Best Practices for Maximizing Barcode Reader Technology [eBook Series 3 of 6]

Maximizing barcode technology dynamsoft

Location

The location of the barcode involves where it is physically located on a page, box or other items. It’s important to consider user scenarios because location identification can increase recognition speed. Also, you want to consider location to ensure its placement isn’t going to be where it’s likely to become damaged. For example, if you’re placing it on a printed health record, you probably want to avoid putting the barcode where users commonly staple another item with the barcoded item.

If you can specify a quadrant or area as to where the barcode will always be, this can also improve speed. For example, if you know barcodes will always be in a three-inch by three-inch box at the top right corner of an 8.5” x 11” page, with good software you can instruct the software to read only that area. Thus, time isn’t wasted scanning other parts of the page where barcodes are not present.

Quiet Zone

Part of having success in barcode scans is having a properly defined quiet zone. A quiet zone is a blank area or margin on either end of a barcode. That blank area tells a barcode scanner where the barcode starts and stops. Quiet zone specifications vary depending on the barcode symbol being used. Usually, at least an eighth of an inch is a minimal requirement. However, it’s important to verify quiet zone requirements for any chosen barcode. Be sure the location where you’ll place the barcode allows for required quiet zones.19-quiet zone

Barcode Direction and Rotation

As you can imagine, specifying the direction your barcodes will be in when decoded can increase speed. This is because the software doesn’t have to account for multiple orientations to look for. For example, if you can specify in your application that barcode orientations will always be horizontal, as opposed to vertical, speed will be nominally improved.

For further orientation-related speed improvements, you’ll want to avoid as much as possible having to pre-process a barcode. While sometimes unavoidable, this means not having to de-skew it or perhaps smooth it.

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