dLSoft  barcode & labelling software     

Barcode Byte Reporter

Barcode Byte Reporter takes input from a suitable USB or serial port barcode scanner and displays the byte pattern decoded by the scanner. Of particular value for testing the position of FNC1 characters in GS1-128 barcodes and message terminators in 2D symbols.

Some of the control characters used in barcodes are:


character hex decimal purpose
FNC1 1D 29 GS1 variable length AI terminator
EOT 04 4 End of transmission
TAB 09 9 Tab character
LF 0A 10 Line feed
CR 0D 13 Carriage return
FS 1C 28 File separator
GS 1D 29 Group separator
RS 1E 30 Record separator
US 1F 31 Unit separator

Barcode Byte Reporter’s main window is divided into two displays. In USB mode with a suitable scanner the upper display decodes the scanned data into text characters using the selected font and code page for the text. The lower window displays the byte values of the data actually read through the USB port, and these may be displayed as ASCII, decimal or hexadecimal values.

Barcode Byte Reporter
Click to enlarge

Unprintable characters are always converted to decimal or hexadecimal byte values, and by default these are highlighted by enclosing in < > symbols. This highlighting may be turned off (for example, when decoding Unicode encoded symbols) by unchecking the Highlight item in the View menu.

The type of encoding used in the barcode may require specific translation on decoding. The decoding method may be used by selecting a class from the drop-down list of code page classes.

For "normal" barcode scans just choose Normal codepage and scan. The Text version of the barcode will appear in the upper box, and the hexadecimal byte version will appear in the lower box.
For encoded scans, select the appropriate encoding. Note that by default dLSoft components encode Unicode as Little-endian. If you have a Big-endian encoded symbol, select the Bigendian mode.
The Shift-JIS mode is for Kanji encoded QR Code symbols.

Note that for non-english/american data you will need to select a suitable font to display encoded data - otherwise the data will appear as little boxes in the default font. A suitable font may be selected from the Font dialog on the Edit menu (or clicking on the F in the toolbar.

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System Requirements

Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 with Microsoft .NET Framework 2 or later

For USB scanners:

Note that to decode character values greater than 127 (Extended ASCII and Unicode) Barcode Byte Reporter requires the use of a USB barcode scanner that supports “keypad emulation with leading zero”. The scanner needs to be setup by enabling this feature and this is normally achieved by scanning a barcode in the scanner’s manual. (Scanning another barcode in the manual turns the feature off again.)

USB barcode scanners that do not support “keypad emulation with leading zero” will decode barcodes containing normal ASCII characters, but Extended ASCII and Unicode characters may not be decoded correctly.

USB scanners that do not support keypad emulation may not decode some unprintable ASCII characters such as RS.

Scanners that support 1D and 2D barcodes and keypad emulation with leading zero include the Symbol/Motorola/Zebra models such as DS6608, DS6707, DS6708, and DS4308. Many other scanners support keypad emulation (but not the “with leading zero” bit), including 1D scanners such as the LS4208.