Code 128 GS1 / UCC / EAN

Code 128 GS1 is a special application of Code 128. Originally called Code 128 UCC in the US and Code 128 EAN elsewhere the code was eventually renamed to Code 128 GS1. It's important to note that all three names refer to the same specification.

Code 128 GS1 is a range of specifications that determine how structured data is encoded into a Code 128 barcode symbol. Each piece of data is preceded by an application identifier, or AI. For each AI the length and format of the encoded data is specified. For example, the application identifier for a GTIN is 01, with a length of exactly fourteen digits. To separate the AIs from the actual data the identifiers are enclosed in parentheses both for data entry and when printed with the human readable text.

Note that the parentheses are not encoded into the actual barcode, they are only intended to visually separate the AIs from the data content.

The most common application of Code 128 GS1 is warehousing and shipping labels. 128 GS1 is also used by Amazon (here referred to as 128 UCC).

Sample sequence to encode a GTIN-14: (01)95012345678903

Simply concatenate AIs and their data to add to the symbol:

Sample sequence to encode a GTIN and a weight in kilograms: (01)95012345678903(3103)000123

A list of all AIs can be found in the Wikipedia article on Code 128 GS1.

In addition, a Code 128 GS1 symbol begins with an FNC1 character. This character is also used to indicate the end of a variable length field. Usually the barcode software that generates the code will take care of this.

Code 128 GS1 specifications

Link to official 128 GS1 specifications from

Coding UPC-A / EAN 13 as GTIN-14

Fill with leading zeroes to encode an EAN 13 (13 digits) or a UPC-A (12 digits) as a 14-digit GTIN-14. (GS1 Specs Sec. 3.3.2).

Sample EAN-13: 4012345678901

EAN-13 as GTIN-14: (01)04012345678901

Checksum for Code 128 GS1 / UCC / EAN

Code 128 GS1 uses the same algorithm as plain Code 128. Please see the discussion here. All Softmatic applications calculate the required check digits automatically.

Sample Code 128 GS1 / UCC / EAN

The code uses the application identifiers (01) for the GTIN and (3103) for the weight of the article.

Code 128 GS1

Code 128 GS1/UCC/EAN for Excel 2010, 2013, 365

Please see our external site Code 128 GS1 in Excel for details.

Create Code 128 GS1 / UCC / EAN

Softmatic BarcodePlus creates Code 128 GS1. The software analyzes the data to encode to determine what subtype to use. The Code 128 check digit is calculated automatically. All required FNC1 characters are inserted automatically. All known AIs are supported. The barcodes are exported as EPS (vector) and to common raster formats.

Windows PC - Softmatic® BarcodePlus (Win, V4, Windows XP or higher)

Download for Windows

Mac OS X - Softmatic® BarcodePlus (Mac, V4, 10.7 "Lion" or higher)

Download for Mac

For mass creation of Code 128 EAN/GS1/UCC, see Softmatic BarcodeFactory, available for Mac and Windows.

Printing Code 128 barcodes from Excel

Our Excel barcode add-in is ideal for creating and printing Code 128 (all variations including GS1/UCC) in Excel; simply select your data, click the "Create Barcode" button, and the barcodes are written in the same or the adjacent cells. No programming, no VBA, no macros required. The add-in takes care of everything in the background:

              Code 128 in Excel

Read more about creating Code 128 GS1 in Excel.