What type of barcode can I use to encode umlauts and accented characters?

Accented, Diacritic Characters and Umlauts with Code 128

In principle non-ASCII characters like German Umlauts (e.g. ÄÖÜ) can be encoded in a Code 128 symbol by using a special character (FNC4). However, this feature is not widely supported. Using a 2D barcode symbology like is a better choice.

Accented, Diacritic Characters and Umlauts with 2D Matrix Codes

The common 2D codes (Aztec, QR, Datamatrix, PDF417) all support direct encoding of accented and diacritic characters from the ISO 8859-1 code page which covers most Western languages (QR also provides support for japanese characters.)

Scanning Barcodes with Accented, Diacritic Characters and Umlauts

Scanning non-ASCII characters require that your scanner is properly configured to read and transmit that kind of data, please refer to your scanner's manual. We've provided sample codes so that you can verify that your scanner is setup correctly.

The following samples all encode the text "ÄÖÜäöü". They have been verified to scan properly on Windows and Mac computers. If they don't scan or the transmitted data is different, check your scanner.

Sample QR Code with Umlauts



Sample Datamatrix Code with Umlauts



Sample Aztec Code with Umlauts