Skip to main content

Barcode Glossary [U-Z]

UCC (Uniform Code Council, Inc.) — is the central management and information center for manufacturers, distributors and retailers participating in the U.P.C. system. This organization is not a government agency and is an administrative council which exists specifically to develop standard product and shipping container codes, control the issuing of company identification codes, provide detailed information and to coordinate the efforts of all participants. Although membership in the UCC is voluntary it is required to obtain a U.P.C. identification number. For more information access

UCC/EAN-128 — UCC/EAN-128 is not intended to be used for data to be scanned at the point of sales in retail outlets. UCC 128 facilitates the encoding of the full 128 ASCII character set. The use of three different character sets (A, B and C), one of the most compact linear barcode symbologies. Character set C enables numeric data to be represented in a double density mode. Here, two digits are represented by only one symbol character saving valuable space. This symbology uses two independent self-checking features which improves printing and scanning reliability..

U.P.C. (Universal Product Code) — is a 12-digit all-numeric code that identifies the company/product combination. The code uses a six-digit number to uniquely identify each company coupled with a five-digit number to identify each of the company’s products. The combination of these eleven digits plus a check character form the 12-digit U.P.C. number which uniquely identifies one and only one item.

According to a new independent capacity study commissioned by the Uniform Code Council, Inc. (UCC), the organization will deplete its supply of new company prefixes for the 12-digit Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) numbers by the year 2005. To provide for continued expansion of the code system and the inclusion of new companies in the future, the UCC has established a sunset date for its membership to accept the 13-digit EAN-13 code as well as the U.P.C. at the point of sale no later than January 1, 2005. EAN-13 is the global counterpart of the U.P.C. For more information access

USS (Uniform Symbol Specification) — The current series of symbology specifications published by AIM; currently includes USS-I 2/5, USS-39, USS-93, USS-Codabar and USS-128.

Verification — The technical process by which a Bar Code symbol is evaluated to determine whether it meets the specification for the specified symbol.

Verifier — A device that measures a symbol’s bars, spaces, quiet zones, and optical characteristics to determine whether it meets the requirements of a specific symbol. A verifier should not be confused with a bar code reader.

Void — An area within a bar (of a bar code symbol) which is of high reflectance relative to the dark reflectance criteria, i.e. the bar or character is poorly inked, or where the intended printed area is missing. A void may cause a mis-read or cause the reader for fail to read the symbol. See Mis-Read.

Wand — A handleld reading device in the form of a pen or wand, which requires the user to make contact with the printed symbol and stroke the barcode several times in a uniform and complete fashion. If the stroke is non-uniform, or is too rapid, or too slow the wand reader will not read the bar code symbol. Many wands are being replaced with more effective and “user-friendly” reading device, such as CCD readers or Laser readers.

Wide to Narrow Ratio — The relationship of the wide to the narrow element widths, in a bar code having two element widths. Generally between 2.0 to 1 through 3.2 to 1.

X Dimension — The dimension of the narrowest element (bar or space) in a bar code symbol.

Zero Suppression — A technique used to shorten U.P.C. codes by removing zeros from the bar code in a predetermined manner.