QR codes in LaTeX

If you are adding QR codes to print media, in order to make them look really sharp, you want the QR codes to be generated in a vector format rather than a bitmap format. It turns out that the pst-barcode package allows you to easily add vectorized QR codes to your LaTeX documents.

Here are some minimal steps to generate a PDF with a QR code in it:

1. Install dependencies:

$ aptitude install texlive-latex-{base,extra}

(This works on Ubuntu 11.04, at least.)

2. Add the following to a .tex file:

  \psbarcode{PAYLOAD}{eclevel=M width=1.0 height=1.0}{qrcode}

where PAYLOAD gives the data to be encoded. For a business card you might have something like:


See this page for more MECARD options and for descriptions of the other protocols (URLs, email addresses, etc.) that barcode readers understand.

3. Compile your file as follows:

$ pdflatex --shell-escape yourfile.tex

Some notes:

  • eclevel specifies the level of error correction, and is one of L, M, Q, H (low to high)
  • width and height specify the dimensions of the barcode.
  • pst-barcode knows how to generate barcodes in many other formats; see the documentation for details.

You can also change the color of the barcode by adding something like the following:


Sources: StackExchange, Thomas Widmann, Andrew Brampton (who has a nice template for a business card)

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