Patch Codes
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Patch Codes                                                                                                        patch codes

Patch codes are a set of 6 distinct barcode patterns (1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and T) that are typically used as document separators when scanning.


A patch code is a pattern of parallel, alternating black bars and spaces (i.e. a barcode) that is printed on a document. When scanning the document the patch code can be recognised and acted upon. The patch code may be recognised by the scanner itself (usually in the top-end expensive scanners) or by the scanning or processing software. Exactly what action is taken depends upon the design of any given system.

The most typical use of a patch code is distinguish where one document ends and another begins when a pile of documents are loaded into the sheet-feeder (ADF) of a document scanner.

patch codes

The patch code was originally created by Kodak to signal document processing applications while reading large documents. The different codes will signal certain events such as a page/section break or a change from single sided to duplex scanning. Six distinct barcode patterns (Patch 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and T) were defined. The most common use now is to use the Patch T code as a Page (document) separator.

Note that no data is encoded in a patch code.  Similarly although there are typically 4 identical patch codes on a page (i.e. each orientation) patch code readers (hardware or software) would only ever return one.
It is also possible to add conventional barcodes (typically Code 39) to a sheet to, for example, indicate the document type.

Download and print patches-for-printing-on-a4-paper.pdf

Download and print patches-for-printing-on-us-letter-paper.pdf

Patch code T is often used as a separator page between different documents when scanning.

Download and print a  Patch-Code-T sheet as a separator page between different documents when scanning.

Patch T
Patch Code T is often used as a document separator


Patch Codes are wide/narrow codes (as are Code 39 barcodes, for example).

Thanks to Kodak for this further technical information about patch-codes.



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