If you want to print a large number of unique QR Codes on labels you may want use the label merge function of Microsoft Office Word. This tutorial guides you how to import a list of QR Codes from an Excel file into a Word template before printing the labels or export them to a print-ready Adobe Pdf file.
The most common QR Code type is a QR Code with an encoded URL. When scanning such a QR code the user is either being linked to your website directly (static QR Code) or he is redirected through a tracking URL to your website (dynamic QR Code). The following example explains the two approaches in more detail:
Static QR Code
The content of a static QR code can NOT be changed and NOT be tracked after creation and you can NOT change a static QR Code into a dynamic QR Code
With a static QR Code the user sees immediately where he is being redirected when scanning the QR Code, because the target URL is directly encoded into the QR Code. But what if for some reason the target URL is broken, removed or you just want to redirect the user to a different URL? If you have printed the QR Code already on thousands of magazines, you have a problem.
Dynamic QR Code
With a dynamic QR Code you are not only able to change the target URL of the QR Code after publishing but also track from where, when and from who the code has been scanned. This is accomplished by routing the user through a tracking server first and then redirect the user to the original URL. The first URL is called the tracking or Vanity URL. In most cases a tiny URL is used, so the QR Code can be printed in a smaller size, because less characters have to be encoded into the QR Code.
Always be careful when using a QR Code tracking service. Some providers route the user through a landing page first, where an ad is displayed before continuing to the target URL. Another risk is if the tracking server goes offline, the dynamic QR Code will not work anymore.
This is why we recommend you to use our fast and secure infrastructure. We do not display any ads and you can create both – static and dynamic QR Codes – for free. Get to know more about our free QR Code Manager or start creating static QR Codes right away:
There is a simple answer why using QR Codes in your marketing activities is a MUST:
Scanning a QR Code is the fasted way to open specific content in the browser!
To give you an example: A new blockbuster movie is out and is promoted with posters in the streets or with ads in magazines. To let people interact with the poster a link and a QR Code are added, like shown in the illustration above. The link redirects the user to the movie trailer, so people can already preview the movie on their mobile devices, before watching the movie in the theatre.
One way to solve the technical barrier for people to scan QR Codes would be to include a QR Code scanner in the native camera app of a Smartphone. People will not need to install a 3rd party app anymore and direct support in the OS will make QR Code decoding much faster.
iPhones with iOS11 support native QR Code Reading
Galaxy S9 camera can now scan QR codes
As of June 2019 Samsung Galaxy S9 supports scanning QR Codes with the native camera app. A soon a QR code is detected, the camera displays a popup with the link to the website encoded in the QR code, so you can open that website with a single tap.
Microsoft Windows phones support native QR Code scanning
Microsoft did a first step towards QR Code recognition in their camera app, but with only 2.6% market share in the worldwide smartphone market this is just a small portion. Lumia phones have a built in QR Code Reading App, but making a QR Code readable requires to setup the camera every time a QR Code is scanned. Using a 3rd party scanning app is much more comfortable.
Google is afraid of QR Codes killing their Ad business
An assumption why Google has no interest in supporting QR Code decoding in the native camera app is because a direct link in the QR Code bypasses Google Search. Google wants you to use their search engine for displaying ads and tracking your behavior instead of directly linking you to a website.
Motorola as a first mover
There are native QR Code scanning solutions for Windows, iPhone and Android devices. However Microsoft needs to improve the UX drastically, so that people will actually know how to use the native camera function for scanning QR Codes instead of downloading a 3rd party app. If Google sees a potential harm in affecting their ad and tracking business, they could release a native camera app that tracks all QR Code scans and previews the target URL of the QR Code in addition with some ads displayed below before redirecting the user to the website. Finally Apple included native QR Code decoding since the Asian market is using QR Codes almost everywhere and Apple might wants to be a player in the QR Code payment industry. Let’s see how Android will follow…
An easy way to get more followers for your social networks is to use Social QR Codes. Place them on your folders, your products or in your shopping window to give people the opporiunity to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter.
Facebook Like and Facebook Pages
With a Facebook QR Code you can either link the user to your Facebook site directly or link to a landing page with a like button included, like shown in the example below.
The magic thing about those QR Codes is that they automatically check, if the Facebook App is installed on the mobile device. If so, the Facebook Page is opened directly in the App. If not, the page will be viewed in the web browser of the mobile device.
However, remember that your QR Codes are less likely to be scanned, if you don’t clearly communicate what happens after scanning the QR Code. Offer an incentive to scan your QR Codes and announce where the QR Code will lead the visitor to. For Example :
Scan this code to like us on / qrd.by and benefit from QR Code marketing insights
Get more Instagram followers
With our QR Code Generator you can different Social QR Codes types. Here are some more examples:
Create Instagram QR Code
Built your YouTube audience
Link to a video or your YouTube Channel
Twitter Profile and Tweeting
With a Twitter QR Code you can redirect users to your Twitter profile to gain new followers or encode a message in the QR Code that people can tweet after scanning the code.
You can do even more with QR Codes, like send an SMS, start a phone call, write an E-Mail and much more. Learn more about other type of QR Codes here:
If you are generating a QR Code, most of the times you want to redirect the user to a website, e.g.:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA. This URL is called the target URL.
If you create a dynamic QR Code, the target URL is shortened by default to a random URL e.g.
http://qrd.by/0j6nte. This is called a shortened URL. With qrd°by you are able to customize such a shortened URL. Instead of
0j6nte you can set a human readable name e.g.
speech-steve-jobs. Such URLs are called custom shortened URLs or Vanity URLs.
What is the benefit of a custom shortened URL?
People who are scanning your QR Code will now see
https://qrd.by/speech-steve-jobs when the QR Code is decoded in the scanning app. This will give them a better idea of where the QR Code leads them to. Moreover a shortened URL encoded in a QR Code allows printing the QR Code in a smaller size, since fewer characters are encoded in the QR Code (See also Minimum size of a QR Code). Using shortened URLs also allow you to track who is scanning your QR Codes. So you can measure how succesful a QR Code campaign is performing. Read more about tracking QR Codes.
Custom shortened URL + Custom Domain
With the White Label QR Code Manager you can even set a custom domain for a dynamic QR Code. For example instead of
qrd.by you may use the custom domain
my.domain. The QR Code will then have the custom URL
http://my.domain/speech-steve-jobs encoded. With a custom domain you can keep your brand and your corporate identity without exposing that you are using our QR Code platform.
Recommendation: A QR Code that encodes up to 72 characters (which is the length of a typical URL) should be printed in a size of 20×20 mm (0.79x0.79″) when scanned from a distance of 20cm (7.9″)
|Surface||Scan Distance||QR Code Size|
|A4 e.g. Magazine||20cm||20mm x 20mm|
|A3 e.g. Poster||1m||100mm x 100mm|
|3x4m e.g. Billboard||10m||1m x 1m
Before applying this recommendation please consider the following tips. If you you are printing a designer QR Code please also read Printing QR Codes with Colors.
Consider the scanning distance
Rule of the thumb: the ratio between scanning distance and the QR Code size is 10:1. So if you want to scan a QR Code from 10 meters (390″), the size of the QR Code should be 1 square meter (39″). Or if you print a QR Code on a post card, the user will scan the QR Code from a distance close to 15cm (5.9″). Applying the rule the QR Code may have a minimum size of 15mm (0.59″).
Quiet Zone around the QR Code
If you print a QR Code always leave a quite zone (margin) around the QR Code. We recommend to have 4 units of white space arround your QR Code to ensure it can be read by any QR Code reader.
Use shorted URLs
How much information do you want to store in the QR Code? The less the better. Use shortened URLs instead of a long URL. The shorter the URL the less units a QR Code will contain and there for can be plotted smaller.
A shortened URL with up to 17 characters will produce a QR Code with 21×21 units. Encoding a longer URL with up to 72 chars will result in a QR Code with 35×35 units.
Use low Error Correction Level
When creating a QR Code you can set an Error Correction Level. The higher the level is set, the more of a QR Code may be destroyed while the QR Code will be still readable. However, a higher level also increases the size of a QR Code. We recommend setting the error level L for QR Codes without an embedded logo. This will give you the smallest possible size of a QR Code. The following figure shows you a QR Code with the same encoded URL in two different error correction levels:
|Level L 7%||Level H 30 %|
Use scale able vectorized QR Codes
It is important create QR Codes in Vector format. If you are plotting QR Codes from a .png or .jpg source, they may get blurred and cannot be read anymore.
Download the QR Code Contest .pdf document and print it out. It contains various QR Codes in different sizes. In theory you will be able to scan QR Codes with a size of 5mm (0.19″), depending on your printer and your scanning device. If you are able to scan QR Codes in an even smaller size, please let us know!!!
Devices that scan QR Codes < 4mm (0.16”)
Huawei Ascend XT H1611 (3mm QR Code was printed on a Canon MF4320 laser printer with 600dpi)
Devices that scan QR Codes < 5mm (0.19”)
Apple iPhone 5
Google Nexus 5
Huawei Ascend Mate 7
LG D802, D959
Nokia Lumia 635
Samsung GALAXY ACE 3, GALAXY Note 4 Edge, GALAXY S4, GT-I9500, SGH-I317
Sony Xperia Z1
Xiaomi MI 2SC
If you scan a QR code, you will usually be forwarded directly to a website without knowing what information or URL actually stored in the QR code. In the worst case you will be redirected on a page that tries to install on your smartphone malicious software or tries to call a premium rate number.
To have more security when scanning a QR Code, you should use a QR Reader, that displays the URL stored in the QR Code first and asking for confirmation before redirecting you to the website.
QRQR – Denso Wave has an option in the settings menu, where you can choose to confirm an URL redirection before going online.
The website encoded in the QR Code is only opened when you confirm to go online by tapping the “Go Online” button.
If you have the QR code as an image file you can display the content using the image decoding option:
Do you have Google Chrome installed? If so you can directly decode the QR Code with the Webcam in the browser with the Webcam QR Code Reader
If you are interested in QR Code readers you can read our post:
Many QR Code Generators allow to change the colors or embed a logo in a Designer QR Code. However, there are only a few generators that support vectorized
.eps image uploads in addition to the standard rasterized formats like
If you print a QR Code in different sizes, the code and the logo will get blurred, pixelated and in the worst case unreadable. With our QR Code Generator you can upload scalable vectorized images in
.eps format that will stay crisp no matter in which size they are printed:
Create EPS logo in Adobe Illustrator
To upload your own EPS logos in a QR Code you have to register for a Premium Account (30-day free trial). Then you have to save your logo in Adobe Illustrator in the eps format (Version < 9).
In your account select a QR Code and choose the basic QR Code editor on the left and upload your created logo.
Today I had a very inspiring phone call with a QR-Code Enthusiast like us. We were talking about possible cooperations and how to merge our assets without getting depended on each other and how to create a win-win situation.
But before we could get into more details there were some concerns about using our QR Code platform which I had to clarify and I want to share with you:
When creating trackable dynamic QR Codes on our platform, it would be technically very easy to show banners or display an ad before redirecting the user to actual landingpage. There are many vendors who use this business model – We don’t! No matter if you are a free or paying customer, you will never see any ads.
Please be aware that many QR Code readers are placing ads directly in the App. Those ads have nothing to do with us!
In theory it could happen that our servers are down and that someone scans a QR Code right in that moment. As a result the user would not be redirect to the original website.
We are constanly monitoring our servers and we are proud to have an uptime>99,95%. In ohter words: the probability that a QR Code redirect gets lost in nirvana is less than 1:13 Million.
Your QR Codes are NEVER deleted by us nor they expire. Whether they are created using a free or paid account – as long as you do not delete the QR code by yourself, they will continue to work. Even if you terminate a premium account after one year, the QR codes continue to be fully functional upon request.
Our geo-location based tracking system for QR Codes records thousands of datasets every day. A backup of this data is generated every day and stored on a secure location in our datacenter.
If you are a customer who subscribed to one of our plans, your data is always safe. We do not store any sensitive credit card information. This is done by our payment service provider, who is ISO-certified and PCI-DDS compliant. All sensitive communication is encrypted with a 256-bit SSL certificate.
Elastic Cloud Infrastructure
Our servers are cape able to manage thousands of parallel connections. In case it gets even more “busy” our cloud based server infrastructure adds additional computation power and memory depending on the traffic.
Read more about our Pagespeed and Performance measurements.
Full control with the White Label Solution
We launched our company 2011 and we are growing :)
In the unlikely case that we shut down one day, all created QR Codes with free, premium or starter plans will not work anymore.
In case you are using our white label platform you will create QR Codes under your domain name. You can always use the backup feature in the account section to get all your QR Code data in CSV format and landingpages in static HTML. You will even find a code snippet for a basic url forwarder there. So you can continue to run your campaigns on different platforms.
Anyhow, thumbs up to all people out there who are already supporting us and give us constant feedback to enhance our platform, so that in the long run we will be the first choice when it comes to creating QR Code campaigns.
Founder & CEO