Add 2 Barcodes

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Add 2 Barcodes

The 1D Add 2 barcode format adds two digits to the end of EAN 13, EAN 8, or UPC-A barcodes covered by the GS-1 framework. Printed just to the right of the original barcode, Add 2 codes are strictly limited in the format and amount of data they can encode. These codes don’t contain a digit check and can’t be used independently. They must be used in conjunction with supported barcode formats to be accurately read by scanners. 

For this reason, both the Add 2 and Add 5 formats are considered supplementary codes; while they can contain critical data that provides a unique identifier, they can’t function in isolation. This makes them ideal for cases where companies have large amounts of similar objects — such as books or manuscripts — that still require unique identification.


Add 2 barcodes use the same format as their EAN or UPC counterparts, but are separated from parent codes by a small amount of white space and are typically printed just to the right of the original code. They can encode only two digits and their structure is based on the encoded digits. The Add 2 barcode is usually smaller than the original code to help easily differentiate the primary barcode from the add-on.

Common Use Cases

The most common use cases for Add 2 barcodes include books, newspapers, magazines, and periodicals. For both EAN and UPC codes the Add 2 format is often used to indicate the issue number, allowing the primary UPC to remain consistent even as the issue number increases each month or quarter. This provides a way to link large product volumes under a consistent barcode framework without the need to print a fully unique and separate UPC or EAN code.

Document Barcode