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1. Enter barcode data in Excel for print bulk labels. 3. Generate sequence numbers for make barcodes.
2. Design barcode label with text, logo. 4. Print barcode label sheet to Avery 5160, 5161, 5162 . . .
5. Print barcode label on command line. 6. Add Ascii key to barcode: Tab, Enter, File Separator. etc.

Barcode Data: 

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Barcode Technology - UPC-A Barcode               Hide the description

The Universal Product Code (UPC) is a barcode symbology that is widely used in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries for tracking trade items in stores.

Valid characters:  0123456789

UPC-A is one of the many barcode formats currently in use.

A Barcode is a method of representing data in a visual, machine-readable form.

The barcode formats has two categories:

One-dimensional (1D) --- Barcodes represented data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines.

Two-dimensional (2D) --- Using rectangles, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns to represented data.

UPC-A is 1D barcode.

The structure of the UPC A code is as follows:
The first digit of the UPC A code says what the code contains:
0 - normal UPC Code
1 - reserved
2 - articles where the price varies by the weight:

for example meat. The code is produced in the store and attached to the article.
3 - National Drug Code (NDC) and National Health Related Items Code (HRI).

4 - UPC Code which can be used without format limits
5 - coupon
6 - normal UPC Code
7 - normal UPC Code
8 - reserved
9 - reserved


UPC-A has 12 digits.

The next 5 digits show the producer of the article (UPC ID number). This number is issued by the Uniform Code Council (UUC), 7051 Corporate Way - Suite 201, Dayton, OH 45359-4292, USA
>The seventh to eleventh digits show the individual article number issued by the producer.
The last digit is the check digit. This one is calculated by the barcode generator program automatically.

UPC-A consists of 12 numeric digits that are uniquely assigned to each trade item. It is also called UPC 12 and is very

similar to the EAN code. Along with the related EAN barcode, the UPC is the barcode mainly used for scanning of trade items at the point of sale, per GS1 specifications. UPC data structures are a component of GTINs and follow the global GS1 specification, which is based on international standards. But some retailers (clothing, furniture) do not use the GS1 system (rather other barcode symbologies or article number systems). On the other hand, some retailers use the EAN/UPC barcode symbology, but without using a GTIN (for products sold in their own stores only).

UPC-A is a subset of EAN-13; in reality, an UPC-A bar code is an EAN-13 bar code with the first EAN-13 number system

digit set to "0". This means that any hardware or software capable of reading EAN-13 is automatically capable of reading UPC-A.

NOTE: The UCC Council has announced that as of January 1, 2005, all products must be labeled with EAN-13. More

correctly said, all decoding and related database systems must be able to handle EAN-13 by this date. Thus when developing your system it is best to implement EAN-13. By implementiong EAN-13 you will automatically be implementing UPC-A, but will be ready when the transition to EAN-13 is complete at the beginning of 2005.

Formatting: UPC-A barcodes can be printed at various densities to accommodate a variety of printing and scanning

processes.The x-dimension for the UPC-A at the nominal size is 0.33 mm (0.013"). Nominal symbol height for UPC-A is 25.9 mm (1.02"). The bars forming the S (start), M (middle), and E (end) guard patterns, are extended downwards by 5 times x-dimension, with a resulting nominal symbol height of 27.55 mm (1.08"). This also applies to the bars of the first and last numerical digit of UPC-A barcode. UPC-A can be reduced or magnified anywhere from 80% to 200%.A quiet zone, with a width of at least 9 times the x-dimension, must be present on each side of the scannable area of the UPC-A barcode.

Numbering of UPC-A :

(10 possible values per left digit ^ 6 left digits) (10 possible values per right digit ^ 5 right digits) = 100,000,000,000.

Check digit calculation:

The UPC includes a check digit to detect common data entry errors.
The UPC-A check digit may be calculated as follows:
Sum the digits at odd-numbered positions (first, third, fifth,..., eleventh).
Multiply the result by 3.
Add the digit sum at even-numbered positions (second, fourth, sixth,..., tenth) to the result.
Find the result modulo 10 (i.e. the remainder, when divided by 10) and call it M.
If M is zero, then the check digit is 0; otherwise the check digit is 10 − M.
For example, in a UPC-A barcode "03600029145x12", where x12 is the unknown check digit, x12 may be calculated by:
Sum the odd-numbered digits (0 + 6 + 0 + 2 + 1 + 5 = 14).
Multiply the result by 3 (14 3 = 42).
Add the even-numbered digits (42 + (3 + 0 + 0 + 9 + 4) = 58).
Find the result modulo 10 (58 mod 10 = 8 = M).
If M is not 0, subtract M from 10 (10 − M = 10 − 8 = 2).
Thus, the check digit x12 is 2.
UPC-A can detect 100% of single digit errors.


UPC in its most common usage technically refers to UPC-A.
Other variants of the UPC exist:
UPC-B is a 12-digit version of UPC with no check digit, developed for the National Drug Code (NDC) and National Health Related Items Code.[failed verification] It has 11 digits plus a 1-digit product code, and is not in common use.
UPC-C is a 12-digit code with a product code and a check digit; not in common use.
UPC-D is a variable length code (12 digits or more) with the 12th digit being the check digit. These versions are not in common use.
UPC-E is a 6-digit code, that has its equivalent in UPC-A 12-digit code with number system 0 or 1.
UPC-2 is a 2-digit supplement to the UPC used to indicate the edition of a magazine or periodical.
UPC-5 is a 5-digit supplement to the UPC used to indicate suggested retail price for books.

Human Readable:

Most barcodes display their corresponding values below them, which makes it possible to human read and manually  enter the barcode values into the equivalent system when the barcode label is worn out and cannot be read by the barcode scanner.


It's not required to label all articles with the price. The price is stored in the database and can be accessed via the barcode number. There is no need to manually calculate the price of the product. You only need to use the POST system to scan the EAN barcode on each product purchased by a customer. Because each product has its own unique EAN number, the POST system can get the corresponding price of each product in the database and calculate the total amount. It is fast and safe because there is no way to make a mistake.


Frequently Asked Questions About UPC-A Barcode


What is the origin and development process of UPC-A barcode?

The UPC-A barcode is a barcode symbol used to track items in stores and is only used in the United States and Canada.

It consists of 12 digits and each product has a unique code. It was formulated by the United States Uniform Code Council in 1973, jointly developed with IBM, and has been in use since 1974.

It was the first barcode system used in supermarket checkout, and the first item marked with a UPC-A barcode was scanned at the checkout counter at Troys Marsh Supermarket.


WWho developed the UPC-A barcode standard?

The UPC-A barcode standard was developed in 19731 by IBM engineer George Laurer. It is a barcode symbology system that is widely used worldwide to track trade items in stores. It consists of a 12-digit number uniquely assigned to each trade item.

The main reason for developing this standard is to improve the efficiency and accuracy of retail store checkout systems. Before UPC-A, most products were entered manually by cashiers, which was slow and error-prone.

Using UPC-A, products can be automatically scanned and matched with correct price and inventory information. This also helps retailers manage their supply chains and marketing strategies more effectively.


What are the main application scenarios of UPC-A barcodes?

UPC-A barcodes are primarily used in the retail industry in the United States and Canada.

The reason why UPC-A barcodes are used in supermarkets is that it can quickly, accurately and conveniently identify product information, such as price, inventory, sales volume, etc.

The UPC-A barcode consists of 12 digits, of which the first 6 digits represent the manufacturer code, the last 5 digits represent the product code, and the last digit is the check digit.

In this way, as long as we scan the barcode at the supermarket checkout counter, we can quickly obtain the product price and inventory information, which greatly improves the work efficiency of supermarket salespeople.


How to apply for UPC barcode in the United States?

In the United States, the agency you should apply for UPC barcodes from is GS1 US. It is an official provider of U.P.C. US barcodes and GTINs. You can apply online at www.gs1us.org.

Alternatively, you can use an authorized barcode reseller such as www.barcode-us.com, part of GS1 US.

However, there is a difference between getting a barcode directly from GS1 US or from a reseller.

The difference between getting a barcode directly from GS1 US or from a dealer is:

When you get a barcode from GS1 US, you have your own unique ID number that is registered to you in their GEPIR system. Some retailers require this system under certain circumstances.

When you get a barcode from a reseller, you don't own your own unique ID number, and there's a risk that the prefix could be resold to another company, causing confusion or errors. This option may be cheaper and faster, but is less reliable and secure.

The GS1 company prefix is the same as the U.P.C. company prefix, except that the GS1 company prefix adds a zero at the beginning of the number. This prefix is required when creating barcodes for your products.


What is the difference between UPC-A barcode and EAN-13 barcode?

The UPC-A barcode is produced by the United States Uniform Code Committee and is mainly used in the United States and Canada. The code length is 12 digits, and the first digit indicates the numeric system code.

The EAN-13 barcode is developed by the International Article Numbering Center and is universally used. The code length is 13 digits, and the first two digits represent the country or region code.

The EAN-13 barcode has one more country/region code than the UPC-A barcode. In fact, the UPC-A barcode can be regarded as a special case of the EAN-13 barcode, which is the EAN-13 barcode with the first digit set to 0. 13 barcodes.

The EAN-13 barcode is a superset of the UPC-A barcode and is compatible with the UPC-A barcode.

The EAN-13 barcode and the UPC-A barcode have the same structure and verification method, and both have grooves.


What is the difference between UPC-A barcode and UPC-E barcode?

Both the UPC-A barcode and the UPC-E barcode are universal commodity barcodes, but the UPC-A barcode is a standard code, while the UPC-E barcode is a shortened code.

The UPC-A barcode consists of 12 digits, and the UPC-E barcode consists of 8 digits.

The UPC-E barcode is a compressed representation of the UPC-A barcode under certain conditions to accommodate products of different sizes.


Can UPC-A be converted to EAN-13 barcode?

Yes. UPC-A barcodes can be converted to EAN-13 barcodes by adding a leading 0.

For example, the UPC-A barcode 012345678905 corresponds to the EAN-13 barcode 0012345678905.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of UPC-A barcodes?


It can improve the efficiency and accuracy of commodity management, reduce human errors and costs,
They have a check digit to prevent accidental errors, especially when entering codes manually.

It's simple, short, popular, and can be read by almost any standard barcode reader.

It enables businesses to control inventory easily, quickly and accurately and save costs.

It can represent 12-digit information, including country code, manufacturer code, product code and check digit.


They take up more space than some other types of barcodes, such as UPC-E or QR codes.

They can only represent 12-digit numbers, not letters or other symbols.


In what industries are UPC-A barcodes most used?

The UPC-A barcode is designed to realize automatic identification and management of goods. It is mainly used in the U.S. and Canadian markets. Other countries and regions use EAN-13 barcodes. The difference between them is that the EAN-13 barcode has one more country code.

UPC-A barcodes can be used for a variety of goods, such as food, books, clothing, electronic products, etc. It can help merchants and consumers quickly find the price, inventory, sales and other information of the goods.

Some examples of UPC-A barcode applications.

Retail products in the United States that are required to carry a 12-digit unique identifier.

Drug products marked with UPC-A and GS1 Data Matrix for use at point of sale (POS) and/or US FDA barcoding regulations.

Products that require additional information such as issue number, weight, or price using 2 or 5 digit extensions.


How many types of UPC-A barcodes are there?

There are two types of UPC barcodes: standard codes and shortened codes.

The standard code contains 1 digit system character, 5 digits manufacturer code, 5 digits product code and 1 digit check code.

The shortened code is the result of removing or compressing some numbers in the standard code and can only represent 8 digits.


Why design 2 types of UPC barcodes?

The reason why two types of UPC barcodes are designed is to accommodate different sizes of merchandise.

Standard code is suitable for larger products, and shortened code is suitable for smaller products, which can save space and cost.


Why do the United States and Canada use UPC-A barcodes and not EAN-13 barcodes?

It is because they early adopted the UPC-A barcode as the standard for product barcodes.

The UPC-A barcode was produced by the United States Uniform Code Committee. The coding length is 12 digits and only supports 0-9. number. The EAN-13 barcode was later developed by the International Article Numbering Center. The code length is 13 digits and only supports numbers 0-9, but it has an additional country/region code.

In fact, the UPC-A barcode can be regarded as a special case of the EAN-13 barcode, which is the EAN-13 barcode with the first digit set to 0.

Therefore, EAN-13 barcodes and UPC-A barcodes are compatible as long as the scanning device can recognize both types of barcodes.


Will the UPC-A barcode be replaced by the EAN-13 barcode?

At present, the UPC-A barcode has not been completely replaced by the EAN-13 barcode, but with the development of international trade, the use of EAN-13 barcodes is becoming more and more widespread.


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