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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.

Error Correction

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.

Now let’s discuss how to create one.

How to create a QR Code

Now comes the actual question comes—how to create a QR Code with error correction?

1. Find a QR Code generator

First, you’d need to find a QR Code generator that offers you the error correction feature. A simple Google search will fetch you many options to choose from.

But going through each result to find the best one is a tedious process. To make it easier for you, here is a detailed comparison of the best QR Code generators available online. You can find the best one for yourself.

2. Create a QR Code

Using the Scanova QR Code generator, here’s how you can do it:

a. Go to Scanova

b. Select the most relevant QR Code category for your use case

QR Code categories

c. Add the content you want to encode and click Continue

d. Next, name your QR Code and click Create QR Code

e. On the page that loads next, you will see the image of the QR Code. Alongside, you’ll see the Edit Design option

f. Click on the Edit Design and you’ll see two design options to choose from——Custom Logo Design and Custom Background Design

Custom Logo Design: It allows you to add your business’s logo and colors to the QR Code. It also allows you to change the pattern of the QR Code’s eyes and data modules.

Custom Background Design: It allows you to add an image as the QR Code’s background. It also allows you to change the pattern of the QR Code’s eyes and data modules.

Choose the design

Custom logo design

g. Now, click on the Custom Logo Design option. Here, you can customize the QR Code design as per your wish and select the desired error correction level

Create custom designed QR Code

h. Go to the Error Correction tab and select the level of error correction for your QR Code

Error Correction

Note that if you have added a logo, an appropriate level of error correction will be chosen automatically to ensure good scannability.

i. Once you finalize the QR Code design, click Done Editing. Go ahead to Download your QR Code. A pop-up will appear prompting you to sign-up for a 14-day free trial

j. Once you sign-up, proceed to download your QR Code. Now, you’ve to specify the size and format of the QR Code image to be downloaded

Image size and format

k. Once you enter these details, click Export

Your QR Code with error correction will be downloaded.  It is advisable that you download the image in vector format (SVG, EPS) if you want to add your QR Code in print material.

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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