Account&See Invoicing and Accounting

Barcode Formats

You can use more than 20 different Barcode formats within Account&See. Listed below is a brief sample and description of all the formats and their uses


The Universal Product Code was the first bar code to be widely adopted from as early as April 1973 by the US grocery industry for product marking.
UPC-A bar codes are the most common type of UPC barcodes and have ten digits plus two overhead digits. The first character indicates the product type, the next five digits represent the manufacturer and the next five digits represent the product. The final digit is a checksum digit.
UPC-E is the second most common type of UPC barcode and is used for products where the size of the package cannot accommodate a standard UPC-A barcode format. UPC-E barcodes are encrypted versions of the UPC-A format
UPC A and E Barcodes can represent only numerical data (numbers 0 through 9) - no text characters are allowed.
The UPC system has now been replaced by the superset EAN format (below) - and the UPC formats should only be used internally if your scanners are of a date that they do not read the superior EAN system.


European Article Numbering was adopted from the United States' UPC code in late 1976. The EAN symbols are fixed in length (either 8 (EAN-8) or 13 (EAN-13)) and can only contain the digits 0-9. Also known as JAN (Japanese Article Numbering) and IAN (International Article Numbering System) the coding is identical to the UPC format except for the number of digits. In the EAN system, the first two or three digits are normally used to identify the country of the EAN International Organisation issuing the number - i.e. 500-509 represent UK, 300-379 indicates France etc.
If you enter 7 digits (for EAN-8) or 12 digits (for EAN-13), Account&See will automatically calculate and print the required checksum digit.

Code 2 of 5

Code 2 of 5, sometimes called Code 2 from 5 and the interleaved 2 of 5 barcodes can represent the digits 0-9. In use since the late 1960's, it is a popular choice for airline tickets, photo developing envelopes and internal warehouse systems.

Code 128 A, B, C

The Code 128 system uses 4 different bar and space widths to achieve a relatively compact barcode. There is no restriction to the number of characters that can be encoded in the 128 system, although the width of the barcode, must remain within the scanning width of the actual barcode scanner.
The three systems differ, basically, by the characters that can be represented.
  • Code 128 A - "!#$%&'()*+.-/0123456789:;<=>?@ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[\]^_
  • Code 128 B - "!#$%&'()*+.-/0123456789:;<=>?@ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[\]^_` abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz{|}~
  • Code 128 C - Numbers 0-9

Code 39

Code 39 and Extended Code 39 differ, as Code 128, basically by the characters that can be encoded.
  • Code 39 - -.*$/+%0123456789ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
  • Extended Code 39 - "!#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789:;<=>?@ ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[\]^_` abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz{|}~


Codabar (sometimes called Code 2 of 7) is commonly used by US Libraries and Blood Banks and can encode only the digits 0 through 9


The PostNet barcode (and PostNet + 2 and PostNet + 5) is used by the United States' Postal Service to print the addressees' zip code - and with supplement codes (+2 and +5) individual delivery points. Like the Royal Mail postcode, the software prints the barcode at pre-determined, USPS specified, bar widths and heights - resizing the barcode within the software has no effect. The software also automatically adds the specified start, stop and checksum characters to the barcode.

Royal Mail Customer Bar Codes

The Royal Mail barcode encodes uppercase letters A to Z and numbers 0 through 9. As with the PostNet barcode, the barcode is printed at a specified barheight and barwidth and you cannot change the barcode's overall dimensions. An alphanumeric 2 digit (number + letter) delivery point code should be added to the addressee's post code. Further information can be obtained from the Royal Mail's website.

Bookland + 2 and Bookland + 5

We have called our barcodes Bookland + 2 and Bookland + 5. Often referred to as EAN13 supplement 2 and EAN13 supplement 5, or EAN13-2 and EAN13-5, these barcodes are used to record the book's ISBN number and the supplemental digits are used for recording issue numbers (for magazines with a +2 extension) or pricing information for books (with a +5 extension).

Code 93

Code 93 is an improved version of Code 39 and encodes more information into the same length, compared to Code 39. Like Code 39, there are two variants - standard and extended - with the extended version able to encode the full ASCII character set. The start and stop characters, together with two checksum digits are calculated automatically by the software.

Code 11/USD-8

Code 11 is a numeric-only barcode symbology used predominantly in labelling telecommunications equipment. For data less than 10 digits in length, one checksum character is added to the barcode, whereas data of more than ten digits employs the use of two checksum characters - these are automatically calculated and added by the software.

MSI Plessey

The Plessey barcode was developed in 1971 in the UK by, obviously, Plessey. Several variations were created, but the Plessey barcode is still used today in the USA by libraries and for retail grocery shelf marking. We include two variations of the barcode - with a modulo 10 or modulo 11 checksum character.

So which one to use?

If you are selling products and have your own EAN number, you will obviously use either the EAN 8 or EAN 13 code. However, if you are using the barcodes for 'in-house' use, the choice will be broken down to:
  • Do you need numeric or alphanumeric information? If your products contain non-numeric data then Code 128A/B or Code 39 would be the only options.
  • Do your scanners support the barcode symbology? This is the most important factor - and will dictate the bar code system you will use. We have some scanners here that do not scan Code 39, some that do not scan CodaBar.