Codabar Barcode. History and Purpose.

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Codabar barcode is a one dimensional barcode initially used for retail applications labeling. Codabar barcode can encode numeric digits from 0-9 and five characters including Plus (+), Minus (-), Forward slash (/), Colon (:), Dollar symbol ($) and Dot (.). Apart from numeric digits and the aforementioned character set, Codabar can also encode first four alphabets from ‘a’ to‘d’; however, these alphabets can only be used as start and stop symbols. Codabar barcode is also known as, Code 2 of 7, ANSI/AIM BC3-1995, NW-7, Monarch, Rationalized Codabar, Ames Code or USD-4.


. In the year 1972, Pitney Bows Corporation developed a linear barcode which was named as Codabar barcode. Codabar was developed with intent to make it useful in the retail merchandise industry. Later on National Retail Merchant Association (NRMA) adopted another barcode standard in the year 1975; However Codabar did not lost its importance because people were now beginning to use it in medical, educational and shipping industry as well.


In early 1970s, the need for a barcode standard was felt which could be printed with a simple dot-matrix printer and could be used on air bills of FedEx and also on blood-bank documents. It was for this purpose that work on a barcode standard started which could suffice these