EAN-13 Specifications

Following are guidelines for the size of barcode print on your product. This is very important if you require barcode verification. It is also a good guide to assure that your barcode scans properly. You should keep your barcode size within these standards. If you go outside these standards, your barcodes might not be accepted by all retailers.


The specified magnification range for an EAN-13 Bar Code Symbol being scanned at retail point of sale is 80% – 200% (X-dimension 0.26mm-0.66mm). An allowable minimum magnification of 75% (X-dimension 0.25mm) is applicable only to on demand (e.g. thermal) print processes. In this case, the bar height should never be truncated below the minimum required height for an 80% magnification. Also the right and left quiet zones need to be widened so that the total width of the barcode remains the same as for 80% magnification (29,83mm).

In case an item may also be scanned in a General Distribution Scanning environment (automated scanning), the allowable magnification range is 150% to 200% (X-dimension 0.50mm – 0.66mm).


*Barcode width – this includes the Quiet Zones – white spaces on each side of the barcode (see picture above). It is a good idea to allow for more quiet zone space than is strictly required in case of ink spread or printing inaccuracies.

**Barcode heightPlease note: this dimension includes only the bars themselves. It does NOT include the Human Readable Interpretation, which should be printed beneath the bar code symbol nor guard bar patterns used in ITF-14 barcodes. The recommended typeface for the Human Readable Interpretation is OCR-B at a height of 2.75mm at nominal size (100% magnification, X-dimension 0.33mm). This typeface is only a recommendation and alternative type fonts and character sizes are acceptable provided the digits are clearly legible.


Complete GS1 Manual

For complete technical description of the GS1 barcoding system including printing guidelines, examples of barcode label placements and much more please refer to GS1 General Specifications. If you are unclear on any of our terms used here and they are not in our glossary, please contact us. If you need to arrange barcode verification, this can be purchased here.

To purchase CD barcodes, DVD barcodes, ISBN book barcodes and ISSN magazine barcodes, please follow the links.