Barcode Server: ISBNs (Media Identification Numbers)

Standard UPC/EAN barcodes, such as the ones that this site can produce, are commonly used to encode ISBNs, that is, the identification numbers that are associated with books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and other media.

If you want to encode an ISBN, the "smart" format selector on the main page will generally work, and you can also explicitly select "EAN-13 / ISBN."

If your ISBN number starts with the digits "978" and has thirteen digits, then that's a "modern" ISBN number, and the Barcode Server will handle it directly.

If your ISBN number does not start with "978" and has ten digits, then that's an "old-style" number, in which case here's how you convert it:

If you ask the server to show you the result, that should be the proper ISBN barcode.

For example, I am looking at Nolo Press's Fight Your Ticket…and Win!, which has ISBN "0-87337-294-8". The nine useful digits are "087337294". Adding "978" to the beginning, it becomes "978087337294". Adding a question mark to the end, I get "978087337294?", which I type into the Barcode Server input field, and out pops the barcode for that book.

Supplemental codes

Note that often books come with a five digit supplemental barcode off to the right of the main one (which often represents the retail price of the book). You can encode that with the Barcode Server too.