Me, Frances Trollope and QR codes…

By | June 5, 2017
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Did you know the first sequel (as in a novel that followed on from another one, with the same characters) was written in 1840 by a mother who wanted to make sure her new novel was as popular as a previous one?

So she used the same characters. She needed it to sell well as she was supporting her entire family from the proceeds of her writing – pretty unusual for a woman of the time.

(Frances Trollope, she was called – and she was the mother of the more famous Anthony Trollope.)

My reason for having a sequel to my recent article about QR codes is simpler – I ran out of space to tell you everything in the first one, which you can read here if you missed it or want to remind yourself.

In the first article, I told you what a QR code is (one of those square barcode things you can scan with a phone or tablet) and how to scan one.

But I also wanted to tell you something surprising: it’s really easy to make one.

But Tim, why on earth would I want to do that? I hear (at least some of you) cry.

Well, to be honest, a few weeks ago I’d have said the same thing. But then I was selling a car (the boys had got too big for the back seats so I needed something with more space). I took some photos and listed it on one of the big car sales websites. And I printed off a couple of sheets of paper saying “For Sale” to put in the windows of it when I parked it. I listed a few details but wanted to put a link to the online advert so people who saw it could find out more about it.

But the link I had was long – and not easy to remember at all. And it’d be much easier for people if they could just quickly scan it and go straight to the right webpage.

So I turned the link into a QR code. You could do the same thing with any web address. If you make a poster for a local society’s meeting and they have a website with details on. Or a drama group or concert that has details online. Or if you’re selling a car, like me. Or even if you’re selling a house.

But isn’t it hard to create a QR code? Nope. If anything, it’s easier than scanning them!

First you need the web address you want the code to take people to – the web address of your car advert, club webpage or whatever it is. Say it’s:  (not a real link – don’t click on it!)

Then go to this webpage. There are lots of others that do something similar but this is the one I used.

Pop the web address you’ve got into box that says “web address (url)” (I use copy and paste but you can type it in if you prefer.) Then click on “Create QR code”.

That’s it – on the right a QR code appears. You can just print the webpage out (and cut off the rest of the page) or use the download button underneath it to download it onto your computer, where it’ll work like a photo.

It’s not the kind of thing you’ll want to use everyday. But now and then it might be useful – and chances are you might have assumed it wasn’t something ordinary people could just do – maybe thought that you would need special programs to create one. But now you know you don’t – you can always keep this article and come back to it if you want to use one in the future.

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