QR Code and 2D Code Generator

This page is an online two dimensional code generator which is written in PHP. It can generate QR Code, Data Matrix, Aztec Code and Micro QR Code for the time being. Because QR Code is much more popular than the other code formats, it is separately named in the page title. If you need more information on two dimensional bar code systems, I strongly suggest that you take a look at Roger Smolski‘s comprehensive blog on QR Code and two dimensional bar codes.

Using the form on this page, you can create two dimensional code images that trigger various actions on the scanner device. Don’t forget to install Qrafter or Qrafter Pro (why two versions?) to scan and generate QR Codes if you have an iPhone or iPad. You can use this form on both your desktop browser or your new generation mobile device (like iPhone). You can find the explanations under the form. If you like this page and you have ideas to implement, please give feedback, so that I can improve the page. So far, this page created 3609473 codes since I started counting in January, 2010. Seems like especially QR Codes are getting more and more popular outside the far east.

Please be sure to read the Notes and FAQ sections below before requesting help in the comments if you encounter any problems with code generation (Especially for Micro QR Codes or backslash characters you may encounter on some codes!).

This page is very popular and because of that, it gets an incredible amount of comment spam. Sometimes legitimate comments can get caught as spam and I can miss them, so if your comment does not appear for some time, you can contact me from the email address on my contact page.


I am getting many questions about scanning the codes created on this generator. Most of them are about some problem with the scanner not detecting the content of the code properly. This generator follows established standards strictly and no scanner (yes, none of them) for any platform except Qrafter and Qrafter Pro for iPhone and iPad follows those standards completely. So, if you somehow end up with an unexpected result after scanning a code, it is because that your scanner was developed lousily. If you are on iOS, use Qrafter or Qrafter Pro for guaranteed standards compatibility. For other platforms, please contact the developers of your scanner app to tell them to start following the standards that were established for a reason.

Select a Code Action:
Code Type: QR Code (recommended)
Data Matrix (only ASCII chars)
Aztec Code (only ASCII chars)
Micro QR Code (only ASCII chars)
Bookmark Title: *
Web Site URL: *
Phone Number: *
SMS Message:
Mail Recipient: *
Escape Special Characters (like
colon, semicolon or comma):
Yes No
IMPORTANT: Please check notes on escaping in Notes section.
Version: 2.1 3.0
vCard Type: Real Person Company
First Name:
Middle Name:
Last Name:
E-Mail Address:
Mobile Phone:
Video Call Phone:
Work Phone:
Work Fax:
Home Phone:
Work Address: Street:
ZIP Code:
Home Address: Street:
ZIP Code:
Address: Street:
ZIP Code:
Work Web Address:
Home Web Address:
Web Address:
Event Format: Fully Compliant to iCalendar Standard Compliant to ZXing Proposal
Event Summary: *
Event Description:
Full Day Event: Yes (Only uses start date and end date) No (Also uses start time and end time)
Start Date:
Start Time:
End Date:
End Time:
Text: *
NOTE: Google Maps will be used to select the coordinates, but the resulting url will be a Bing Maps URL.
Location Name:
Twitter User: *  
Prepend username before tweet
Twitter User: *
Text to Tweet: *
Search Type: Publisher Search Exact Package Name
Market Search: *
Package Name: *
Youtube Video ID: *  
Enter either only the YouTube video ID or full URL for the video.
iTunes App ID: *  
Enter either only the App ID or full URL for the app on iTunes.
Venue ID: *  
Enter either only the venue ID or full URL for the venue.
Facebook Status: *
BBM Pin: *
Network Type:
URL Shortening:
(will use full url in case of error)
Error Correction Level:
(only for regular QR Code)
Block Size in Pixels:
Margin Size in Blocks:
Output Type:
Foreground Color: Transparent
Background Color: Transparent

Download on the App Store


You can follow me on Twitter through @kerem_erkan. This generator shares a Facebook page with Qrafter and Qrafter Pro since March 2011. You can like that page using the “Like” button above, or you can go to the Facebook page using this link. You can also tweet about this page by clicking this link.

QR Code is far more widespread than Data Matrix, Aztec Code or Micro QR Code. Actually Micro QR Code is rarely used and is only given here as a technology preview. If you want to create a campaign for your products using a 2D Code, make sure that you are using QR Codes, not the other types.

Data Matrix and Aztec Code have significantly lower capacity (4096 alphanumeric characters for QR Code, 3067 for Aztec Code and 2335 for Data Matrix), so if you would like to encode a lot of text, select QR Code.

To create the best readable code for long URLs, use one of the URL shortening services so that the resulting code is as small as possible. I personally prefer j.mp (alternative name for bit.ly) over the others.

Micro QR Code cannot hold more than 35 numeric and 21 uppercase alphanumeric characters, and it can hold even less characters when you use lowercase characters. When encoding a URL into a Micro QR Code, try using all uppercase characters for longer URLs. I don’t know of a scanner that supports Micro QR Code though.

If your input cannot be encoded, the generator will give a warning. In that case, lower the character count in your input and try again.

If your device cannot interpret the encoded 2D Code properly, it probably means your scanner program is written poorly or does not have the capability of decoding that particular code format; or your device does not accept that action, because all codes created by this script and the content within them are compliant to all necessary published standards (vCard standards, URL encoding schemes, NTT DoCoMo standards, etc.).

While we are talking on standards, let me open the topic up a little bit more. Sadly most scanners out there do not follow special character escaping standards. Characters like “:” or “;” are special characters in vCard, meCard or vEvent specifications, and they should be properly escaped for the input to be interpreted correctly. This generator follows these standards correctly, and so a URL field like “http://example.com” becomes “http\://example.com” after escaping. The problem is, some scanners do not know how to handle this escaped character and break altogether. If you encounter such problem, select No for Escape Special Characters in vCard, meCard or vEvent creation. But while you will be able to read those QR Codes in broken scanners, be aware that, your 2D Code will not be standards compliant and you may not be able to add a URL that includes a second colon (for example as a port number separator) or semicolon when you do that. If you are on iPhone or iPad, I strongly suggest that you ditch your broken scanner and download Qrafter or Qrafter Pro. They are fully compliant to said standards. This way, I hope that developers will be forced to create scanners that obey standards that were established for a reason.

Data Matrix, Aztec Code and Micro QR Code do not support characters other than ASCII because of their spec, so if your input has international characters, always use QR Code. Another caveat of Micro QR Code is that, it is not supported by most of the scanner programs out there. As for Kanji and Cyrillic characters, again, only QR Code should support them.

Always use dark colors for foreground color and light colors for background color. If there is not enough contrast between foreground and background colors, your device will most probably fail to decode the code. Another warning: The EPS version I had to use does not support transparency, so you should use another format if you are going to have transparent foreground or background in your codes.

Twitter Profile Image Overlay option overlays your Twitter profile image onto a code that includes your Twitter profile URL. Images created with this option will behave very oddly with vector image formats. You have been warned! πŸ™‚

Currently you can do the following actions with 2D codes generated with this form:

  • You can browse to a website.
  • You can bookmark a website.
  • You can make a phone call.
  • You can send a short message.
  • You can send an e-mail.
  • You can create a vCard (v2.1 or v3.0) with coordinates to add a contact to your device.
  • You can create a meCard to add a contact to your device.
  • You can create a vCalendar event to add to your calendar.
  • You can create Google Maps URLs.
  • You can create Bing Maps URLs.
  • You can create raw geological coordinates.
  • You can create iTunes app and review URLs for iOS devices.
  • You can create market:// URLs for searching for publishers or packages on Market app for Android.
  • You can create Foursquare venue URLs.
  • You can create special youtube:// URLs for YouTube app on iOS.
  • You can fetch and encode the latest tweet of a Twitter user.
  • You can overlay a Twitter profile image over the code.
  • You can create a mobile URL to tweet on Twitter.
  • You can initiate a chat to a particular Blackberry PIN on Blackberry Messenger.
  • You can connect to a WIFI network on Android devices.
  • You can read plain or free formatted text on your device.

You can change the block size of the generated image to make it bigger or smaller. Also, you can change the margin size of the image to add more quiet zone if your decoder cannot decode it (Especially Data Matrix seems to need bigger margin sizes). Error correction level for QR Code (ignored for other code types) can be set to 4 different values and higher values may cause the image to be decoded slightly slower. The 4 values can be explained like this:

  • Low (L): Up to 7% of errors can be corrected.
  • Medium-Low (M): Up to 15% of errors can be corrected.
  • Medium-High (Q): Up to 25% of errors can be corrected.
  • High (H): Up to 30% of errors can be corrected.

You can choose PNG, PDF, SVG or EPS outputs. SVG will output a vector image XML file, and you can edit it in applications like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.

Please be aware that while I make checks for illegal characters to protect my server, I do not check your input for a meaningful value. For example, if you enter letters for phone number in “Make a Phone Call” action, and your device initiates a nuclear launch sequence in a forgotten former U.S.S.R. rocket silo, it will be your problem, not mine.

The image generation is done using third party encoders. I have only written a handy PHP front end that formats your input and passes it to these encoders.

A note about printing from Roy, a fellow user of this generator: When codes are generated, they are created in RGB (my note: yes even if they are black and white, they are in RGB colorspace) and if they are used in printing, they should be converted to grayscale or CMYK so that, when printed, only the black plate is used. This ensures the highest edge resolution, particularly in smaller sizes.

And lastly, it seems like anything added to this generator is being followed a lot by other generator makers (I am looking at you Avivo) without giving any credit. I hope they also follow the necessary standards properly. πŸ˜‰

QR Code Scanners:

The best scanner apps for iPhone and iPad are Qrafter and Qrafter Pro (why two versions?). They are available on the App Store. They are designed for both iPhone and iPad and Qrafter is free (scanning is free and you can unlock Pro generation features via an in app purchase) while Qrafter Pro is $2.99. They are able to understand all actions on this generator (and more) and are the most advanced scanners for QR Codes on iPhone and iPad. You can also visit Qrafter and Qrafter Pro’s Facebook Page here.

For Android, the best option seems to be the Barcode Scanner app from ZXing.

For BlackBerry, QR Code Scanner Pro is a good choice according to Josh West, one of the commenters on this page.

For Nokia Maemo/Meego, you can use Mbarcode according to Ryks, another commenter.

For other devices, you may find one, suitable for your device from Kaywa or QuickMark.

You can also check out http://QRmediaGuide.com for a list of other scanners.

QR Code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED in the United States and other countries.


Here is an updating list of frequently asked questions.

Q: Can I change the content of a code I created if I find a mistake?
A: The codes generated on this generator are standalone, which means they have no connection to this generator after being generated. This also means they inclde the content directly inside them, and if the content needs to change, the generated code image will change. Please test your code images with as many devices and scanner apps as possible to avoid any problems after printing the codes.

Q: Why do I get unwanted characters like a backslash (\) or semicolon (;) in the result when I scan a QR Code?
A: You are using a QR Code reader that cannot parse the contents of QR Codes correctly. Many readers are especially weak at parsing vCards. Use a proper app from the QR Code Scanners list on this page.

Q: Do you harvest the information I enter to this form?
A: No, I don’t use the information you enter to this form in any means. After you create your 2D Code, the information is removed from my server.

Q: Can I track the scan information for the 2D Codes I create on this generator?
A: While I am working on a tracking platform, you can’t track the 2D Codes you create on this generator unless you create your own trackable goo.gl or bit.ly URL and then enter that URL to generate a QR Code for it on this page.

Q: Do the 2D codes that were created on this generator have an expiration date?
A: No, all codes generated on this generator can be used as long as you want.

Q: Can I use the codes I create on this generator commercially? Do I need to pay any fees?
A: You can use the codes created on this generator both commercially and personally. There are no fees to pay. The only favor I ask back is the promotion of Qrafter or Qrafter Pro on your site as your recommended reader app for iOS devices. But it is only a request, you are not obliged to do that. πŸ™‚

Q: What is the minimum size for a QR Code so that it can be scanned with all devices?
A: The answer to this question cannot be given with exact proportions. New devices with autofocus cameras can scan very small QR Codes, but old devices that don’t have autofocus cameras will have problems with scanning codes smaller than one or two inches. Also it depends on the size of the information that you put into the QR Code. You need to test your QR Code with many devices, old and new to find the best compromise.

Q: Can I overlay an image on top of the QR Code like the one in “Twitter Profile Image Overlay” action of this generator?
A: Yes you can. Create a QR Code with highest error correction and select a vector output. This way, using your preferred image editor, you can overlay an image that’s up to 30% of the QR Code. Be careful not to overlay the image on top of the 3 alignment squares though.

  • Szymon
    #1 written by Szymon 7 years ago

    very interesting library πŸ˜‰

  • Fernando Acosta
    #2 written by Fernando Acosta 7 years ago

    Interesting… but do share the source code? If you do, please let me know.

  • simone
    #3 written by simone 6 years ago

    can I ask you some help to understand how i can choose between actions to perform in mobile device? did you append some extra text?
    thanks in advance, bye

  • MT
    #4 written by MT 6 years ago

    Very interesting indeed.
    I’m trying to play a bit with QrCode these days, and I was wondering about your “Qr Code Action” selection. I don’t find anything about it in Kentaro’s library.

    Is there something special I didn’t notice, or is it just a way to set a smarter form (with, like, url checking) ?

  • Shawn
    #5 written by Shawn 6 years ago

    Would love to also see the php code for the frontend πŸ˜‰ would be a very nice giveback to the community.

  • Alexandre MEJAT
    #6 written by Alexandre MEJAT 6 years ago


    I would be really interested by the code. Could you share it or send it to my email address ?



  • khairil
    #7 written by khairil 6 years ago

    Fernando Acosta :

    Interesting… but do share the source code? If you do, please let me know.

    i would love if you can share the source code too..

  • Kerem
    #8 written by Kerem 6 years ago

    Source code is live.

  • David
    #9 written by David 6 years ago

    Kerem, I got the library compiled and installed. I understand the function, and logic that follows, but can’t figure out the way to put it together just like you did here. Could you just share the simple form, and the ‘get’ file (you named it qrcode.png). Thanks!

  • Kerem
    #10 written by Kerem 6 years ago

    Hi David, the first code example is the generator function and the second code is the page (qrcode.php) that you send the variables to. It is exactly the same code that interprets the variables sent from the form at the top. I named it qrcode.png and did some url rewrite trick, but it is only qrcode.php.

    I hope this helps you understand. Cheers!

  • David
    #11 written by David 6 years ago

    Kerem, thanks! I am trying to add VCARD support to your script. I have added the right input fields, and my “qr_vcard” looks like:

    elseif ( $type == 'qr_vcard' )
      // VCARD
      $input = 'BEGIN:VCARD\n';
      $input .= 'TITLE:' . $_GET['vcard_title'] . '\n';
      $input .= 'FN:' . $_GET['vcard_fn'] . ' ' . $_GET['vcard_ln'] . '\n';
      $input .= 'N:' . $_GET['vcard_ln'] . ',' . $_GET['vcard_fn'] . '\n';
      $input .= 'EMAIL:' . $_GET['vcard_email'] . '\n';
      $input .= 'TEL:' . $_GET['vcard_telephone'] . '\n';
      $input .= 'URL:' . $_GET['vcard_url'] . '\n';
      $input .= 'ADR:' . $_GET['vcard_address'] . '\n';
      $input .= 'ORG:' . $_GET['vcard_org'] . '\n';
      $input .= 'VERSION:3.0' . '\n';
      $input .= 'END:VCARD';

    Yet, the returns at the end of line are showing as \\n and not translated to real returns. The test install is at: http://dev.collantes.us/qr/ . Could you please take a look at shed some light? Really, *really* appreciated.

  • David
    #12 written by David 6 years ago

    The test install is at http://dev.collantes.us/qr/

  • David
    #13 written by David 6 years ago

    I made it work. Code is fully functional now with VCard support. I am not a programmer though, so if you can take a look and enhance, do please! πŸ™‚

  • Kerem
    #14 written by Kerem 6 years ago

    Hi again David,

    I see that you have managed to add the vCard, that’s great. I was just going to say that you have to use double quotes instead of single quotes for “\n”, but you have found out about it before I said. πŸ™‚

    You should use “\r\n” instead of using only “\n” though. Some devices do not support “\n” alone.

  • David
    #15 written by David 6 years ago

    Have you though on whether or not it can be done, so when the form is submitted, the QR code shows under the form, on the same page?

    I tried, but did not succeed… yet.

  • Kerem
    #16 written by Kerem 6 years ago

    You can surely do it using Ajax, and I thought about doing it, but I did not work on it, as I acted a little lazy (also on the vCard support) and I am not a web designer. πŸ™‚

    Google for “ajax image popup”, you can find different Ajax libraries for it.

    • loige
      #17 written by loige 6 years ago


      Source code is live.

      Maybe you should do a “responder” (i dunno if this is the correct term) script that elaborates the qr code and stores it somewhere and after returns the url of the generated qr code.
      So you can use this responder with an AJAX request. At the enf of the AJAX request you should receive back the url of the created qr code. So you can dinamically add a new IMG tag with the generated QR code…

      • Kerem
        #18 written by Kerem 6 years ago

        That can be surely done. I will look into it.

        • Kerem
          #19 written by Kerem 6 years ago

          AJAX popup has been done. I hope it works on all browsers.

  • Jeff
    #20 written by Jeff 6 years ago

    Hi Kerem, thanks for this very interesting page. I will try to compile the library under windows. Cheers

  • Heartine Lazar
    #21 written by Heartine Lazar 6 years ago


    Came across your code. Very interesting stuff. Could you please send me the sample code.

    Awaiting your response. Keep up the good work

    • Kerem
      #22 written by Kerem 6 years ago


      You can try the example codes on the bottom of the page.


  • Haseeb Khan
    #23 written by Haseeb Khan 6 years ago

    Hi Kerem,

    Thanks for bringing this up.

    We are working on a project in which I am required to generate the QRCodes. I found your post very successful, however, I am not able to execute the code.

    Can you please let us know if there are specific instructions on getting this executed on Windows. I would be very thankful for your help.

    Thanks and Regards,

    Haseeb Khan

  • Haseeb Khan
    #27 written by Haseeb Khan 6 years ago

    Hi Kerem,

    I have that code but I don’t know how to compile the Library on Windows and then do the configurations to make it work with PHP.

    Can you please refer some pointers if convenient to you.

    Thanks and Regards,

    Haseeb Khan

    • Kerem
      #28 written by Kerem 6 years ago

      Hi again Haseeb,

      I do all my work on UNIX or Linux computers, so I will not be able to give you any pointers on compiling on Windows.

      Maybe you can try creating an environment like Cygwin on your Windows box and try compiling on that. It should be easier than trying to compile directly on Windows.


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