What is symbology? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

A symbology is a protocol for arranging the bars and spaces that make up a particular kind of bar code.

There is not just one standard bar code; instead, there are over 400 barcode symbologies that serve different uses, industries and geographic needs. Symbologies can be designed to encode numbers, letters and special characters. There are generally two kinds of barcode symbologies -- discrete and continuous. In a discrete symbology, every character in the bar code can be interpreted individually without referencing the rest of the bar code. In a continuous symbology, individual characters in the bar code cannot be interpreted individually.

Most barcode readers have a feature called "auto-discrimination," which allows them to be configured to automatically recognize and read different barcode symbologies, much the same way a human reader can interpret and read different font types.

See also: bar code reader

Learn more:

Tony Seideman has written about the history of barcodes.

This was last updated in February 2010
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • DOS

    - DOS (Disk Operating System) can refer to a computer operating system that is loaded from a disk drive or to an operating system based on Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). (SearchSecurity.com)

  • supercomputer

    - The first commercially successful supercomputer, the CDC (Control Data Corporation) 6600 was designed by Seymour Cray. Released in 1964, the CDC 6600 had a single CPU and cost $8 million — the equi... (WhatIs.com)

  • URL shortening

    - A URL shortener is a service that translates long URLs into abbreviated alternatives. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.