What is pdf417?


What is pdf417?

If you’ve never heard of pdf417, you’re probably not alone. Pdf417 is a two dimensional barcode which can hold over a kilobyte of data per label. Unlike traditional one-dimensional barcodes, which can only store specific amounts of data and can become quite long, pdf417 is actually a group of codes which have many possible configurations, ranging from 0 to 90 dimensions (height and width). This allows the pdf417 code to be scaled down to meet almost any need. Because it is two-dimensional, it can also contain much more information than conventional barcodes. For example, while an EAN-8 barcode (a common 1D barcode) can only hold up to 8 characters, a single pdf417 symbol can hold over 2700 alphanumeric characters!

Pdf417 uses Reed-Solomon error correction to correct for damages that may occur during scanning or printing. This allows data read from the code to be more accurate than from traditional one dimensional codes. Pdf417 is a registered trademark owned by Symbol Technologies, Inc.

The basic pdf417 barcode symbol is composed of 3 to 90 rows. Each row consists of a start character, data codewords and a stop pattern.

The total number of rows in the symbol depends on which of the nine different error correction levels are used. The error correction level determines the amount of data that can be restored if the symbol is damaged.

The width of the narrowest bar is called the module width X. The height of a module is always one. A wide bar has a width of three modules, a space has a width of one module.

The widest bar/space combination for all symbols is 9 modules. This means that the widest pdf417 symbol will have 3 x 9 + 612 x 3 + 5 = 1857 modules in total width, making it possible to fit more than 1100 alphanumeric characters on an A4 size at 8 points height (0.1 inch).

pdf417 is a portable data file. pdf stands for “portable data file” and 417 signifies that each pattern in the code consists of 4 bars and spaces in a pattern that is 17 units (modules) long. Each pattern represents a single character.

The pdf417 symbol can be as large as you need, with up to 90 rows and 30 columns, but can also be as small as 6 rows by 3 columns. The amount of information (data capacity) that can be stored within the symbol depends upon the number of rows and columns used, the error correction level and type of data being encoded. For example, a 10 row by 4 column barcode would have a maximum data capacity of 620 numeric digits when using Level 8 error correction.

PDF417 is a stacked linear barcode symbol format used in a variety of applications such as transport, identification cards, and inventory management. PDF stands for Portable Data File. The 417 signifies that each pattern in the code consists of 4 bars and spaces, and that each pattern is 17 units long. The PDF417 symbology was invented by Dr. Ynjiun P. Wang at Symbol Technologies in 1991.[2]

PDF417 is a two-dimensional barcode which can store up to about 1,800 printable ASCII characters or 1,100 binary characters per symbol. The codewords are represented by patterns of bars and spaces. Multiple rows of data are allowed within a single symbol; each row begins with a start character and ends with an end character. Each row has 30 data codewords; more may be added to increase the information content per symbol unit area, at the expense of readability and print quality.[3]

The total number of different possible codewords is 928 = 38 × 2912 (modulo 929). There are 5 different error correction codewords which may be appended to any message, totaling to 933 possible symbols. When more than one error correction level is being used, the least robust error correction level is

PDF417 is a stacked linear barcode symbol format used in a variety of applications such as transport, identification cards, and inventory management.

It was invented by Dr. Ynjiun P. Wang at Symbol Technologies in 1991. It is patented (U.S. Patent 5,304,786) and is owned by the company.[1]

PDF stands for Portable Data File.[2] The “417” signifies that each pattern in the code consists of 4 bars and spaces, and that each pattern is 17 units (modules) long. Thus the PDF417 symbol is capable of encoding over a kilobyte of data per label.[3]

The symbol can be as little as 15 by 40 mm or as large as 147 by 1610 mm with an additional 33 mm mandatory quiet zone to the left of Code Text and right of the Stop Pattern.[4]

PDF417 is a stacked linear barcode symbol format used in a variety of applications, primarily transport, identification cards, and inventory management. PDF stands for Portable Data File. The 417 signifies that each pattern in the code consists of 4 bars and spaces in a pattern that is 17 units (modules) long. The PDF417 symbology was invented by Dr. Ynjiun P. Wang at Symbol Technologies in 1991.

The PDF417 symbol can be either rectangular or square; the square symbols have greater data density than the rectangular-shaped symbols. PDF417 uses Reed-Solomon error correction to ensure accurate scanning even if the symbol is dirty or damaged.


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