Expanded Stacked Omni-directional) has the same data characteristics as GS1 DataBar Expanded, but it may be stacked to decrease width and increase height.

  • This type of DataBar barcode is commonly used for coupons, and can encode additional data in POS environments such as the expiration date, product weight, country of origin and serial numbers. A DataBar Expanded barcode symbol is stacked by changing the Segments property to a low, even value, such as 4 or 6. The number of segments chosen may produce 2 or more rows. The IDAutomation DataBar Font Package contains a stacked DataBar 34 font for this specific purpose. This symbol is omni-directional and approved for POS use after January 1, 2010, even when stacked.

    Fig. 7. 4-Segment DataBar Expanded Stacked Barcode Encoding GTIN, Weight and Sell By Date "(01)98898765432106(3202)012345(15)991231":

      DataBar Expanded Stacked Barcode Encoding GTIN, Weight and Sell-by Date

    Fig. 8. 6-Segment DataBar Coupon Barcode Encoding "(8110)10014141012345290110100":

      6-Segment DataBar Coupon Barcode Encoding "(8110)10014141012345290110100"

    Fig. 9. DataBar POS Barcode Encoding GTIN, Price, Weight, Expiration Date, Country of Origin and Serial Number "(01)09501101420069(3922)995(3202)000100(17)100101(422)123(21)123456":

      DataBar POS Barcode Encoding GTIN, Price, Weight, Expiration Date, Country of Origin and Serial Number

Table 2. DataBar Expanded Barcodes may be sized with the segments property to change the height or width of the symbol.

DataBar Expanded

DataBar Expanded Stacked

DataBar Expanded Stacked

GTIN + Sell Date; 22 Segments:
(01)00123456789012(15)991231
GTIN + Sell Date; 4 Segments:
(01)00123456789012(15)991231
GTIN + Sell Date; 2 Segments:
(01)00123456789012(15)991231
DataBar Expanded Barcode Encoding GTIN and Sell Date DataBar Expanded Stacked Barcode Encoding GTIN and Sell Date DataBar Expanded Stacked Barcode Encoding GTIN and Sell Date

The above DataBar barcodes were created at 96 DPI with the DataBar Barcode Image Generator.

Printing GS1-DataBar Barcodes

The following barcode components support DataBar barcode printing and creation:

Reading and Verifying GS1 DataBar Barcodes

IDAutomation offers the following hand-held DataBar Barcode Scanners:

Note: Some barcode scanners do not read all GS1 DataBar and Composite symbologies. Refer to the scanner manufacturer's specifications and data sheet for details.

Back to Top

 © Copyright 2014 IDAutomation.com, Inc., All Rights Reserved. Legal Notices.

 Barcode Fonts | Components | Scanners | Support | Contact Us
Training Videos on YouTube Join us on Google Plus Join us on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
Over 70% of Fortune 100 companies use IDAutomation's products to automate their businesses.