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Work with My UPC-A Barcode

8 April 2020

Work with My UPC-A Barcode

To generate a UPC-A barcode image in GS1 US Data Hub, you must first create the product detail record. When you assign a GTIN to the product, and click “Save,” the product status changes from Draft to PreMarket. The “Barcode” tab then displays. When the product is in the PreMarket status, you can print a "For Placement Only" or FPO barcode image. When the product is ready to share with the marketplace, change the status to In Use. Click the "Barcode" tab to download the barcode image or share barcode definitions with a print vendor. 

Note: if you licensed a GS1 US GTIN, the status of your product is already In Use. To view the barcode image for a GS1 US GTIN, click the "Product" link. From the Manage Products page, click the "Description" for the product (in blue text), then click the "Barcode" tab.

View Create My Product and Generate a UPC-A Barcode for steps you can take to create a product.

Here are questions members have asked about working wit the UPC-A barcode in GS1 US Data Hub:

Q. Can I change the size of my barcode?
A. While you can change the size of your barcode to best fit your packaging, you should stay within the sizing restrictions noted below. If you are selling very small or oddly shaped products, other barcodes (besides the UPC-A) are available. However, some scanners are limited in what they can read and the choice of an alternate barcode should be researched before being pursued.  

Please contact one of the GS1 Standards Professional Barcode Image and Print Vendors to assist you with sizing changes.

Q. How big or small can I make my barcode? 
A. The size of your barcode will depend on the size of the bars themselves, which is given by the width of the narrowest black bar (this is called the X -dimension). These are defined in the 

GS1 General Specifications (GS1 symbol specification tables):

- The Minimum X-dimension for the UPC-A barcode is 0.0104 inches;
- The Maximum X-dimension for the UPC-A barcode is 0.0260 inches;

Based on the X-Dimensions sizes noted, the corresponding height of the barcode will be:

- For Minimum X-dimension (0.0104 inches), the bar height for the UPC-A barcode is 0.72 inches, and the minimum width is 1.174 inches (you can select this Minimum barcode size in GS1 US Data Hub)

- For Maximum X-dimension (0.0260 inches), the bar height for the UPC-A barcode is 1.8 inches, and the maximum width is 2.936 inches (you can select this Maximum barcode size in GS1 US Data Hub)

Note: "bar height" refers only to the bars and does not include the human readable interpretation (numbers) or drop-down bars (as highlighted in the image below). GS1 US Data Hub provides the human readable interpretation and drop-down bars in the image file you can download.

Also, "truncating" the barcode (reducing the height of a barcode relative to its length) is not recommended, as truncation inhibits the ability of a symbol to be scanned at the point-of-sale.

For assistance with resizing the barcode, please contact a  GS1 Standards Professional Barcode Image and Print Vendor.

Q. What are the dimensions of the "Target” UPC-A barcode image file that can be downloaded?
A: In GS1 US Data Hub, if you select "Target" from the Size section (the default selection), the dimensions of the UPC-A barcode image file, which includes the human readable interpretation and Quiet Zones, is approximately 1.15 inches in height and 1.58 inches in width. U.P.C. barcodes have a fixed relationship between barcode height and width, so if one dimension is modified, the other dimension must be altered by a proportional amount. For this reason, you should NOT resize or crop these barcodes.  

Q. What is the format of the barcode image file?
A. To save the barcode image file, click the "Barcode" tab, then "Preview Barcode." The Preview Barcode window opens. Click the Download button (highlighted below). GS1 US Data Hub provides the file as the PNG "Image Type." The PNG format is the only format available. If you require another format, such as EPS (or vector format), it’s recommended that you click the “Export Definition” button to export the barcode definitions and share these with a GS1 Standards Professional Barcode Image and Print Vendor, who can generate other image types.

Q. Will my UPC-A barcode scan?
A. The UPC-A barcode image generated by GS1 US Data Hub will scan as intended (when there are no image modifications made). However, brand owners must take an important step outside of GS1 US Data Hub to ensure their products are properly identified at retail point-of-sale. They must share product/GTIN/barcode data with their trading partners. When this product data is shared with trading partners, the trading partner can then populate their databases so their point-of-sale scanners can retrieve the product data using the GTIN within the scanned barcode.

To learn more about barcode testing and sharing your product data, visit the GS1 US Test/Verify Printed Barcodes and GS1 US Share Information Electronically pages.

Also, read the Data Hub Frequently Asked Questions to learn about the benefits of enabling "product data sharing" in GS1 US Data Hub.

 

Q. How much space do I need on either side of my UPC-A barcode? 
A. The space (or Quiet Zones) to the left and right of your UPC-A barcode must be at least nine times the X-dimension. This means they must be at least 0.0936 inches for the minimum x-dimension and at least 0.234 inches for the maximum X-dimension. If packaging or label space allows, additional open space to either side of the barcode is recommended to allow for printing needs.

 

Q. How much space do I need above my UPC-A barcode? 
A. There is not a requirement for blank space above or below a UPC-A barcode.

 

Q. What colors and backgrounds can I use in my barcodes?
A. GS1 US Data Hub presents the barcode with black bar colors on a white background. If you or your print vendors decide to change the colors, try to make your barcodes with as much contrast between the bars and the background as you can. Don’t choose similar colors for both. The best color selections for bars and background are:
- Best background colors are white, followed by red and orange;
- Best bar colors are black, followed by dark blue or dark green.

 

Q. Are there barcode placement best practices I should consider?
A. Yes, here are a few:
- Do keep the barcode on a flat surface; don’t wrap a barcode;
- Do make the barcode easy to scan; don’t add multiple barcodes on a unit or case;
- Do make sure nothing sits over the barcode; don’t cover the barcode;
- For items intended for retail point-of-sale (POS), the preferred barcode placement is on the lower right quadrant of the back. Alternative placement for a barcode is the lower right quadrant of a side of the container other than the back; bottom marking is acceptable.

For more best practices, please view the GS1 US Place Barcodes on Products page. 

 

Q. Can I download multiple barcode images at one time?
A. No, but as a best practice, you can use the Manage Products screen to download each image:

- Click the In Use tab
- Click the product detail record
- Click the Barcode Tab
- Click Preview, then the Download button

Q. My products are cylinders and my barcodes are not scanning. What can I do?
A. If the angle of the curve is greater than 30 degrees,  you should orient your barcodes so that they align with the length of the tube and the symbols look like a ladder, as shown in the image below (as opposed to a picket fence). This will help prevent the extremes of the symbol to disappear around the curve (both ends cannot be visible to the scanner at the same time). 



Barcodes Available in GS1 US Data Hub

8 April 2020

Barcodes Available in GS1 US Data Hub

GS1 US Data Hub provides barcode images based on these three attributes of a specific Product Detail Record:
- Product Industry;
- Packaging Level;
- "Can this item be purchased by the consumer" check box;

Also, the barcode option may change if you select a different Application Area on the Barcode screen.

This article explains which barcodes images are available in GS1 US Data Hub from the "Barcode" tab when you are viewing a product detail record.  As noted, some barcodes can be downloaded as PNG files, or directly into label templates. It's not possible to download barcode images for multiple products in bulk.



UPC-A:
This barcode is used primarily at retail POS and encodes only the GTIN. After you share product/GTIN/barcode data with your trading partners, they can then populate their databases so their point-of-sale scanners can retrieve the product data using the GTIN within the scanned barcode.

The UPC-A Barcode Option Displays for the Product Detail Record...

If Product Industry Is: And Packaging Level Is: Can this item be purchased
by the consumer?

And Application Area
Drop-Down Selection Is:
General Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case, Case as Each 
Box is Checked Any selection
CPG Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case, Case as Each
Box is Checked Any selection
Food Service Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case, Case as Each
Box is Checked Any selection
Apparel Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case, Case as Each
Box is Checked Any selection
Regulated Healthcare Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case, Case as Each
Box is Checked Retail Pharmacy is only selection


How to View the Image:

View the product detail record, click the "Barcode" tab, then the "Preview Barcode" button, then click "Download". To learn more about working with the UPC-A barcode, view the Work with My UPC-A Barcode article in the Help Center.

Can a .PNG Image Be Downloaded?
Yes

Can Barcode Image Be Printed on Avery label templates?
Yes



ITF-14:

This barcode is used to identify units such as cases and pallets, and is mainly seen in general distribution. The ITF-14 is typically printed on corrugated material. POS scanners cannot read the ITF-14 barcode. In GS1 US Data Hub, the ITF-14 barcode only encodes the GTIN-12 or GTIN-14 in a 14-digit format. 

The ITF-14 Barcode Option Displays for the Product Detail Record...

If Product Industry Is: And Packaging Level Is:  Can this item be purchased
by the consumer? 

And Application Area
Drop-Down Selection Is:
General Any selection Box is NOT checked And selection EXCEPT Directly Part Marked
Regulated Healthcare
CPG Any selection Box is NOT checked Only Non-Retail... is available
Food Service Any selection Box is NOT checked Only Non-Retail... is available
Apparel Any selection Box is NOT checked Only Non-Retail... is available
Regulated Healthcare Any selection Box is checked or not checked Any selection EXCEPT Directly Part Marked Regulated Healthcare


How to View the Image:
View the product detail record, click the "Barcode" tab, then click the "Preview Barcode" button, then click "Download".

Can a .PNG Image Be Downloaded?
Yes

Can Barcode Image Be Printed on Avery label templates?
Yes



GS1-128:

The GS1-128 barcode encodes GTINs and is commonly used to identify units such as cases. In GS1 US Data Hub, this barcode encodes the GTIN-12 or GTIN-14 in a 14-digit format, but specific additional information can also be encoded, such as Best Before Date, Batch/Lot Number, or Serial Number - using GS1 Application Identifiers (AIs) - to support business needs throughout your supply chain. 

To encode this information, click the Barcode tab, select GS1-128 from Barcode Type, then select the desired AIs at the bottom of the screen. Read the Create a Case and Generate a Barcode article for more details on adding AIs to the GS1-128 barcode.

The GS1-128 Barcode Option Displays for the Product Detail Record...

If Product Industry Is: And Packaging Level Is: Can this item be purchased
by the consumer?

And Application Area
Drop-Down Selection Is:
General Any selection Box is NOT checked And selection EXCEPT Directly Part Marked
Regulated Healthcare
CPG Any selection Box is NOT checked Only Non-Retail... is available
Food Service Any selection Box is NOT checked Only Non-Retail... is available
Apparel Any selection Box is NOT checked Only Non-Retail... is available
Regulated Healthcare Any selection Box is checked or not checked Any selection EXCEPT Directly Part Marked Regulated Healthcare

How to View the Image:
View the product detail record, click the "Barcode" tab, then click the "Preview Barcode" button, then click "Download".

Can a .PNG Image Be Downloaded?
Yes

Can Barcode Image Be Printed on Avery label templates?
No - However, when you click Export Barcode Definition, the file includes any AIs you entered for this barcode.

 

GS1 DataBar Stacked Omnidirectional:
This barcode is typically found on hard-to-mark consumer goods, such as loose produce, (apples, pears, etc.) and ensures reliable scanning at the retail POS. For the Regulated Healthcare industry, this barcode is sometimes used on unit dose pharmaceuticals. It is not recommended for any higher level packaging item. Learn more from this GS1 US Infographic.

The GS1 DataBar Stacked Omnidirectional Barcode Option Displays for the Product Detail Record...

If Product Industry Is: And Packaging Level Is: Can this item be purchased
by the consumer?

And Application Area
Drop-Down Selection Is:
General Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case, Case as Each
Box is checked Any selection
CPG Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case, Case as Each
Box is checked Any selection
Food Service Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case, Case as Each
Box is checked Any selection
Apparel Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case, Case as Each
Box is checked Any selection
Regulated Healthcare Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case, Case as Each
Box is checked or not checked Retail Pharmacy is only selection


How to View the Image:
View the product detail record, click the "Barcode" tab, then click the "Preview Barcode" button.


Can a .PNG Image Be Downloaded?

While a .PNG file is available to be downloaded, it is recommended that you work with your GS1 Standards Professional Barcode Image and Print Vendor to include the barcode within your PLU sticker. 

Can Barcode Image Be Printed on Avery label templates?
No

 

GS1 DataMatrix:
DataMatrix is  used for "Regulated Healthcare" product industry items, especially medical devices (non-retail trade items) that are direct marked. In GS1 US Data Hub, the GS1 DataMatrix barcode image is shown for illustrative purposes only.

The GS1 DataMatrix Barcode Option Displays for the Product Detail Record...

If Product Industry Is: And Packaging Level Is: Can this item be purchased
by the consumer?

And Application Area
Drop-Down Selection Is:
General Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case
Box is checked or not checked Retail Pharmacy, Directly Part Marked
Regulated Healthcare, or Non-Retail...
Regulated Healthcare Each, Inner Pack, Case,
Mixed Case
Box is checked or not checked Retail Pharmacy, Directly Part Marked
Regulated Healthcare, or Non-Retail...

How to View the Image:

View the product detail record, then click the "Barcode" tab, click the "Preview Barcode" button. The image is for illustrative purposes only.

Can a .PNG Image Be Downloaded?
No, GS1 US Data Hub only presents a sample image on the screen, which cannot be downloaded. Click the "Export Barcode Definition" button and send this data to your GS1 Standards Professional Barcode Image and Print Vendor. For products in the pharmaceutical industry, refer to this GS1 US resource for more details. For products in the medical device industry, refer to this GS1 US resource.

Can Barcode Image Be Printed on Avery label templates?
No, GS1 US Data Hub only presents a sample image on the screen, which cannot be downloaded.

 

Related Articles and Resources:

View the GS1 US Determine Barcode Type article to learn more about these barcodes.

View the GS1 US Barcode Chart (PDF) that explains all of the available GS1 barcodes and how they are used.

View the Create My Product and Generate a UPC-A Barcode article in this Help Center for steps you can take to create a product.

Each, Inner Pack, Case