How to Scan a QR Code

Quick Response codes -- "QR" for short -- are two-dimensional graphic codes that can be used to store information such as URL's, business card information, geographic coordinates or various text data. QR codes were popularized in Japan, and have since become common in North America, due in large part to the proliferation of smartphones with cameras that can be used as QR code scanners.

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A QR code is capable of storing more data than a traditional one-dimensional bar code such as this.

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Install a QR Code scanner on your smartphone. Various scanner applications are available for the major smartphone operating systems.

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Launch the QR code scanner application.

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Position the camera so that the QR code is within the square margins of the scanning application screen. The scanner application will use the built-in camera in the smartphone to read the QR code.

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Choose from the available actions presented by the scanner application. The actions will vary depending on the content of the QR code, such as URL's, text data or map coordinates.