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PDF417 BarCodes

Uses and Features of PDF417 BarcodeThe public and private sectors all make use of PDF417 barcodes. Also, it is a commonly utilized tool in the postal industry. The American Postal Service is one service that uses PDF417. Other industries that use this type of barcode are: • Visa processing and border control agencies, • The airline and train industries for check-in and boarding, • For general processing and identification within different sectors. The PDF417 is usually printed on a wide range of documents. Examples of such documents include boarding passes, complaint forms, identification cards, driver’s licenses, and many more documentations. All PDF417 printed on documents are standard 2D barcodes. PDF417 barcodes are able to synchronize with other scanned codes sequentially. This capability allows it to store significantly more information. A person or organization that decides to use the PDF417 barcode can give the barcode unique specifications. Therefore, a user is able to select the length and width of the barcode. Additionally, this barcode can be used by anyone without much restriction or need for a license because of the tool's public domain nature.

The Design of a PDF417

This barcode is made of rows that are between 3 to 90 in number. Each row looks like a tiny linear barcode. The rows of a typical PDF417 barcode is described below.

Start Code

This code is found at the beginning of the barcode. It allows a barcode reading machine to identify a barcode as a PDF417 barcode.

Left Row Indicator

This is a codeword that contains information regarding each row. This information includes adjustment level and row count.

Data Codewords

The data codewords range from 1 to 30. The data codewords are described as a collection of spaces and bars, which characterize letters, symbols, and numbers.

Right Row Indicator

This is another codeword, which also contains information regarding each row. Just like the left row indicator, its information allows for count and adjustment levels.

Start Pattern

This pattern is found at the end of the barcode. It allows a barcode reading device to recognize the end of a barcode.

Quiet Zone

The quiet zone is a necessary minimum white spacing just before a bar code starts. This zone occurs periodically within the barcode.

PDF417 Barcode Encoding

The PDF417 barcode has 929 code words for encoding. Within these, 900 are designed to accommodate data. The remaining 29 code words allow for special activities. A typical example of such activity is switching from one major mode to another. Also, each mode encodes data in a unique pattern.

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