DMRE Datamatrix Rectangular Extension

Message about DMRE from Dennis Priddy, one of the original Datamatrix developpers

"I love it! Your implementation of the Extension could not be more perfect in its simplicity, execution and effectiveness. And yes, it does make me a bit proud to know that Data Matrix can still help solve real-world problems – when in the hands of some very smart people.
Thank you!
Best regards and best wishes,
Dennis Priddy"

What is DMRE?

 Data Matrix Code with additional rectangular formats.

The example code below shows an extended rectangular Data Matrix with a module size of 8x64 fitting well in the available space on the object:DMRE

Current Data Matrix Rectangular Formats (not DMRE)

 Data Matrix following ISO16022 ECC200 already features the following rectangular formats:

8 x 18 10 6 3  dm8x18
8 x 32 20 13 8  dm8x32
12 x 26 32 22 14  dm12x26
12 x 36 44 34 22  dm12x36
16 x 36 64 46 30  dm16x36
16 x 48 98 72 47  dm16x48

Use-Cases for extended Data Matrix Rectangular formats

The following use-cases require additional rectangular sizes if higher data amount must be encoded:

Highly rectangular marking surface


Typically, the height of 8 modules is used and should be extended to a higher width if more than 13 alphanumeric characters are encoded. The upper example encodes a standard product ID following EDIFICE guidelines for electronic products.

Curved surface

 dmre ultrakain

Curved surfaces like tubes should have a code at minimum height (typically 8 modules) and an increased width. The example features a PPN code on a drug.

Code height limited by printing technology


Continuous InkJet technology is limmited in print height while print width may be extended.

In consequence, a maximum module height of 26 modules should not be extended. Nevertheless, the requirements on data capicity for pharmaceutical products exceed the capacity of a 26x26 symbol and thus rectangular symbols help to solve this issue.

Especially the various serialization projects with inline printing processes mostly by inkjet technologies have shown a clear need for these new rectangular formats.

The DMRE solution

Within DMRE, the following additional rectangular formats are defined:

8 x 48 36 25 16  dmre8x48
8 x 64 48 34 22  dmre8x64
12 x 48 64 46 30  
12 x 64 86 63 41  dmre12x64
16 x 64 124 91 60  dmre16x64
24 x 32*1) 98 72 47  dmre24x32
24 x 36*1) 110 81 53  dmre24x36
24 x 48 160 118 78  dmre24x48
24 x 64 216 160 106  dmre24x64
26 x 32*1) 104 76 50  dmre26x32
26 x 40 140 103 68  dmre26x40
26 x 48 180 133 88  dmre26x48
26 x 64 236 175 116  dmre26x64

 They may be defined by the standard Datamatrix ECC200 rules, but with a different grid size and data capacity.

Within those sizes, the sizes with a height of 8 and 12 match the first use cases with minimum height.

The remaining codes with a height of 24 and 26 modules match the use case of continuous ink-Jet print.


*1) Those sizes are currently not included in the ISO 21471 Working Draft, as they are seen to be to close to square symbols and may degrade scanner performence.

Documents and Standards

The following comprehensive document describes the solution:

 DMRE DataMatrix Extension Intro+Sources r160405

DMRE was developped by the ORM working group of AIM D-A-CH resulting in the following document containing only the extsion compared to Data Matrix ECC200:

AIM-D Symbology Specification: "Data Matrix Rectangular Extension" Version 1.01

Standard DIN16587:Data Matrix Rectanglar Extension

DIN Standard 16587 "Rechteckige Erweiterung des Data Matrix Codes - Data Matrix Rectanglar Extension"

Accepted ISO Project title:

ISO/IEC 21471 Information technology -- Automatic identification and data capture techniques -- Bar code symbology specifications -- Extended Rectangular Data Matrix (DMRE)

DMRE Code Generation

WEB Generator

This web frontend may be used to generate DMRE codes by choosing:

bwipp parametersbwipp result

The underlying project bwipp features DMRE code generation for many applications including SAP integration etc.

Offline Generator

The Windows/Linux program "zint" may be used to create DMRE codes:

ZINT Bar Code Generator Open Source Project on SourceForge (external link)

A ready to go windows binary may be found here:

The following picture shows an example code which may be acheved by starting "qtZint-2.5_win32.exe", and selecting symbology "DataMatrix" and a DMRE size (which are all available beside the standard sizes).

zint dmre compressed

Barcode generation products by dLSoft

dLsoft barcode generation products feature DMRE:

dLSoft Barcodes Labels Office dmre

DMRE Code scanning

The following current possibilities exist to scan DMRE codes:

Handheld scanner from Code Corporation

Handheld scanner from Code Corporation decode DMRE Codes starting with firmware 1096.


Example Scanner

 ecr dmre activate

Control code: Enable DMRE

REA Verifier

REA 2D Matrix Code Verifiers feature DMRE.

Scandit App

 Scandit Apps for iOS and Android feature DMRE. You may active the "Tiny-Code" mode in the lower-right corner of the App.

CortexScan App

 Code Corporation CortexScan App for iOS features DMRE since version 1.5.


 Code Corporation CortexDecoder features DMRE and may be embedded in applications on a wide set of systems.

zxing open source barcode scanner (Android, iPhone and others)

The DMRE extension is not jet included in the mainstream distribution.

Nevertheless, the code is ready and contained in this pull request.

Datalogic Scanner

All Matrix-N series scanners (210N, 300N, 410N) feature DMRE since software version

DMRE goes ISO 21471

DMRE is a work item within ISO/IEC 1 / SC 31 / WG 1. It was decided at the workgroup meeting in 2017-10-10 in Seattle to publish a DMRE working draft.

The choice of the formats differ compared to the DMRE DIN standard. The list contained in the draft is shown below.

The comment line states, which definitions are new compared to DMRE.
The formats 24x26, 24x32 and 26x32 were not adopted by ISO21471 due to not sufficient width to height ratio.
New formats with height of 8 and 12 were added, as a use cases are seen for marking of round objects, specially in the scope of UDI.
New formats with height of 20 and 22 were added to support contact inkjet printing with an additional text line below the code.

8 x 48 36 25 16 DMRE  dmre8x48
8 x 64 48 34 22 DMRE  dmre8x64
8 x 80  64 46 30 ISO21471  
8 x 96 76 55 35 ISO21471  
8 x 120 98 72 47 ISO21471  
8 x 144 126 93 61 ISO21471  
12 x 48 64 45 30 DMRE  
12 x 64 86 63 41  DMRE  dmre12x64
12 x 88 128 94 62 ISO21471  
16 x 64 124 91 60  DMRE  dmre16x64
20 x 36 88 64 42 ISO21471  dmre20x36
20 x 44 112 82 54 ISO21471  dmre20x44
20 x 64 186 124 82 ISO21471  
22 x 40 112 82 54 ISO21471  dmre22x40
22 x 48 144 106 70 ISO21471  dmre22x48
22 x 64 200 148 98 ISO21471  
24 x 48 160 118 78 DMRE  dmre24x48
24 x 64 216 160 106 DMRE  dmre24x64
26 x 40 140 103 68 DMRE  dmre26x40
26 x 48 180 133 88  DMRE  dmre26x48
26 x 64 236 175 116  DMRE  dmre26x64

Real codes may be generated by this special version of zint bar code creater program:


The formats under discussion are marked with "DMRE candidate", as shown below. The current program includes all formats above, but also some additional ones not included in the draft. A new version will be released shortly:

Zint DMRE Candidates



In case of any questions please feel free to contact Harald Oehlmann at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.