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A QR code is a unique pattern in which information is encrypted. Almost every advertisement contains a graphic element, thanks to which you can quickly visit a site with goods or services. Scanning different qr codes does not require much knowledge and skills. Now it’s worth understanding what QR is, how to use it, what types exist and what it is for.


The QR code first appeared in Japan, it is able to save text, links, symbols, etc. It is used in various types of industry. It can be read by modern mobile devices, special technologies. Now these codes have become an integral part of the modern world.

How to scan a QR code

Как сканировать qr-код

It will not be difficult for almost any user to scan a QR code on their own. On a mobile device, you need to open a camera or a special application, point at a graphic object and get the result. Some phones read the information instantly, while others require you to press the camera shutter button.


Does the qr code have to be black and white?
How many people use qr codes?
How safe are qr codes?
Is the exact size of the barcode symbols important?
How small can a barcode be?
How much data can a barcode contain?
What is a one-dimensional or linear barcode?
What is a 2D barcode?
What is the best barcode to use?

What is a qr code and how does it work

A QR code is a virtual information base in the form of a picture that new mobile devices can recognize. Quick Response translates as "quick response". The code first appeared back in 1994, and now it is impossible to imagine life without this simple and useful pattern.

What does qr mean?

What does qr mean?

QR code is a short form of Quick Response which means "quick response". In just a couple of seconds, the user gets access to information encrypted in black and white.

Brief history of qr code

In 1994, the Japanese company Denso Wave, which is a separate enterprise of Toyota, first came up with a qr code. The factory needed a variant that would help track the machines and their spare parts. Specialists have developed a unique type of barcode so that it can encrypt symbols, letters, numbers, Japanese characters.


More than a barcode

A QR scanner reads a regular barcode from left to right, so it can only contain an alphabetic and numeric row. The kuar is considered a two-dimensional code, so the device decrypts information in two directions - horizontally and vertically. Thanks to this, more information is stored in a small drawing.

The creators of the QR code developed a pattern that would be scanned from different angles. The reader can be held in any position, allowing you to waste less time. The developers settled on a picture with a square code, which is still popular today. The initial version of the QR code was created in less than a year and contained up to 7000 digits and symbols.

QR code technology becomes open

At first, the QR code was used in the production of cars, but over time, other corporations began to use it. Thanks to a simple picture, it was possible to find out where products, electronics, medicines and much more come from. The code began to be used in all industries. QR developers abandoned patent rights, making the code public and free. At the moment, making your own QR code is not difficult, the main thing is that there is a device for reading it.

2002 the first qr code readers in mobile devices

The first devices with a built-in scanner were introduced in 2002. Since that time, companies have begun to use QR codes and consumers have been able to use them. Two years later, a micro-QR code appeared, and in 2008, the iQR code, which can be in the form of a square and a rectangle, has already spread throughout the world. At that moment, the first batch of mobile phones from Apple, the iPhone, entered the market. Consumers have access to devices that have a qr scanner inside. The popularity of QR codes increased and other corporations began to produce products with the recognition of encrypted patterns.

Golden age of qr codes


Only in 2012 did the QR code win the Good Design Award for Outstanding Industrial Design. This happened 18 years after it appeared and by this time it was already being used all over the world. Even now, the code continues to be improved by Denso Wave. Additional functions are built into new versions of qr codes - protection against forgery, tracking.

How to read the qr code

A QR code contains a set of information in binary form. Before reading the seen qr code, you should know that the device recognizes information by square markers that are located at the corners of the picture. Then the pattern is analyzed, where each cell receives a unique value based on the color design, and the grouping field on the screen displays a common picture.

What is the qr code

A standard QR code contains several important elements:

  1. Margin - a white frame around the outer edge of the image. Without this part, the reader is not able to recreate the full picture, the nearest elements will interfere with it.
  2. Search element - three black squares help the scanner to find the edges of the picture.
  3. Alignment pattern - a small square at the bottom right helps to read the QR code even in an upside down position.
  4. Version - in the upper right corner there is a square, thanks to which the device recognizes the version of the code.
  5. Synchronization stripes - a line in the form of the letter G helps the scanner read information even with a partially damaged code.
  6. Information cells - this part of the qr-code contains the actual necessary information (sms, phone number, link, etc.)

All of the above components allow you to decrypt the information hidden in the qr-code.

Four versions of qr code

There are four main types of QR code, depending on its purpose and use:

  1. Digital. Used to encrypt decimal numbers, capable of storing up to about 7100 characters in one picture.
  2. Alphanumeric. Used to write characters (%, /, %, etc.), capital letters (A to Z), numbers (0 to 9). The code can include up to 4296 characters.
  3. Binary. Stores approximately 3000 ISO-8859-1 characters.
  4. Kanji. A special type of encoding designed for Japanese characters. The QR code can have up to 1817 characters.

These are the main types of QR codes that are recognized by almost all readers.

What is another name for a qr code on the internet?

A QR code is often referred to as a "two-dimensional barcode". This is due to the fact that it is easy to count in two directions.

Can qr code use multiple encodings

Виды кодировок qr-кода

Certainly. But only if all qr-codes contain their correct version.

Advantages of qr code

The graphic code was developed as an updated version of the conventional barcode. Its main advantages:

  1. More information. A barcode contains less data, while a QR code is capable of storing many letters, numbers, and symbols.
  2. The minimum number of errors. Almost everyone was faced with the fact that the QR code scanner showed a completely different product, and not what the buyer chose. The creators of the graphical code have taken care that it is protected from such errors.
  3. Easy reading. To decode a barcode, you need a special device, and to recognize a QR code, you only need to have a mobile device with a camera.
  4. High reliability. It is easy to encode any information in a regular picture with a code.

Also, the QR code is easy to print, you only need black ink, but if you wish, the pattern can be made multi-colored.

Different types of qr codes

All codes have almost identical features, but may differ in appearance:

  • QR - the initial version, which consists of patterns in the three corners of the picture;
  • Aztec - consists of a single search element located in the center;
  • MaxiCode - contains a central pattern using hexagons, the code is used by almost all post offices in America;
  • Semacode - code without search elements;
  • PDF417 is a rectangular drawing that is a cross between a regular barcode and a QR code.

All of the above codes are available for scanning by a reader.

How to scan qr code with iphone, ipad or android device

Almost all modern mobile devices have a built-in QR code scanner, sometimes it is even built right into the camera. This feature is available on some Apple tablets. On Google Play for Android and Apple App Store for iOS, you can search and download dedicated apps that read QR codes.

How to read the code from a mobile device:

  1. Turn on the camera or open the program to scan the code.
  2. Point the camera at the picture, which should be recognized from any angle. The information hidden in the graphic element will be immediately visible on the screen of the device.

It is very easy to scan the code, but it is acceptable if the mobile device has a built-in qr code scanner.

What information can a qr code contain

What information can a qr code contain

Any graphical code is capable of storing data in itself, and here are the most common ways to use it:

  • to download programs;
  • for delivery, sending information on payment accounts;
  • for online account verification;
  • to access the wireless network.

Qwar codes are now very popular, they are used in various industries. In the UK, a company is presenting tombstone graphic codes where anyone can check it and learn more about the deceased person.

Where can i find qr codes

Куар код из дерева

For the first time, a graphic element was created for tracking parts in the production of automobiles. Now it is available to everyone, so it can often be found in business, engineering, legal affairs, the service sector, etc. All over the world, post offices scan parcels using a QR code, allowing you to track them at any time. Even in modern libraries that are located inside the educational institution, the code helps in finding the right book.

Examples of using qr codes in marketing and advertising campaigns

Examples of using qr codes in marketing and advertising campaigns

Now on most ads you can see a QR code that allows you to go to a specific Internet resource in a matter of seconds. You no longer need to manually enter the URL, you just need to scan the code and the site will open. Some manufacturers generate a picture for each of their products so that the consumer can follow the link and find out all the characteristics of the product. Quar codes are placed everywhere - from checks to business cards.

How to create qr code

Creating a QR code is not so difficult if you understand at least a little how it works. Now you can download special applications from Google Play or the Apple App Store that generate a QR code for a mobile device. The following online generators are no less popular and in demand:

  • qrcode-monkey;
  • the-qr-code-generator;
  • qr code generator.

Using a simple generator, you can quickly create a qr-code with encrypted information (text, link, information), upload a file, customize the design. The finished QR code is printed on different media, but sometimes it is depicted in an original way.

The following table shows the characteristics of different versions of QR codes:

Version Number of modules Correction level
Maximum number of characters considering error correction level and character type
Numbers: 0 - 9 Numbers and symbols of the Latin alphabet*,
space, $ % * + - . / :
Binary data Japanese alphabet characters
1 21×21 L 41 25 17 10
M 34 20 14 8
Q 27 16 11 7
H 17 10 7 4
2 25×25 L 77 47 32 20
M 63 38 26 16
Q 48 29 20 12
H 34 20 14 8
3 29×29 L 127 77 53 32
M 101 61 42 26
Q 77 47 32 20
H 58 35 24 15
4 33×33 L 187 114 78 48
M 149 90 62 38
Q 111 67 46 28
H 82 50 34 21
10 57×57 L 652 395 271 167
M 513 311 213 131
Q 364 221 151 93
H 288 174 119 74
40 177×177 L 7,089 4,296 2,953 1,817
M 5,596 3,391 2,331 1,435
Q 3,993 2,420 1,663 1,024
H 3,057 1,852 1,273 784

* When using Cyrillic, one character counts as 2 Latin characters (UTF-8 encoding)

QR creative

QR creative

In the Chinese town of Zhengzhou in 2017, about 2,500 students decided to form the largest QR code with the help of open umbrellas. It turned out to be 51 m long, and after it was scanned, all those who took part received an advantageous offer from Didi-Express. Also, over 130,000 juniper bushes were planted in the Chinese village of Xilinshui in the form of a cuar code. If you scan the picture from a height, you can go to the site of this place. Firms print codes on clothes, gifts, even stamps.

How to protect yourself from malicious qr codes

How to protect yourself from malicious qr codes

When scanning a qr code, the user cannot know whether he is infected or not. It is recommended to give preference to checking scanners that will immediately find and block the threat. One of the most requested applications is Kaspersky QR Scanner. The scanner will quickly detect malware, a trap with prohibited sites, spam. The log will allow you to view and track previous scans.

What to do if you sold a fake?

Where to go if you sold a fake?


Andrey Kozhevnikov

Blog author. 7 years of experience as a Merchandiser. Specialist in the definition of quality products. Distinguished more than 5,000 fake goods. My motto: there is no limit to perfection!

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Add a comment

  1. Anna Ogneva

    I love to see more like this. really cool articles here. I was satisfied like this. here are the best articles for everyone. I want to see more of this. the good thing is that you can understand a lot about qr code thanks to such good articles. here are the best articles

  2. Vitaly

    Now in our time it is very important to use services that are associated with QR codes. Of course, they make life easier for every person who quickly uses their service. In the future, it will be even easier, I think, than it is now.

  3. Trafim

    Thanks. But it would be interesting to learn about reading, creating, transmitting QR codes by means of a regular “fax” connected to a wired network, without output (in the case of transmission and reading) to thermal paper, as well as using the capabilities of a telegraph (with a sufficiently powerful coherer) to solve such issues in remote areas (and not developed countries), where there are no cellular and space communications.

  4. Nicholas

    This article is useful and many will be pleased with it by learning a lot of new things for themselves. A lot of people don't understand how to properly use a camara, much less how to scan a code. Thank you for the very good advice.

  5. Eugene

    It was interesting to read the post about the qr code. I read all the posts for twenty-five minutes, learned a lot of useful information for me. For example: How to scan a QR code, the advantages of a qr code, what types of qr codes exist. I would also like to write about the work done, the person who wrote this useful information, thank you very much)

  6. Setlana

    Here are your articles that are very useful for many, and these codes have become an integral part of the modern world without them, now it’s just very difficult to distinguish a fake from the original for an ordinary person. Your advice is simply invaluable for people thank you.

  7. Setlana

    These codes are a virtual information base in the form of a picture that new mobile devices are able to recognize and many people have them and that's good and they will save you from many fakes and your advice is very useful for many thanks to you.

  8. Alexander

    It's true that the qr code does not require much knowledge and it is very easy to use it, but I did not know how many verification methods there are, and only from you I learned this and increased my knowledge, thank you very much for your advice.

  9. Svetlana

    Вот эти коды стали неотъемлемой частью современного мира и без них очень тяжело и даже бывает навозможно отличить подделку от оригинала. И ваши статьи очень сильно помогают при выборе продукции большое спасибо вам.

  10. Svetlana

    Вот сканеры это просто круто и не составит большого труда QR-код просканировать самостоятельно. Это изобретение полезное и отличить подделку от оригинала просто очень а ваши соеты очень полезны для многих.

  11. anton

    как интирестно такой маленький квадратик с аброй-кодаброй скрывает столько полезной и важной информации

  12. Eugene

    It was interesting to read the post about the qr code. I read all the posts for twenty-five minutes, learned a lot of useful information for me. For example: How to scan a QR code, the advantages of a qr code, what types of qr codes exist. I would also like to write about the work done, the person who wrote this useful information, thank you very much)

  13. Nicholas

    Вот ваши статьи очень полезные для многих и эти коды стали неотъемлемой частью современного мира без них сейчас просто очень тяжело отличить подделку от оригинала простому человеку а ваши советы помогают это сделать и большое вам спасибо за советы.

  14. Svetlana

    Все мы прекрасно знаем, что если товар оригинальный, то он имеет свою маркировку. И без экспертов большая часть , если не все покупатели сталкивались с подделками даже на прилавках магазина.Вот поэтому нужно не лениться и проверять подлинность товара, тем более это так просто при помощи телефона.

  15. anton

    а подскажите кто в курсе кюэр код реально подделать или ещё не научились ,а то у нас мастера такие что подделывают все что угодно

  16. Nicholas

    Да у меня он мгновенно считывает информацию и я сразу все вижу какой это продукт и спасибо тем изобрёл это с ним легко и просто и вам за советы спасибо большое.

  17. Denis

    Как понимаю QR код для одноразового пользования – сканировал, зашел в сайт, полюбопытствовал и удалил. У меня например есть несколько кодов для обучения, другие – инструкции по разным предметам, также билеты на мероприятия и др. постоянно нужное. Я QR коды печатаю на бумагу или телефон подключаю к компьютеру и захожу где надо. Намного удобнее было бы заходить со смартфона, но, как писал раньше, в папке телефона все QR коды без определения что есть на каждом из них – не видно названий (Наугад подключаться мне и 10 ГБ моб. интернета не хватит). Возможно есть какая отдельная программа, для определения этих визуально засекреченных и спрятанных QR кодов? А может на других телефонах видны номера или названии сохраняемых кодов? Мой галахи а32, где много лишних и не нужных функций.

  18. Olga

    Here are your articles that are very useful for many, and these codes have become an integral part of the modern world without them, now it’s just very difficult to distinguish a fake from the original for an ordinary person. Your advice is simply invaluable for people thank you.

  19. angelina

    вот же именно так классно же то, что можно видеть такие хорошие статьи. раньше я не видела такого а жаль. я теперь знаю как же лучше всего сканировать можно код, теперь я больше буду понимать о том как же лучше всего это можно сделать, это и вправду потрясающие статьи, которые мне нравятся больше всего

Does the qr code have to be black and white?
Of course not. In order to create a QR code, it is allowed to use different colors, but they must contrast with each other. There are even different colors of QR codes.
How many people use qr codes?
The number of QR code users is increasing every year. Last year their number was 11 million. This is due to the high demand for mobile devices, high-speed Internet. Also, one of the main factors of such popularity is the production of phones with an internal qr code scanner.
How safe are qr codes?
It is allowed to hide any information in the qr-code, including phishing information. The hacker is able to add a link to the QR code, by clicking on which you can subscribe to a paid newsletter or catch a virus on your mobile device. There is a risk that the embedded URL has been hacked.
Is the exact size of the barcode symbols important?
Some types of QR codes require a certain size. For EAN-13, approximately 37 mm wide and 28 mm high are needed, but for ITF-14, you should choose a barcode 142 mm wide and 32 mm high.
How small can a barcode be?
You can find a two-dimensional code 1x1 cm in size. The smaller the graphic element, the less information it contains. The small code size requires the use of a printer with a higher resolution.
How much data can a barcode contain?
One-dimensional code contains approximately 25 characters, and two-dimensional - up to 2000 characters. The more encoded amount of information, the larger the graphic code will be.
What is a one-dimensional or linear barcode?
The barcode contains a complex of vertical stripes. It can only contain numbers or only letters. The scanner reads only one line of the barcode.
What is a 2D barcode?
This QR code encrypts data in two streams to store and read more. To read it, a more sophisticated qr code reader is needed.
What is the best barcode to use?
Every industry requires a certain kind of barcodes. For printed publications, ISBN and ISSN are used; for retail, EAN and UPC; for mailboxes, SSCC-18, UCC-128 and EAN-128. If you want to encode letters and numbers, then it is better to choose code 128 or 39.