What type of barcode can I use to encode letters?

Linear Barcodes

The most common codes to encode letters are Code 39 (letters A-Z, digits 0-9, some special characters) and Code 128 (full ASCII character set). Code 39 is very easy to use and does not require a checksum which makes it ideal for use with a barcode font; a good choice for up to 20 characters. Code 128 on the other hand requires a checksum and probably some conversion of your data. It has advantages if you mix letters and numbers.

2D Barcodes

The usual 2D barcodes (PDF 417, Datamatrix, QR Code) all encode the full ASCII set, some can also encode foreign language alphabets.

Related FAQ

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