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(Portable Data File417) A two-dimensional barcode developed by Symbol Technologies, Inc., Holtsville, NY (www.symbol.com). Created in the late 1980s, the standard was later placed in the public domain and is governed by the Automatic Identification Manufacturers (AIM) trade association.

PDF417 is the most widely used 2D barcode (more than one row of codes), and it can hold up to 1,800 bytes of any digital data in a printed area about the size of a business card. For bills of lading and applications that require more information, multiple barcodes can be printed. The scanner, which is made by Symbol Technologies and other companies, reads the barcode horizontally and vertically. MicroPDF417 is a denser version of PDF417 that takes up less space. It is used for marking small parts and can hold up to 300 bytes.

The Gettysburg Address
This PDF417 image contains the entire Gettysburg address. (Image courtesy of Symbol Technologies, Inc.)

Attendee Information Capture
PDF417 is used to print names and addresses on conference and show badges. If a handheld reader is used, the exhibitor can swipe the attendee's badge without having to remove it from its holder and possibly misplace it in the hustle and bustle of the trade show.
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In retail outlets, the device can capture data embedded in a PDF417 code-from a United States driver's license, for instance-to automatically populate credit card applications and merchandise credit/return forms which improves productivity and keeps customer lines moving.
The DS9208 is offered with an optional on-board parsing engine to read and parse PDF417 bar codes on United States driver licenses.
PDF: enables reading of PDF417 and microPDF417 symbologies
Regardless of orientation, FocusIND's patented FirstFlash technology increases efficiency by decoding most standard bar codes in a single pass, including 1D, 2D, RSS, PDF417, microPDF, EAN/UCC Composite, Matrix and Postal Codes.
True to bar code reading excellence seen in all Code readers, CR1200 can read and decode any symbology at exceptional speed -- including one and two-dimensional codes such as DataMatrix, PDF417, UPC/EAN/JAN, RSS and approximately 30 others -- making it the logical choice for future-proofing businesses.
For example, many legal firms now use PDF417 2D bar codes to track document chain of custody in order to meet tightening mandates.
These versions provide many new features such as linearization (fast web-view), creation of interactive form fields, PDF/X and prepress support, XMP, PDF417 bar codes, JavaScript, ordered and unordered lists, etc.
All popular bar codes are supported, including linear and, optionally, 2D bar codes such as PDF417.
The "mi" integrated barcode reader supports 1D (JAN, EAN, Code 39, EAN 128) and 2D (QR Code, PDF417, DataMartix) barcodes.
District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, relates to Intermec's infringement of Symbol patents regarding the decoding of Reduced Space Symbology (RSS)-14 stacked bar codes and PDF417 two-dimensional bar codes.
It is equipped with HTML Power Toys for website content management and electronic forms processing, and it is also capable of 2D PDF417 bar coding.
In the past, Symbol advocated for the wide adoption of bar code technology, and dedicated significant IP relating to bar code symbologies, particularly PDF417, a two- dimensional code, to the public to aid in standards and technology adoption.