In an effort to replace standard bar codes, Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Tag, using colored triangles instead of the ugly bar pattern of the QR code. One of the advantages of the Tag is the support it receives from Microsoft. Users get all the research and data needed to implement the tag, as well as a means of creating and tracking results all within one site. Visit tag.microsoft.com to open an account and start tagging!
A lot of the info on Microsoft’s Tag site can be a bit overwhelming for many people. My goal with this article is to sum up most of the information on Microsoft’s site so that you get exactly what you need in order to quickly implement the tag on any media you choose. I have also included this quick reference guide that you can download for your convenience.
What is a Microsoft Tag and what can it do?
The Microsoft Tag is a code (like a bar code) placed within a video, website, or printed product. It can be generated in color or black/white. When the code or tag is scanned from a smart phone, it will direct you to a specific URL, V-Card (contact information that loads to your phone’s contacts), Free Text, App Download or phone number to dial.
Quick and Easy Guide for Using the Microsoft Tag:
1. Go to tag.microsoft.com and open an account. You can use your msn/hotmail account if you have one.
2. Click on “Create a Tag”
3. Fill out the necessary data for the tag including the tag title, type, start date, end date, and URL information depending on the tag type you have chosen. Once complete, save your tag.
4. Your new tag should now appear as a line item within a window. Click on the bar code icon under “Render”. This will pull up another window where you can select the file type, tag size, an option for black/white tag, and a selection of tag templates including the “custom” option.
5. For a quick and easy tag:
6. To create a custom tag:
Here are a couple of custom black/white tags I created for Raz’s Attic:
1. Be sure to let the user know what the tag is and where to download the scanner. Include the download URL adjacent to the tag: http://gettag.mobi
2. Do not place your logo adjacent to the tag. Microsoft frowns upon third party branding.
3. Do not position text or other markings in the white border of the tag.
Note: The width of white space around the tag is equal to the height of the bottom black bar of the tag.
4. If tag is used as part of a video, the tag download info must be present at the beginning of the video content. The tag URL must be displayed as part of the video.
5. Be sure to use a vector version of the tag so it can be scaled as needed without a loss of resolution.
6. When customizing, the white boxes on the sides cannot be altered in any way.
Microsoft Tag Specs: