Linear barcodes are commonly referred as first generation barcodes. These barcodes consist of vertical lines at specific gaps resulting in a particular pattern. Hardware scanners are used to scan these patterns and decode the information stored in those particular patterns. These barcodes are also commonly called discrete, one dimensional or UPC barcodes. The examles of linear barcodes are Code 39, EAN-8, EAN-13, EAN 128, UPC-E, UPC-A, ISBN etc.
Advantages of Linear Barcodes
• In linear barcodes, vertical lines are used to store data; hence data is generated in one direction which is easier to generate as compared to generating data in multi-dimensions.
• Linear barcodes are easier to scan. Just like barcode generation, barcode decoding is also done in one direction which is easier to perform.
• No special hardware or software is required to scan these barcodes and a simple and inexpensive scanner can be used to generate and scan linear barcodes.
Disadvantages of Linear Barcodes
• Linear barcodes can only store small amount of data. In order to store large amount of data in linear barcodes, it has to be stretched horizontally with additional vertical lines and spaces resulting in large barcodes.
• Barcode, once distorted cannot be scanned correctly. Small damage, line at the start or end of the barcode can modify or destroy the data stored in the barcode.