Generate an ISSN barcode

Bug #1569940 reported by Richard Ryder on 2016-04-13
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Martin Owens

Bug Description

This relates to: and is for Inkscape 0.91 [windows 8.1 64bit version]

I want to generate an ISSN Barcode which is an EAN13 barcode but it has digits 14 & 15 to denote, in my case, the month of issue of a magazine. However, the barcode generator does not let me do this. I also notice that there isn't a light margin indicator [chevron] generated. The specification for an ISSN is shown below and taken from BEST PRACTICE FOR BAR CODING AND ISSUE NUMBERING OF MAGAZINES, PARTWORKS, COLLECTABLES AND PROMOTIONAL VOUCHERS. Updated – June 2014 PRODUCED BY Professional Publishers Association and Association of Newspaper and Magazine Wholesalers [see here]

Magazine issue barcodes are represented in EAN 13 format with a 2-digit add-on code.

• GS1 Prefix (digits 1-3): 977 for magazines with an ISSN

• ISSN Component (digits 4-10): The first 7 digits of the 8 digits ISSN (the last digit, which is a check digit, is deleted as it is redundant when included within the EAN-13 which has its own check digit). The UK Centre at the British Library assigns the ISSN.

• Sequence Variant (digits 11-12): Used on magazines to indicate price changes. For a new magazine start with 00 and move up by 01 for each price change either up or down. Actual prices are not represented anywhere in the bar code. For “one-off” special priced issues an initial sequence variant of 99 should be used and thereafter decreasing the value to 98, 97, 96, etc.

• Check Digit (digit 13): Derived from a calculation, based on the first 12 digits, used to check that the code is correct if manually entered into a system. The Film Master Supplier or your dedicated bar code software would normally calculate the check digit. Please see GS1 UK website for an example of the check digit calculation - then select ‘Check Digit Calculator’ from the Quick Links menu.

• Add-on (digits 14-15): The 2-digit code used to identify each issue. The section overleaf defines the guidelines for numbering different types and frequencies of magazines. The add-on changes for every issue therefore a new bar code symbol is required for each issue.

• Light Margin Indicator (chevron): This appears in the right-hand margin of the symbol. It ensures there is sufficient margin for the bar code reader to realise it has finished the bar code.

Martin Owens proposed the following answer:
I have made an Ean2 barcode for the extension and will work on allowing the cheveron and automatic addition of extension bars for EAN13.

Please stand by for resolution and consider open a bug report for the new feature.

su_v (suv-lp) on 2016-04-13
tags: added: extensions-plugins
removed: barcodes ean13 issn
su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

@Martin - can this report be closed based on rev 14842?

Martin Owens (doctormo) wrote :

Yes, Richard Ryder was asked to test, but otherwise this is fixed according to local testing.

Richard Ryder (inkscape-8) wrote :

Hello Martin [& su_v],

I can confirm that I have done some limited testing on the code supplied. Digits 14 & 15 have been added. As you can see in the attached PDF the 2 codes are rather far apart and it would be good if the spacing were corrected. However, I exported the image as a .png file and then used Photoshop to move the 2 codes closer together [see the image in the PDF].

So as a work around this works for me but of course needs sorting for a full release. Martin I'm very grateful for the quick work you have done as it now enables me to add an ISSN to a small local charity monthly magazine we publish in this part of the UK.

thank you once again.

Please let me know when you need me to do some further testing.

Kind regards

Richard Ryder

Richard Ryder (inkscape-8) wrote :

Hello Martin,

I've done some further testing to confirm the calculation of the check digit [all OK] and have put the results in the attached spreadsheet.

Kind regards


Martin Owens (doctormo) wrote :

I see the error with the space is quite extreme. You can edit in inkscape too to bring them closer together. Use "UnGroup" command, Ctrl+Shift+G to separate the two parts of the barcode, move the smaller code closer to the bugger one.

Changed in inkscape:
assignee: nobody → Martin Owens (doctormo)
status: New → In Progress
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