2 of 5 Matrix


The Code 2 of 5 Matrix was developed by the Nieaf Company in Holland. The code 2 of 5 Matrix belongs to the code family 2 of 5 that chiefly still consists of the codes "2 of 5 Interleaved" and "2 of 5 Industrial".

Furthermore, there are a few more variants that have more or less prevailed.

Symbol Examples

2 of 5 Matrix

Example of a code 2 of 5 Matrix symbol with eight functional digits (12345678) and one symbol check digit (4):

2 of 5 Matrix with eight functional digits

Symbol Designations

The code "2 of 5 Matrix" is sometimes also called

  • 2 of 5 Matrix (VBCD: 2 of 5 Matrix) or
  • 2/5 3 bar Matrix

The two digits 2 and 5 express that each Barcode Character consists of 2 wide Elements, with altogether 5 elements.

Areas of Application & Branches of Trade

  • The employment of code 2 of 5 Matrix has strongly decreased.


Advantages / Potencies

Disadvantages / Shortcomings

  • Not Self-Checking.
  • The code displays an over-wide character within the start/stop-character.
  • Low Tolerance.
  • Continuously decreasing importance.

Codeable Character Set

  • Digits 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
  • The Start / Stop-Character is automatically generated by the "Visual Bar Code Designer" (Start / Stop-Pattern).

Symbol Properties

  • Code type: discrete (the space – intercharacter gap – between the single characters contains no information).
  • Elements per symbol character: 5, 2 wide ones and 3 narrow ones, displayed in form of 3 Bars and 2 Spaces.
  • Symbol Width: variable (the amount of data characters within the symbol can, depending on existing agreements, be variable or variable up to a defined maximum).
  • Ratio (ratio between the wide and the narrow element): The ratio should range between
    2.25 : 1 and 3.0 : 1.
    The over-wide bar within the start/stop-character should be 1.5 to 4 times wider than the wide bar.
  • Bi-directionally readable: yes (the barcode symbol can be read in two directions, i.e. forwards or backwards).
  • Check Character: an optional check character (by using a check character – symbol check digit – substitution errors can nearly all be detected).
  • Character Density: 8.5 to 10 modules each for two characters, according to the ratio between the Wide and the Narrow Elements.
  • Necessary characters containing no functional information: 12 to 29 modules, according to the ratio between the wide and the narrow elements and the over-wide elements.

Check Digits & Data Security

In case of applications that require a high level of Data Security, a Symbol Check Digit has to be entered immediately after the last Data Character and directly before the Stop Pattern (Stop Character).

Symbol Description

A symbol – starting from the left – consists of:

  • a leading Quiet Zone,
  • a Start-/Stopp-character
  • one or more Character pairs, representing data (including the optional, Symbol Check Digit, that is generated by the "Visual Bar Code Designer", if necessary),
  • a closing quiet zone.
  • Human Readable Text
    A human readable translation of the data characters encoded in the symbol
    (and possibly the check digits) should usually be printed along with the symbol.
    The size of the characters and the font type are not specified. As long as the quiet zones are not touched, the human readable text can be printed at any given spot near the symbol. Usually, the human readable text is situated below the symbol.