EAN 13 Barcode

What is it used for?

The EAN13 (European Article Numbering) barcode is used throughout the world (except for USA and Canada) to mark physical goods in retail shops. Each barcode uniquely identifies a product and can be read by all Bar Code Readers used in stores.

What are the specifications?

The EAN 13 barcode is created from a numeric code of 13 digits.
The code is divised in two parts: the compagny information on the left, and the product information on the right.
The compagny part is six digits long and identifies the compagny that distributes or creates the product. The manufacturer of a product must be registred by EAN International, and they receive a code from them. The beginning of the manufacturer part (two or three firsts digits) identifies the country (click here for an extensive list of all the codes).
The manufacturer can choose his own rules for attribuing the second part of the code for his product (6 digits). The last digit of the code is a checksum key, it depends entirely on the other digits, and is added for helping the reader to eventually track an error when decoding.

How to get a code?

You must contact EAN International (Website) or one of their subsiduaries in order to have an indentifiant for your compagny. Contact them for further information.

How to use Barres to generate the code?

Select EAN13 for the barcode-type, then type or paste the 12 digits of your number (or the 13, if you already know the key) in the input field, then click on OK. The 13th digit (checksum) is automatically added to the code if not typed and the bar code is generated in a window. You can then copy/paste it or save it in EPSF (encapsuled PostScript) or PICT format (resolution-independant graphic) for printing.

How does an EAN13 barcodes look like?

Here are a few samples of EAN13 barcodes, generated with Barres.

Images at real size
EAN13_123456789012    EAN13_987654321098
Image at 200%
Part of image at 300 dpi

Something else?

You can find usefull information or help there:
EAN International for the registration of your compagny
Barcode1: More on EAN13 barcodes, and much more...