dLSoft  barcode & labelling software     

Aztec barcodes

Aztec is a matrix symbology which supports the entire ASCII character set and offers several error checking modes. Aztec symbols are square and may be read at any orientation.

Aztec barcode image
 The symbol is made up of squares which "grow" from the centre around a centre mark. The size of the symbol is characterised by the number of "layers" outside the centre mark, and this can range from 1 – 32.

33 sizes of Aztec Code symbol are defined. With a cell spacing of "X", these range from as small as 15X square, which encodes up to 12 characters of text, to as large as 151X square, capable of encoding over 3000 characters. In every case, Reed-Solomon error control encoding provides a user-selected level of data security and robustness.

Security and layers

Reed-Solomon error encoding over the encoded message is provided in different sized Galois fields depending on the symbol size. This unique feature of Aztec Code symbols optimizes the "graininess" of the error correction over the large range of symbol sizes possible.

In Normal mode the user may select any percentage of the symbol to contain error correction data within the range 1 – 99%. This is the Security Level in dLSoft libraries. If a value of 0% is used then the symbol will actually be produced with the default amount of error correction (which is 23% + 3 codewords). The higher the security level the greater will be the number of layers required to contain the symbol – and hence its overall size.

In Compact mode the user specifies the number of layers used to contain the symbols information – and this is restricted to the range 1 – 4.  Error correction data fills the space available.

In Full range mode again the user specifies the number of layers allowed for the symbol, but this time the range is 1 – 32. Again error correction data is used to fill otherwise unused space in the specified number of layers.

In Full range mode the maximum capacity of Aztec Code symbols is approximately as follows:

Digits only – maximum capacity 3800 digits
Alphanumeric text – maximum capacity 3000 characters*
Byte values – maximum capacity 1900 bytes

*Note that capital letters, punctuation and new lines/paragraphs reduce this value.

Runes are special Aztec symbols which consist of a single layer and have no security options. Appended symbols are not supported by dLSoft products at this time.

All dLSoft product families include products that support Aztec symbols.