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’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. 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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  1. Interesting video, Rodd. Thanks for sharing. I’m investigating the practicality of this actually working. We talk about students having portable technology but how can we make it practical. The equity of it is something that I worry about but I know that schools are working with iPod projects and those with cameras would seem to be prime targets for the use of this technology.


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