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Scan and Read the Barcode from PDF File

, 5 Aug 2010 CPOL 134.1K 19.4K 138
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Scan the PDF file and recognize if it contains the Barcode or not


The project is about Barcode recognition. The project contains decode / encode the EAN-13, EAN-8, and QR code barcode. I have also added the functionality to scan the PDF file and the software is smart enough to recognize whether PDF contains any barcode or not.

Detect EAN -13, EAN – 8 and QR code from the PDF file.


We need a functionality that can read the PDF file and recognize the EAN-13 and QR-Code from the file. On top of that, I needed decoding and encoding algorithm of EAN-13 and QR code. I saw some solution on the internet about Barcode Recognition, but they were running somehow a little bit slowly, so I decided to optimize them.


EAN-13, based upon the UPC-A standard, was implemented by the International Article Numbering Association (EAN) in Europe.

A typical EAN-13 bar code looks something like this:

Computing the Checksum Digit

The steps for calculating the check digit are as follows:

  1. Consider the right-most digit of the message to be in an "odd" position, and assign odd/even to each character moving from right to left.
  2. Sum the digits in all odd positions, and multiply the result by 3.
  3. Sum the digits in all even positions.
  4. Sum the totals calculated in steps 2 and 3.
  5. The check digit is the number which, when added to the totals calculated in step 4, result in a number evenly divisible by 10.
  6. If the sum calculated in step 4 is evenly divisible by 10, the check digit is "0" (not 10).

QR Code

A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with camera, and smart phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

Understand the components of a QR code

Usage of QR Code

QR codes can store quite complex information in a small matrix. As awareness grows about how useful they are, we can expect to see them in more public venues. Commercial packaging will display codes with detailed nutritional information or links to web­sites where users can play the latest product-associated game or register for updates or coupons. In academic uses, QR codes on student tests could help ensure anonymity in grading. Posted next to artwork or in musical or theatrical programs, QR codes might lead students to open forums where they could join in community discussions about what they've heard or seen. In scientific endeavours, QR codes could take the place of printed labels; attached to lab work, samples, or medication options, they could preserve confidentiality of participant names.

Using the Code

To open the solution, you'll need Visual Studio 2008.

  1. EAN -13

    To generate the image of EAN-13 barcode, you got to click on the “Encode” button. The attached solution contain “BarcodeImaging” project which has the function to draw an image of the entered barcode number.

    //===== Encoding performed here =====
    barcode.Image = b.Encode(type, this.txtData.Text.Trim(), W, H);

    To decode the EAN -13, go to “EAN-13 Decode” tab where you can select the image file and once you click on Decode button, the software will return the barcode number if image contains a valid barcode.

    //===== Scanning of image performed here =====
    BarcodeImaging.FullScanPage(ref barcodes, (Bitmap)this.pictureBox1.Image, iScans);
  2. QR Code

    Enter a data that you want to store into QR code. You can set the encoding, correction level, version and size of the QR Code. Once you click on the Encode button image will be generated.

    The attached solution contains the “QRCodelib” which has a function of encoding and decoding of the QR Code.

    //===== Encoding performed here =====
    String data = txtEncodeData.Text;
    image = qrCodeEncoder.Encode(data);

    To decode the QR Code:

    //===== Decoding performed here =====
    String decodedString = decoder.decode
    	(new QRCodeBitmapImage(new Bitmap(picDecode.Image)));
  3. PDF Scan

    The most interesting part of this article is to scan the PDF and recognize the barcode. I used “PdfToImage” ghost script to generate the images of all the PDF pages. You got to select the PDF file and click on the Scan button, the application will scan the PDF.

Points of Interest

A person who needs barcode recognition from files can use this project. Apart from existing implemented functionality, I would like some enhancements in the code which are mentioned below:

  • Support more barcode symbology
  • QR code decoder is running a little bit slow, need optimization on algorithm
  • Need more file type support, currently project only supports PDF file
  • Need to create EAN-13 code on the basis of country, manufacturing, and product code



This is the first version of my article, I will be posting the second version with enhancements soon.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Piyush Patell
Software Developer (Senior)
United States United States
Piyush has valuable experience in requirements gathering, designing, implementing, and maintaining data-driven, object-oriented and service based enterprise systems. In addition to his technical expertise, Piyush also published paper on knowledge management and he has excellent communication skills to cooperate with the clients.

He holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from the University Of Michigan, USA

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Comments and Discussions

Questioncommand line? Pin
Member 112038723-Nov-14 20:13
memberMember 112038723-Nov-14 20:13 
QuestionPDF not reading barcode Pin
Member 1093972714-Aug-14 3:01
memberMember 1093972714-Aug-14 3:01 
AnswerRe: PDF not reading barcode Pin
achilleas229-Oct-14 1:07
memberachilleas229-Oct-14 1:07 
Questionif the bar code not placed correctly Pin
Member 107389119-Apr-14 23:51
memberMember 107389119-Apr-14 23:51 
AnswerRe: if the bar code not placed correctly Pin
Piyush Patell10-Apr-14 6:30
memberPiyush Patell10-Apr-14 6:30 
QuestionCode 39 barcode Pin
Sweta Sansare15-Jan-14 10:35
memberSweta Sansare15-Jan-14 10:35 
Questiongives compile time error Pin
Member 1045908812-Dec-13 4:53
memberMember 1045908812-Dec-13 4:53 
AnswerRe: gives compile time error Pin
Piyush Patell26-Dec-13 6:39
memberPiyush Patell26-Dec-13 6:39 
QuestionUse With VB Pin
ziiiiiggg25-Apr-13 3:07
memberziiiiiggg25-Apr-13 3:07 
AnswerRe: Use With VB Pin
Piyush Patell25-Apr-13 17:30
memberPiyush Patell25-Apr-13 17:30 
QuestionHow improve quality of converision (EAN) Pin
Eracle17-Apr-13 5:14
memberEracle17-Apr-13 5:14 
AnswerRe: How improve quality of converision (EAN) Pin
Piyush Patell25-Apr-13 17:29
memberPiyush Patell25-Apr-13 17:29 
Questiongsdll32.dll wasn't found Pin
dvr201326-Feb-13 9:29
memberdvr201326-Feb-13 9:29 
AnswerRe: gsdll32.dll wasn't found Pin
~Dim~25-Sep-13 22:12
member~Dim~25-Sep-13 22:12 
QuestionIntegration with VBA Pin
Member 98235649-Feb-13 10:57
memberMember 98235649-Feb-13 10:57 
BugError when trying to compile it in Visual Studio 2010 Pin
Member 34492254-Jan-13 14:21
memberMember 34492254-Jan-13 14:21 
GeneralRe: Error when trying to compile it in Visual Studio 2010 Pin
ziotullio27-Aug-15 19:46
memberziotullio27-Aug-15 19:46 
QuestionEAN13 barcode recognition Pin
Member 287984424-Jul-12 1:57
memberMember 287984424-Jul-12 1:57 
AnswerRe: EAN13 barcode recognition Pin
Piyush Patell25-Jul-12 19:45
memberPiyush Patell25-Jul-12 19:45 
QuestionHelp Needed Pin
Member 92266019-Jul-12 5:36
memberMember 92266019-Jul-12 5:36 
I'm looking to convert this code sample, i need it to be able to read a large pdf document that contains a QR code page that separates each individual document and split the file so that my large file becomes many smaller files that are named via the QR code.

I have quite alot of VBA knowledge but i need some pointers as this is my first VB project , i think it's do-able if i'm able to get the page numbers from the QRCodeDecoder but it appears that it does not support this function.

Please can someone help?

AnswerRe: Help Needed Pin
Piyush Patell9-Jul-12 17:45
memberPiyush Patell9-Jul-12 17:45 
Questionbarcode reader Pin
Zacbr23-Apr-12 13:27
memberZacbr23-Apr-12 13:27 
AnswerRe: barcode reader Pin
billcook15-May-13 16:10
memberbillcook15-May-13 16:10 
GeneralRe: barcode reader Pin
Piyush Patell5-May-13 20:20
memberPiyush Patell5-May-13 20:20 
QuestionBarcodeLib.dll Pin
Akshay 00719-Mar-12 0:38
groupAkshay 00719-Mar-12 0:38 

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