Documentation for the EAN and Barcodes for WooCommerce plugin.


Q. I am trying to add the EAN field to another plugin (e.g. product feed plugin), but I’m not able to find the EAN in the custom fields list there.

A. It looks like some plugins don’t “like” the starting underscore _ symbol in our _alg_ean meta key. So here is what you can do – in “WooCommerce > Settings > EAN > Advanced” you will find an option – “Meta key” – set it to something without the starting underscore symbol, e.g. alg_ean. Then set EAN for some product in your shop, and, after that, you should be able to select it in your other plugin.

If you still can’t find the EAN in the custom fields list, based on our experience, there are a couple of different solutions to it:

  • Some plugins are gathering new custom fields on a periodic basis. This means that after you change our meta key to a new one, and set the EAN for one of your products, you may need to wait for a while before the EAN will appear in the custom fields section.
  • Some plugins have some kind of a button to force new custom fields search – you may need to click it. For example, the WooCommerce Google Product Feed plugin has the “refresh the field list” link in “WooCommerce > Settings > Product Feeds”.
  • And, finally, some plugins are checking a number of the newest products to get custom fields, so the safest solution is to add the EAN to the latest product you have in your shop. For example, the Product Feed PRO for WooCommerce plugin checks five of your latest products.


  • After you change the key from _alg_ean to alg_ean, all your existing product EANs will disappear. If you want to keep them – there is a way – you need to use our “WooCommerce > Settings > EAN > Tools” section. There is a tool – “Product Tools > Copy product meta > Copy EAN from product meta for all products”. You need to set the “Meta key” option to the old key (i.e. _alg_ean) and run the tool – it will copy all old EANs to the new ones.
  • Some plugins (e.g. WooCommerce Google Product Feed) will work with our original meta key (with the underscore symbol) as well – look for the “EAN” field there (not _alg_ean).

Q. What GTIN types are supported?

A. Despite the (EAN) naming, the plugin supports all main product GTINs.

  • EAN-8 – A shorter version of the EAN-13 standard. Length: 8.
  • UPC-A – The most common type in the United States. Length: 12.
  • EAN-13 – The most commonly used EAN standard. Length: 13.
  • ISBN-13 – The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier. It’s a subset of EAN-13. Length: 13.
  • JAN – The Japanese Article Number (JAN) is a subset of EAN-13. Length: 13.
  • Custom – Custom can represent all 128 ASCII code characters (numbers, upper case/lower case letters, symbols, and control codes). Length: Any.

Q. What’s EAN?

A. The International Article Number (also known as European Article Number or EAN) is a standard describing a barcode symbology and numbering system used in global trade to identify a specific retail product type, in a specific packaging configuration, from a specific manufacturer. The same numbers can be referred to as GTIN. EAN barcodes are used worldwide for lookup at retail point of sale, but can also be used as numbers for other purposes such as wholesale ordering or accounting.