UPC-E (GTIN-12) Generation Options

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The UPC-E barcode option is used in IDAutomation Barcode Fonts, Components and Applications to create a UPC-E barcode used to encode 12 digits of the GTIN.

UPC-E is actually a UPC-A barcode that is suppressed into a smaller barcode by removing certain digits, mostly zeros. Only certain numbers may be suppressed into 12 digits.

The DataToEncode is made up of a UPC-A number string of 11, 12, 13, 14, 16 or 17 digits; add-ons are supported only with 13, 14, 16 or 17 digits. Zero (UPC-E0) is the default number system encoding mode; one (UPC-E1) is supported when the first character is “1” instead of “0”. When using products and Font Encoders that are Feature Level 6 or higher, the DataToEncode may also be a UPC-E number of 6, 7 or 8 digits that comply with the expansion rules.

  • Using the UPC-E barcode option with a font encoder returns text formatted to UPC-E Barcode.
  • The UPC-E option in all components and applications will produce a barcode image.
  • Entering incorrect data will create a barcode containing “00005000000” in some products.

Fig. 1. UPC-E barcode encoding “02345673”.

UPC-E Barcode Encoding "02345673"

The above UPC-E barcode was created with the Barcode Image Generator. A free online barcode generator is also available. The UPC-E barcode type may be easily read and verified with the IDAutomation USB Barcode Scanner.

UPC-E Expansion Rules and Details

Consider using the full UPC-A number (11 characters without the check digit or 12 characters with the check digit) when encoding UPC-E symbols with IDAutomation’s products. The complete UPC-E number is 8 digits, although only 6 are needed to properly encode a symbol.

When encoding the UPC-E number directly with IDAutomation’s products, the following rules apply:

  1. When 6 digits are used, the leading digit of zero is added for UPC-E0 encoding and the last character, the check digit is not included.
  2. When 7 digits are used, the first digit (either 0 or 1) determines the number system encoding and the last character, the check digit is not included.
  3. When 8 digits are used, first digit (either 0 or 1) determines the number system encoding and the last character, the check digit, is included but ignored and recalculated to ensure accurate encoding.

Fig. 2. Six Digit UPC-E Expansion Rules Chart. The first digit of zero and the last digit, the check digit, are not included.

UPC-E NumberInsertion DigitsExpanded UPC-A Number
# # # # # 000000# # 00000 # # #
# # # # # 110000# # 10000 # # #
# # # # # 220000# # 20000 # # #
# # # # # 300000# # # 00000 # #
# # # # # 400000# # # # 00000 #
# # # # # 50000# # # # # 00005
# # # # # 60000# # # # # 00006
# # # # # 70000# # # # # 00007
# # # # # 80000# # # # # 00008
# # # # # 90000# # # # # 00009

UPC-E Suppression Rules

UPC-A numbers are suppressed into UPC-E numbers by the four rules below. Attempting to generate a UPC-E with a number that does not apply to any of the following rules, will create a UPC-A in some products or a barcode encoding only 00005000000.

Fig. 3. Conditions of UPC-E Suppression and Number Compression.

The last digit of the 12 digit UPC-A, the check digit is not needed for these conditions, however, it is included as the last digit in the printed UPC-E symbol. D is used to refer to digit locations, for example D11 means digit 11.

  • Condition A (Example: 023456000073 = 02345673)
    If D11 equals 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9, and D6 is not 0, and D7-D10 are all 0, then,
    DataToEncode = D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D11 D12
    UPC-E Barcode Encoding "02345673"
  • Condition B (Example: 023450000017 = 02345147)
    If D6-D10 are 0 and D5 is not 0, then,
    DataToEncode = D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D11 “4” D12
    UPC-E Suppression Condition B
  • Condition C (Example: 063200009716 = 06397126)
    If D5-D8 = 0 and D4 = 0, 1 or 2, then,
    DataToEncode = D1 D2 D3 D9 D10 D11 D4 D12
    UPC-E Suppression Condition C
  • Condition D (Example: 086700000939 = 08679339)
    If D5-D9 = 0 and D4 = 3-9, then,
    DataToEncode = D1 D2 D3 D4 D10 D11 “3” D12
    UPC-E Suppression Condition D

Visual Basic source code (VBA) to the suppression algorithm may be obtained by examining the UPCe7To11 function included with any purchase of the IDAutomation UPC Barcode Font.