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The PDF link below is a page from the Domestic Mail Manual. Currently (12/2005) the barcoding standards page is available at and I added that to the article as a reference. I also added a couple of notes on the bar count of the various codes and a clarification on including the delivery point when doing the checksum.

Hi. I found this page which has a link to the POSTNET specification (and something called PLANET, which is another kind of coding, I think). Its a USPS standard, but the link isn't a USPS page:

you might want to put that on your page also. That page also says you can encode longer local delivery codes (not just zip and zip+4)

  1. smellycat

I (a few edits ago) changed the lower-half bar into Unicode using box drawing techniques. This works in any Unicode-capable browser. Xoder| 16:13, May 3, 2004 (UTC)

Since Internet Explorer does not support those characters (and it unfortunately remains the most common browser), I switched it to a different format using <big> and <small> commands on the | character. It looks okay on all but the Chick skin (in the my preferences section). Rossami (talk) 21:38, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, well that's not acceptable. Doesn't render in Firefox. Using any method which does not render in all browsers properly is unacceptable. The <big> and <small> tags are deprecated as far as I can tell, or Firefox is being stupid. Modifying to use proper font sizing tags to achieve same effect. Jeff The Riffer 02:01, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Hello, I added some information on Postnet barcode formats used since the mid-1980s by USPS. I'll try to come back and add some more, having been involved with USPS automated mail processing since 1988 I think I have something to add. Eric S

unsigned comment moved from the article page[edit]

note to potential contributors: it would be interesting to know why the post office adopted this bar code standard instead of any of the other more common bar code systems?

Well anonymous commenter, the US Postal Service is one of the single biggest users of robotics and automated systems. There's many different barcode systems out there, but most of them are designed for commercial usage. Postal processing equipment has to be able to scan barcodes at frequences as high as 100 times per minute, and fit in very small spaces. Jeff The Riffer 02:01, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

PostNet International Franchise Corporation[edit]

I removed a self-link to "PostNet International Franchise Corporation". If there ever was such a corporation, it would be interesting to explain it in the article. -- Beland 15:50, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Reverted back to Unicode[edit]

Reverted the POSTNET barcodes back to Unicode. Unicode is a widely used industry standard that is supported by a wide range of browsers. Unicode supports full length and half length bars, which is what the barcodes are, so why not use Unicode? Information should not be encoded stylistically (like using FONT tags), and quite frankly, the FONT tagged version doesn't look like the real POSTNET barcodes, which is what they're supposed to represent.

Also, the edit regarding the frame bars is incorrect, as the frame bars serve merely as termination points, and are not in and of themselves part of the encoded data set. -- Eulerskunk 20:26, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Widely used? Yes. Universally used? No. My browser at work, for example, is not supporting it properly. (MS IE 6.02 Being a work-computer, I can not update it myself either. And my IT department is unlikely to make such a fix just so I can work on Wikipedia stuff.) If you have a better solution that's more widely readable, be bold. But reverting to a format that returns empty boxes instead of characters is unhelpful to our readers. The font-tagged version isn't perfect but it's the closest we've been able to manage so far that is universally readable. Rossami (talk) 20:39, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks to user:I do not exist who elegantly solved the problem for all of us by replacing the individual characters with images. Rossami (talk)

Example bars - inductive leap?[edit]

The example cites a ZIP+4 of 55555-1237 which with the check digit of 2, gives "an encoded data of 5555512372". However, the bars that follow "Together with the initial and terminal frame bars" represent, by their code, BAR 7 3 0 1 8 7 2 7 3 2 BAR. How this comes from the data is not explained.  ??? --Piledhigheranddeeper (talk) 22:27, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Ah. I see now it was vandalism. reverting...--Piledhigheranddeeper (talk) 22:32, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Is POSTNET being deprecated?[edit]

USPS' own website suggests that the Intelligent Mail barcode may be replacing the POSTNET barcode. I don't know enough about the background behind this to make any informed edits. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Srtwin (talkcontribs) 20:04, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Article needs history section : When was POSTNET invented ?[edit]

When was this invented and by whom ? When was it adopted and disgarded ? The article reads like it was written by 5 year old.

Dwarfkingdom (talk) 00:26, 7 August 2014 (UTC)