2-Dimensional Bar CodeSymbology composed of rows of data arranged in a rectangular or square pattern. The rows are stacked onto each other to encode an array of data.
AIMAutomatic Identification Manufacturers- Organization supported by manufacturers and suppliers of automatic identification products and services.
AlphanumericThe character set which contains letters, numbers and may contain other characters such as punctuation marks or control characters.
ANSIAmerican National Standard Institute is a non-governmental organization responsible for the development of standards such as manufacturing.
AntennaIn a radio frequency identification system the antenna is the device which radiates and or receives the RF energy.
ApertureThe opening in an optical system used by scanners, sensors, and other devices to establish the field of view.
ASCIICharacters set for the American Standards Code for Information Interchange Exchange encoding 7-bit characters (8-bit with parity).
Aspect RatioIn a bar code symbol, the ratio of bar height to symbol length.
AutodiscriminationThe ability of bar code reading equipment to recognize and correctly decode more than one symbology.
BackgroundAn area surrounding a printed bar code symbology, including the quiet zone and spaces.
BarThe darker element of a bar code symbol.
Bar CodeAn automatic identification technology which encodes information into an array of varying width parallel and rectangular bars and spaces.
Bar Code CharacterA single group of bars and spaces that represents a specific number of letters, numbers, punctuation marks or other symbols.
Bar Code DensityThe number of data characters that can be represented in a linear unit of measure. Bar code density is often expressed in characters per inch.
Bar Code HeightSee-Bar Length
Bar Code LabelA label which has been printed with text, bar code data which can be affixed to an article.
Bar Code LengthThe bar code dimension perpendicular to the bar width. Also called bar height. Scanning is performed in an axis perpendicular to the bar length.
Bar Code ReaderA device used to read a bar code symbol.
Bar Code ReductionReduction of the nominal bar width dimension on film masters or printing plate to compensate for systematic errors in some printing processes.
Bar Code SymbolA set of characters and marks including start / stop character, quite zones, data characters, and check characters required by a particular symbology, that forms a complete scannable element.
Bar Code WidthThe thickness of a bar measured from the edge closest to the symbol start character to the trailing edge of the same bar.
BCDBinary Code Decimal -A numbering system using base 2, that represents each decimal digit by four binary bits, with the weighting values equal to 8, 4, 2, and 1, reading from left to right.
Bi-directionalA bar code symbol capable of being read successfully independent of scanning direction.
BinaryThe number system that uses only 1's and 0's.
CCDCharged Coupled Device-Used in scanners to sense the light and dark areas of a symbol.
Character(A.) A single group of bars and spaces that represents a specific number (usually one) of numbers, letters, punctuation marks, or other symbols. (B.) A graphic shape representing a letter, number, or symbol. (C.) A letter, digit, or other symbol that is used as part of the organization, control, or representation of data.
Character SetThose characters available for encodation in a particular automatic identification technology.
Check CharacterA character included within a string of data whose value is used for the purpose of performing a mathematical check to ensure the accuracy of that data.
Check DigitSame as a check character, but assumes numeric values only.
Clear AreaSee-Quit Zone
Codabar(2 of 7 Code, Code 27)-A numbers-only bar code consisting of seven modules, two of which are wide.
CodeA set of unambiguous rules specifying the way in which data maybe represented. Numbers and letters used to represent information (see Number System).
Code 128A continuous, variable length alphanumeric symbology encoding the full ASCII 128 character set. Every character is made up of 11 modules containing three bars and three spaces.
Code 16KMulti-row (staked) code in which each symbol can have between two and sixteen rows or stacks. Each row is separated by a one-module separator bar, and consists of 18 bars and 17 spaces. This analogous to sentences in a paragraph.
Code 39A discrete, variable length, self-checking alphanumeric symbology employing two-element widths. Every character has five bars and four spaces; three of the elements in any given character are wide, and six are narrow. Every symbol starts and ends with a unique start/stop character.
CoercivityValue of the opposing magnetic intensity that must be applied to a material to remove the residual magnetism when it has been magnetized to saturation.
CPICharacters Per Inch -Density of a bar code resulting from the combined size of the narrow and wide bars and spaces, measured on a linear scale.
CPSCharacters Per Second
CRTCathode Ray Tube-also known as a terminal or monitor.
Data MatrixA variable size two dimensional matrix symbology that is inherently omnidirectional. Data Matrix has a high degree of error correction capability and is used primarily for part marking and tracking.
DecoderAs part of a bar code reading system, the electronic package that receives the signals from the scanner, performs the algorithm to interpret the signals into meaningful data, and provides the interface to other devices.
Density(A.) Character Density-In a linear bar code symbol, the number of data characters per unit length (typically, per inch). For a discrete symbology, the character width must include the inter-character gap. (B.) Net Data Density-The density of a linear bar code symbol is determined by dividing the number of characters in the symbol by the overall symbol length, measured from the leading edge of the start code to the trailing edge of the stop code.
Depth of FieldThe distance between the maximum and minimum plane in which a code reader is capable of reading symbols of a specified X dimension.
Direct ThermalA specially coated label material that contains microscopic capsules of ink, which burst when exposed to heat. Direct Thermal material is made to allow scanning in either of two light spectrums: visible light or infrared. Direct Thermal labels are ideal for short applications where the label is not required to last more than 6-8 months.
Discrete CodeA bar code symbology where the space between characters (inter-character gap) is not part of the code, e.g., Code 39.
DPI (Dots Per Inch)A measure referring to the dot resolution in images created by various printing processes, such as direct thermal, thermal transfer and/or laser printing. Typically, higher DPI represents greater density in a print image.
EANEuropean Article Numbering system-the international standard bar code for retail food packages.
EAN Bar CodeSee-EAN
FCCFederal Communications Commission-the organization in charge of all forms of communications and radio transmissions.
Film MasterA photographic film representation of a specific bar code or OCR symbol from which a printing plate is produced.
Fixed Beam ScannerA scanner, that has no moving parts, which uses a stationary light beam to read a moving bar code.
FontA specific size and style of printer's type.
FRRFirst Read Rate -The ratio of the number of successful reads on the first scanning attempt to the number of attempts. Commonly expressed as a percentage.
Guard BarsBars at both ends and center of a UPC and EAN symbol, which provides reference points for scanning, similar to start/stop codes.
GUIGraphical User Interface-The visual design of a software application.
Human ReadableReferring to the representation of the contents of a bar code symbol characterized by alphabetic and numeric characters, as well as special symbols that can be read by a human.
IANInternational Article Number
Intercharacter GapThe space between two adjacent bar code characters in a discrete code.
Interleaved 2 of 5A numeric only bar code consisting of five bars. Two bars are wide, three are narrow. Used generally in industrial and master carton labeling.
Keyboard Wedge InterfaceAn Y-connector that permits a bar code reader to be connected between the display and a keyboard.
Ladder CodeSee-Vertical Bar Code
LCDLiquid Crystal Display
LEDLight Emitting Diode-A semiconductor that produces light at a wavelength determined by its chemical composition. The light source often used in light pens.
Light Pen In bar code system, a handheld scanning wand that is used as a contact bar code reader held in the hand.
LOGMARSLogistics Applications of Automated Marking and Reading Symbols-The official government standard with the issuance of MIL-STD-1189A.
LPMLines Per Minute
MaxiCodeFixed size two-dimensional symbology having elements arranged around a unique circular finder pattern. MaxiCode is omnidirectional and is primarily used for freight sorting and tracking.
MHIThe Material Handling Institute, Inc.
MICRMagnetic Ink Character Recognition-The technology commonly employed in the marking of U.S. bank checks. A highly stylized font is printed with ink that has magnetic properties.
MIL-STDMilitary Standard
MisreadA condition that occurs when the data output of a reader does not agree with the data encoded in the bar code symbol.
ModuleThe narrowest nominal width unit of measure in a bar code.
NominalThe exact (or ideal) intended value for a specified parameter. Tolerances are specified as positive and negative deviations from this value.
Non-readThe absence of data at the scanner output after an attempted scan due to no code, defective code, scanner failure, or operator error.
Number SystemRe UPC-A method of identifying individuals or groups of objects. Number systems are two types- (1.) Significant digit where each item is uniquely identified. (2.) Non-significant digit where sequential numbers are assigned, regardless of product or item description.
NumericA character set that includes only the numbers.
OCROptical Character Recognition-a technology designed specifically to read certain stylized fonts (such as OCR-A and OCR-B) containing the full alphanumeric character set. The term OCR is also used when translating and inputting other stylized fonts (such as Courier) or text found in magazines and newspapers into a computer. This technology is also referred to as Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR).
OCR-AAn abbreviation commonly applied to the character set contained in ANSI Standard X3.17-1981. A stylized font choice used for Traditional OCR.
OCR-BAn abbreviation commonly applied to the character set contained in ANSI Standard X3.49-1975. A stylized font choice used for Traditional OCR.
PCSPrint Contrast Signal-is the measurement of the ratio of the reflectivity between the bars and spaces of a symbol.
PDFPortable Data File
PDF417Two-dimensional bar code providing error correction, detection, and security used primarily in parcel tracking applications and hazardous material control.
PDTPortable Data Terminal-A hand-held terminal capable of storing and recording data that is captured remotely and later transmitted into a computer.
Pen ScannerSee-Wand Scanner
PitchRotation of a bar code symbol about an axis parallel to the direction of the bars.
PostNet Postal Numeric Encoding Technique-used to encode ZIP code information on letter mail. PostNet utilizes redundant information within a compact bar code format to provide error detection capability and a significant degree of error correction capability.
Print QualityThe measure of compliance of a bar code symbol to the requirements of dimensional tolerance, edge roughness, spots, voids, reflectance, print contrast signal, quiet zone, and encodation.
PrintheadElectronic thermal transfer printing element using individually heated pins to transfer a printed image onto a substrate.
Quiet ZoneEssential blank area preceding and following the first and last bars of a bar code, which determines the bar code's starting and ending points. Necessary for proper decoding, successful quite zones should be no smaller than 10 times the bar code's x dimension (width of the narrowest element).
Radio Frequency TagAn electronic tag capable of receiving, storing, and/or transmitting digital information, such as item location, time of travel through a certain zone, etc.
ReflectanceThe ratio of the amount of light of a specified wavelength or series of wavelengths reflected from a test surface to the amount of light reflected from a barium oxide or magnesium oxide standard under similar illumination conditions.
ResolutionIn a bar code system, the narrowest element dimension that can be distinguished by a particular reading device or printed with a particular device or method.
RFRadio Frequency -Wireless communication technology using electromagnetic waves to transmit and receive data. RF provides real-time access to a host computer.
RFIDRadio Frequency Identification-describes the use of radio frequency signals to provide automatic identification of items from the RFID device to the reader.
RibbonA cloth or plastic tape coated with several layers of material, one of which is ink-like, that produces the visible marks on a substrate. Two of the most common are resin and wax.
Ribbon-ResinThe most durable type of thermal transfer ribbon, manufactured with a pure resin coating on polyester film. Resin ribbons print best on synthetic face stock, such as polyester.
Ribbon-WaxA thermal transfer ribbon manufactured with a pure wax coating on polyester film. Wax ribbon is the optimum choice for printing on paper labels and tags.
RS-232The most common communication interface (e.g. serial (COM) port) standard using a DTE (Data Terminal Equipment) and DCE (Data Communications Equipment) interface. Also known as serial communications.
RS-422The second most common communication interface standard, which extends beyond the 100 feet limitation of RS-232 data communication supporting a maximum distance of 4000 feet.
ScannerAn electronic device that reads, decodes and converts optical information from a bar code into electronic signals.
Self-checkingA symbology is termed self-checking if a single printing defect will not cause a character to be transposed into another valid character in the same symbology.
Serial CommunicationsCommunications between a host PC and an attached device where the data is transferred one bit at a time. See RS-232.
SkewRotation of a bar code symbol about an axis parallel to the symbol's length.
SpaceThe lighter element of a bar code usually formed by the background between bars.
Stacked CodeTwo-dimensional bar code where linear barcodes are stacked one upon another and are printed in a rectangular shape to achieve the most efficient use of label area.
StandardA set of rules, specifications, instructions, or directions for printing, labeling, scanning, etc. bar coded information.
Start-Stop CharacterSpecial bar code character that provides the scanner with start and stop reading instructions, as well as a scanning direction indicator. Start characters are normally at the far left end of a symbol; stop characters at the far right.
SubstrateThe surface on which a bar code symbol is printed.
SymbolA combination of bar code characters (including start/stop characters, quiet zones, data characters, and check characters required by a particular symbology), that forms a complete, scannable entity.
Symbol DensitySee-Bar Code Density
Symbol LengthThe distance between the outside edges of the quiet zones on the two ends of a bar code symbol.
ThermalA printing system where dots are selectively heated and cooled on heat sensitive paper. The paper turns dark in the heated areas.
Thermal TransferA high-speed, on-demand printing method that uses heat and pressure to melt specially-formulated ink ribbons onto a coated label face. Thermal Transfer is the best option for applications that require labels to last more than 1 year, with the ability to print to a variety of materials.
TiltRotation of a bar code symbol about an axis perpendicular to the substrate.
UCCUniform Code Council- The organization that administers the UPC and other retail standards.
UPCUniversal Product Code-The standard bar code symbol for retail food packages in the United States.
VerifiersA piece of equipment used to read and measure a bar code to determine whether or not it has met established print specifications.
Vertical Bar CodeA code pattern presented in such orientation that the axis of the symbol from start to stop is perpendicular to the horizon. The individual bars are in an array that appears as rungs of a ladder.
Visible Laser DiodeA semiconductor laser commonly used in most hand held scanners to project a visible red light for scanning human readable bar codes.
Wand ScannerA handheld scanning device used as a contact bar code or OCR reader.
WedgeA hardware device or software program (Software Wedge) which uses a scanner for input and sends data directly into an application by emulating a keyboard stroke. A wedge (hardware wedge) is an external device and plugs between the keyboard and terminal.
WYSIWYGWhat You See Is What You Get-is a term used to describe the presentation of the printable output viewed as is on the terminal.
X DimensionThe nominal width dimension of the narrow bars and spaces in a bar code symbol.