Compact PDF417


Compact PDF417 (also known as Truncated PDF417) inherits main features from the PDF417 standard. This barcode type can be useful in cases when space considerations are crucial and barcode image damage is unlikely. In safe environments (e.g. an office), it is possible to use PDF417 barcodes in which right row indicators are omitted and the stop pattern is reduced to a single one-module bar. This configuration allows descreasing the amount of supporting symbols from 4 codewords to 2 codewords per row, achieving a sort of a trade-off between reading performance and damage resistance.

Compact PDF417 Barcode

Usage Scenarios

This barcode type can be useful in applications with strict placement limitations and a low probability of barcode damage.


Encoding Character Set

Compact PDF417 allows encoding both byte streams and Unicode characters.

Barcode Structure

Compact PDF417 has the structure similar to Basic PDF417 and includes the following elements:

  • Starting quiet zone
  • Start pattern that defines the PDF417 format
  • Left-row codeword that encodes information about the row (its number and the error correction level)
  • Input message codewords (from 1 to 30) that store input information
  • Stop pattern
  • Closing quiet zone

The main difference between Compact PDF417 and Basic PDF417 is that the former contains the stop character pattern that is reduced to a single narrow bar and does not commprise the right-row codeword.

Size Dimensions

Compact PDF417 barcodes require less area compared with Basic PDF417 as the right-hand elements are removed (or truncated).

Encoding Capacity and Data Density

This barcode type can encode at most 1,108 bytes or 1,850 alphanumeric characters or 2,710 numerical digits in the maximum configuration of 30 columns and 90 rows.

Error Correction

Error correction capability of this type is reduced compared with Basic PDF417 due to specifics of its design.

Advantages and Limitations

The main advantage of Compact PDF417 is its compact size. However, it should be utilized primarily in safe and clean environments, as it is more prone to damage.

How to Read and Generate Compact PDF417

Generation Code Samples

Recognition Code Samples