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GS1 US Data Hub Help Center

Work with My UPC-A Barcode

To generate a UPC-A barcode image in GS1 US Data Hub, first create the product detail record and click Set Status to In Use. Then click View Barcode

Note: Did you license a single GS1 US GTIN? Then your product is already set to In Use. From the main screen, click Product, then click the "Product Description" link (in blue text). Then click View Barcode.

Here are questions that members have asked about the UPC-A barcode in GS1 US Data Hub.

A: Here are the dimensions of the UPC-A barcode image file that you download in GS1 US Data Hub:

Minimum: 1.268 (width) by 0.944 (height) inches

Target: 1.644 (width) by 1.153 (height) inches

Maximum: 3.053 (width) by 2.157 (height) inches

U.P.C. barcodes have a fixed relationship between barcode height and width, so if one dimension is modified, the other dimension must be altered by a proportional amount. For this reason, you should NOT resize or crop these barcodes.

Do you need barcode image file dimensions of other barcodes available in GS1 US Data Hub? View the Barcodes Available article in this Help Center.

A. While you can change the size of your barcode to best fit your packaging, you should stay within the sizing restrictions noted below. If you are selling very small or oddly shaped products, other barcodes (besides the UPC-A) are available. However, some scanners are limited in what they can read and the choice of an alternate barcode should be researched before being pursued.

Please contact one of the GS1 Standards Professional Barcode Image and Print Vendors to assist you with sizing changes.

A. The size of your barcode will depend on the size of the bars themselves, which is given by the width of the narrowest black bar (this is called the X -dimension). These are defined in the

GS1 General Specifications (GS1 symbol specification tables):

- The Minimum X-dimension for the UPC-A barcode is 0.0104 inches;
- The Maximum X-dimension for the UPC-A barcode is 0.0260 inches;

Based on the X-Dimensions sizes noted, the corresponding height of the barcode will be:

- For Minimum X-dimension (0.0104 inches), the bar height for the UPC-A barcode is 0.72 inches, and the minimum width is 1.174 inches 

- For Maximum X-dimension (0.0260 inches), the bar height for the UPC-A barcode is 1.8 inches, and the maximum width is 2.936 inches 

Note: "bar height" refers only to the bars and does not include the human readable interpretation (numbers) or drop-down bars (as highlighted in the image below). GS1 US Data Hub provides the human readable interpretation and drop-down bars in the image file you can download.

Barcode Drop-Down Bars

"Truncating" the barcode (reducing the height of a barcode relative to its length) is not recommended, as truncation inhibits the ability of a symbol to be scanned at the point-of-sale.

For assistance with resizing the barcode, please contact a GS1 Standards Professional Barcode Image and Print Vendor.

A. When you click the "View Barcode" button, then "Preview Barcode," then click the Download button, you receive a PNG "Image Type." The PNG format is the only format available.

If you require another format, such as EPS (or vector format), it’s recommended that you click the “Export Definition” button to export the barcode definitions and share these with a GS1 Standards Professional Barcode Image and Print Vendor, who can generate other image types.

A. The UPC-A barcode image generated by GS1 US Data Hub will scan as intended (when there are no image modifications made). However, brand owners must take an important step outside of GS1 US Data Hub to ensure their products are properly identified at retail point-of-sale. They must send this product/GTIN/barcode data to their trading partners. When this product data is shared with trading partners, the trading partner can then populate their databases so their point-of-sale scanners can retrieve the product data using the GTIN within the scanned barcode.

To learn more about barcode testing, visit the GS1 US Test/Verify Printed Barcodes page.

A. The space (or Quiet Zones) to the left and right of your UPC-A barcode must be at least nine times the X-dimension. This means they must be at least 0.0936 inches for the minimum x-dimension and at least 0.234 inches for the maximum X-dimension. If packaging or label space allows, additional open space to either side of the barcode is recommended to allow for printing needs.

A. There is not a requirement for blank space above or below a UPC-A barcode.

A. GS1 US Data Hub presents the barcode with black bar colors on a white background. If you or your print vendors decide to change the colors, try to make your barcodes with as much contrast between the bars and the background as you can. Don’t choose similar colors for both. The best color selections for bars and background are:
- Best background colors are white, followed by red and orange;
- Best bar colors are black, followed by dark blue or dark green.

A. Yes, here are a few:
- Do keep the barcode on a flat surface; don’t wrap a barcode;
- Do make the barcode easy to scan; don’t add multiple barcodes on a unit or case;
- Do make sure nothing sits over the barcode; don’t cover the barcode;
- For items intended for retail point-of-sale (POS), the preferred barcode placement is on the lower right quadrant of the back. Alternative placement for a barcode is the lower right quadrant of a side of the container other than the back; bottom marking is acceptable.

For more best practices, view the GS1 US Place Barcodes on Products page. Or read this Guideline for Barcode Placement document.

A. No, but as a best practice, visit the My Products screen in GS1 US Data Hub to download each image as a PNG file:

- Click the product detail record for the desired product
- Click the View Barcode button
- Click Preview, then the Download button

A. If the angle of the curve is greater than 30 degrees, you should orient your barcodes so that they align with the length of the tube and the symbols look like a ladder, as shown in the image below (as opposed to a picket fence). This will help prevent the extremes of the symbol to disappear around the curve - and ensure that both ends are visible to the scanner at the same time.

Barcode Ladder on Glass