InDesign CC | Generate QR Codes

Download TrialYou can now generate and edit high quality independent QR code graphics from within InDesign. The generated QR code is a high-fidelity graphic object that behaves exactly like native vector art in InDesign. You can easily scale the object and fill it with colors. You can also apply effects, transparency, and printing attributes, such as overprinting, spot inks, and trappings to the object. You can copy-paste the code graphic as a vector graphic object into a standard graphics editor tool such as Adobe Illustrator.

To generate QR code in InDesign

  1. From the menu, choose Object > Generate QR Code. The Generate QR Code dialog box is displayed.
  2. In the Content tab, select any one of the following data types in the Type drop-down list: Web Hyperlink, Plain Text, Text Message, Email, or Business Card.
  3. The Color tab shows Swatch List. If you want to apply a specific color to the QR code, switch to the Color tab and select a specific color. By default, the generated QR code is Black with transparent background.
  4. Click OK. If you have selected a Frame before generating the QR code, the code is placed directly in the selected Frame replacing its content. Otherwise, the QR code is loaded on the Place Gun and you can place it just like a traditional EPS object.

Once placed inside a document, the QR code is treated as a traditional EPS object, except that a tooltip appears on hovering over the object, revealing the content details in the form of the embedded code.


Modifying the QR code’s frame attribute

The default background of a QR code frame is transparent. However, you can change the Frame’s Fill and Stroke attributes such as Color, Line Style, and Thickness using the traditional controls.


Transforming the QR code object

You can move, resize, or rotate the placed QR code object with the Selection tool. When you drag the frame’s box, only the frame resizes. However, while dragging:

  • If you press the Shift key, the aspect ratio of the frame is preserved.
  • If you press the Ctrl (on Windows) or Command (on Mac) key, both the frame and the content scales with preserved aspect ratio.
  • If you press the Shift + Alt (on Windows) or Option (on Mac) keys, the frame scales from its center with unpreserved aspect ratio. You can press the Shift key to preserve the aspect ratio.


Additional resources:

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Prabhat Singh, Senior content & community lead

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  1. #1 by Michael Williams on July 11, 2013 - 12:20 am

    Looks nice, but there is already a free plug-in available for this. We’ve been using it for a while and it works fantastic with CS6 (also works with CS5 and CS5.5 from what I read).

    Check it out at

  2. #2 by Amanda Zais on July 11, 2013 - 3:06 am

    Is there any sort of tracking for the QR Codes? That has, so far, been pretty important to clients so just wondering if you happened to know!

  3. #3 by Michael Williams on July 12, 2013 - 1:41 am

    There are a number of services that support tracking. They will provide the custom URL for it. This software encodes the URL’s (or whatever data you want) as a QR Code and places it in the document. So when it’s scanned, it takes the user to that URL where the tracking then occurs. The tracking could count the number of times a single code was scanned, or each code could be unique for an individaul user, as in a mass mailing or emailing. Looks like there is also some automation for the mass QR Codes with their other DesignMerge software.

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