What is the Structure of the one dimensional Barcode?

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Barcode means ‘code in the shape of a bar’. It looks like a mixture of black and white bars of different thicknesses lined up. It was developed to make it easy because it is very cumbersome and difficult to assign a code marked with an alphabetic character or number to each product, and to input it into the computer one by one.

A barcode is an optically easily readable alphanumeric or special symbol encoded by a combination of thick or thin bars (black bars) and spaces (white bars). By using this, it is possible to express information and to collect and decipher information. In this article from Quickbarcode, we will get to know about the 1D barcode and how does it work?

By arranging the bars and spaces in a specific sequence of black bars and white spaces representing letters or numbers, the bits of binary numbers 0 and 1 are changed to bits of binary number 0 and 1, and these are combined and used as information.


There is a space at the beginning and the end of the barcode, which is called the QUIET ZONE and is specified to be more than 10 times the narrowest element.

The margin to the left of the symbol is called the front margin, and the margin to the right is called the back margin.


The start character is a character written at the beginning of the symbol, and serves to inform the barcode scanner of the direction of data input and the type of barcode.

The stop character indicates that the symbol in the barcode is over, allowing the barcode scanner to read data from either orientation.


The check text checks whether a message has been read correctly and is used in a field requiring information accuracy.


Refers to the upper or lower part of a barcode that contains information (numbers, letters, and symbols) that can be identified with the human eye.


Barcode consists of the simplest wide and narrow bar and space, and the narrowest bar/space among them is called ‘X’ dimension.

If the ‘X’ dimension constitutes the smallest unit in the structure of a barcode, it is called a module.

A ratio of 1:2 or 1:3 is necessary for a narrow bar/space and a wide bar/space.

One-dimensional barcode (1D barcode)

One-dimensional barcode is the most widely used barcode that can be found on almost any product in supermarkets and stores. This 1D barcode is recognizable by the different parallel bands that are located next to each other. This code is also called the EAN code (European Article Number). It is a type of machine-readable barcode that is uniform across Europe, and Asia. You can buy EAN barcodes online from the best barcode providers.

Disadvantages of 1D barcodes:

  • Storage capacity: The 1D barcode can only contain a limited amount of numeric data, up to 48 characters.
  • Accuracy: If the 1D barcode is improperly printed or damaged, it is difficult for a barcode reader to read.
  • Dimensions: The 1D barcode must have a minimum size to be readable.

Advantages of 1D barcodes:

  • Cost: A 1D barcode can be read with a 1D barcode scanner, which is often easy to use and cheaper than a 2D barcode scanner.

Readability: A 1D barcode can be read with any type of barcode reader.

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