Changing GS1-128 Barcode Date Field Format – LABEL MATRIX Instructions

Target Audience: Advance User, IT Manager
Article #: 12888


In the US, dates are written in the order of month, day and then year (MM/DD/YY). However, for certain application identifiers (AI) using standard GS1-128, barcode date field formats may need to be presented in a different order. Day-Month-Year (DD/MM/YY) which is used in most of the world and Year-Month-Day (YY/MM/DD) which is widely used in Asia are examples of other date formats. This article explains how to change the format so that it meets the requirements.


You must start with a LABEL MATRIX label that as a date field and which uses that date field in in the barcode. Instructions for creating a GS1-128 barcode in LABEL MATRIX are available here.

When using the Barcode Wizard to create a GS1-128-compliant barcode, AI 15 references the “Best Buy” date. However, AI requires the YYMMDD format. As a result, in the image below, the date on the left is formatted “normally”. However, the date in the human-readable text below the upper barcode is incorrectly formatted. Additionally, the bar code includes the “/” characters.


  1. Right-click on the barcode and select Properties…
  1. Click the New button.
  2. Choose Expansion Var.
  3. Click OK.
  1. Name the new expansion variable. For these instructions, we are calling it DateVar. It converts the date field of 09/05/22 (MM/DD/YY format) to 220905 (YYMMDD format).
  1. Next, add the new variable in the Express for the barcode.
    For our example, the new variable replaces the function after AI 15.
  2. Click OK.

Now, the Best Buy date variable is dynamically reformatted for the AI 15 position of the barcode. In addition, the “/” characters are no longer part of the bar code.

Additional Comments

Tested using LABEL MATRIX 2021.

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