Code 39 Barcode

Also Known As:

ANSI/AIM Code 39, Code 3/9, Code 3 of 9, ISO/IEC 16388:2007,LOGMARS, Uniform Symbology Specification Code 39, USS Code 39, USS 39, USD-3, 3 of 9.

Related Barcode Types:

Code 32 - a variant used in Italian pharmacies.

Code 39 Extended (or Extended Code 39) - A superset of Code 39 which permits the encoding of the full ASCII character set.

Description:

Code 39 is widely used in many industries across the world. It is the standard for many government barcode specifications, including the U.S. Department of Defense.

Code 39 was the first alphanumeric symbology. Its character set includes the digits 0-9, the letters A-Z (uppercase only), and the following symbols: space, minus "-", plus "+", period ".", dollar sign "$", slash "/", and percent "%".

Each data character is made up of 5 bars and 4 spaces for a total of 9 elements. Each character includes 3 wide and 6 narrow elements. Thus, 3 out of the 9 elements are always wide, which is the reason why the code is sometimes called "3 of 9".

The ratio of wide to narrow bar width can be in the range of 1.8 to 3.4.

Code 39 uses an asterisk ("*") as a start and stop character.  This is sometimes printed out in the text which is optionally shown underneath a Code 39 barcode.

Code 39's chief drawback is that it is a low-density barcode, meaning that very small items cannot be labeled with it.  However, it is still widely used, and most commercial barcode readers can decode it.

Characteristics

Discrete, variable length, 1D, optional checksum, self-checking, low data density.

Common uses

ID badges, industrial labeling and government labeling.   Some implementations of Health Industry Barcode (HIBC) use Code 39.

Developed/Maintained by

Originally developed by Intermc, maintained by ANSI/AIM, ISO/IEC.

Tips on creating

Code 39 requires a quiet zone, which should be at least the width of 10 narrow bars. Since Code 39 is a self-checking barcode, it normally does not require a check sum. However, if desired, an optional modulo 43 checksum may be used.

Accusoft products that contain this barcode for reading:

Accusoft products that contain this barcode for writing:

Additional Details:

Code 39 is often used for internal barcodes (barcodes which are only read in one organization), or even for barcoding within a specific industry vertical.  For example, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) uses Code 39 in its B-1 barcode standard, which is used for part identification across companies in the automotive sector.

Code 39 is often used for internal barcodes (barcodes which are only read in one organization), or even for barcoding within a specific industry vertical.  For example, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) uses Code 39 in its B-1 barcode standard, which is used for part identification across companies in the automotive sector.