pyBarcode /

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This library provides a simple way to create barcodes using only the Python standardlib. The barcodes where created as SVG objects.

Report bugs at


  • Python 2.6 or above, but not the 3.x series
  • Program to open SVG objects (your browser should do it)
  • Optional: PIL to render barcodes as images (PNG, JPG, ...)


Unpack the downloaded file, cd into the pyBarcode directory and run python install. Or just copy the barcode dir somewhere in your PYTHONPATH.

Provided Barcodes

EAN-8, EAN-13, UPC-A, JAN, ISBN-10, ISBN-13, ISSN, Code 39, PZN


  • Add documentation
  • Add more codes



>>> import barcode
[u'code39', u'ean', u'ean13', u'ean8', u'gs1', u'gtin', u'isbn', u'isbn10',
 u'isbn13', u'issn', u'jan', u'pzn', u'upc', u'upca']
>>> EAN = barcode.get_barcode_class('ean13')
>>> EAN
<class 'barcode.ean.EuropeanArticleNumber13'>
>>> ean = EAN(u'5901234123457')
>>> ean
<barcode.ean.EuropeanArticleNumber13 object at 0x00BE98F0>
>>> fullname ='ean13_barcode')
>>> fullname
# Example with PNG
>>> from barcode.writer import ImageWriter
>>> ean = EAN(u'5901234123457', writer=ImageWriter())
>>> fullname ='ean13_barcode')
# New in v0.4.2
>>> from StringIO import StringIO
>>> fp = StringIO()
>>> ean.write(fp)
# or
>>> f = open('/my/new/file', 'wb')
>>> ean.write(f) # PIL (ImageWriter) produces RAW format here
# New in v0.5.0
>>> from barcode import generate
>>> name = generate('EAN13', u'5901234123457', output='barcode_svg')
>>> name
# with file like object
>>> fp = StringIO()
>>> generate('EAN13', u'5901234123457', writer=ImageWriter(), output=fp)

Now open ean13_barcode.[svg|png] in a graphic app or simply in your browser and see the created barcode. That's it.


v0.5.0: Added new generate function to do all generation in one step.
Moved writer from a subpackage to a module (this breaks some existing code). UPC is now rendered as real UPC, not as EAN13 with the leading "0".

v0.4.3: Fixed bug in new write method (related to PIL) and updated docs.

v0.4.2: Added write method to support file like objects as target.

v0.4.1: Bugfix release. Removed redundancy in input validation.
EAN8 was broken. It now works as expected.
v0.4: Removed **options from writers __init__ method. These options never
had effect. They were always overwritten by default_options. New config option available: text_distance (the distance between barcode and text).
v0.4b2: Basic documentation included. The barcode object now has a new
attribute called raw to have the rendered output without saving to disk.
v0.4b1: Support for rendering barcodes as images is implemented.
PIL is required to use it.

v0.3: Compression for SVG output now works.

v0.3b1: Writer API has changed for simple adding new (own) writers.
SVG output is now generated with xml.dom module instead of stringformatting (makes it more robust).
v0.2.1: API of render changed. Now render takes keyword arguments
instead of a dict.

v0.2: More tests added.

v0.1: First release.

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