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. Also you should check out John Hopkins‘s extensive iPhone QR Code reader roundup. Lastly, if you would like to help a student with his university expenses, you can try Michael Schade‘s QR Business Cards service.

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 3065462 codes since I started counting in January, 2010. You can find a detailed real-time count graph that updates hourly at the bottom of the page. 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.

READ THIS FIRST:

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.

VisuaLead
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: *
Subject:
Body:
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:
Organization:
Title:
E-Mail Address:
Mobile Phone:
Video Call Phone:
Work Phone:
Work Fax:
Home Phone:
Work Address: Street:
City:
State:
ZIP Code:
Country:
Home Address: Street:
City:
State:
ZIP Code:
Country:
Address: Street:
City:
State:
ZIP Code:
Country:
Work Web Address:
Home Web Address:
Web Address:
Birthday:
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: *
SSID: *
Password:
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


 


If this generator has somehow been useful to your commercial business, perhaps you would consider contributing by clicking the PayPal button below.





Notes:

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! :)

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. ;)

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.

FAQ:

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. :)

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.


Codes count
  • Ali Yildirim
    #978 written by Ali Yildirim 2 years ago

    Found you on 8th or 9th position in Google with “qr code generator” but yours is the best one of the search results.

  • Martin
    #980 written by Martin 2 years ago

    Just wondering, what is the difference between version 2.1 and 3.0 of the QR codes?

    Anyways, your online generator rocks, also your FAQ and explanations are excellent :)

    • Kerem
      #981 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      Hi Martin,

      That is the vCard version, not QR Code version. It just creates different vCards based on different specs. vCard 3.0 is backwards compatible with v2.1 and the two are slightly different. v3.0 is better but v2.1 is more generally used.

  • Dustan
    #982 written by Dustan 2 years ago

    A client asked us about his existing printed materials with a QR code printed on them, he does not want to pay to reprint all the pieces but needs his QR code to go to a different website, is he out of luck?

    My guess is once a QR code is generated, it cannot be edited to bring the user to a different destination, he would have to create a new code with the new destination embedded. Hope that makes sense.

    Thanks!

    • Kerem
      #983 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      Hi Dustan,

      You are right about it, unfortunately you can’t change the content of a QR Code once created.

    • William
      #984 written by William 2 years ago

      If he owns both domains, he can forward from one domain to the other.

  • Beth
    #985 written by Beth 2 years ago

    I use QRafter on my iphone and ipad to read codes, but want to generate codes for the my classroom using my desktop pc. Can I effectively download QRafter to my pc running XP and print codes easily read by my other devices?

    • Kerem
      #986 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      Hi Beth,

      Qrafter can only work on iPhones and iPads but you can generate QR Codes using this page on your computer.

  • Mike
    #987 written by Mike 2 years ago

    Hi, about 2 months ago I was looking into making a qr code to send an email but with a url shortener. I was able to do it, but now I am trying to do it once again but I can not remember how I did it. I have been up for hours trying to figure this out. Could you help me out with this? Here is the previous one I created just to give you an example. It was just a test so I put whatever in the message and stuff.

    http://tinyurl.com/cupctxs

    Thanks for your help.

    Mike

    • Kerem
      #988 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      Hi Mike,

      Most probably you created a mailto: URL and shortened it with tinyurl. While the generator currently does not create those URLs, I noted this and I’ll change the e-mail action of the generator to mailto: scheme in the future.

  • isaac
    #989 written by isaac 2 years ago

    Hey I’m really loving this form, but how do I imbed the vcard in my website want use a url shortener so the qr code is simple and have it display as download contact when the qr code is read.

    • Kerem
      #990 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      Hi Isaac,

      You can put the vCard to your server and create a QR Code for it using “Go to a website” action. Be aware that, on iOS, only Qrafter will be able to download and parse your vCard. On Android, many scanners can do that.

  • Leo Hemelaer
    #991 written by Leo Hemelaer 2 years ago

    Dear Kerem,
    I am interested in testing QR codes including many characters. I understand 4096 is the maximum. How many characters are supported by your QR generator? Could it be that the generator accepts a maximum somewhere between 2520 and 2880 plain characters?

    Thanks for the great tool.
    Leo

    • Kerem
      #992 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      Hi Leo,

      4096 is not the exact maximum. It can change according to the content. For example if you have all numbers, you can go up to nearly 7500. If you have numbers and uppercase letters, it will be around 5000, if you have many non alphanumeric characters, you’ll go down to 2500.

  • Leo Hemelaer
    #993 written by Leo Hemelaer 2 years ago

    OK, thanks for the prompt reply Kerem.

  • Esteban
    #994 written by Esteban 2 years ago

    Hi Kerem,

    Love your generator and iOS apps. Are you planning to release a desktop reader/generator through Mac App Store?

    Please do, you have one purchase assured here.

    (also, if you want collaboration translating the web/apps into spanish, here I am)

    • Kerem
      #995 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      Hi Esteban,

      Thanks! Yes, I am working on a desktop version.

      Cheers!

  • Michael
    #996 written by Michael 2 years ago

    Hi Kerem,

    Nice generator and very informative website. Are you planning on adding the ability to customize the “roundness” of the generated codes? You probably know what I mean but, just in case, I am talking about rounding the corners of the blocks in the QR code.

    • Kerem
      #997 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      Hi Michael,

      I don’t have any plans for that currently. This is mostly a bare bones generator with customization options generally left to the user.

    • Kerem
      #999 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      Hi Graham,

      That’s coded in Google Maps, it’s not something about the QR Code.

      Unfortunately your second request is impossible with the current Google Maps API.

  • Troy
    #1000 written by Troy 2 years ago

    Hi,

    So my question is just about embedding a generated QR code on to a website or business card. The generated .png image is 270×270 pixels. If I was to shrink that down to say 120×120 pixels, would it still be readable or does it have to stay at the generated size to be readable?

    Thanks!

  • Loz
    #1001 written by Loz 2 years ago

    On the vcard, can you upload a picture – sort of like an ID card?

  • Dan
    #1002 written by Dan 2 years ago

    Kerem,

    I like to create QR Codes for URLs using all uppercase characters, because the URL can then be encoded using the Alphanumeric encoding method vice the Byte method — this results in smaller QR Codes.

    However, your web site appears to take any all-uppercase URL (example: http://L.USPTA.ORG/VRVJJ) and force the “HTTP” portion to lowercase, necessitating changing the encoding method to Byte, resulting in a larger code than required.

    Is there any formal reason why you’re forcing the HTTP to lowercase? The Barcode Reader application on Android and Qrafter on iPhone both scan and process URLs with uppercase “HTTP” just fine.

    • Kerem
      #1003 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      Dan,

      Some earlier Android versions have problems with uppercase http. I don’t force lowercase http, you may change it to uppercase if you like (I just tried creating an all uppercase QR Code to be sure and it went fine)

  • Steve Grove
    #1004 written by Steve Grove 2 years ago

    For those of you not lucky enough to own the excellent QRAFTER, I have just published an alternative solution to downloading contacts from web pages onto an iPhone on my blog which describes how to attach the contact file as an attachment to a calendar file which is handled by mobile safari

    http://mobicontact.info/iphone/download-contact-from-web-page/.

    There is a link back to this site in the hopes that more people adopt Kerem Erkan great App.

  • Lane
    #1005 written by Lane 2 years ago

    Which QR Gen would you use (and syntax) to direct it to an image on a micro sd card on your own cell phone?

    Very nice Site and App!

  • Martijn
    #1006 written by Martijn 2 years ago

    Thank you! Great generator!

  • Amanda
    #1008 written by Amanda 2 years ago

    Hi,

    Is it possible to add a picture when creating a contact card QR Code? I’ve tried different ways with no such luck. I thought the easiest way to create one would just be to use a contact already stored on my iPad that has a picture but when the code generated it didn’t display the photo. Btw, I’m using Qrafter on my iPad if that makes a difference.
    Thanks,
    Amanda

    • Kerem
      #1009 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      Hi Amanda,

      Unfortunately it is not possible to add a picture to a QR Code. A QR Code can only contain approx. 4 KB of data and a picture takes much more space than that.

  • Julian
    #1010 written by Julian 2 years ago

    Hi… whenever I create a QR code embedding a calendar event the date (when scanned) always defaults to Jan 1st 2012 and NOT the date I input into the generator…. am I doing something stupid? This happens whichever online QR code gernerator I use

    • Kerem
      #1011 written by Kerem 2 years ago

      It looks like your reader is buggy. You should try a different reader. If you are on iOS, try Qrafter.

  • Joey
    #1012 written by Joey 2 years ago

    First… awesome job! I do have one question, is it possible to have the location QR Code but also within the code attach contact information or just notes in general about the location. I tried naming the location with the info I needed to be known but it only shows so many characters. Not sure if its possible or not, thank you in advance!

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