WD2000: How to Read Postal Bar Codes

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Article ID: 214181 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q214181
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SUMMARY

This article describes how to read a postal bar code in order to determine whether Microsoft Word created a correct postal bar code.

MORE INFORMATION

A postal bar code is composed of three main components: framing bars, number bars, and checksum bars.

The first bar on the left side and the last bar on the right side of the postal bar code are framing bars for the postal bar code. You can ignore these.

To read the bar code, start with the second bar. Group the bars into groups of five bars each. Each number in a postal bar code consists of five bars.

The following address is used as an example:
||,|,,|,,|,||,,,,|,|,,,|,|,||,,,,||,|,|,,|,|,,||,,,,,,|||,,|,|
Microsoft Corporation
1 Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA. 98052-6399

Postal Bar Code Legend

| represents a tall bar
, represents a short bar
   Number   Bar code          Number    Bar code
   -----------------          ------------------

     0       ||,,,              5        ,|,|,
     1       ,,,||              6        ,||,,
     2       ,,|,|              7        |,,,|
     3       ,,||,              8        |,,|,
     4       ,|,,|              9        |,|,,
				

Breakdown of Sample Bar Code

+-- Framing Bar                                             Framing Bar --+
|                                                                         |
|                                                                         |
v                                                                         v
| |,|,, |,,|, ||,,, ,|,|, ,,|,| ,||,, ,,||, |,|,, |,|,, ||,,, ,,,|| |,,|, |
  ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
    9     8     0     5     2     6     3     9     9     0     1     8
    -------------------------     -------------------     -------    ---
             Zip Code                   Zip+4             Last      Check-
                                                          Two       sum
                                                          Digits    Digit
                                                          of
                                                          Street
                                                          Address

                                                           -or-

                                                          Multi-
                                                          Unit
                                                          Digits
				
The checksum is the smallest number that, when added to the total of the other digits, gives a result that is a multiple of 10. The checksum in this example is 8. When you add 8 to 52 (the sum of the other digits), the result is 60, a multiple of 10.

For information about multi-unit digits, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
220548 WD2000: USPS Changes Postal Bar Code Requirements for Multi-Unit Buildings

Properties

Article ID: 214181 - Last Review: December 6, 2000 - Revision: 1.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbinfo kbenvelope KB214181

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