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1D Barcodes: Everything You Need to Know in 2024

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In this article, we will explore what 1D barcodes are and their different types with practical examples. Read on to learn more. 

What is a 1D Barcode?

A 1D (one-dimensional) barcode is a linear representation of data used for quick and accurate identification of objects. It consists of parallel lines and spaces of varying widths, which encode information through variations in line thickness and spacing.

Types of 1D Barcodes

1D barcodes come in several variations, each designed for specific applications and industries. We will explore the different types below.

1D barcode

Code 39 

Code 39 is a versatile alphanumeric barcode encoding system widely used across industries for tasks such as inventory management and tracking.

1D barcode examples

Code 93 

Similar to Code 39, Code 93 is an alphanumeric barcode that finds utility in various applications, including packaging, logistics, and healthcare.

what is a 1D barcode

Code 128 

Code 128 is a high-density barcode system that excels in encoding substantial data and is extensively employed in shipping and logistics.

1D barcode types

UPC (Universal Product Code) 

UPC is the standard retail barcode globally used for precise product identification in stores, simplifying checkout and inventory control.

types of 1D barcodes

EAN (European Article Number) 

EAN, similar to UPC, serves as a barcode system widely adopted in Europe for product identification and seamless retail transactions.

examples of 1D barcodes

Interleaved 2 of 5 

Interleaved 2 of 5 is a numeric-only barcode and is favored for high-density applications like labeling cartons and packages, notably enhancing logistics and inventory management efficiency.

types of a 1D barcode

MSI Plessey 

MSI Plessey is a barcode system commonly used in inventory control and tracking applications, especially in the electronics industry.

1D barcodes


Codabar, also known as 2 of 7 Code, is a numeric-only barcode. It finds application in libraries, blood banks, and the air cargo industry due to its simplicity and reliability.

examples of a 1D barcode

GS1 Databar 

GS1 Databar, previously known as Reduced Space Symbology (RSS), is a family of barcodes designed for retail and healthcare applications. These barcodes are used for encoding various types of data, including product identification and pricing information.

1D Barcode Examples and Applications

1D barcodes are widely used in different industries because they are easy to use, cost-effective, and help quickly store and retrieve important information. Below are some everyday uses and real-world examples of 1D barcodes:


1D barcodes optimize retail operations and inventory management.

Product Identification: UPC and EAN codes streamline checkouts and product tracking.

Price Labeling: Barcodes ensure accurate product pricing.

Example: At supermarkets, items like cereal boxes and canned goods feature UPC barcodes for efficient checkout.

Manufacturing and Logistics

Barcodes enhance inventory, asset tracking, and supply chain operations.

Inventory Control: Barcodes oversee materials, products, and work statuses.

Asset Tracking: They monitor machinery and industrial equipment.

Example: Courier services like FedEx use barcodes on packages to monitor delivery status.

Food and Beverage Industry

Barcodes offer product details and aid in inventory management.

Product Labeling: Barcodes display ingredient, nutrition, and price details.

Inventory and Quality Control: They track stock and product freshness.

Example: Standardized food packages, like cereals, use 1D barcodes for point-of-sale scanning.


Barcodes enhance patient care, medication safety, and resource tracking.

Patient Identification: Barcodes reduce medical error risks.

Medication Management: They ensure the right medication reaches the right patient.

Example: Medication containers feature barcodes with details on drug type, dosage, and expiry.

Library Management

Barcodes streamline book cataloging and tracking in libraries.

Cataloging: They simplify book check-out and return processes.

Inventory Management: Libraries use them to monitor collections and loans.

Example: Libraries apply barcodes to book covers for efficient collection management and loan tracking.

Event Management

Barcodes bolster ticketing systems and attendee management at events.

Ticketing: Barcoded tickets facilitate entry at various events.

Attendee Tracking: They help organizers manage event participation.

Example: Event tickets, from concerts to sports, use barcodes for entry validation and attendee count.

We hope that our article has now left you with a better understanding of 1D barcodes along with their different types and applications.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our article on how to use a barcode scanner or our article on SSCC barcodes. 

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