Micro QR Code

2D Symbologies

Symbology Micro QR code

A micro QR code is a compact and simplified version of the traditional QR (Quick Response) code.

Micro QR codes were developed for situations where space is limited.

The amount of data they can store is correspondingly reduced. Micro QR codes can only encode 35 characters or 128 bits. They can still encode kanji characters.


Micro QR codes can in principle be read by any smart device with a camera. However, QR code readers built into camera applications of a smartphone (e.g. in the camera app of an iPhone) or built into the browser do not support micro QR codes. Not all barcode scanning SDKs support micro QR codes, either.

Scandit’s barcode scanning software supports all major barcode types, including micro QR codes.

Micro QR Code application areas

Micro QR codes are commonly utilized for labeling small items . Examples include printed circuit boards, electrical items, product tags and business cards.

Standards: ISO/IEC 18004, JIS X 0510, ITS – QR Code, AIM ISS – QR Code.

Data and options

  • The data field can contain any extended ASCII data. The default interpretation of data by readers is in accordance with ISO/IEC 8859-1.
  • An appropriate size will be selected to work around the following restrictions:
    • An M1 symbol is only compatible with numeric data.
    • An M2 symbol is only compatible with alphanumeric data.
  • When the parse option is specified, any instances of ^NNN in the data field are replaced with their equivalent ASCII value, useful for specifying unprintable characters.
  • The version option is used to specify the size of the symbol, either version=M1, version=M2, version=M3 or version=M4.
  • The eclevel option is used to specify the error correction level:
    • eclevel=L – Low (default)
    • eclevel=M – Medium; Not compatible with M1 symbols
    • eclevel=Q – Quality; Only compatible with M4 symbols
  • If unspecified the encoder will select the version of the symbol that is the minimum size to represent the given data at the selected error correction level

Micro QR Code Scanner

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Micro QR code FAQs

What is the difference between a QR code and micro QR code?
Micro QR codes are simpler than standard QR codes and can store less information. They can only encode a maximum of 35 characters (or 128 bits), compared to up to 3KB of data or over 7000 numeric characters for some standard QR codes.

Whereas standard QR codes have three positioning patterns (the large squares at the corners of the code that serve as position markers), micro QR codes only have one.

They also have a reduced number of data modules – the black-and-white blocks that encode the information. A standard QR code is anywhere from 21×21 modules up to a massive 177×177 modules. Micro QR codes range from 11×11 to 17×17 modules.

What is the smallest scannable QR code size?
The smallest standard scannable QR code size is 21×21 modules. However, micro QR codes can be as small as 11×11 modules.

Can iPhones read micro QR codes?
Micro QR codes can be read by iPhones, but you’ll need the right app, such as Scandit Express. You can’t just use the built-in camera app or any QR code scanner from the App Store.