I need a QR code reader that can analyze the screen and find any QR codes on it. The QR codes I encounter are usually on webpages or ebooks.

I currently have to take a screenshot and then upload to a web service which decodes the QR codes. All the Mac apps that I can find that deal with QR codes are either devoted to generating them, and not decoding them, or are designed to only read QR codes from the camera and not the screen.

1 Answer 1


ZBar is a Cross Platform FOSS library with Python bindings as well as Perl & Ruby since it can take any image, (or a video stream), as an input it should be quite simple to write a little code that can grab the current screen/window and look for barcodes within the resulting image. Various barcodes including QR are supported. The download includes some sample applications to get you started.

  • There's no mac app on the download page, only a iphone app. So I'd have to compile this source code and then write my own program, which is not what I am looking for.
    – rinzler
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 19:54
  • sorry I don't have a Mac to test and see how much work it would take. Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 6:57

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