Definition of Interleaved 2 of 5 Barcode

Published: 05th March 2010
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Interleaved 2 of 5 is a high-density, variable-length, bi-directional, self-checking, continuous, numeric symbology. It has the name "Interleaved" because two numeric digits are interleaved together, with the bars representing one digit and the spaces representing a second digit.


Interleaved 2 of 5 (ITF) is one of the most popular symbologies used by the shipping and warehouse industries for identification. It is also used in the medical and automotive fields.


For general-purpose, free-form numeric data, this is the most efficient code available.


Can only encode even number of numeric digits.

Technical Specifications

The Interleaved 2 of 5 barcode is a numeric, continuous code. Interleave 2 of 5 encodes characters in pairs where the first digit of the pair is encoded in the widths of the bars and the second digit of the pair is encoded in the widths of the spaces between the bars. The interleaving of the characters also requires that an even number of characters be encoded. Each pair is represented using five bars, two of which are wide and three that are narrow. Each digit has its own unique 2 out of 5 arrangement.

A complete Interleaved 2 of 5 symbol consists of a start code (a narrow bar, a narrow space, a narrow bar and a narrow space), the data characters, and a stop code (a wide bar, a narrow space, and a narrow bar).

Additional Information

When the message (including the checksum character, if used) contains an odd number of characters, a leading zero is added to obtain an even number of characters.

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