A QR Code is a 2-D square-shaped black and white barcode that can be read by smartphones. QR Codes store information that can be used to make a call, send a message/email, open a website, or even redirect to a location.
A QR Code can store up to 4296 characters or 7089 digits in a single code making it viable to hold large amounts of content.
QR stands for Quick Response. QR Codes are capable of being scanned within a couple of seconds, and hence the name.
3. How does a QR Code work?
A QR Code works in a similar fashion to that of a barcode. It is a machine-scannable image that can be read by smartphones either via its native camera or third-party apps. Every QR Code contains small data packets in the form of dots that hold a certain piece of information.
When a smartphone is directed at a QR Code, it displays the user information that is easily understandable.
4. How do I generate a QR Code?
QR Codes can be generated online in a hassle-free and inexpensive method. Use a QR Code generator like Beaconstac to create any kind of QR Codes.
The minimum size of a QR Code should be 2 cm x 2 cm. However, the size of the QR Code depends on the medium of the outlet chosen.
For best results use this formula,
Size of the QR Code = Distance between the QR Code and the scanner / 10
For instance, if a QR Code is 33 cm, it can be read from as far as 3 m.
The size of the QR Code is determined by the size of its modules and the version of the QR Code. The module refers to the black and white dots that make the data pattern and the version to use depends on the data to be encoded.
There are two versions namely –
Version 1 – This type of QR Code has 21 modules on its sides. For one version larger QR Code, the number of modules on the side increases by 4, and the largest version is 40.
Version 2 – This type of QR Code has 25 modules on its sides. If the size of the module is 0.5 mm, the size of this QR Code will be 12.5 mm x 12.5 mm (although a white space of 4 modules must be placed around the code to use it).
To put it simply, static QR Codes are uneditable after creating them; dynamic QR Codes are editable. Not just that, dynamic QR Codes can be tracked, analyzed, set landing pages, and can be customized as and when required.
Once created, the destination URL cannot be changed
Have the flexibility to change the URL linked to it – even after printing and distributing
Stores the data directly in the QR code graphic
Stores a short dynamic URL on the QR code graphic
QR codes that store complex data look extremely dense
These QR codes are less dense and are more reliable to scan.
One cannot track the performance of a static QR code
The performance of a dynamic QR code can be tracked
8. Can QR Codes be edited?
Once QR Codes are created, only dynamic QR Codes can be edited. Static QR Codes cannot be edited once they are created.
9. How do I create a free QR Code?
There are several free QR Code generators in the market to create a free QR Code. Beaconstac’s free QR Code generator offers a robust experience and multiple features to create the best quality free QR Code.
QR Codes are free up to a certain extent. If choosing a static QR Code, they are free for unlimited use. If choosing a dynamic QR Code, they are free as long as the free trial period persists.
Beaconstac offers dynamic QR Codes starting from $5 to create beautiful customized QR Codes.
10. Are QR Codes free?
Static QR Codes are free, whereas dynamic QR Codes are not.
Static QR Codes can neither be edited nor have the advanced functionality to leverage them for the fullest capacity, whereas dynamic QR Codes have multiple advanced features to help with your campaigns.
11. Are QR Code generators safe?
Yes. Creating and downloading QR Codes on a suspicious website could lead to downloading malware. However, Using safe QR Code generators such as Beaconstac can prevent this from happening.
It is best advised to use an online QR Code generator to avoid downloading any kind of malware in any case.
In terms of static QR Codes, there is no limit to how many you can make.
On the other hand, for dynamic QR Codes, it depends on the pricing plan you’re on.
Additionally, dynamic QR Codes can be reused and edited to point to different destinations based on your requirements.
17. Can a damaged QR Code still work?
Yes, a damaged QR Code can still work. However, there is only up to a certain level that a QR Code reader can read the code correctly. Although today’s smartphones are equipped with the best technology, a 90% damaged QR Code is still not readable.
Always make sure that the QR Code is between levels M and H, and never H.
18. What are the elements in a QR Code?
There are four main elements in a QR Code –
1. Positioning marking
This indicates the direction in which the QR Code is printed. This insinuates that even if your camera is tilted at an angle, it will still scan the QR Code.
2. Alignment marking
This basically helps a QR Code with its alignment to be able to be scanned without any errors.
3. Timing pattern
This basically helps the QR Code scanner to gauge the size of the data matrix in the QR Code.
4. Quiet zone
This is a vital part of a QR Code. A QR Code’s quiet zone helps differentiate the QR Code scanner from its surroundings.
19. How to make your QR Codes more beautiful?
QR Codes can be made more beautiful by customizing the QR Code accordingly. Change the color of the data pattern, add a frame, CTA, logo, or a background image and change the modules accordingly to make the QR Codes more beautiful.
Follow these QR Code design rules to ensure that your QR Code is scannable –
Always use contrasting colors for the background and foreground. Keep the foreground dark and background light
Do not add a lot of elements at once to avoid overcrowding
Use a short URL in place of a lengthy URL to minimize the data pattern on the QR Code
Add a CTA to make the QR Code distinct and let the users know what they are expecting
Use colors that suit your brand to keep it in line with the branding and a logo so users know what they are scanning
A QR Code can be white as long as the background is dark. Always remember to use contrasting colors when customizing a QR Code. It’s an essential QR Code color requirement.
For best results, always keep the foreground 40% darker than the background.
21. Do QR Codes have to be black and white?
It’s a common myth that QR Codes have to only be black and white. You can change QR Codes to any color to make them look more appealing. As a rule of thumb, always remember to use contrasting colors to not interfere with the QR Code’s scannability.
22. Can QR Codes be colored?
Yes, QR Codes can be colored, including their pattern, eyes, and even the background. Changing the QR Code to your brand’s colors make it more appealing to garner more scans and improve brand image.
23. Do QR Codes work on a colored background?
Absolutely. As long as your QR Code and its background are contrasting in colors, they are rendered scannable. For instance, if your QR Code’s color is light, its background should be a darker shade.
24. How does a dynamic QR Code work?
Dynamic QR Codes cannot be differentiated from static QR Codes, in terms of looks. However, the functionality differs drastically.
For a dynamic QR Code to function as a dynamic QR Code, a short URL is assigned to the QR Code and separate landing pages are created based on the time, location, and device to be used.
These codes redirect the user to different landing pages based on the protocol set by the user on the dynamic QR Code generator‘s dashboard.
Static QR Codes are absolutely free of charge. Dynamic QR Codes are free until the free trial period is over and once it is over, they are chargeable.
At Beaconstac, dynamic QR Codes start from as low as $5.
26. Do QR Codes ever expire?
In the case of dynamic QR Codes, there is no limited scan-life and they do not expire. However, static QR Codes do expire, thus making it non-functional. When a static QR Code expires, it won’t redirect the user to a landing webpage, negating the entire purpose of a QR Code.
Dynamic QR Codes also expire. However, they can be configured to point to another destination once the campaign is over. They are editable, retrievable, and can be used for multiple purposes with no expiration.
With static QR Codes, that is not the case.
27. Who invented the QR Codes?
The QR Codes were invented by the Japanese company Denso Waves in 1994 to track vehicles during manufacturing for a unit of Toyota automobiles. They were designed to permit high-speed component scanning.
28. Are QR Codes free for commercial use?
Yes. Once the QR Codes are downloaded, they can be used for any purpose, including commercial use.
Using a dynamic QR Code will also be helpful in changing the data as and when required to suit the requirements of the company.
29. What is a QR Code vector?
A QR Code vector is a type of QR Code that is used for high-quality print materials, tech uses, flyers, or large print materials such as billboards that can be scalable without losing its resolution.
QR Code vector comes in the format of EPS, PDF, or SVG.
30. What is a QR Code reader?
A QR Code reader is a tool that has the ability to scan and read a QR Code to unveil its contents. A good quality QR Code reader can read a QR Code of all sizes and quality, including any wear and tear.
31. How do I create a QR Code with my logo?
To create a QR Code with a logo, go to Beaconstac’s QR Code generator with logo select the type of QR Code to be generated and while customizing it, click on Upload Logo to upload the logo from your image gallery or select from the provided gallery to choose any of the icons to represent the accurate action.
32. What mistakes should be avoided before creating a QR Code?
Smartphones these days are equipped with the most advanced QR Code readers. Nevertheless, these mistakes should be avoided before creating a QR Code –
Make sure the quality of the QR Code downloaded is of good quality. For best results, download the QR Code in PNG format
Make sure not to use inverted colors for the QR Code
Do not print the QR Code in an extremely small size deeming it to be unscannable
Make sure the colors used are contrasting. Always use a dark foreground and a light background
Do not include a lot of details in the URL overcrowding the QR Code. Instead, use a short URL to make it look neat and precise
Do not create the QR Code using a poor quality QR Code generator
Do not use a broken link. Always test the URL before generating the QR Code
Avoid over customization of the QR Code
33. Can you change where a QR Code goes?
Static QR Codes do not allow you to change the destination URL once the QR Code has been generated. However, dynamic QR Codes allow you to change the QR Code destination based on your campaign requirements without reprinting and redistributing the QR Code.
34. Do free QR Codes expire?
Free static QR Codes never expire as long as the destination URL is functional. In case the destination URL is no longer functional, static QR Codes expire since they cannot be edited after their creation.
With dynamic QR Codes, you can always change the destination URL based on the ongoing campaign. These QR Codes are editable and can be used for multiple campaigns with no expiration. However, dynamic QR Codes are free only until the trial period is valid.
35. Will we run out of QR Codes?
No! You can create as many static QR Codes as you want. However, the number of available dynamic QR Codes will depend on the plan purchased by you.
Moreover, dynamic QR Codes can be edited with relevant campaign details as many times as required. Thus, you can reuse dynamic QR Codes for multiple campaigns.
36. What does a QR Code tell you?
Upon scanning a QR Code, users will be taken to the corresponding destination URL depending on the campaign as there are various types of QR Codes available – website QR Code, vCard QR Code, PDF QR Code, social media QR Code, location QR Code, and many more.
37. What happens after scanning a QR Code?
What happens after a QR Code is scanned depends on what you have set the destination URL as. The QR Code can lead to a website, social media account, TikTok video, PDF, video, images, app store, etc., depending on the campaign.
38. Are free QR Code generators safe?
It depends. Most free QR Code generators can download malware, show annoying ads and make you susceptible to phishing attacks.
Use Beaconstac’s solution for complete data protection and privacy for your business and your customers. Beaconstac’s platform has Single Sign-On (SSO login), SSL encryption, and is the only solution that is SOC 2 certified, and complies with GDPR. Beaconstac’s plans start as low as $5.
39. Can a QR Code have different shapes?
Absolutely! You can create square/round-shaped QR Codes as per your liking. You can get even more creative by using different shapes for eye-balls, eye-frames, patterns, etc.
However, be mindful of the over customization of the QR Code and test the code for its scannability before deploying it.
40. Why do QR Codes have 3 squares?
QR Codes have 3 big squares at 3 corners (bottom left, top left, and top right) that contain the finder pattern and a smaller square towards the bottom right corner that contains the alignment pattern.
The 3 big squares allow the QR Code to be detected and interpreted by a QR Code reader. Whereas, the smaller square helps align the QR Code and ensures it is read even if the scanning angle is skewed.
41. Can QR Codes be copied?
No! No one can copy or hack into your QR Code unless they have access to your QR Code generator’s dashboard.
Even if someone tries to copy your QR Code and deploy it for their own use, they will eventually drive traffic to your destination URL configured in that QR Code.
42. Which QR Code is more complicated – Static QR Code or Dynamic QR Code?
Static QR Codes are more complicated since they have dense data patterns, can be complex to scan, and have a longer URL as compared to dynamic QR Codes.
43. Can QR Codes be photocopied?
Yes, they can. All you need to do is ensure that the QR Code’s photocopy is good quality and not pixelated or smudged. This will make sure the QR Code is still scannable.
44. How long does a QR Code last?
Static QR Codes last as long as their destination URL is functional. Once this URL doesn’t work anymore, the static QR Code expires and doesn’t direct to any destination upon scanning.
On the other hand, Dynamic QR Codes last for an unlimited amount of time if it’s purchased. Free dynamic QR Codes expire once the free trial is over.
45. Can you text a QR Code?
Yes, you can send a QR Code image via text. On receiving the QR Code via SMS, save the image to your camera roll and use Google Lens to scan it.
PART 2 – The Technology of QR Code
46. Can you reprogram a QR Code?
Yes, you can reprogram a QR Code. Reprograming a QR Code is nothing but changing the contents of the QR Code. However, only dynamic QR Codes can be reprogrammed and not static QR Codes.
47. Can a QR Code be rotated?
Yes, absolutely. QR Codes are omnidirectional and can be scanned without any trouble from any angle.
This is because QR Codes are included with a position detection pattern which helps the QR Code reader to recognize the correct orientation of the code.
Each QR Code comes with three-position patterns (finder pattern) that are positioned at the three corners and one small square that is the alignment pattern. The alignment pattern helps QR Code readers to align and read the code without any difficulty.
48. What is QR Code standardization?
QR Codes are standardized by Denso Wave to ensure that every QR Code created is interoperable. Below is a history of the standardization of QR Codes –
October 1997 – QR Code was approved as AIM International (Automatic Identification International) standard (ISS-QR Code)
March 1998 – Approved as JEIDA (Japanese Electronic Industry Development Association) standard (JEIDA-55)
January 1999 – Approved as JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) – JIS X 0510
June 2000 – Approved as ISO international standard (ISO/IEC 18004)
November 2004 – Micro QR Code was approved as JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) standard (JIS X 0510)
December 2011 – Approved by GS1, which is an international standardization organization as a standard to all mobile phones
49. Are QR Code patterns the same for identical data?
Even if two QR Codes store identical data, the pattern might or might not be different depending on the QR Code generator used.
The primary reason for the change is due to the internal expression of the QR Code (numeric code, alphanumeric code, and so on). If this expression varies, then the data pattern also varies.
A QR Code stores data by following four kinds of modes –
10 characters – 0 to 9, in numeric mode
JIS characters 8140h-9FFCh and E040h-EAA4h in kanji mode
10 characters – 0 to 9, in 26 characters, A to Z and 9 symbol characters (space, %, :, $, /, “) in alphanumeric mode
00h-FF h in 8-bit byte (binary) mode
50. How many characters can a QR Code hold?
A QR Code can store up to 4,296 characters or 7,089 digits in a single code, making it viable to hold large amounts of content.
51. Can a QR Code store an image?
Yes, a QR Code can store an image or an image gallery. An image gallery QR Code allows users to open up an image gallery upon scanning the code. This type of QR Codes are lesser-known but are an extremely useful way to explain a product to enhance cross-selling.
Image gallery QR Codes can be used in retail, real estate, automotive industry, and other marketing purposes.
To create an image gallery QR Code for Pinterest, Instagram, and image sharing sites,
Step 1- Copy the link from the above-mentioned sites
Select the Website QR Code to redirect the user to the video upon scanning the QR Code
Customize the QR Code and make sure to include a video sign as the logo
Generate and test the QR Code
Download the QR Code
The URL should contain a video or must redirect the user to YouTube to start playing the video.
64. What is a PDF QR Code?
A PDF QR Code is a type of QR Code that can be downloaded for any PDF that is either online or offline. This PDF QR Code upon scanning opens up a PDF and does not require an additional app to be downloaded.
PDF QR Codes can be created for menus, educational purposes, books, image galleries, and manuals.
65. What is a micro QR Code?
A micro QR Code is a smaller version of the standard QR Code for applications where space is limited. There are four versions of the micro QR Code, the smallest being 11 x 11 modules, whereas the largest can hold up to 35 modules.
66. What is an iQR Code?
iQR Codes are very similar to the normal QR Codes. But iQR Codes do have some differences –
iQR Codes hold a lot more data
iQR Codes do not look dense even if they hold a lot of data
iQR Codes also support a smaller minimum size
67. How to make an all-in-one QR Code?
With the help of Beaconstac’s landing page creator, you can make an all-in-one QR Code.
Here’s how it works:
Create a landing page on the Beaconstac dashboard and include the multiple destination URLs you want to send users to
Use this landing page to create a landing page QR Code
Customize, test, and download your QR Code
Users scanning the QR Code will have multiple options to choose from based on their requirements.
Part 4 – Use cases of QR Codes
68. What is a QR Code payment?
QR Code payments are a type of contactless payment method where a transaction is done by scanning the QR Code displayed from a smartphone.
QR Code payments are an alternative and easy way to electronic fund transfer during POS using a payment terminal. This payment method is secure and avoids clashing with other infrastructures involved, such as carrying the card, payment networks, and payment terminals.
QR Code payments are largely seen in retail, eCommerce, transportation, and logistics. Some of the brands leveraging QR Code payments are Amazon, Walmart, and Macy’s.
QR Codes can be used in multiple ways for events such as –
To keep a track of attendees
For swift entering of an event by avoiding long queues by accepting QR Code tickets instead of regular tickets
To keep the attendees up to date with the event
To serve food and beverage
To accept payment by installing QR Code-enabled payment systems
To allow artist following
For discount and coupons
70. Can QR Codes automatically send an email?
Yes! Using email QR Codes, you can have people scan the code and send an email to the desired email address with a pre-defined subject line and email body content.
71. Can a QR Code contain a website?
Yes. Using a website URL QR Code, you can redirect the QR Code to a website. With dynamic QR Codes, you can even change the destination URL without reprinting the QR Code.
72. Do I need a QR Code for a party?
Event QR Codes can be a great way to make party/event planning easier and more engaging.
Using an event QR Code on invitation cards, you can seamlessly provide your audience with all the necessary details (time, date, venue, etc.) about the event. All people have to do is scan the QR Code and save these details on their smartphones for future reference.
Additionally, QR Codes can make events, such as scavenger hunts more fun and engaging for the participants. You can use QR Codes to engage people in games, puzzles, competitions, etc., to make your party more eventful.
Create custom QR Codes to match your branding, stand out from competitors, and increase brand recall. Explore this guide to learn more about creating branded QR Codes with some helpful design tips and use cases.
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