QR codes have invisibly entered our life. All sorts of information can be encrypted there – from a business card to a link. But how exactly to generate such a code? And what kind of applications can it be? Let’s look into it.
What is a QR code?
Almost every Expertology reader knows about the existence of bar codes. It is a set of thin and thick lines that can be easily scanned by a special device. As for the QR code, it can be deciphered not only horizontally but also vertically. It allows you to place more information in the same space.
Just like a barcode, the QR-code can be scanned with almost any device that has a camera. First QR codes suffered from the fact that an ordinary human eye is not able to distinguish any information in them. However now QR codes have started to color and even add a logo in their center. If you see the YouTube logo inside you know that the QR code is a link to a particular channel.
We warn you right away: you should not get involved in coloring the code in different colors. Not all people have a smartphone with a high-end camera. Only the traditional black QR-code has maximum contrast, due to which it is recognized even by a rather average camera that the budget device is equipped with.
Creating a QR code using an online service
It is easier to generate a QR code with the help of some online service. Especially if this has to be done on a PC. The Internet is literally crawling with such services. Let’s look through the algorithm of actions by the example of QR Code Monkey. This site allows you to create not only a traditional code, but one having a logo. The interface of this online resource is in English, but it is possible to understand it even without knowledge of it.
On the starting page of QR Code Monkey, the first thing you need to do is add your website URL. In this instruction we mean that the address of the website will be encrypted in the QR-code.
Press “SET COLORS” button. This will allow you to choose the color of the code and its background. By default, the QR code will be black.
Press the “CUSTOMIZE DESIGN” button. It will allow you to change the design of a QR code. Standard appearance is chosen by default.
If you need to place your logo in the center of the QR-code, press the button “ADD LOGO IMAGE”. Here you can click on the button “Upload Image”, selecting an image on your computer (size should not exceed 2 MB). Here you can also find the emblems of the most popular online services. And do not forget to put a tick next to “Remove Background Behind Logo”. Only in this case the resulting QR-code will be scanned normally.
Press the green button “Create QR Code”.
Now you can download the generated image. The button “Download PNG” is used for this. SVG, PDF, and EPS formats are also available.
This service allows you to encrypt not only a link, but also other information in a QR code. To do this, use other tabs, located at the top of the resource. It can be an email, a plain text, geolocation and much more.
There are other online services for generating a QR code. For example, you can visit the site unitag.io – here it is also possible to create a color QR code with your logo in its center. This web resource offers not only manual settings, but also several templates.
Generation of a QR code on Android
If you use a smartphone, it is possible to use a special application for creation of a QR code. Especially if you are going to generate a QR code quite often. There are a lot of similar programs created, all of them are free. For example, a QR code generator can be a good choice. Its creators earn money by showing ads. It does not distract much, but still, it would be desirable to have a paid version of the application without it soon.
The algorithm of appliance of this program is the following:
First of all it is necessary to select the type of a QR code and its design will depend on it.
Further you choose the content of a QR code. As in case of many other similar programs, it does not necessarily have to be a link – you can encrypt a code with a phone number, geographic address or some message.
Next, the application will offer to place the code inside of an image – this is its distinctive feature. For example, the background can be a motorcycle, a car or cute cats.
Now all you need to do is to click on the button “Create” or “Create”.
You will see the generated QR-code. You can save it or immediately drag it into some other application.
It is the easiest program of its kind. It is very easy to master it. But it will not generate a QR code with your logo on it. If you need it, download QR Tiger. The application has almost all the functionality that the other sites described at the beginning of the article can boast of. Here a different design of a QR code is also available. You can insert any logo to the code, in this case the program already contains the emblems of social networks, used more often. However, pay your attention that the logo is not separated from the inner content of the QR code by a small space. Due to this the code may be read not by all applications. If you have faced such a problem, it is better to search for another program that generates QR codes.
Certainly, there are similar applications on iOS. If you have an iPhone, you will easily find such programs in the App Store. Enter “Generation of QR code” – you will be immediately offered several variants.
Scanning a QR code on a PC
Generation of a QR code is rarely necessary for many people. Some people don’t need it at all. But it is not possible to say the same about the scanning possibility. What applications provide it?
Let’s start with a PC. Here the situation is the most complicated. We recommend to use the PC site – it allows you to recognize QR-codes in the simplest way possible:
By default the opened web-resource suggests to use the camera, if there is one in your PC. A webcam connected through a USB port is also suitable for this purpose. And don’t forget to click “Allow” if the site asks for permission to use the camera.
If you click on the icon representing the camera, you can drag a QR code from another site or from your computer. It is also possible to press the “Select File” button, if you know exactly where it has been saved.
Whichever way you choose, you will need to click the checkmark button, which should turn green. Exactly after this the site will decode the content of the QR code.
If the scanning of QR codes is required on a regular basis, it is possible to install the program CodeTwo QR Code Desktop Reader on the PC. It is easiest to find it at the official site of the developers. After downloading it you will need the following actions:
Install the application. Then it should run automatically. If it does not, double click on its icon.
Now open a web page, an e-mail or a picture with a QR code.
Go back to a running program. Here it is necessary to press the button “From Screen”.
The application will be immediately minimized. The display will turn gray. at this moment you need to mark by a frame a QR code and then it is only necessary to release the left mouse button.
The program recognizes a QR code instantly – it will show its decoding straight away. However, practice shows that there are problems with some QR codes. If you are also faced with such a case, you may try the above mentioned online service. Or go to /qr – this site is created by the Russian developers, it is also able to recognize almost any QR code.
Scanning of a QR code on the smartphone
Above we have talked about using a computer. But now QR codes are mainly scanned by means of a smartphone, as it is almost always at hand. How exactly to recognize them? What software to install?
Let’s start with the fact that on modern models everything is already pre-installed before us. For example, the Samsung company has implemented additional functionality in the application “Camera”, including the one responsible for scanning QR codes. In the case of a smartphone from this South Korean company, your actions should be as follows:
Open the application “Camera”.
At the bottom of the interface you will see the list of the capture modes. Select “More”.
Press the “Bixby Camera” button.
If you’re running this version of the camera for the first time, you’ll need to press the “Accept” button.
Again, if the launch is done for the first time, you need to check the boxes near all the items, after which it will be possible to press the “Launch” button. It may be necessary to update the application further, which will not take much time.
Swipe to the left to enter the mode of QR code recognition.
Then point the camera to a QR-code.
That’s all, the system will automatically recognize the QR code and decode it. Smartphones of other manufacturers operate in a similar way. The exact algorithm of actions depends on a certain model of the device and version of the operating system.
If you have a not the latest smartphone, you may need to install an additional application, aimed at scanning QR codes. This is not a problem, because Google Play abounds with similar programs, and they are all free.
We recommend to install the QR code reader. This program is time-tested, and it perfectly copes with its main task. Its only disadvantage is the display of ads. If you started to get annoyed with it, and you scan QR codes quite often, you can buy the Pro version of the application, priced at 200 rubles.
The program implies that it is as simple as possible to use. All you need to do is to point the camera to a QR code and then it will be scanned. The application also supports barcodes, which will please some people as well. Well, the main peculiarity of the program can be considered the section “History”. It gets all the results of the scans. It allows you not to record the result of QR-code reading and not to open the link if you are somewhere on the road. Just remember to visit the “History” section when you get home. The application also allows sharing the result of scanning with friends – there is a separate button for this purpose.
As we have already said, you can find not only this program in Google Play and App Store. Here it all depends on your preferences. Also, no one forbids the use of the websites mentioned above. But we find it inconvenient, even if you add the link to the online service to your browser bookmarks.
Any QR code is good, so practically any device is suitable for scanning it, no matter how bad the camera may be. You only need to install a special application that recognizes such codes. However, you can often do without this – recently, as we have said, many smartphone manufacturers began to equip the preinstalled application “Camera” with such a possibility.