1D or 2D barcode? Which is Better?

If you are choosing the best barcode system for your business then, you should look at various factors such as label design, resistance, etc. and after that, select the barcode that is perfectly suitable for your business.

1D Barcodes vs 2D Barcodes
1D Barcodes

These are also known as linear barcodes and are represented as a set of vertical black bars separated by white spaces on the horizontal axis. These black bars and the white spaces are different from each other in thickness and the data is stored in the barcode-based upon the specific order of thin and thick bars and spaces. The deeper and broader the barcode, the more data it stores. There are different types of 1D barcodes like UPCA, UPCE, EAN18, Codabar, Code 39, etc.

When an optical scanner directs a LED light on a 1D barcode, light is reflected backward dependent on the spacing and dimensions of the black bars. The reflecting light’s pulses are transformed into binary codes, which are decoded to disclose the product’s unique identification number. It can read the data of the 1D barcode from left to right or vice-versa. But, 1D barcodes are capable to store only linear data, which should be scanned from particular angles. Read More

Create 1D Barcode

You can create high-quality 1D barcodes with the help of the our free Standard Barcode Software in less time without applying much effort. In this software, you can create different types of 1D barcodes such as Codabar, Code39, Code128, UPCA, EAN18 etc. In the below image, you can see how you create high-quality 1D barcodes-

1d barcode design
2D Barcodes

1D barcodes were suitable for most types of businesses and applications but, in other cases, there was a requirement for a specific barcode that can store some more additional information. So, for this, 2D barcodes are introduced. They are typically shaped like a square with smaller black and white squares inserted inside. They include both machine-readable information and text messages about the product to which it is connected. There are two different forms in which these barcodes can store the data, matrix, and stack. In stacked 2D barcodes, data is stored in the form of stacks of 1D barcodes, whereas in matrix 2D barcodes, data is stored in the form of geometric patterns such as hexagonal, square, or circular units.

There are two different read lamps are used to read the 2D barcodes. These codes are extremely used because of their quick readability and capacity to hold a huge volume of information. There are several types of 2D barcodes like PDF 417, Data Matrix, QR Code, etc. Read More

Create 2D Barcode

Just like 1D Barcodes, you can also create 2D Barcodes in the same manner. You can create different types of 2D barcodes like DataMatrix, PDF417, QR Code etc. In the below image, you can see how you create premium-quality 2D barcodes-

2d barcode design
Pros and Cons of 1D and 2D Barcodes

1D Barcodes


  • ➤ These barcodes can be generated and scanned with a basic and affordable scanner, no special hardware or software is required.
  • ➤ 1D barcode scanners offer a high motion sensitivity.
  • ➤ 1D barcodes can generate, track and manage the data easily as compared to 2D barcodes.
  • ➤ Because of their simplicity, 1D barcodes can be encoded and decoded very quickly via optical scanners.


  • ➤ The amount of data that these barcode labels can hold is extremely limited.
  • ➤ Once a 1D barcode label becomes deformed, it is impossible to scan it accurately.
  • ➤ To decode the meaning of these barcodes, an external database is mandatory.
  • ➤ New scanners that use optical recognition can scan these barcodes slowly.

2D Barcodes


  • ➤ They can store a lot more information locally, minimizing the requirement for wireless connections while scanning them.
  • ➤ 2D barcodes can be scanned from any perspective.
  • ➤ These barcodes can store different types of data such as numeric, binary, text, and Unicode.
  • ➤ Error Correction algorithms can be inserted in them to help data retrieval in the case of barcode distortion


  • ➤ Optical recognition is used instead of lasers to scan the 2D barcode labels.
  • ➤ To decode these barcodes, advanced software scanners are needed which might be costly.
  • ➤ A complex algorithm is required for 2d barcodes which are much more complicated than 1D barcodes.
  • ➤ When many 2D barcodes occur close together, then it becomes very tough to read them.
Application of 1D and 2D Barcodes
1D Barcodes 2D Barcodes
Used in various places such as retail stores, inventory control, membership cards, etc. Used in various large applications like transportation networks, medical centers, logistical operations, etc.
Various warehousing industries are using the 1D barcodes to keep track and maintain their inventories Widely used in large-scale industries to keep track of all the products of various brands in less time.
Many automobile companies use these types of barcodes to check the automotive components. Used for labeling of small-sized electronic equipment and can be fast read by the scanners.
Other application areas of 1D barcodes are U.S. blood banks, photo laboratories, delivery services, etc. QR Codes are used in daily life activities such as quick cashless payments, social media activities, ad campaigns, etc.
Which is better, 1D Barcode or 2D Barcode?

As you can see in the above article, 1D and 2D barcodes have their advantages and disadvantages and are best in their respective areas. Both types of barcode systems are used for tracking and managing inventories in different application areas and decoded by using various technologies.

Now comes to the main point, 1D or 2D barcode which is best, it all depends upon the various factors. 1D barcodes can store basic and small-sized information and they are also scanned very quickly and easily. Code 128 is the most popular and commonly used in most applications. The entire ASCII character set, including digits and alpha characters, can be stored by using this barcode.

2D barcodes are generally used to store complex and large information and offer a higher level of error detection and correction. They are also very small in size which is ideal for products with small surface area.

So, the best barcode is the one that perfectly suits your business. The reason is that barcodes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its own set of qualities and capabilities. Only one type of barcode can’t provide you all the features.