PDF417 - barKoder Barcode Scanner SDK

Best PDF417 mobile barcode decoder SDK

2D Barkodes


What is PDF417 barcode & what are its specifications

 PDF417, a two-dimensional barcode symbology, was invented by Ynjiun P. Wang at Symbol Technologies in 1991. It is a type of stacked linear barcode, which means that it contains multiple rows of data stacked vertically within the code. This makes PDF417 capable of storing a large amount of information in a relatively small space, making it an ideal solution for applications where data storage is limited.

One of the key benefits of PDF417 is its high data density, which means that it can store a large amount of information in a small space. This makes it ideal for applications where data storage is limited, such as in identity cards, driver’s licenses, and passports. In these applications, PDF417 is able to store a wealth of information, including personal data, biometric information, and even images.



Another advantage of PDF417 is its error correction capabilities. PDF417 uses a Reed-Solomon error correction algorithm to ensure that the information encoded in the barcode is accurately read, even if the barcode is damaged or partially obscured. This helps to reduce the risk of scanning errors, and ensures that the information contained within the barcode is accurate and reliable.

PDF417 is also highly secure, as it is difficult to duplicate or forge. The symbology uses complex algorithms to encode and decode data, making it more difficult for malicious actors to manipulate the information contained within the barcode. In addition, the barcode’s high data density and error correction capabilities help to prevent data loss, ensuring that the information stored within the barcode remains secure and protected.


PDF417 is also versatile, as it can be used to encode a wide range of data, including text, numbers, and images. This makes it a popular choice for a variety of applications, including inventory management, product tracking, and shipping. Additionally, PDF417 can be easily integrated into existing systems and software, making it an easy solution for businesses to implement.

Despite its many benefits, there are some challenges associated with the use of PDF417. One of the main challenges is that it requires specialized software to generate and read the barcodes. This means that businesses must invest in software and hardware in order to implement PDF417, which can be an obstacle for some companies.

Another challenge is that PDF417 is not as widely used as other barcode symbologies, such as QR codes. This can make it difficult for businesses to find the software and hardware they need to implement PDF417, and can also make it more difficult for consumers to scan and access the information contained within the barcodes.

Despite these challenges, PDF417 remains a valuable technology for businesses and organizations that require high data density and security in their barcode solutions. Its high data density, error correction capabilities, and security make it an ideal solution for a variety of applications, from identity cards and passports to inventory management and product tracking.




  • Most widely used two-dimensional stacked barcode symbology capable of encoding very large amounts of data.
  • Flexibility in shape, high data detection and correction.
  • Can store up to about 1,800 printable ASCII characters or 1,100 binary characters per symbol.
  • The "417" implies that each pattern in the code consists of 4 bars and 4 spaces arranged within every 17 module codeword, aka character.
  • Uses a base 929 encoding. Each codeword represents a number from 0 to 928.
  • Mainly used in transportation, identification cards and inventory management.
  • Allows error-free reading even when a symbol has been partially lost or destroyed.
  • Approved as an ISO standard.ISO/IEC 15438:2015 specifies the requirements for the bar code symbology PDF417.


How can the barKoder SDK help with your PDF417 scanning requirements

The barKoder barcode scanner SDK can empower any enterprise or consumer mobile or desktop app with state-of-the-art barcode scanning functionality with very little integration efforts.

Download the free trial SDK, evaluate barKoder via its Barcode Scanner demo app, explore our documentation hub, blog posts and more.    


Explore our industry leading PDF417 LineSight algorithm.