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QR Code Error Correction: Everything you need to know

You know what are QR Codes and how to create one. You have probably noticed the scannability of a QR Code despite there being dirt or damage. And you have also seen QR Codes with a logo. Despite there being a damage or an error, the QR Code being used scans perfectly fine. This is because of QR Code error correction feature.

QR Code error correction

The error correction capability enables the restoration of the data even after there is distortion, dirt, or damage. Hence, a QR Code keeps functioning even when a part of it is removed, damaged, or even obscured with a finger.

How does QR Code Error Correction work

Error correction happens by the implementation of the Reed-Solomon Code. In a nutshell, it adds backup data to the QR Code mathematically.

There are four levels of error correction:

1.Level L: up to 7% error correction capability

2. Level M: up to 15%  error correction capability

3. Level Q: up to 25%  error correction capability

4. Level H: up to 30%  error correction capability

Raising the level improves error correction. But one must take into consideration that it also makes the QR Code dense. 

Certain online QR Code generators such as Scanova allow users to choose the level of error correction while creating a QR Code. Check if your QR Code Generator has this feature. 

Besides making the QR Code scannable, error correction also creates a room for creativity. It is error correction that allows you to add logo to your QR Codes. By removing some data from QR Code, it introduces an error. Then the logo is added. Hence, one should always choose a higher level of error correction while creating a QR Code with logo.

How to decide the level of error correction

Factors such as operating environment and QR Code size are important determinants of error correction level.

  • In case of an environmental setup such as industries, where QR Code may get dirty, Level Q or H may be chosen. It will help to maintain the scannability despite wear-and-tear
  • For general marketing purposes, Level L and M are suitable

Higher levels are also recommended as one decides to go ahead and get a QR Code tattooed. This is because higher the level of error correction, greater the data modules and thus, greater the scannability. Since QR Codes are easy to create, use, and have diverse types, their popularity is soaring everyday.

That’s all you need to know about the error correction feature.

By Yashika Tangri

Yashika is a Scanova Expert who loves to write and share "How-to" articles on QR Code technology. When not writing, she lounges to read mythology and listen to music.

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