Data Matrix

Description of Data Matrix

Data Matrix One of the best known 2D codes is the Data Matrix code and it consists of 4 main components:
  • Data area: This area contains the data in codified form.
  • Closed limitation line: This is the corner that is represented in normal alignment to the left and below the data area with an uninterrupted line. Based on this, the code and its alignment is recognized while scanning.
  • Open borderline: This is the opposite corner of the "closed limitation line". These lines (above and to the right) consist of alternating black and white dots. These are used to the determination of lines and columns while scanning.
  • Quiet zone: This area surrounds the code. This area must be at least so wide as one dot of the code.

The development of the Data Matrix code started in the 80ies. Today there are different development steps, which differ in the error correction. These are name as ECC n. ECC is "Error Checking and Correction Algorithm" and that 'n' stands for a number. Basically there are two versions: ECC 000-140 and ECC 200. The current, most certain and recommended variant is ECC 200 (Reed-Solomon-Error correction). ActiveBarcode uses ECC 200 for the creation of the Data Matrix code. A Data Matrix code will be still readable when up to 25% of itself is covered or damaged.

A Data Matrix Code can encode up to 3116 numbers or up to 2335 characters. Different symbol sizes are used depending on the amount of data to be encoded.

In ActiveBarcode you can choose between different options for creating a DataMatrix:
  • DataMatrix (Type #37)
    In this type, ActiveBarcode always selects the best symbol size that fits for the data to encode. The symbol sizes 12x12 and 8x18 and the symbol size 20x20 and 12x36 have the same number of data they can encode. ActiveBarcode always uses the square versions of the Data Matrix Symbol in this case.

  • DataMatrix Square (Type #42)
    In this type, ActiveBarcode always selects the best square symbol size that fits for the data to encode.

  • DataMatrix Rectangular (Type #43)
    In this type, ActiveBarcode always selects the best rectangular, non square symbol size that fits for the data to encode.

  • DataMatrix <Symbol size> (Types #44 to #73)
    You select the symbol size for yourself via the type, e.g. you select the type "DataMatrix 18x18" to get a code with a symbol size of 18x18.

  • A list of the DataMatrix symbol sizes with examples is available here.


Technical data

Valid characters: ASCII 1-255
Length: variable (no fixed length)
Check digit: Calculated according to Reed-Solomon-Error correction
ActiveBarcode calculates the check digit for you automatically
Type#: DataMatrix - #37 - CODEDATAMATRIX
LIst of all symbol sizes
Info: This barcode types has no human readable text based on the specification. The ShowText property has no effect, when using one of this codes.

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