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How to encode & scan extended characters


It is possible to scan and encode extended characters in barcodes by doing the following:

  1. Use a 2D Barcode product. Linear barcode types such as Code 128 and Code 39 cannot encode characters over ASCII 128. 2D barcode types such as PDF417, Data Matrix and MaxiCode have the ability to encode actual bytes of data.
  2. Encode the data using Binary or Byte Compaction. This option encodes ASCII 0 to 255 of the ASCII character set.
  3. Scan the data via the serial interface option (data bits have to be 8N) on the scanner. Normally, keyboard wedges and USB scanners do not support extended characters above ASCII 128, and they can only scan characters that are actually on the keyboard. Contact the scanner vendor for more information on how to do this, as some internal settings may have to be modified on the scanner itself.
About extended characters in the PDF417 Barcode Products:

When using PDF417 barcodes in text compaction mode, only the following can be encoded ASCII 9 (tab), 10 (line feed), 13 (carriage return) and ASCII 32 to 126. However, when PDF417 is used in byte or binary compaction mode (which is the default), ASCII 0 to 255 is encoded.

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