QR watermarks

For stamping QR codes on your photos, see our Mac watermarking software.


QR (from Quick Response) is a two-dimensional or matrix code that can encode up to 2,000 characters. The code is easily recognized by the three finder patterns in the corners of the symbol. Those patterns are quite large, so the code needs more space than other 2D symbologies, at least with small amounts of data.

The code is also informally known as "cellphone barcode" and is heavily used in ads, on billboards and the like. Typical applications include encoding URLs or VCards, coupon codes etc.

QR employs a very robust error corection capability. In the highest setting a symbol can be recovered even if 30% of the area is destroyed or missing. This feature is exploited with so called Vanity QR codes, where parts of the code are replaced with a company logo or other graphical elements:

Vanity QR Code by Intel

That kind of manipulation obviously contradicts the whole purpose of the error correction and should be avoided in serious applications. Similar modifications include colored codes, codes with round rather than square symbols or warped or distorted codes.

QR Specifications

QR is standardized. The relevant standard is ISO/IEC 18004-2006 and can be obtained from ISO.

Sample QR

Sample code encodes "ABCabc123":

QR sample

QR can directly encode accented and diacritic characters like german umlauts. Sample code encodes "ÄÖÜäöü":

QR sample umlauts

This code has been verified to scan properly on Mac and Windows PCs. Check the settings of your scanner if the scan result is different or if the code doesn't scan at all.

Common problems when scanning QR with non-ASCII data:
  • The QR symbology is deactivated in the scanner
  • The keyboard layout setting of the scanner does not match the locale setting in your computer

Create QR

Softmatic BarcodePlus creates QR codes.

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

More about our QR barcode software.

Developers: Make sure to see our QR .NET Barcode Generator