tags, metadata, micro formats and data structures in QR barcodes

QR Barcode Microformats

QR tags are an agreed-upon abbreviation or acronym followed by the colon punctuation symbol. For example, to initiate an email message from a QR symbol use the "mailto:" tag followed by an email address. To make a QR bar code that will generate an email that you can send to someone, create a QR barcode that contains "mailto:you@example.com"

The use of tags in QR barcodes expands the QR symbology to include formatted data like barcodes, GS1 identification keys, and other structured data. Our online QR generator and QRdvark, our cell phone app, both support the following tags and microformats within QR barcodes:

upca:  •  upce:  •  isbn13:  •  issn:  •  ean8:  •  ean13:

jan8:  •  jan13:  •  gs1-128a:  •  gs1-128b:  •  gs1-128c:

itf14:  •  gtin:  •  gln:  •  giai:  •  grai:  •  sscc:  •  gsin:  •  ginc:

These data structures encoded in QR symbols allows integration of 2D barcode and Android devices and the existing auto ID ecosystem. It’s the data in the barcode that’s important, not the barcode symbology used to represent the data. GTIN numbers are a clear cut example of this. A GTIN is a 14 digit number that can be represented in various barcode symbologies: UPC version A, ISBN-13, GS1-128, or ITF-14. In the same way, a QR barcode can include established GS1 data structures and formats as a new way to implement standards and guidelines.

Please contact us with questions about these formats and tags or if you have applications for their use or suggestions for improvement.