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QRCode Encoding

The different types of QRCode values support different conventions and formatting accordingly.

In many cases, the value of the QRCode is processed by the device in a special way. For example, geolocations are displayed in the Global Positioning System (GPS) or Map application on the device, URLs are opened by the browser, and so on.


To encode the text of a URL, for example,, encode the URL text in the QRCode. Include the http:// protocol to ensure it is recognized as a URL.

Email Addresses

To encode an email address, for example,, encode To ensure the value is recognized as an email address, create a proper mailto Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) from the address ( As a result, readers can open a blank email message to the specified email destination.

Telephone Numbers

To encode a telephone number, use a telephone URI to ensure that the digits are recognized as a telephone number and include prefixes which make the number internationally accessible. For example, to encode the 212-555-1212 US telephone number, encode tel:+1-212-555-1212. This telephone URI contains a +1 prefix that makes it usable outside the United States. As a result, even though readers cannot automatically initiate a call, they can invoke the device dialer (if applicable) and pre-fill it with the specified number.

Contact Information

To encode contact information as text, use the vCard format. This format is too verbose to use in 2D QRCodes whose information capacity is limited. It is not clear whether vCard is or has to be used to encode contact information. As a result, readers can open a new address book entry that is populated with the provided data and prompt the user to add a new contact.


Similar to email addresses, to encode an SMS short code or number, create an SMS URI. For example, to create a link to the 12345 number, encode sms:12345. You may use other URI forms, such as sms:number:subject, and other prefixes, such as smsto:. As a result, readers can open a new SMS message that is ready for users to compose and send it.


To encode a point on the earth, including altitude, use a geo URI. For example, to encode the Progress office in Bulgaria, encode geo:42.65049,23.37925,100. As a result, readers can either open a local mapping application to this location, such as Google Maps, and zoom accordingly, or a link to this location on a mapping website such as Google Maps in the web browser of the device.

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