Barcode Recognition

FlexiCapture Engine, FineReader Engine, Mobile OCR Engine, Cloud OCR SDK
4.0, 9.x, 10, 11
  • FineReader Engine (from V10 onwards) contains a predefined processing profile: BarcodeRecognition,
  • The Document Analysis algorithms are able to “locate” and identify different barcodes on a document page, but of course it is also possible to “draw” a barcode block also via API.
  • Once the barcode region is defined/detected, it can be recognised. The API provides access to:
    • the coordinates
    • the characters
    • character confidence information
    • start/stop symbols of different barcode types,
      for barcodes of type Code 39 the start/stop symbol is the asterisk “*”
    • The barcode value can then be used for file naming.
  • A very common scenario is document separation based on barcodes
    • This feature is implemented in FlexiCapture Engine projects
    • FineReader Engine the developers can “cut” the page stream with custom code
    • Separation in Recognition Server
    • Separation in the ABBYY Scan Station (Recognition Server & FlexiCapture Distributed)

Tips for working with barcodes

Barcode recognition quality depends on

  • the barcode print quality
  • settings used in the document scanning process
  • Placement of the barcode when it is manually added

In order for the barcodes to be recognized well, follow these recommendations:

  • A barcode must be separated from other text by a fairly wide white gap.
  • Barcode size and the width of its separate bars or dots must meet the following requirements:
    • The optimal barcode height is more than 10 millimetres. The size of a barcode should be less than size A4
    • Barcode height must be higher than the double height of a text line
    • For not-square barcodes, their length must be bigger than their height
    • For 1D barcodes, the width of the thinnest bar in the barcode must be at least 3-5 pixels in terms of pixels of the image
    • For 2D barcodes, the dimensions of their cells should be at least 2×2 pixels, the recommended size is 4×4 pixels or more. Besides, for all 2D barcodes except PDF417, the cells should be square, because barcodes with the prolate cells most likely will be recognized incorrectly
  • Compressing images of barcodes using JPEG compression should be avoided, because it makes the barcode borders fuzzy.
  • Skewing barcodes is not recommended, i.e. an angle of the barcode should be a multiple of 90 degrees relative to the horizontal axis.
  • The grey-scale scanning mode is the best for OCR purposes.
    • Scanning in black-and-white can be critical , adjust the brightness setting.
    • If the barcode is “torn” or very light, lower the brightness to make the image darker.
    • If the barcode is distorted or its parts are glued together, increase the brightness to make the image brighter.
  • Avoid printing barcodes in frames.
  • Avoid printing barcodes over a text or a picture.

In real life, barcodes which do not fit these recommendations can still be recognized, however the quality of recognition may be poor.

Further Information

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