By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith

You can use InDesign to create and modify QR code graphics. QR codes are a form of barcode that can store information such as words, numbers, URLs, or other forms of data. The user scans the QR code using her camera and software on a device, such as a smartphone, and the software makes use of the encoded data; for example, it opens a browser with the encoded URL, identifies a product, tracks a package, and so on. InDesign lets you encode hyperlinks, text, text messages, email messages, or business cards.

InDesign treats QR codes as graphics, so you can scale and modify the colors like other artwork in your documents. You can even copy and paste them into Illustrator!

You add a QR code to an empty frame in InDesign. Follow these steps to add one to your document:

  1. Click and drag the Rectangle Frame tool on the page to create an empty frame.
  2. With your new frame selected, choose Object  →  Generate QR Code.

    The Generate QR Code dialog box appears, with the Content tab active.

  3. Select what type of data to encode using the Type menu.

    Select web Hyperlink, Plain Text, Text Message, Email, or Business Card. The content area below this menu updates depending on what Type you choose.

  4. Enter the data to encode in your QR code.

    The area below the Type menu updates with text boxes to enter your data in. For example, if you chose Email, you enter an address, subject, and message to send. Or if you chose Business Card, you need to fill in Name, Organization, addresses, and so on.

  5. Click the Color tab and choose a color swatch.

    This sets the color for your QR code, affecting how it displays on the page. You can modify the color after placing the QR code on the page by changing the Fill and Stroke attributes of the selected frame.

  6. Click OK.

    The QR code is added to the selected frame. If you need to edit it further, select the text frame and choose Object  →  Edit QR Code.