dLSoft  barcode & labelling software     

GS1 Composite symbols

GS1 Composite symbols integrate both a GS1 System linear symbol and a 2D Composite Component as a single barcode symbology.

The linear component encodes the item’s primary identification, and may be one of the following: EAN-13, UPC-A, EAN-8, GS1-128 or a Databar symbol.. The adjacent 2D Composite Component encodes supplementary data, such as a batch number and expiration date. The Composite Symbol always includes a linear component so that the primary identification is readable by all scanning technologies. The Composite Symbol always includes a multi-row 2D Composite Component that can be read with linear- and area-CCD scanners, and with linear and rastering laser scanners.

The 2D component may be a CC-A or CC-B component (a variant of Micro PDF417) or, in the case of GS1-128 linear components, may be a CC-C component (a variant of PDF417). The choice between CC-A and CC-B components is made on the basis of the amount of data to be encoded in the 2D component. CC-A can accommodate up to 56 digits (excluing any control characters), while CC-B can hold up to 338 digits. A CC-C component may be used only with a GS1-128 linear component, but can hold up to 2360 digits.

The 2D component includes a linkage flag to distinguish the component from a stand-alone 2D barcode and to ensure that the 2D component does not scan without the linear component.


EAN-13 with CC-A        UPC-A + 2 with CC-A        EAN-8 with CC-A
EAN-13 with CC-A                            UPC-A + 2 with CC-A                        EAN-8 with CC-A


GS1-128 with CC-C
GS1-128 with CC-C


GS1-128 with CC-A           
GS1-128 with CC-A


Databar Limited with CC-A       Databar Stacked with CC-A            Databar Omnidirectional with CC-A
Databar Limited with CC-A            Databar Stacked with CC-A        Databar Omnidirectional with CC-A


Databar Expanded-Stacked with CC-A                    Databar Stacked-Omindirectional with CC-A
Databar Expanded-Stacked with CC-A            Databar Stacked-Omindirectional with CC-A

While 2D Composite Components can encode any sequence of Application Identifier (AI) Element Strings up to the maximum capacity of the component, certain sequences of AI Element Strings have been selected for special compression in 2D Composite Component Symbols. If the application requires the use of the AI Element Strings in one of these sequences, and they are used in the predefined sequence, a smaller symbol will result.

For special compression to be performed, the AI Element String sequence must occur at the start of the 2D Composite Component’s data. Other AI Element Strings may be added following the sequence.

The AI Element Strings selected for special compression are:

Production date and lot number: AI (11) production date followed by AI (10) lot number

Expiration date and lot number: AI (17) expiration date followed by AI (10) lot number

AI (90): AI (90) followed by the Element String data starting with an alphabetic character and a
digit; AI (90) may be used to encode data identifier data; the AI (90) followed by data in the data identifier format has special compression applied only if it is the start of the first Element String.