wrapper for zebra crossing (zxing) barcode library

barcode-reader, barcode-scanning, zxing
pip install zxing==0.11



PyPI Build Status License: LGPL v3

This is a wrapper for the ZXing barcode library. (It's a "slightly less quick-and-dirty" fork of oostendo/python-zxing.) It will allow you to read and decode barcode images from Python.

Dependencies and installation

Use the Python 3 version of pip (usually invoked via pip3) to install: pip3 install zxing

  • You'll neeed to have a recent java binary somewhere in your path. (Tested with OpenJDK.)
  • pip will automatically download the relevant JAR files for the Java ZXing libraries (currently v3.4.0)


The BarCodeReader class is used to decode images:

>>> import zxing
>>> reader = zxing.BarCodeReader()
>>> barcode = reader.decode("test/barcodes/QR_CODE-easy.png")
>>> print(barcode)
BarCode(raw='This should be QR_CODE', parsed='This should be QR_CODE', format='QR_CODE', type='TEXT', points=[(15.0, 87.0), (15.0, 15.0), (87.0, 15.0), (75.0, 75.0)])

The attributes of the decoded BarCode object are raw, parsed, format, type, and points. The list of formats which ZXing can decode is here.

The decode() method accepts an image path and takes optional parameters try_harder (boolean) and possible_formats (list of formats to consider). If no barcode is found, it returns None, and if it encounters any other recognizable error from the Java ZXing library, it raises BarCodeReaderException.

Command-line interface

The command-line interface can decode images into barcodes and output in either a human-readable or CSV format:

usage: zxing [-h] [-c] [--try-harder] image [image ...]


$ zxing /tmp/barcode.png
  Decoded TEXT barcode in QR_CODE format.
  Raw text:    'Testing 123'
  Parsed text: 'Testing 123'

CSV output (can be opened by LibreOffice or Excel):

$ zxing /tmp/barcode1.png /tmp/barcode2.png /tmp/barcode3.png
/tmp/barcode1.png,CODE_128,TEXT,Testing 123,Testing 123
/tmp/barcode3.png,QR_CODE,TEXT,"This text, ""Has stuff in it!"" Wow⏎Yes it does!","This text, ""Has stuff in it!"" Wow⏎Yes it does!"