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.

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. So far, this page created 4,385,825 codes since I started counting in January, 2010.

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 after 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 most scanner apps except Qrafter and Qrafter Pro for iOS don’t follow 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: *
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 QR Code)
Block Size in Pixels:
Margin Size in Blocks:
Output Type:
Foreground Color:     Transparent
Background Color:     Transparent

Notes:

You can follow me or Qrafter on Twitter.

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 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 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 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.

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.

QR Code Scanners:

The best scanner apps for iPhone and iPad are Qrafter and Qrafter Pro. They are available on the App Store. They are designed for both iPhone and iPad and Qrafter is free with advertisements, while Qrafter Pro is paid with no advertisements. 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.

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

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.

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

Qrafter is a registered trademark of Kerem Erkan in the United States, European Union 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 include 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 into 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: You can’t track the 2D Codes you create on this generator unless you create your own trackable URL (for example a 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.

1,434 thoughts on “QR Code and 2D Code Generator”

  1. Hey Kerem,

    Qrafter is by far the best qr app I’ve come across. I am constantly converting people to it.
    I was curious if you have an update on an API release. Thanks.

  2. I made a QR code with your generator 6 months ago the links to a contact card, I now want it to forward to a link… Is there any way I can change the destination? I’ve already printed the code on the back of my business cards…

    1. Hi Levi,

      That’s not possible. A code includes the text you enter into it. One letter changes and the appearance of the code changes too.

  3. We use the Qrafter pro on Iphone 4s and 5 (new os) for reading and testing codes. We have found that sometimes we change something in the destination and the cache remembers the “old” destination. Since this program does not use Safari as it’s internal browser, how to you clear cache?

    1. The cache seems to have some problems on iOS. Qrafter uses the browser that Apple provides to developers, so currently I could not find a solution to this than wait for some time.

  4. Any chance you are going to make this software into a program I can install on my mac? We’re looking for a standard and this has been the best I’ve found so far. We’d love to purchase it if you can make that happen.

  5. Hello,

    Great app!

    I am wondering if I can do the following…and if not, if your upcoming api will allow this:

    I would like to generate a QR code that references a local file on the iPad (say a photo or .jpeg image) This way when the correct QR code is scanned the picture that it is associated with pops up on the screen. The application is for a demo price checker that has all inmages (with prices) stored locally on the iPad.

    Thanks very much,
    Jason

    1. Hi,

      This can only be done using a custom app which has its own URL scheme, installed on iPad. You can’t call any music or picture that’s stored in an iPad, using QR Codes.

  6. I would like Aztec Code for android with ZERO internet interaction, …………….and certainly no abuse of permissions like gps or network location or address book or really anything other than write to SDcard. ………………………………….. I understand those other bits would be needed for people who wanted to pull from those various resources but ………………………….there should be a light-permissions version of the app for people capable of wielding the clipboard for field population

  7. yeah that graph isn’t remotely honest as long as YOU set the DEFAULT to anything…. especially QR code……………….way to ignore my whitespace……………………….

    let’s have a page that randomized the order of 2D flavor and DOES NOT have a default…. and keep records from there

  8. yeah that graph isn’t remotely honest as long as YOU set the DEFAULT to anything…. especially QR code

    let’s have a page that randomized the order of 2D flavor and DOES NOT have a default… and keep records from there

  9. Hi Kerem,

    I’ve been enjoying the pro vs for a little over a year now and am working on a publishing project involving considerable use of QR codes.

    One area that would be useful, is Mac/iOS Reminders lists. These are .ics files and I wonder if these could be parsed into a new Reminders ‘list’ on an iPhone/iPad, with each Item entered as a separate ‘To do’. (Do Androids or other use .ics for lists?)

    Grant

  10. In reply to Jared: Running Barcode scanner the result is dependent on the Android version. I observe that Android 2.x puts the whole address in the first street as you describe and 4.x properly assigns street, city, zip code.

    Thanks to Kerem for his outstanding QR scanner!

  11. Hello, is there a way to make the free formatted text talk (or a way to tag on a prerecorded message), so it is accessible to people who are blind or cannot read?

  12. Could you make available a way to save a Vcard setup so that you could just save a company and change the name and phone numbers and not have to retype all of the company info?

  13. I’ve noticed that all the QR vCards that I make put the Web site address in the Notes area of a contact, at least on Samsung phones. And also the First Name and Last Name are both put into the First Name field on the phone. Any idea why this is happening? Thanks!

      1. That’s what I thought too, but they are all doing it on Samsung’s. It seems that some of the same software installed on Nokia or Dell phones works a little better and puts things in the correct places, but Samsung’s still don’t work properly. I’ve also noticed the Address fields put ALL address information in the first Street line. I test all my generated codes on popular readers i.e. Scan, QR Droid, Barcode Scanner etc. And Scan wont allow + characters in a phone number!?! Apparently none of the popular scanners are standards compliant which makes using vCards just a waste of time. What a pity… so frustrating! Wish they would get their act together! Thanks for making this service available though, hugely appreciated!

        1. Thanks Jared,

          Well the exact same problems on iOS forced me to write Qrafter so that I am now sure that there is at least one standards compliant reader on that platform. 🙂 The other app developers just don’t work hard on vCards because they only account for around 2% of scanned content. Most scanned codes contain URLs.

    1. the default android contact manager is abysmal

      purchase a license of Marten Gajda’s Contact Editor Pro to enjoy properly implemented fields already fully compatible with ActiveSync, a Microsoft invention available also to Windows Live Email (outlook dot com, etc)

      dmfs dot org slash editor

      It’s the best few dollars I’ve ever spent on each of my android phones — even better spending than to license Tasker, clipboardmgr, Light Flow, or HumbleBundle drm-free android games collections!

      It’s crazy unbelievable that android FOUR still inflicts horrid contacts edit app by default which almost always makes local contact backup a nightmare or importing contacts. Such is true also for those who whore their privacy as a commodity for “free” google internets services like gmail, googlevoice, or “plus”. I prefer the traditional use of the word ‘free’: without cost (financial, raped privacy, or otherwise)

      android will be better when every rom especially aosp has XPrivacy and XPosed Framework baked in to provide the USER control over permissions and information “requested” by apps.

      do hope to see a Keremerkan f/OSS app for generating Aztec Code on F-droid repository: actually zero cost apps without the intolerable conditions of google play (or amazon appstore).

  14. Bu generator ı sitemizde kullanabilmek için bir kod yayınlamayı planlıyor musunuz? Sizin sitenize link vererek veya copyright belirterek yayınlamak isteriz. Elinize sağlık çok harika bir çalışma.

    1. Tesekkur ederim Mehmedali bey, simdilik uygulamayi dagitmiyorum ama benim sunucum uzerinden 3rd party siteler uzerinde kullanilabilmesi icin bir API uzerinde calisiyorum.

    1. Use EPS or SVG output. That will let you have a vector file that does not have any resolution so that you can change it to any resolution you want.

      1. About time this was on the Android Market, I was a signed up Pro user of Qrafter on Iphone, now i’ve converted to Galaxy S3 and i’m glad of the move, apart from this. This site is a good work around though.

  15. I realy love your QR Code generator. I would like to use your generator on my website, but i could not find it on your download page. Would you send me the PHP source files or do you have an API present?

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