Creating and Using QR Codes

You've seen them on signs in airports and in magazines, but may not know them by their proper name... QR Codes (or Quick Response Codes). These square-looking barcodes have been very popular in Asia for a while now, and are just now really taking off in North America. At first glance, they look like nothing more than a fancy square barcode. I assure you, they are much more than just a barcode. They're actually quite cool (and even very useful). In this post, I will walk you through how to actually create QR Codes.

There are lots of web sites available that will allow you to generate your very own QR Codes (most are free to use, and some cost a little bit of money). My favorite one to use is Visit the site, and you'll see a long list of things you can do with QR Codes. Here are some of the more common uses:

  • embedding contact information for a virtual business card
  • automatically directing people to a specific web site or YouTube video
  • embedding a string of text (instructions, secret messages, etc)
  • Google maps location (great for birthday party invitations, etc)
This specific site also allows you to change the color of the QR Code to match that of the document you'll be using it on. If you're really interested, you can even customize your QR Code to include your company logo or family crest (this is a paid feature).

The sky is the limit with QR Codes. Go give it a try and let us know what fun codes you've created and how you use them (both for fun and work).

In order to read QR Codes, you'll need to have a QR Code Reader app on your smart phone. There are plenty to choose from. Pick one that works for you. The one that I use is called Quick Scan - QR Code Reader (free).

For fun, I've create a QR Code for you to try out. What does it do? You'll have to scan it to find out. :-)

Posted on May 13, 2013 and filed under How To.