code 128 barcodes
Code 128 barcodes the standard in 1D barcodes. Code 128 and GS1-128 have replaced Code 39 in many situations. Code 128 is the barcode symbology used in many industry standards and specifications. It’s compact, has a check digit to insure accurate scans, and encodes alphanumeric strings of variable length. What’s not to love?
There are three flavors of Code 128: code set A, code set B, and yes code set C. The same glyphs (characters) are used to represent different character sets. Stick to Code 128 code set B if you can because it most accurately represents the lower 128 ASCII characters; lowercase letters, punctuation and all. Code 128 code set C has a neat trick up its sleeve: it compresses numeric strings 2:1 by representing every pair of numbers with only 1 character.
12121953 is 11 characters in code set B but only 7 characters in code set C.
Code 128 is the standard throughout shipping and distribution. It’s here to stay. Wacky mod 103 check digit and all. Truth be told, when I first starting writing Code 128 routines it made me cry. At work in front of my staff. I hated it.
The world has embraced GS1-128, a subset of Code 128, in a big way. GS1-128 symbols all begin with the FNC1 character.
Azalea Software does free artwork for those who want a barcode tattoo. If you’re committed to a barcode tat at least make sure the images is good before you get inked. When someone asks for a relatively long string we tend to use Code 128 because it’s more compact than Code 39.