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My InDesign CC generated QR code brings up blank email address

Jul 11, 2013 1:22 PM

Tags: #code #malfunction #qr

Good Afternoon,

 

When I generate a QR code within InDesign CC and set the specifications to email a recipient upon scanning, it does not bring up the email address that I identified in the "Edit QR Code" box. This happens with several different QR readers. Am I missing a step?

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 11, 2013 10:51 PM   in reply to Zero Point

    It should work fine. Select the ‘Email’ in the ‘Type’ drop-down and then add email address, subject, and message. I just checked this workflow with InDesign CC and my Android phone (QR Droid application). Upon scanning, I see a prompt to select an email client. Once I select a client application, I see the email address, subject and message opened in the client.

     

    For more information, see http://blogs.adobe.com/vikrant/2013/07/indesign-cc-generate-qr-codes/ or http://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/generate-qr-code.html

     
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    Jul 12, 2013 11:06 AM   in reply to Zero Point

    I tested both a URL and an email address created using the QR Code feature with InDesign CC. I was testing with QRReader on an iPhone.

     

    It recognized a URL I created in InDesign CC, and opened up the website, "http://www.adobe.com"

     

    However, when I entered a valid email address, it recognized that it was an email address but it didn't pass the information to Mail on the iPhone, and it displayed similarly to Lisa's image.

     
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    Jul 14, 2013 3:54 PM   in reply to Zero Point

    Zero Point wrote:

     

    When I generate a QR code within InDesign CC and set the specifications to email a recipient upon scanning, it does not bring up the email address that I identified in the "Edit QR Code" box. This happens with several different QR readers.

     

    The flavor of "e-mail QR" that CC creates seems to be the MATMSG format. According to zxing.org, your image decodes without error as

     

    MATMSG:
    TO:april@zeropointfrontiers.com;
    SUB:Wouldn't Miss It! You guys rock!;
    BODY:I'll be there.;;
    

     

    and the QR code scanner I use correctly opens up a new mail with these fields filled in. So it seems it's just a problem with your 'several different QR readers'.

    That is to be expected; the QR code standard is for plain text, and there is no standard to 'read' it as Web Page, Phone Number, E-mail, or whatever. There are only a few conventions, such as 'this text starts with http:// so it must be a web page'. Your example decodes correctly, so at least IDCC follows the MATMSG format in creating the QR code. But that says nothing at all about the decoders your users may be using.

     

    There is an alternative way to open up an e-mail, but that is (of course!) no guarantee that it will work with your QR readers or those of your clients. Try this; enter as plain text, and make sure there are no hard returns or spaces inside. The lines may have been broken to make it fit on the screen.

     

    mailto:april@zeropointfrontiers.com?subject=Wouldn%27t%20Miss%20It%21%20You%20guys%20rock%21&body=I%27ll%20be%20there%2E
    

     

    The result is this QR code; scan it to see if your reader now creates an e-mail.

     

    mailto.png

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 14, 2013 4:08 PM   in reply to [Jongware]

    QR Code recognized the code (which you can view) but it didn't launch Mail with the information. I don't know if this is a limitation of the app or of Mail on the iPhone not having the hooks to accept it.

     

    It's not really a big deal for me since I'm pretty unlikely to ever use this feature.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 15, 2013 1:56 AM   in reply to Zero Point

    I just tried with two different QR code reader apps on iPhone. See the results: Quick Scan shows all fields correctly, but QRReader shows all fields as blank.

    QR-Code-in-InDesign.png

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 15, 2013 3:27 AM   in reply to Prabhat.Kumar

    That is a problem with you QR reader only.

    There are several QR readers out on the market with some problems. E.g. one is replacing the correct Country and prefix of a foreign phone number to the local one where I am, so I cannot rely on a specifc QR Reader, the only thing is to send the developer of the reader an email to report this bug, you should do it also.

     
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    Jul 15, 2013 7:31 AM   in reply to Willi Adelberger

    @Willi Adelberger

    Yes, that’s what I observed. And I’m definitely going to post my observation on the app’s review page.

     

    @Zero Point

    It’s good to test your QR codes with a few popular reader apps on different platforms before using them in your final deliverables.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 15, 2013 7:45 AM   in reply to Prabhat.Kumar

    @Prabhat,

     

    When I downloaded Quick Scan, I could replicate your results if I made the QR code black on a white background. However, the sample which Lisa posted (which was from Adobe demo assets) did not work when it was paper color on a green background.

     

    Two observations: There are many QR code scanners with widely varying capabilities, and they have very similar names. It took two download attempts before I found the one you were using.

     

    The technology seems pretty fragile, at least for email addresses, probably based on the issues that Willi brought up.

     
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    Nov 21, 2013 1:39 PM   in reply to Prabhat.Kumar

    Yes, Quick Scan (iHandy) is one of the few QR code readers in the Apple Apps store that will read InDesign generated QR codes. I really wish Apple would get rid of the many of the other useless QR code readers.

     

    Thank you.

     

    Because of this thread, I am dumping QRReader and the other four so called QR code readers that only recognize URLs.

     
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    Nov 21, 2013 1:46 PM   in reply to Steve Werner

    @Steve Werner - "The technology seems pretty fragile, at least for email addresses, probably based on the issues that Willi brought up."

     

    QR code technology isn't fragile at all. It works extremely well and is responsable for billions of transactions each day in most other countries outside of North America. The problem is its open source nature and the fact that so many phone apps poorly implement the technology.

     

    Please don't blame a nearly 20 year old, and well established technology, on a bunch of badly designed free phone apps. :-)

     
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    Nov 21, 2013 1:57 PM   in reply to shawninvancouver

    @shawninvancouver,

     

    I can't disagree with you. It's a lot like PDF. There's a standard for PDF, and good readers like Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader (at least for Mac/Win) support it well. The problem is that people go for the free apps, which often don't support the standard well.

     

    And I tried several of the free readers. I didn't have the time to look for a good review of iOS readers. Which do you recommend?

     
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    Nov 21, 2013 2:43 PM   in reply to Steve Werner

    @Steve Werner - "Which do you recommend?"

     

    After a frustrating 30 minutes of testing no less than 10 apps, it seemed rather definative that the only one to pass the Adobe InDesign test was the free app, Quick Scan (made by iHandy).

     

    On a related note, one needs to be careful about ensuring proper contrast and even if it seems like good contrast, to the eyes, the camera may view the image differently. For instance, for design reasons, I wanted to place a QR code in white on a red background but that configuration was not scannable by my iPhone. I had to compremise and go with black QR code on a red background.

     

    It is pointless to employ a QR code that might be unreadable by some devices.

     
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    Nov 21, 2013 4:36 PM   in reply to shawninvancouver

    Sounds like I lucked out. After trying four, that's the one I also ended up with!

     
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    Nov 21, 2013 9:47 PM   in reply to shawninvancouver

    On a related note, one needs to be careful about ensuring proper contrast and even if it seems like good contrast, to the eyes, the camera may view the image differently.

     

    @Shawn – just an idea:
    Export the page to PDF (Grayscale) and check the contrast from there…

     

    Uwe

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 21, 2014 5:05 PM   in reply to Laubender

    I had the same problem genberating codes and reading them with Qrafter.

     

    The web address worked fine, but not the email address, let alone a telephone number which Adobe seems to have laft out.

     

    I went to QRStuff.com and got QR Codes that work with Qrafter. I think I'll use those.

     
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