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Making QR Codes smaller

  • On August 21, 2009
  • http:/

I have always been a HUGE fan of QR codes, and there is so much potential in them. I still think they will become part of our daily lives in the future as it allows us to display loads of information in a small image, using our cellphones to display the info.

I have just finished updating my South African iPhone apps page, and discovered a neat little trick when creating QR codes. Using the Kaywya QR Code Generator, I found is, that when the URL you are pointing to is quite long, the image size gets bigger. So for instance, I want to link back to the apps page, which is;

If I use the full URL in a QR Code image, it turns out to be quite a big image size wise (214 x 214)

BUT, if I shorten the URL using, it makes the image size a whole lot smaller (135 x 135) , but with exactly the same info in it

Use it don’t use it ;)


  1. If you’d like even shorter URLs, you can use services like or Oh and BTW I have an own QR Code Generator that I find is easy to use. I hope you like it.

  2. Marc – Based on your interest in QR Codes you will want to join the LinkedIn Group CodeZ QR’s One-to-one QR Communications. I too think QR is going to be part of our everyday lives soon and I think the world of 1to1 QR holds some of the greatest possibilities.

  3. Actually you can make it even smaller if you use the upper case character trick.

    However, is case sensitive, so you’ll need to use a custom name and use only uppercase characters. For example or when you encode it http://BIT.LY/MFAPPS

    I went ahead and created this for you and built the barcode using google charts –×150&cht=qr&chl=HTTP://BIT.LY/MFAPPS&choe=UTF-8

    If you’ll notice, it’s a 21×21 matrix vs. your current 25×25, a roughly 30% savings.

    The Kaywa generator seems to throw in extra error correction, which is probably unnecessary for your needs.

    I wrote an article about this on my blog –

  4. Marc

    Thanks for the comment Mark. very interesting indeed, I did not know that :) Found some good articles on your post which will make life a lot lot easier :)

  5. Chris

    So how you these QR Codes help?
    Is there an iPhone app that understands them?

  6. Marc

    @chris yip download BeeTagg for the iPhone. works great reading QR Codes