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vcard QR code not working with some Android devices

Community Expert ,
Jun 20, 2022 Jun 20, 2022

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There are 2 ways to generate a vcard/QR code in Indesign,

1. Method 1 Type: Business Card

2. Method 2 Type: Plain Text with code:

BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:3.0
FN:First Last
N:Last;First;
END:VCARD

 

Here's what I have observed:

  • Androids can read Method 1 QR code without issue
  • Most Androids cannot read Method 2 QR code
  • If text code from Indesign's Method 2 is used in other QR code utility, then Androids can read QR code.

It seems as though something is happening in the QR code generation process. You can use Method 2 in a data merge workflow, and is the reason that I would like to continue using this method. I have tried various versions of Indesign. I have tried versions 2.1, 3.0, 4.0 of vcard.

 

Is there anything else to try in using Method 2 and have QR code read by Android?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Jun 22, 2022 Jun 22, 2022

Keep in mind, this issue is not with QR codes in general, but specifically with vcard code placed in the text type of ID to generate QR code.

I have tested with an Android 11 (using just camera) and can read all QR codes generated from ID, including plain text in text type, except I cannot read a QR code of vcard code in text type.

The customer has reported mixed results of Android users able or unable to read QR code, but not giving specific device info.

What I am hoping for is that there might

...

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Community Expert ,
Jun 21, 2022 Jun 21, 2022

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What version of Android? What handset? What make? 

Are they all the same barcode reading software on all Android devices?

I'd imagine it's more to do with the QR scanner than the QR code itself.

 

Have you tried any other QR scanner apps on Android?

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Community Expert ,
Jun 22, 2022 Jun 22, 2022

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Keep in mind, this issue is not with QR codes in general, but specifically with vcard code placed in the text type of ID to generate QR code.

I have tested with an Android 11 (using just camera) and can read all QR codes generated from ID, including plain text in text type, except I cannot read a QR code of vcard code in text type.

The customer has reported mixed results of Android users able or unable to read QR code, but not giving specific device info.

What I am hoping for is that there might be different syntax within the vcard code that someone has come across and can suggest.

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New Here ,
Apr 11, 2023 Apr 11, 2023

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I have the same issue—and blame it on me not to have the qr-code checked on an android device, but now I have to reprint a whole bunch of supposedly fine business cards. I certainly blame it on you, Adobe. 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 11, 2023 Apr 11, 2023

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How can you blame Adobe - if you have not checked if code is readable? 

 

If you print regular barcode - like EAN - not as per specification - distorted, blurry, patterned background, edge of the box, etc. - will it also be Adobe's fault?? 

 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 11, 2023 Apr 11, 2023

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If you didn't thoroughly test the code in proportion to the cost/investment of the printing, it's not Adobe's fault any more than if you printed 100,000 posters with a typo. QR code generation is a fluid thing and any results need "proofreading" in the literal sense.

 


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Community Expert ,
Apr 11, 2023 Apr 11, 2023

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quote

I certainly blame it on you, Adobe. 


By @vink_nh

 

You're responsible for ensuring the content you produce is correct.

Nobody else.

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New Here ,
Apr 12, 2023 Apr 12, 2023

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Haha chill, I know I should have checked it. Still, this is a pretty weird thing in a pro software. 

I already didn’t use the vcard feature of InDesign because it messes with Umlaute, which is also weird.

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New Here ,
Apr 12, 2023 Apr 12, 2023

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I forgot: The QR codes with VCARD-code in the text module work fine on iOS.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2023 Apr 12, 2023

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Not really. ID's code generator is stuck in v2.1, which as an old stardard does not recognize and properly encode extended ASCII etc. You have to specific v3.0, in the plain-text mode, for that to work.

 

Readers are also not identical. I'd suspect your reading issue comes down to which reader has better optical reading and error correction; it would seem that iOS can parse a slightly faulty code better than Android can. Try other readers on both platforms and you'll likely see further variation.

 

And, to come back around, testing a final, printed code with such an array of readers is less and less optional with the print run size, cost and importance. 🙂

 


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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New Here ,
Apr 12, 2023 Apr 12, 2023

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I see. The code I used was specified as version 3.0. Android did recognize that it’s a vcard, but then every form field was empty (as opposed to iOS). Maybe it has to do with line-breaks? The same code works just fine with every other tool out there (generated QR codes being recognized properly by Android).

Anyway, we are back to generating QR-codes piece by piece. The platforms don’t come with values we need (prefix, suffix) or don’t allow more than 300 characters per text. 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2023 Apr 12, 2023

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The "platforms" are nothing more than input forms, which are easily bypassed if you need something more than a few completely vanilla URL or vCard codes. But yes, writing your own strings does mean you have to get the details right so that the strings are correctly parsed. And at the other end, keeping the codes low in granularity, appropriately large in reading size and reproduced without any blur or fuzziness is essential. All the boxes have to be checked to get a truly successful outcome,whether you use your own plain-string or an industrial-grade code generator.

 


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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New Here ,
Jul 25, 2023 Jul 25, 2023

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vCard 2.1 is problematic with iOS, special chars like the german ä,ö,ü,ß don't work here. Unfortunately the workaround with 3.0 code as plain text doesn't work on Android. ID generates a different qr-code with plain text, even if the input is the same as the output of the ID vcard function (also with 2.1 code). Adobe should make a better qr-code-generator...

 

My solution is the ID plugin QR Code Maker Pro (free). Here you can paste 3.0 code as plain text and it works on every device. 

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Community Expert ,
Jul 25, 2023 Jul 25, 2023

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3.0 works on nearly every current device regardless of what generates it. It's 2.1's lack of support for higher characters that causes the problems. 

 

And if you're going to use the plain text method - which is the pro approach - InDesign's built in generator is capable, free, and assuredly secure.

 

This primer has all you need to create any format QR code with ID: https://www.nitrosyncretic.com/DPR/dpr_qrcodes.php


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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New Here ,
Jan 29, 2024 Jan 29, 2024

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J'ai exactement le même probleme.

methode 1 : fonctionne bien mais sur IPHONE des info ne remontent pas (génant pour les directeurs qui aiment avoir leur titre affiché)

methode 2 : fonctionne sur Iphone mais n'est plus lisible par l'android "test" que je possede, c'est à dire android 10 sur SamsungS9+

Merci de votre retour 🙂

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2024 Jan 29, 2024

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I'm sorry, but I cannot quite determine what you mean by 'method 1' and 'method 2' — this topic has too many levels.

 

Specifically what process is working and not working on each platform?


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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