Definition of MSI (Plessy Code) Barcode

Published: 05th March 2010
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MSI (Modified Plessy Code) developed by MSI Data Corporation, also known as Modified Plessy, is a variation of original Plessy Code. MSI is a variable-length symbology, however various applications use fixed length codes. MSI symbology does not have any self-checking capabilities.


MSI barcodes are mostly used for marking retail shelves for inventory control.


MSI symbology is based on a simple 4-bit binary number scheme, which makes it relatively easy to implement.


Most modern barcode readers do not provide support for reading MSI-Plessy symbols.

Technical Specifications

MSI-Plessy is a variable-length, numeric symbology and is based on a four bit binary number scheme. While the length of an MSI barcode can be of any length, a given application usually implements a fixed-length code. Each symbol is framed by a start character (a wide bar followed by a narrow space) and a stop character (a narrow bar, a wide space, and a narrow bar) and contains a check digit that is calculated from the values of each of the encoded data digits.

Additional Information

MSI is slowly becoming obsolete as it offers no significant advantage over modern symbologies.

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