About this Barcode...

PDF417 is a 2D barcode mainly used in security printing (passports, identity cards, driving licences...).

It is a “self-checking” barcode that can have different levels of error correction.

It can encode data using one of three “compaction” modes: Text (to encode all alphanumeric and punctuation characters in the ISO-8859-1 character set), Numeric (to encode only numeric characters) or Binary (to encode 8-bit characters).

It can use the three compaction modes in a single barcode if necessary, but you can choose to disable the Text and/or Numeric compaction modes.


General Parameters

Additional Parameters

Specific Parameters

You can give your barcode between 1 and 30 Columns. The number of columns corresponds to the number of PDF417 codewords.
You can give your barcode between 3 and 90 Rows.
Choose Truncated to make the symbol less wide by truncating the end character (which is not part of the encoded data) and the end pattern. In the example below, the top PDF417 barcode is not truncated, and the bottom barcode is truncated (but encodes the same data).

Initialize in Alpha Submode
Choose this option to generate a “shift to Text mode” character at the beginning of the barcode when using Text compaction mode. This makes the encoding clear for barcode scanners.
Allow Text Compaction

Choose this to let Dynamic Barcodes switch to Text compaction mode automatically when your barcode contains text data.

This encodes the text data in your barcode more efficiently (it makes that part of your barcode smaller).

Allow Numeric Compaction

Choose this to let Dynamic Barcodes switch to Numeric compaction mode automatically when your barcode contains numeric data.

This encodes the numeric data in your barcode more efficiently.


Dynamic Barcodes can always switch to the Binary compaction mode if your barcode contains binary data.

If you don't enable either Allow Text Compaction or Allow Numeric Compaction, Dynamic Barcodes will only use Binary compaction mode.

Error Correction Level

Error correction adds check sums to the barcode to detect and correct incorrect data. You can choose an Error correction level from 0 to 8.

The higher the correction level, the more check sums are added to the barcode and the more incorrect data can be corrected. Keep in mind that a higher correction level makes the barcode bigger and may limit the maximum length of the encoded data.

Note: Level 0 means that there is only one check sum added to the data, so incorrect data can be detected but not corrected.

You can choose Automatic to let the plug-in pick the best error correction level for the data encoded.

Need More Help?Esko Help CenterSoftware Support PortalProduct information on Esko.com