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Scanning Tags

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Tag barcodes, NFC touchpoints, and QR Codes connect your physical world with your mobile phone.

The free Tag app works with the camera in your phone to scan Tag barcodes, QR Codes, and NFC touchpoints. Just download and install the app and when you see a scannable item—say on a magazine ad, movie poster, or the back of a new DVD—just a quick scan or tap (for NFC) with your phone gives you instant access to coupons, videos, contests, directions, and more.

Cracking the Codes

Recognizing Tag barcodes and QR Codes

You don’t actually need to know the difference between a Tag barcode and a QR Code because with the Tag app, you’ll scan them both the same way. But in case you’re curious, here’s how to quickly tell which is which.


The Tag barcode is the new generation of 2D barcodes. The graphical images are about an inch square, outlined with a black and a white inner boarder, and are filled with triangles or dots. Some Tag barcodes include a recognizable image or a company logo.


QR Codes are an older 2D barcode technology, best suited for simple campaigns. A QR Code is a basic black-and-white or single-color mosaic square with big boxes in three corners. You probably won’t see multiple colors or recognizable images.


Once you’ve spotted a Tag or QR Code, just start up the Tag app and position your phone over the square. Some phones automatically recognize the codes; on others you may have to press a button to scan them.

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NFC

Near Field Communication (NFC) works by using a special sensor in your phone* to access content stored in an NFC chip. Marketers can put the chips in posters and other materials that customers then simply tap with their phones to automatically see the website, video, coupon, or other digital content. This is a niche application, since NFC-enabled phones aren’t widespread yet. But, if you have an NFC-enabled phone, be on the lookout for materials sporting an NFC-enabled logo.

Download the Free Tag App

Let's get you up and running! Pick one of the easy ways to get the Tag app on your phone so you can start scanning Tags.

Get Help with Tag

Questions or comments? We'd love to hear from you. Check out our FAQ and get in touch.

Join the Tag Community

Check out our blog, ask a question about a Tag you saw, and meet people who are designing their own Tags.

*To tap NFC touchpoints, you need an NFC sensor on your phone.

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2D barcodes add a whole new dimension to your marketing campaigns

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WHY USE MICROSOFT TAG?

Capture customers in the moment and bring printed materials to life