How to quickly convert StageNow PDF417 Barcodes to QRCode

Ian Hatton -

Revised Feb24: added method of converting PFD417 files to QRCode directly on a PC (without scanning the barcode)


StageNow generates only PDF417 barcodes by default which are relatively low density in terms of the characters encoded per square cm of barcode . This means that the PDF417 barcodes are larger than the equivalent barcodes encoded using a different 2D symbology such as QRCode. When creating a staging profile barcode sheet for use on a customer site , there are several advantages to using a symbology such as QRcode instead of PDF417 including:

  • QRcode barcodes can include a customer or product logo in the barcode and can also be coloured. This allows generation of barcodes which look better for promotional purposes e.g. when including a Staging barcode in a product webpage or printed brochure
  • QRCodes can be included on a business card size label (as per the example below) e.g. if an ISV wanted to include a StageNow profile to deploy their application via a barcode included on their business card , this can work with QRCode barcodes but may not with PDF417 . The use of a single staging barcode to deploy a full profile uses the method detailed in my blog here: How to stage any size XML profile with a single barcode | Developer Portal (zebra.com)




Size comparison of a PDF417 JS staging barcode to configure WiFi profile vs QRcode equivalent:




Both XML and JS QRcodes for the same staging profile can be included in the same area as one PDF417 barcode:



Example StageNow QRcodes 


  • Coloured background


  • Different shape dots in the barcode (round dots in the sample below) :


  • Embedded company logo or product icon:


Method #1 – plain QRCodes


  1. Use a cleanbooted A11/A13 device with a preconfigured internet connection 
  2. Open Chrome on device and scan the QRCode below to access the URL: https://goqr.me/


3. Highlight the text input field below and scan the existing PDF417 barcode:



4. Scroll down to access the generated QRcode:



5. On another device, run StageNow and check that the barcode reads correctly and the profile is processed. If StageNow reports an error , the most likely cause is that the barcode data includes additional characters e.g. if the Datawedge Profile0 is not set to default, there may be prefix and/or postfix characters configured.

6. If no errors when reading the barcode , download the QRCode image via Download button on device and transfer to PC in order to create a QR Staging barcode document

7. Press refresh button in Chrome menu to scan another barcode


Method #2 – enhanced QRCodes

  1. Embedded logos and colour options are available using the enhanced QRcode generator at http://qr.io
  2. Open Chrome on device and scan the QRCode below to access the URL: https://qr.io/


3. Select the text option first and then select the text field before reading the PDF417 barcode.


4. Scroll down to access the additional options such as background/foreground colours, embedded logo and frames

5. After selecting the options , a revised QRCode will be displayed as per the example below. The easiest way to save this code is via a screenshot on the device or if you have the device connected to a PC via Vysor or similar , you can crop the barcode directly from the PC screen



Method #3: PC-Based Conversion 




  • In Zint Barcode Studio (https://zint.org.uk/)  , select QR code, press the three dot button and select the BIN file . Converted QRcode will appear on screen:



  • Use the Save button to save the generated QRCode as an image file



General Notes

  • Multi-barcode profiles require a repeat of the steps above in order to convert each barcode in the profile
  • This method works for converting both XML and JS barcodes
  • Will also work with other 2D symbologies such as Datamatrix 
  • Make sure there are no prefix/postfix characters added (default) in Datawedge otherwise the barcode will not be valid 




Ian Hatton

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1 Replies

A Aspen Webster

How can I convert PDF417 files to QRCode directly on a PC without scanning the barcode?

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