PDF417 Dimensions

PDF417- Size Considerations

The symbol size requirements are defined by the X-dimension of the barcode.  The X-dimension is a measure of the smallest element of the barcode.  For a PDF417 symbol, this is the width of the narrow bars that comprise the symbol.  X-dimensions are commonly displayed in “mils” (thousandths of an inch), inches, or millimeters.

The minimum acceptable X-dimension for PDF417 symbol is 9.5 mils, or 0.0095” (0.241 mm).

The height of the bars must be 3x the X-dimension.  For a 9.5 mil symbol, the bar height must be 28.5 mils.

Quiet Zone

Quiet Zones are the space immediately around a barcode symbol that are free of printing or marks (blank space or white space).


The minimum required Quiet Zone for the PDF417 barcode sizing is equal to the 2x (two times) the X-dimension of the symbol.  So, for a 9.5 mil/0.0095” symbol, a minimum Quiet Zone of 0.19” must be maintained around the top, bottom, left, and right of the symbol.

Error Correction

A minimum error correction level of 3 is recommended.  Error Correction allows for partially damaged barcodes to still be read.


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