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Composite Barcode Symbologies
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The GS1 (EAN.UCC) Composite Symbology consists of a linear component, which encodes the item's primary data, and an adjacent 2D composite component, which encodes supplementary data to the linear component.

Linear vs. Composite Symbologies

The linear component will be a symbology of types: GS1-128, EAN8, EAN13, UPCA, UPCE, or any of the GS1 DataBar family of components.

The composite component will be either: Composite Code A barcode, which is derived from the MicroPDF417 specification for EAN8, EAN13, UPCA, UPCE, or GS1 DataBar barcodes, or Composite Code C barcode, which is derived from the PDF417 specification for GS1-128 (UCC/EAN-128) barcodes.

Composite Components

MicroPDF417 bar codes are assigned a specific matrix of row/column combinations. This matrix limits the amount of data that may be encoded in 2D composites.

The 2D composites can encode up to 56 numeric characters. Alpha characters and certain punctuation characters may be encoded in the composite, but will significantly reduce the maximum number of characters that can be encoded.

The Composite Code C bar codes, used as composites for GS1-128 and based on the PDF417 standards, can realistically encode about 800 characters.

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