Creating QR Codes


Quick – what’s this?

It’s a QR Code.  We’ve all become accustomed to seeing one dimensional bar codes on products in a grocery store, for example.  It’s a quick and effective way to track items for inventory purposes.  QR Codes are the same concept but are two dimensional.  They’re really handy to help with navigation if you have a smart phone.  Rather than hunting and pecking your way to a URL or other piece of information, your camera along with appropriate software can take a quick look at the code and decode it and help your device to navigate.

Pretty cool.  So, the QR Code above is a code that takes you directly to this blog.  On my phone, I an application that I downloaded from the Marketplace to do it for me.  Just open the application, point the camera at the image, and a couple of seconds later I’m ready to send it to my browser and away I go.

So, how do you create a code?  It’s actually very simple, once you know where to get the proper tool.

The easiest way is to just install an extension to your browser.  In Chrome, consider the QR-Code Tag Extension.  Just visit a website and click the button and you have your code, ready for use.

If you think that what you’re really doing is creating a shortcut to something, then it makes sense that traditional shorteners have you covered there as well.  Both Google’s and Bit.ly’s URL shortening service can create such a code for you.  Just use the service and then tack a ".qr" to the end of the link and it’s generated for you.  Bit.ly even throws in a bit of humour in its results.  Those balls look a lot like …

The codes aren’t necessarily just for websites.  How about creating your own business card complete with contact information?  In that case, the ZXing Project has a wonderful resource for generating QR Codes for all purposes.

Pick the type of code that you’d like, fill in the blank and a click later, your code is complete.

What could be easier?  QR Codes provide a great way to make your links very friendly to smart phone users.

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