A barcode* is an optical machine-readable series of coded lines that help identify a product. The lines appear in one of several standard formats that are read and interpreted by a scanner. The scanner then converts the information it reads into a usable format (for example, item information entered on a item receipt).

One advantage of a barcode system is that a large amount of information can be coded into a small space. There are numerous sizes and types of barcodes, but within each there is an accepted formula for the layout of the lines and spaces according to international standards that identify the pattern or type of barcode that a scanner can be programmed to read.

Some things that might affect the reading of a barcode are the size of the lines and spaces of the barcode image, whether the edges of the lines are sharp or smudged, whether the surface the scanner is reading is flat, curved, or uneven, and whether a scanner is designed to read the particular size of the barcode.

* Quick Response Code (QR Code) is different from a barcode. QR Code is NOT supported in QuickBooks Desktop.

Set up, use and print barcodes

Common issues and unexpected results