Adobe® PDF Library

Getting Started

Supported Platforms and Compilers
Evaluating a free version of the Adobe PDF Library

What you receive when you install the Adobe PDF Library

When you purchase a copy of the Adobe PDF Library, Datalogics provides you with an account name and password so that you can download a licensed installation file of the software from our FTP site. You can also use this FTP site to transfer files to and from Datalogics.  A free evaluation of the software is also available for Windows and Linux users.

The most recent version of Adobe PDF Library is Version 18. We also support Version 15 of the product.

The installation files

Datalogics provides the Adobe PDF Library SDK installation file in a format appropriate to your platform:

  • .exe for Windows, self-extracting
  • .tar.gz for Unix
  • .dmg for macOS

The file download includes binary files, samples, and supporting materials for the Adobe PDF library C++ interface, and for interfaces for Java, Microsoft .NET, and .NET Core.

Installation folders

The CPlusPlus folders hold the DLL files and sample programs for the Adobe PDF library.  The libraries for .NET and for Java are found in the "Binaries" folders under Java, DotNET, and DotNETCore.

Programming References

The download package includes the online programming reference for the Java and .NET programming interfaces, a reference for the .NET Core framework, and another for the Adobe PDF Library itself.

This Programming Reference for Java, .NET, and .NET Core are a set of HTML resources that describe how to work with Java and with .NET code, with detailed descriptions of namespaces, classes, files, and elements.  This Reference also provides license information.

You can open the .NET reference tool by clicking on Index.html, in the directory:


For .NET Core, click index.html in the DotNETCore directory:


For the Java Reference, click index.html in this directory instead:


To find a similar programming reference for the C/C++ interface, look in this directory:


This reference is provided as a PDF document called APDFL18_API_Reference.pdf.

Supported Platforms and Compilers

The following table lists the supported platforms, operating system and compiler versions for the most recent release of the Adobe PDF Library. All of them are compatible with both 32 and 64 bit platforms for APDFL version 15.

Adobe PDF Library 15

Platform Operating System Version Compiler and Version
IBM AIX 7.1 or later, 32 and 64 bit Power PC architecture XL C/C++, gcc 4.6 and higher, including 5.x
Hewlett Packard HP-UX 11i v3 (11.31 BOE) HP aCC, A.06.28.01, gcc
Linux Redhat Enterprise Linux  6, or  GLIBC 2.17 or later on Intel x86 compatible hardware. Linux 32 and 64 supported. gcc 4.4 and higher, including 5.x
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS gcc 4.6 and higher, including 5.x
Macintosh Mac OS X v10.8 and later XCode
Windows Windows 7, 8.1 Visual Studio 2013, 2015
Server 2008 R2 (SP2) Visual Studio 2013, 2015
Server 2012, 2012 R2 Visual Studio 2013, 2015
Server 2016 Visual Studio 2013, 2015
.NET Framework 2.0 for .NET applications Visual Studio 2013. 2015
Oracle Intel Solaris 10, 11 gcc 4.6 and higher, including 5.x
Oracle SPARC Solaris 11.3 or higher gcc 4.8 and higher; 64 bit also supports Oracle Studio 12.4

Adobe PDF Library 18

Adobe PDF Library 18 supports Windows and Linux 32 and 64 bit, Mac 64 bit, SPARC Solaris, and IBM AIX. The following platforms are not supported for version 18:

  • Mac 32 bit
  • HP-UX
  • Intel Solaris

Datalogics distributes the Adobe PDF Library version18 with International Components for Unicode (ICU).

Platform Operating System Version Compiler and Version
IBM AIX 7.1 or later, 32 and 64 bit Power PC architecture XL C/C++, gcc 8.4 and higher

Note: Support is provided for IBM AIX for APDFL 18 but not for the  .NET interface.

Linux Redhat Enterprise Linux  7/CentOS 7, or  GLIBC 2.17 or later on Intel x86 compatible hardware. gcc 4.8 and higher
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS gcc 4.8 and higher
Linux ARMv8 GLIBC 2.17 or later on 64-bit ARMv8 hardware gcc 4.8 and higher (or compatible clang compilers)
Macintosh Mac OS X v10.9 and later, Intel 64 bit only XCode
Macintosh ARMv8 Mac OS X v11 and later XCode 12
Windows Server 2012 R2 Visual Studio 2017 or later
Server 2016 Visual Studio 2017 or later
Windows 10 Visual Studio 2017 or later
Server 2019 Visual Studio 2017 or later
.NET Framework 4.7.1 for .NET applications Visual Studio 2017 or later
Oracle SPARC Solaris 11.3 or higher gcc 9.1.0 or later

The .NET interface for the Adobe PDF Library will not run on Linux ARM hardware, and OCR is not supported for .NET on Linux ARM.  The .NET Core interface is supported on Linux ARM, along with OCR. If you install the Library on Mac ARM, you will need to use the Java or C++ interface.

Adobe PDF Library 18 and .NET Core

If you plan to build an application with Adobe PDF Library 18 using .NET Core, these are the minimum requirements:

You must install the .NET Core SDK version 3.1.


  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2008 R2, x64
  • Visual Studio is not required, but if you use it you must have version 2019 or later


  • glibc v 2.17 or later, x64
  • glibc v 2.24 or later AArch64


  • High Sierra 10.13 or later, x64

To use .NET Core on Linux or macOS you must install the libgdiplus library. For Linux, download libgdiplus from:

To install libgdiplus for macOS, use the Homebrew (“brew”) package manager for macOS:

brew update
brew install mono-libgdiplus

If you don't have Homebrew installed, you can download it from:

When running some sample programs on macOS for Mojave 10.14 and later, using the System.Drawing namespace in .NET Core, you might see an error message stating that the system is unable to load the shared library libgdiplus.

This is probably due to the dotnet command being notarized.  Apple requires that apps be notarized using their automatic process to confirm that the software is free of malicious content.  But this limits the places where the macOS will search for dynamic libraries due to System Integrity Protection, a security technology that restricts access to the root directory.

To respond, add a symlink to the libgdiplus library:

ln -s /usr/local/lib/libgdiplus.dylib APDFL18/DotNETCore/Binaries

On Linux, the Adobe PDF Library will look in well-known locations in order to find fonts to use. But some Linux distributions do not have the Microsoft Core TTF font files installed.These files will be required if your application calls them, such as when using some of the .NET Core sample programs.

To install these fonts on Debian/Ubuntu:

sudo apt install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

To install them for RedHat Enterprise Linux/CentOS:

yum install curl cabextract xorg-x11-font-utils fontconfig
rpm -i

Evaluating a free version of the Adobe PDF Library

If you would like to test a free trial version of the Adobe PDF Library fill out an application on the Datalogics web site.

Note: To evaluate an Apple Mac version of the Adobe PDF Library, or to evaluate any version of the product on a machine without access to the Internet, please contact your Datalogics Support representative.

For Windows or Linux, we will send you an email in response, including a hyperlink to download an evaluation copy of the system and a 16-digit license key number.

In the command shell, run Activate.exe (or Activate for Linux) from the root directory. When you are prompted, enter the key that was included in your email message. The program generates a license file called apdfl18.lic. This license file is initially set to expire in three days, is limited to the machine on which it is activated. You will be contacted by a Datalogics sales representative who can extend your evaluation license as needed for your proof of concept. The evaluation license file must be present at run time.

Then, either:

  • Copy the apdfl18.lic file to the current working directory when running your APDFL process, where the application will find it automatically, or
  • On Windows, set the datalogics_LICENSE environment variable to point to the file location.

For Windows, especially if you are running multiple APDFL applications on various locations, we recommend that you set the license environment variable.

Windows and the apdfl18.lic license file

You will be able to use the APDFL system until the expiration date shown in the license file.  You can open apdfl18.lic in a text editor to read the expiration date.  You can move the apdfl18.lic file to a different directory if you like, but you will need to set the license environment variable to point to it.

Open the System Settings dialog in Windows.

At the Advanced tab, click Environment Variables.

Environment Variables

Click DLE_Eval6 to create a new user variable.

New variable, 1

For the Variable name, use  datalogics_LICENSE.

Enter the license as the name of the variable, in the form of the path for the apdfl18.lic file.  For example, the path and file name for the datalogics_LICENSE value might look like this:


So your User Variable screen would look like this.

New variable

Click OK.

Variable result

Click OK.

Working with a proxy server

The activation program you use to generate the license file makes use of the proxy server running at your location. For Windows systems, the Activate.exe program will automatically attempt to detect your proxy server.

If the activation program can't find your local proxy server, you will need to create an environment variable, HTTP_PROXY or http_proxy, to define the hostname and port number for that server.  For example, if your proxy server is running on “myproxyhost” using port 8765, enter this UNIX command:

% export HTTP_PROXY=myproxyhost:8765

If your proxy server requires authentication, you will need to set up the HTTP_PROXY_CREDENTIALS environment variable to provide these credentials, the user name and password, to the proxy server.

For example, if your user name is “joe” and the password is “password” the command would look like this:

% export HTTP_PROXY_CREDENTIALS=joe:password

Note that the activation program only uses the BASIC authentication type.