Adobe® PDF Library

Adobe® PDF Library

Introducing Adobe PDF Library

The Adobe PDF Library (APDFL) is an Application Programming Interface (API) designed to allow programmers to work with the Adobe PDF file format.  APDFL provides a method for software developers and vendors to build their own third-party systems that allow them to create, change, process, review, and otherwise work with PDF files.  For example, you could use the APIs provided with APDFL to guide you in creating your own custom system to insert text or hyperlinks into a set of PDF files.  Or you could create your own utility that can export graphics from a PDF file to an image file or set of image files, like PNG or BMP.  The tools in the library are based on the Adobe Acrobat software but will run independently, so that a copy of Adobe Acrobat does not need to be installed on the same machine running the Adobe PDF Library.

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What you get when you purchase Adobe PDF Library

  • An installation file. For Adobe PDF Library 18 we offer a self-extracting installation file, .exe for Windows, .bsx for Linux, and .dmg for macOS. For IBM AIX and SPARC Solaris, we offer a .tar.gz file.
  • The original C/C++ software interface, provided by Adobe Inc., and the code that forms the basis for Adobe Acrobat. You can interact with this interface directly if you like.
  • Our own Java and .NET interfaces that encapsulate the original Adobe PDF Library. This allows you to work with the original core library functions directly and seamlessly in Java or .NET.
  • A comprehensive set of over 300 sample C++, Java, and C# sample programs that you can use to test processes and as templates for your own development.
  • A wide variety of APIs provided with the original core Adobe PDF Library (C/C++ interface), supplemented with more recent APIs created by Datalogics for this interface.
  • A range of APIs created by Datalogics for use with our Java and .NET Interfaces.
  • An detailed reference to the APIs provided for the core Adobe PDF Library C/C++ interface, included as a PDF document in the software installation package.
  • A detailed reference to the APIs provided for our Java and .NET interfaces, included as a set of HTML files in the software installation package.
  • We also provide with Adobe PDF Library 18 (64-bit only) an interface for the Microsoft .NET Core framework. With .NET Core you can develop applications in native C# code for Windows, Linux, or Mac platforms. You will find that the use of the .NET Core framework in the Adobe PDF Library will be quite similar to working with the .NET interface also included with the Library, but with the .NET Core, you can develop across platforms.
  • A wide variety of PDF processing options, such as forms processing, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), creating archival documents (PDF/A), redacting content, and the capacity to manage colors, annotations, fonts, printing, and images.
  • Access to the Datalogics FTP site, for downloading and exchanging files.
  • Online access to user documentation on our digital Developer Resources site, including a comprehensive index, rigorously maintained, to make it easier to find what you are looking for. If you want to find out about working with Japanese Kanji characters or Host Function Tables or the PDFWordFinder, open the index and scroll through the alphabetical list of items provided.
  • Technical support from our team of digital document specialists and professionals  You can contact your Datalogics Support representative directly by electronic mail or visit our support site for this product.
  • Regular software updates, commonly issued about once a month, to add new features to the product and to respond to customer requests to address problems with the software.

Some background for the Adobe PDF Library

Adobe Systems introduced the Portable Document Format (PDF) in 1993, with the Acrobat software and the Adobe PDF Library.  All of the APDFL interfaces were written in C. It is still possible to access the APDFL functions using C program code, but to work with APDFL with other programming languages, a set of interfaces is needed. In 2007 Datalogics introduced the Java and .NET Interface to the Adobe PDF Library. This Interface is a set of modules for the APDFL that allow programmers working in Java, or in languages supported by Microsoft .NET, like C# and VB.NET, to take advantage of the APDFL tools and resources. The Interface encapsulates the original Adobe PDF Library, allowing you to work with the original core library functions directly, and seamlessly, in Java or .NET.  But you can use APDFL with or without the Java and .NET Interface.

Adobe PDF Library is a library of processing routines used to produce and manipulate PDF documents.  You can use the Library to define settings for a PDF document, such as to require a password to open that document, and those settings will recognized by viewing tools like Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. You can also use methods provided in the Library and the Java and .NET Interface to print PDF documents, such as PDFLPrintDoc.

Adobe PDF Library does not provide a user interface, but you can use the Adobe PDF Library, and the Java and .NET Interface, to build a PDF viewing tool. APDFL provides the PDPageDraw methods, or you can base a viewer on the source code provided with the Java and .NET Interface for a pair of viewing tools, the JavaViewer/DotNetViewer, or DisplayPDF.

Adobe Systems also offers the Adobe Acrobat Software Development Kit (SDK) to create plugins for the Adobe Acrobat or Reader applications. You can use this SDK to extend the capabilities of Adobe Acrobat. Solutions built with the Acrobat SDK require Adobe Acrobat, and are bound by the Adobe Acrobat End User License Agreement. This license agreement precludes the creation of server based applications.

Datalogics markets and provides full support and maintenance for the Adobe PDF Library on all platforms.

Datalogics product page for Adobe PDF Library