Code 93 Extended

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Code 93 Extended

Considered a “superset” of Code 93, Code 93 Extended — also called Code 93i — allows the encodation of extended characters such as lowercase letters. Unlike Code 39 Extended, which pairs standard characters to encode extended data, Code 93 uses shift characters paired with standard characters to expand its encodation set.

Code 93 Extended was developed in 1999, and thanks to the addition of shift-character based code pairings, this variant offers some of the highest-density encoding available in linear symbologies. 

Format

Code 93 Extended contains six format elements:

  • A leading quiet zone at least 10x the width of one narrow bar.
  • One start character.
  • Standard characters or character pairs of encoded data.
  • Two check digits.
  • One stop character.
  • A trailing quiet zone that is also at least 10x one narrow bar width.

Code 93 Extended also follows the module format of Code 93: nine modules are used to create three bars and three spaces which in turn contain encoded data. The width of these bars and spaces is variable — spaces can be one to four modules wide, while bars can be one to three modules wide.

It’s also possible combine Code 93 and Code 93i start and stop characters to produce different symbology types:

  • Code 93 start character + Code 93 stop = Code 93 regular
  • Code 93 start character + Code 93 Extended stop =  Code 93 Extended regular
  • Code 93 Extended start character + Code 93 stop = Code 93 Extended error correction

Common Use Cases

Despite its high-density data encoding potential, Code 93 Extended is not widely used. Much like its Code 93 counterpart, it is sometimes leveraged to encode supplemental mail package delivery information.