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How to Create QR Codes

Suddenly, everywhere you look you see QR codes. From websites to product labels, both businesses and individuals are taking advantage of these odd little boxes to store massive amounts of information in a scannable format. If you'd like to follow suit, use these steps to make your own QR codes:

Step 1 - Decide What You Want to Say
Before generating a QR code, decide what information you want to convey to your audience. QR codes can do any of the following:


  • Redirect users to your website for more information


  • Display contact information including name, address, website, phone number and email address


  • Link to user manuals, ingredient lists or nutritional information


  • Show step-by-step how-to guides


  • Provide detailed information that's too lengthy to print in the available space


Step 2 - Download a QR Code Generator
There are tons of free QR code generators. Here are some of the more popular ones:


  • Kaywa


  • Zxing Project


  • delivr


  • QR Stuff


  • Maestro


Step 3 - Enter the Content
Use the code generator's user interface to enter the message you want to deliver to your audience. At this point, you can specify the QR code type (URL, Text, SMS or Phone Number) and code size (bigger is better). Once everything is configured, press the generate button to display the QR code on the screen.


Step 4 - Test the QR Code
Download a QR code scanner and test your new creation. If something doesn't look quite right, go back to step 3 and try again.


Step 5 - Publish the QR Code
Once you're completely satisfied with the results, save the code to a permalink for online use or to a file to use on printed material. The QR code is ready for use on websites, blog entries, online or print advertisements, business cards, flyers or practically anywhere else.


Possible Uses for QR Codes
Now that you know there's nothing intimidating about creating a QR code, how will you use this new technology? If you're drawing a blank, here are some ideas to get you started:


  • Business Cards - Instead of cluttering your business card with fine print that requires a magnifying glass, add a QR code with everything you'd like a prospective customer to know. This could include your menu of services, your mission statement, customer testimonials or anything else intended to attract business.


  • Nutritional Information - Do you run a small restaurant that needs to comply with a variety of state and federal laws? If so, don't bother changing your signs and menus when these regulations change. Instead, include QR codes that direct diners to online content. As your needs change, revise the website with updated information.


  • Party Invitations - Impress your friends with high-tech invitations to your next gathering. Instead of printing out the date, venue, directions, and other information, include it on a QR code. This is a great way to have a little fun and get your friends interested in QR codes.


QR codes are quickly redefining the way that information is communicated. If you're skeptical, consider the possibilities. The next time you're searching for a lost user manual, check your item for a QR code. If you find one, all the information you need might be a single scan away!

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