Many QR code generators exist in the web. I could find only a few of them. and tested only the QR codes created for URLs.
Not all QR code generators are equal. Many of them create a QR code without letting you know what error correction the QR code is. None of them enables you to choose a mask for the QR code, and few of them use a fixed mask for all their generated codes. Some generators will add an http:// as prefix (you can see it in text box) while other might add URL: without notifying about it. Some will create their own short code or indirect URL without notifying you either. These ones were the exception – most QR code generators will encode in the QR code the requested URL as you type it.
Here is a list of QR code generators I found, and their inspected policy regarding masks and security levels. My conclusions are based on inspection of the generated QR code upon typing different URLs. I apologize in case I missed some hidden behavior of any of these QR code generators. I will modify and correct my conclusions when notified.
The following generators create QR codes with a fixed Low error correction level (7%) and a varying mask.
Use these ones if you are limited in space (like in business cards) and you do not want to add images on the QR code or modify in some way its original modules.
1.Zxing project – http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/
2.Delivr – http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator
3. GoQRme – http://goqr.me/
4. Mobile Barcodes – http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-generator/
5. BeeTagg – http://generator.beetagg.com/
6. QR Stuff – http://www.qrstuff.com/
7. Andrew champ code monkey – http://andrewchamp.com/
8. QuiQr – http://www.quiqr.it/QR-code-creator
9. Barcode News – http://www.barcode.com/qrcode.html?view=qrcode
This group of generators creates QR codes with a fixed Medium error correction level (15%) and a varying mask.
Use these generators when the Quality error correction level takes you to a higher QR code version, and when the art work on your QR code will not change more than 7% of data area.
1. Maestro – http://www.sparqcode.com/static/maestro
2. Snap maze – http://www.snapmaze.com/
3. invx – http://invx.com/
4. Qreate and track – http://app.qreateandtrack.com/
5. i-nigma – http://www.i-nigma.com/CreateBarcodes.html
6. Zend Framework QR code – http://qrcode.littleidiot.be/
The following generators creates QR codes with a fixed Quality error correction level (25%)
Consider looking at these generators if you want to put an image on your QR code or make some work of art that might modify some if its modules. Quality error level is a good candidate in many cases when the High error correction level will take you to a higher QR code version (with more modules).
The Kaywa generator is the only one I found that creates all its QR codes with a fixed mask – mask1.
The Jaxo-system generator is also exceptional- it is the only one that reports the mask number in the created QR code!
This next group creates QR codes with a fixed High error correction level (30%) and a varying mask.
Use these generators if your code is going to be designed or targeted to hard field conditions or both (like curved surfaces on street).
Note: the Google generator creates a different URL address than requested since it is a shortener.
The last group gives you the best flexibility. They provide you with the freedom to choose the error correction level. None of them enables any control on the mask. They provide you the best available flexibility among all current generators.
1. Azon Media – http://azonmedia.com/qrcode-generator
2. Kerem Erkan – http://keremerkan.net/qr-code-and-2d-code-generator/
3. Raco industries – http://www.racoindustries.com/barcodegenerator/2d/qr-code.aspx
4. The customer connection – http://thecustomerconnection.com/index.php?option=com_qrcodes&view=item&Itemid=47
5. Good-survey – http://qrcode.good-survey.com/ in advanced settings
6. Tagginn – http://tagginn.com/
It is sad in a way that no QR code generator provides the ability to choose the mask for the QR code. No doubt it would have given a new dimension and greater choice for QR code designers. It is interesting to see who will be the first QR generator that supports this option.
I would like to add few words about the various encoding modes of QR codes.
The data in the QR code can be packed in various ways. Some of them are more compact than others, meaning they will result in smaller versions of QR codes.
The modes are: Numeric mode, alphanumeric mode, 8-bit mode, Kanji Mode, mixing mode and append mode.
Most QR code generators encode the messages in the 8-bit mode, which uses 8 bits for every character to be encoded.
The numeric mode is much more compact when you type numbers – like phone numbers. It divides the number to groups of three digits and treats each to be a number between 0-999. This number is encoded in 10 bits. So instead using 24 bits (8×3) for any three digits number, it will use only 10 bits. This have a good chance to create a more compact QR code (smaller version) since effectively less data in bits are to be encoded.
The alphanumeric mode use 11 bits to encode every two characters (instead of 16 bits). This works providing that your characters are capital letters (A-Z), digits (0-9) and one of (space,$,%,*,+,-,.,/,:) – all you need for a simple URL.
The Kanji mode is for Kanji letters and the mixed mode is for being able to encode some data in say numeric mode and other in alphanumeric mode in the same QR code.
The append mode belongs to another story. I will cover this too in one of my future posts.