Manatee Works Barcode Scanner Plugin

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import activixManateeworksBarcodescannerV3 from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/@activix/manateeworks-barcodescanner-v3';


Manatee Works Barcode Scanner SDK PhoneGap Plugin

Guide on how to integrate the Manatee Works Barcode Scanner SDK PhoneGap plugin into your project(s).

NOTE: Now supporting Ionic!

Manatee Works provides an Adobe PhoneGap plugin for its Barcode Scanner SDK, to provide cross-platform, mobile development framework applications with the best barcode scanning experience.

Apache Cordova is a open source platform to build Native Mobile Applicatons using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. PhoneGap is Adobe's productised implementation of Cordova. Other distributions include Ionic, Meteor, and Telerik, and are also supported by Manatee Works and its broad barcode scanner support for development frameworks.

Manatee Works provides the PhoneGap plugin via NPM, but also as a Git repository, so both paths are viable for integration.


Make sure you have the latest software required to build PhoneGap apps. For more information, visit: PhoneGap getting started.

The system should have installed:


Install PhoneGap:

$ sudo npm install -g phonegap@latest

Create your app by using the CLI interface:

phonegap create my-mw-app 

or use bundle identifiers (the MW SDK license is bound to the bundle identifier):

phonegap create my-mw-app --id "org.mwscanner.sampleapp" --name "mwbScanner"

The previous step will create a folder named my-mw-app; navigate to the newly created folder and add the platforms to support:

cd my-mw-app
phonegap build android 	//if you are developing an android app
phonegap build ios    //if you are developing an ios app

Add the Manatee Works plugin to the project:

phonegap plugin add manateeworks-barcodescanner-v3


phonegap plugin add https://github.com/manateeworks/phonegap-manateeworks-v3.git


phonegap plugin add LOCAL_PATH_TO_THE_FOLDER_WITH_PLUGIN (if you are adding from local folder)   

Perform initial build for each platform.

phonegap build ios
phonegap build android
phonegap build windows


The Manatee Works Barcode Scanner SDK requires a license to work properly. A Manatee Works Barcode Scanner SDK Evaluation License is available for a free 30-day trial. Be sure to select each platform, symbology, and parser your app will support.

Ater obtaining your license key(s), there are two ways to configure them within your app:

1.The MW_LICENSE_KEY variable can be added in an xml file respectively for each platform

  • For iOS you can add a row in your *.plist file, with the following format MW_LICENSE_KEY : MW_LICENSE_KEY 01
  • For Android you can use the AndroidManifest.xml file and the meta-data element named MW_LICENSE_KEY and place your key as value instead of MW_LICENSE_KEY 02
  • For Windows (UWP) under the WindowsComponnent project you can use the Strings\en-US\Resources.resw file and the element named MW_LICENSE_KEY, where you can set your license in place of MW_LICENSE_KEY in the value section 03
  1. Set the key dynamically via JavaScript (more on that next in App Configuration...).

App Configuration

Add a button to index.html that will handle the call to the scanning function:

<button onClick="mwbScanner.startScanning();" style="width:80%;margin:15%;height:180px">scan</button>

The scanner is initialized with default settings. You can change these settings with the loadSettings() method.

For PhoneGap apps, we include a MWBConfig.js and include it in the index.html. It needs to be included with a script tag:

  <script type="text/javascript" src="cordova.js"></script>
  <script type="text/javascript" src="js/index.js"></script>
  <script type="text/javascript" src="js/MWBConfig.js"></script><---add it here!! ->
  <script type="text/javascript">

Setup a valid license with:

  return mwbScanner.setKey('input-your-key-here').then(function(response){
        //response of the setKey action

where we replace the variables VALID_ANDROID_KEY, VALID_IOS_KEY, VALID_WIN_10_UWP_KEY with their respective values from the MWDN license section.

This method returns a promise that resolves to a boolean value that is true if the key were valid, and false in all other cases (invalid appname, invalid key etc).

Notice that after we set the key with setKey, we call another function that returns a promise, loadSettings, with a parmeter, settings, which is an array of activation calls. An example of this array is shown below:

var mw_c =  mwbScanner.getConstants(),settings;
   settings = [{'method': 'MWBsetActiveCodes', 'value' : [mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_25 | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_39 | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_93 | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_128 | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_AZTEC | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_DM | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_EANUPC | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_PDF | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_QR | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_CODABAR | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_11 | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_MSI | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_RSS | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_MAXICODE | mw_c.MWB_CODE_MASK_POSTAL]}];

This is an array of key/value objects used to set preferences for the scanner. The key is the name of the method and the value are the parameters (passed as an array) expected by that method.

return mwbScanner.loadSettings(settings).then(function(response){

For old OS versions, that use webViews that don't support promises, we need to provide support for the Promise object in order for the plugin to work. For that you can use any 3rd party plugin, one that comes to mind is: Vstirbu's plugin, which is pretty straight forward to include. We won't be including it by default with our plugin, to avoid overhead.

Scan an Image

Instead of mwbScanner.startScanning() use:


or with custom init and callback:

    //custom callback 


URI                     - the path to the image
callback                - custom callback function

Scan in partial screen view

Instead of mwbScanner.startScanning() use:

mwbScanner.startScanning(x, y, width, height);

or with a custom init and callback:

//custom callback
}, x, y, width, height);


x, y, width, height     - rectangle of the view in percentages relative to the screen size
callback  - result callback



 Scan fullscreen  -  mwbScanner.startScanning()
 Scan in view     -  mwbScanner.startScanning(0,4,100,50)
 Pause/Resume     -  mwbScanner.togglePauseResume()
 Close            -  mwbScanner.closeScanner()
 Flash            -  mwbScanner.toggleFlash()
 Zoom             -  mwbScanner.toggleZoom()

Configure Parameters

@name "MWBsetActiveCodes"  Sets active or inactive status of decoder types     
@param[in]	activeCodes   ORed bit flags (MWB_CODE_MASK_...) of decoder types to be activated.

  @n       MWB_CODE_MASK_QR
  @n       MWB_CODE_MASK_DM
  @n       MWB_CODE_MASK_RSS
  @n       MWB_CODE_MASK_39
  @n       MWB_CODE_MASK_128
  @n       MWB_CODE_MASK_PDF
  @n       MWB_CODE_MASK_25
  @n       MWB_CODE_MASK_93
  @n       MWB_CODE_MASK_11
  @n       MWB_CODE_MASK_MSI
  @n       MWB_CODE_MASK_ALL   

CodeMask constants are available for all codeMask variables

@name "MWBsetActiveSubcodes"  Set active subcodes for given code group flag.  Subcodes under some decoder type are all activated by default.

@param[in]  codeMask    Single decoder type/group (MWB_CODE_MASK_...)
@param[in]  subMask     ORed bit flags of requested decoder subtypes (MWB_SUBC_MASK_)

@name "MWBsetFlags"   Sets active or inactive status of decoder types    
@param[in]   codeMask   Single decoder type (MWB_CODE_MASK_...)
@param[in]   flags      ORed bit mask of selected decoder type options (MWB_FLAG_...)

@name "MWBsetMinLength" configures minimum result length for decoder type specified in codeMask.
@param[in]   codeMask   Single decoder type (MWB_CODE_MASK_...)
@param[in]   minLength  Minimum result length for selected decoder type

@name "MWBsetDirection" 
@param[in]   direction   ORed bit mask of direction modes given with MWB_SCANDIRECTION_... bit-masks
@n     MWB_SCANDIRECTION_HORIZONTAL - horizontal lines
@n     MWB_SCANDIRECTION_VERTICAL - vertical lines
@n     MWB_SCANDIRECTION_OMNI - omnidirectional lines
@n     MWB_SCANDIRECTION_AUTODETECT - enables BarcodeScanners autodetection of barcode direction

@name "MWBsetScanningRect"
Sets the scanning rectangle
Parameters are interpreted as percentage of image dimensions, i.e. ranges are 0 - 100 for all parameters.
@param[in]   codeMask    Single decoder type selector (MWB_CODE_MASK_...)
@param[in]   left        X coordinate of left edge (percentage)
@param[in]   top         Y coordinate of top edge (percentage)
@param[in]   width       Rectangle witdh (x axis) (percentage)
@param[in]   height      Rectangle height (y axis) (percentage)

@name "MWBsetLevel"
Effort level of the scanner values can be 
@param[in]   level     1,2,3,4 and 5
example : [{"method" : "setLevel", "value" : [3]}]    

@name "MWBsetInterfaceOrientation"
Sets prefered User Interface orientation of scanner screen
@param[in]   orientation
@n     OrientationPortrait    
@n     OrientationLandscapeLeft
@n     OrientationLandscapeRight
default is OrientationPortrait

@name "MWBsetOverlayMode"
@param[in]    OverlayMode
@n  OverlayModeNone     No overlay is displayed
@n  OverlayModeMW       Use MW Dynamic Viewfinder with blinking line
@n  OverlayModeImage    Show image on top of camera preview
example : [{"method" : "MWBsetOverlayMode", "value" : [mw_c.OverlayModeImage]}]    

@name "MWBresizePartialScanner"
Resizes partial scanner dimensions. If usePartialScanner is true the scanner will open in a window with these dimensions
@param[in]   left      X coordinate of left edge (percentage)
@param[in]   top       Y coordinate of top edge (percentage)
@param[in]   width     Rectangle witdh (x axis) (percentage)
@param[in]   height    Rectangle height (y axis) (percentage)
example : [{"method" : "MWBresizePartialScanner", "value" : [0,0,50,50]}]    

@name "MWBusePartialScanner"
Boolean value that opens a partial scanner if set true
@param[in]   bool               true/false
example : [{"method" : "MWBusePartialScanner", "value" : [true]}]

@name "MWBsetActiveParser"
Set active parser types
@param[in]    ActiveParser    ORed values
example : [{"method" : "MWBsetActiveParser", "value" : [mw_c.MWP_PARSER_MASK_GS1 | mw_c.MWP_PARSER_MASK_IUID]}]

//additional settings:

@name "MWBsetBlinkingLineVisible"
Set blinking line visible
Default value is true
@param[in]	visible
example : [{"method" : "MWBsetBlinkingLineVisible", "value" : [true]}]

@name "MWBsetPauseMode"
What happens when the scanner is paused
Default value is PM_PAUSE
@param[in]	pauseMode
@n	PM_NONE             - Nothing happens
@n	PM_PAUSE            - Blinking lines are replaced with a pause view
@n	PM_STOP_BLINKING    - Blinking lines stop blinking
example : [{"method" : "MWBsetPauseMode", "value" : [mw_c.PM_STOP_BLINKING]}]

@name "MWBenableHiRes"
Enable or disable high resolution scanning. It is recommended to enable it when target barcodes
are of high density or small footprint. If device does not support high resolution param will be ignored
Default value is true (enabled)
@param[in]	enableHiRes
example : [{"method" : "MWBenableHiRes", "value" : [true]}]

@name "MWBenableFlash"
Enable or disable flash toggle button on scanning screen. If device does not support flash mode
button will be hidden regardles of param
Default value is true (enabled)
@param[in]	enableFlash
example : [{"method" : "MWBenableFlash", "value" : [true]}]

@name "MWBturnFlashOn"
Set default state of flash (torch) when scanner activity is started
Default value is false (disabled)
@param[in]	flashOn
example : [{"method" : "MWBturnFlashOn", "value" : [false]}]

@name "MWBtoggleFlash"
Toggle on/off flash state
example : [{"method" : "MWBtoggleFlash", "value" : []}]

@name "MWBenableZoom"
Enable or disable zoom button on scanning screen. If device does not support zoom,
button will be hidden regardles of param. Zoom is not supported on Windows Phone 8
as there is no zooming api available!
Default value is true (enabled)
@param[in]	enableZoom
example : [{"method" : "MWBenableZoom", "value" : [true]}]

@name "MWBsetZoomLevels"
Set two desired zoom levels in percentage and initial level. Set first two params to zero for default
levels. On iOS, first zoom level is set to maximum non-interpolated level available on device, and
second is double of first level. On Android, default first zoom is 150% and second is 300%. Zoom is
not supported on Windows Phone 8 as there is no zooming api available! On Windows 10 UWP phone devices,
default values are half the maximum device supported zoom level for the first zoom and maxinum device
supported zoom level for the second zoom. Zoom levels are scalars, so values are expected to be in 
the [1, max] range, for example 1.0 (no zoom) and 4.0 (400% zoom).
Initial zoom level can be 0 (100% - non zoomed), 1 (zoomLevel1) or 2 (zoomLevel2). Default is 0.
@param[in]	zoomLevel1
@param[in]	zoomLevel2
@param[in]	initialZoomLevel
example : [{"method" : "MWBsetZoomLevels", "value" : [150, 300, 0]}] //android
example : [{"method" : "MWBsetZoomLevels", "value" : [2.0, 4.0, 0]}] //windows uwp

@name "MWBtoggleZoom"
Toggle on/off zoom state
example : [{"method" : "MWBtoggleZoom", "value" : []}]

@name "MWBsetMaxThreads"
Set maximum threads to be used for decoding. Value will be limited to maximum available CPU cores.
Default is 4 (will trim to max available value). Set to 1 to disable multi-threaded decoding
@param[in]	maxThreads
example : [{"method" : "MWBsetMaxThreads", "value" : [2]}]

@name "MWBcloseScannerOnDecode"
Enable/disable continuous scanning. If 'shouldClose' is 'false', result callback will be performed and
scanner will be paused. The User can call 'resumeScanning' to continue scanning, or 'closeScanner'
for closing the scanner. Default is 'true'.
Function is not available on WP8 and UWP due to the technical limitations.
@param[in]	shouldClose
example : [{"method" : "MWBcloseScannerOnDecode", "value" : [true]}]

@name "MWBresumeScanning"
Resume scanning. Use this method if already using MWBcloseScannerOnDecode(false).
Function is not available on WP8 and UWP due to the technical limitations.
example : [{"method" : "MWBresumeScanning", "value" : []}]

@name "MWBcloseScanner"
Close scanner. Use this method if already using MWBcloseScannerOnDecode(false).
Function is not available on WP8 due to the technical limitations.
example : [{"method" : "MWBcloseScanner", "value" : []}]

@name "MWBuse60fps"
Use 60 fps when available.
Function is only available on iOS.
Default value is false
@param[in]	use
example : [{"method" : "MWBuse60fps", "value" : [false]}]

@name "MWBscanImage"
Scan image.
imageURI - path to the image to be scanned.
@param[in]	imageURI
example : [{"method" : "MWBscanImage", "value" : ['image.jpg']}]

@name "MWBsetParam"
Set custom decoder param id / value pair for decoder type specified in a codeMask.
@param[in]	codeMask                Single decoder type (MWB_CODE_MASK_...)
@param[in]	paramId                 ID of param
@param[in]	paramValue              Integer value of param
example : [{"method" : "MWBsetParam", "value" : [codeMask, paramId, paramValue]}]

@name "MWBtogglePauseResume"
Pause/unpause scanner view
example : [{"method" : "MWBtogglePauseResume", "value" : []}]

@name "MWBduplicateCodeDelay"
Ignore result if scanned the same code in continuous scanning mode
@param[in]	delay         Time interval between 2 scan results with the same result.code in milliseconds
example : [{"method" : "MWBduplicateCodeDelay", "value" : [1000]}]

@name "MWBuseAutoRect"
Use auto generated full screen scanning rectangle, or use user defined scanning rectangles
@param[in]	useAutoRect   Whether or not to use auto generated full screen scanning rectangle
Default value is true
example : [{"method" : "MWBuseAutoRect", "value" : [true]}]

@name "MWBuseFrontCamera"
Use front facing camera
@param[in]	useFrontCamera   Whether or not to use front facing camera
Default value is false
example : [{"method" : "MWBuseFrontCamera", "value" : [false]}]

Windows (UWP) specifics


  • Visual Studio with Universal Windows App Development Tools
  • MWBarcodeLibUniversal SDK W10 extension (Downloadable from the MWDN; install 10.0\MWBCameraDemo\MWBarcodeLibUniversalSDK.vsix)

Post-build settings (required)

  • In the Solution Explorer, set the project CordovaApp.Windows10 (Universal Windows) as startup project.
  • In this project’s directory, open the file package.windows10.appxmanifest and in the capabilities tab check Webcam from the list.
  • On some devices, there might be a problem with deployment and starting the scanner that can be fixed by removing the following line from the index.html file.
<meta http-equiv="Content-Security-Policy" content="default-src * 'unsafe-inline'; style-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline'; media-src *" />


  • The function scanImage() requires image files to be placed in the www folder.
  • The usage of front camera is currently not available.


The camera capture and preview are implemented in JavaScript on the web side. Windows doesn't seem to support non-native implementation well, and this results in lower frame rate than hardware available. This can be improved by using a lower camera resolution (480p instead of the default 720p), which can be set with the method MWBenableHiRes and false as value. Some devices with slower processors could further improve their frame rate by reducing the number of cores the decoder uses (default is all), by using the method MWBsetMaxThreads with a value lower than all CPU cores but not lower than 1.

IONIC Implementation

The Manatee Works Barcode Scanner SDK can be loaded as an Ionic plugin, which uses Cordova, so every PhoneGap plugin could run as an Ionic plugin with few changes. Most of the changes are in the configuration files.

To begin, ensure we have Node.js installed along with the latest Ionic and Cordova software. See Ionic Getting Started:

npm install -g cordova ionic
//depending on your OS, this could very well be:
sudo npm install -g cordova ionic

if it's already installed, updating is done with:

npm update -g cordova ionic
sudo npm update -g cordova ionic

Then we "start" an Ionic app (similar to the PhoneGap process, where we created an app, here we start one). This will create an Ionic blank app:

ionic start myMwApp blank --type=ionic-angular
cd myMwApp
ionic cordova plugin add manateeworks-barcodescanner-v3

To build for Ionic you need to modify the files in your src folder. Ionic pushes TypeScript usage:

/src/pages/home folder 

We want to modify the home.html file, and add a button and a text input (which will show the result) and the home.ts file which will handle the control of the scanner.

Important thing to notice is the addition of the

declare var mwbScanner:any; 

This is done to stop Ionic from complaining about mwbScanner missing. The mwbScanner variable becomes available after the cordova plugins load, so in order to "import" it to our component controller, we define it as a variable that can receive any value.

Since manateeworks-barcodescanner plugin is essentially a phonegap plugin, naturally we use a callback to show results. But we also return a promise, which is more an Ionic way. To disable the default callback we need to do:


Then to show results from a scan we simply do

    console.log('show the result here');
    //actual example in home.ts is different

Build for your platform

ionic cordova build ios