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Bar Codes (UK)

Bar codes (often seen as a single word, barcodes) are the small image of lines (bars) and spaces that is affixed to retail store items, identification cards, and postal mail to identify a particular product number, person, or location. The code uses a sequence of vertical bars and spaces to represent numbers and other symbols. A bar code symbol typically consists of five parts: a quiet zone, a start character, data characters (including an optional check character), a stop character, and another quiet zone.

People often ask us the correct way to spell barcodes. The reason they are asking is that they probably have seen it spelled either barcodes or bar codes or bar-codes. Is barcodes correct? Or bar codes? Or bar-codes?

Well, here is the answer we have found so far. Yes, Yes, No. Barcode and bar code are commonly used, but bar-code is much less common.

We have done a lot of research on these words because we often advertise our barcode (bar code) products for sale. After all of our research, we sfind that there isn’t common agreement on correct spelling.

Listed below are some phrases used by major industry manufacturers that build barcode (bar code) scanners and/or printers. After reviewing their web sites, here are some the terms that they use.

Motorola (Symbol) Bar Code Scanner

Honeywell (Handheld Products) Bar Code Scanner

Intermec Scanners Bar Code Scanner

Intermec Printer Bar-Code Printer

Zebra Bar Code Printer

SATO Bar code Printer & Barcode Printer

Datamax-O’Neil Bar code Printer & Barcode Printer

Metrologic (Honeywell) Barcode scanner

Printronix Thermal Bar Code Printer

Datalogic Bar Code Scanner

Unitech Barcode Scanner

Wasp Barcode Technologies Barcode Scanner

Barcode Printers


So- is it barcodes or bar codes or bar-codes?

The Oxford dictionary definition of barcode states that it is one word – barcode.
And the Merriam Webster dictionary definition of barcode agrees.
and neither of them offer bar-code as an alternative.

We prefer the single word spelling barcode & barcodes, rather than the double-word ‘bar code’ and ‘bar codes’. Somehow barcodes seems less confusing in a sentence than bar codes.

barcode (noun) variants: or less commonly bar code

bar·​code | \ ˈbär-ˌkōd \
plural barcodes also bar codes

Definition of barcode / bar code

A code consisting of a group of printed and variously patterned bars and spaces and sometimes numerals that is designed to be scanned and read into computer memory and that contains information (such as identification) about the object it labels *
… one version of the barcode reader used in supermarkets employs a laser scanner.
— Science
I on the other hand boarded the traditional way. I handed my paper printout to the airport personnel, who scanned the barcode before letting me proceed.
— Sanjeeb Patel

bar codes