Micro PDF-417 Barcode Symbology

micro pdf-417While we’ve discussed the PDF-417 barcode symbology before, the Micro PDF-417 is becoming more and more popular. Based off the standard PDF-417, the Micro PDF-417 is designed for maximum area efficiency, but without the PDF-417’s maximum data capacity. Thus, there is a limited set of symbol sizes available, in conjunction with a fixed level of error correction for each barcode.

With the Micro PDF-417, the x dimension is the width of the narrowest bar, and the Y dimension is the height of each row within the Micro PDF-417. The Micro PDF-417 is most commonly printed with an X to Y ratio of 1:2 to 1:5, depending on the amount of space. By changing the ratio to 1:2 or 1:3, a lot of space can be saved, but it should be noted that some scanners can not read ratios of less than 1:3, with most reading best at 1:4.

With the Micro PDF-417, one can encode 250 uppercase characters, unless using text compaction mode, where the amount of data will vary depending on switching between different types of characters such as letters, numbers, upper case, lower case and punctuation. In binary mode, the PDF-417 can encode 150 characters, but if using only numbers, then it can hold up to 366 digits.

For applications that are ideal for a PDF-417 barcode, but have a limited amount of space, the Micro PDF-417 is the perfect candidate.