Which Bar Code Do You Need?

UPC Bar Codes    UPC Bar Code example
Virtually all products sold in North America use the UPC-A bar code (or UPC-E, which is just a smaller version of UPC-A). You can not make up a UPC-A bar code number, you must pay GS1.org a yearly fee and they assign you your UPC code. (That's why no two products will ever have the same UPC code.) You can find out more by contacting the GS1 at:


If you find them too expensive, and you want to buy a UPC code assignment check out My Bar Code Store.

UPC-A is a fixed length bar code that always contains 12 digits. The first 6 or more digits are assigned by the GS1.org. The remaining five digits are used to identify a product. The last digit is a checksum. The UPC-E bar code is a shortened version of UPC-A to use when space is not available for the standard UPC-A code.

  • Encodes: Numeric Only
  • Length: Fixed Length, 12 or 7 digits
  • Checksum: Required

UPC bar codes may be read from either direction. UPC-A bar codes may range from 1.0 to 1.5 inches in length. The height may vary from .25 to 1 inch.


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