Members of the retail industry, both suppliers and individual retailers, are always looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage. Back in 1998, the implementation of Reduced Space Symbology (RSS) was introduced. Since proven successful, RSS has become an advantage to industries and has changed the way the industry looks at pharmaceutical products and grocery items.


RSS is a family of linear symbologies introduced by the UCC for small, space-constrained applications. RSS was developed to provide users with features that address specific space limitations and application needs. RSS allows encoding of up to 74 characters of data, all of which can be captured at the Point-of-Sale. Of the seven different formats of RSS, four are designed specifically for use in Retail PoS. They include:

  • RSS-14
  • RSS Expanded
  • RSS-14 Stacked Omnidirectional
  • RSS Expanded Stacked

The three remaining RSS formats are designed for applications other than retail point-of-sale. They include:

  • RSS-Truncated
  • RSS-14 Stacked
  • RSS Limited

There are several advantages to RSS barcodes. One Advantage of the RSS family is that they are the most compact linear bar code symbology offered today and they have limited orientation requirements. Another benefit is that they are designed to be scanned with a hand-held laser, linear CCD, or 2D imaging scanners. Lastly, they can be scanned from any which angle!

Gold Bond

One disadvantage would be that RSS uses multiple bar code widths. As with other modular symbologies, users must be aware that difficulties can arise when the narrow bar width approaches the resolution of the bar code generation system.
The RSS bar code provides the capacity to encode product-related information such as:

  • Brand and /or Supplier name
  • Date and Location of packaging
  • Product packaged weight or count
  • Price per measure and extended price
  • Sell-by date

Additional Facts on RSS Symbology Barcodes:

  • The linear component of an RSS barcode determines the name of the Composite symbol, such as an EAN-13 Composite symbol, or a UCC/EAN-128 Composite symbol.
  • These are larger barcodes which hold a lot more information ( it is the largest data capacity barcode)
  • They are a cluster of more than one type of barcode style some have a mix of UPC, 2D and, consecutive numbering and many other types can be combined.
  • There are many types of barcodes 1-D, 2-D, Barcodes come in patterns, squares, dots, hexagons

For more information on RSS Symbology and other Barcode formats, please contact us at 586-474-51223. Whitlam Group offers a number of barcode formats to suit customer needs.

Whiltam Group RSS Barcode
Whiltam Group RSS Barcode