How-To: Make QR codes that can be scanned by a mobile phone

IntoMobile.com QR code

IntoMobile.com QR codeYou’ve probably heard of QR codes. If you haven’t you should know QR (Quick Response) code is a specific matrix/2D barcode which usually consist of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background (colors can vary though). The information encoded can be text, URL or other data, and is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones.

You can make a QR code to link to your website, your email address or something else. There are quite a few mobile apps that can read QR codes, as well as some other codes. One of the most popular apps is ScanLife, which comes preloaded with a number of devices and is also available for multiple platforms, including Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Palm OS, Symbian and Windows Mobile.

Ok everyone knows to scan codes, but how do you actually make them? It’s actually pretty easy, too. Popular URL shortener Bit.ly automatically creates QR codes for every URL. In order to see it, simply add “.qr” at the end of your shortened URL.

Google’s own URL shortener, goo.gl, can also do the job – you can see the QR created for every URL from the stats page for that particular URL. Moreover, it also allows anyone to easily embed a QR code in a web page. In order to do it, simply load this image (with <img> tag) on your web page:

http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=100×100&choe=UTF-8&chld=H|0&chl=http://intomobile.com

  • 100×100 – dimensions of the code, and
  • http://intomobile.com – URL of the web page (where user will be redirected upon scanning the code).

In addition, ScanLife has its own service for making and managing QR codes and corresponding marketing campaigns. Then there’s ma.rs as well as many other services.

For personal use and *really* quick QR creation you can use a browser extension. I’ve found QR-Code Tag Extension and Instant Goo.gl URL Shortener + QR Code in the Chrome Store and I’m sure there are similar add-ons available for other (than Chrome) browsers.

Final test – try scanning the code on the left and see if takes you to IntoMobile.com. ;)

  • Susan

    Yes, the barcode works! 

    I just wanted to draw your attention to http://www.scanme.com – as this website also allows you to add your QR Code to fashionable t-shirts, as well as automatically creating different size and resolution QR Codes depending on whether people want to use them for web, avatar or business card use. 

    Thanks!

    Susan 

  • Susan

    Yes, the barcode works! 

    I just wanted to draw your attention to http://www.scanme.com – as this website also allows you to add your QR Code to fashionable t-shirts, as well as automatically creating different size and resolution QR Codes depending on whether people want to use them for web, avatar or business card use. 

    Thanks!

    Susan 

  • Susan

    Yes, the barcode works! 

    I just wanted to draw your attention to http://www.scanme.com – as this website also allows you to add your QR Code to fashionable t-shirts, as well as automatically creating different size and resolution QR Codes depending on whether people want to use them for web, avatar or business card use. 

    Thanks!

    Susan 

  • GT

    QR Droid and Barcode Generator are two apps on the Android market that can make the codes.
    They are free.

  • Anonymous

    If you want to create QR codes for more than just URLs you might want to try the following web app from the Barcode Scanner guys: http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/

  • Anonymous

    If you want to create QR codes for more than just URLs you might want to try the following web app from the Barcode Scanner guys: http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/

  • Anonymous

    If you want to create QR codes for more than just URLs you might want to try the following web app from the Barcode Scanner guys: http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/

  • http://twitter.com/luckylou Luis Antezana (luckylou)

    Microsoft Tag is a superior form of 2D barcode. There isn’t a single way QR is better. The only thing QR has going for it is ubiquity. A lot of people are using it so that’s what everyone thinks they need. But it’s actually still very early in the 2D game, and there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by choosing the more full-featured technology which is also free. I’m not a Microsoftt employee either.

    • Anonymous

      Microsoft Tags currently only support the encoding of URLs, QR codes have far more applications with their ability to directly encode: vCards, calender entries, email addresses, geolocations and even WiFi access point SSIDs and their passkeys among other things. See http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/ for what’s currently possible.

      Furthermore you need online access to even decode the Microsoft Tag, whereas QR codes can be scanned offline and the decoded URL can be visited later.

  • Julie

    Very cool!  Thanks for this info! It works!

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