LEAD Technologies is very pleased to introduce LEADTOOLS Version 21. LEADTOOLS has continued to raise the standard of innovative technologies for 34+ years and there is no end in sight. This release is highlighted by new libraries and features that are found within LEAD's Recognition, Document, Medical, Multimedia, and Imaging technologies. Additionally, existing libraries have received an impressive amount of enhancements.

What's new in the LEADTOOLS Recognition Engine

New Document Analyzer SDK

The Document Analyzer SDK intelligently and automatically extracts data from text-based office documents (DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLX), PDFs, and document images (JPG, TIFF, PNG PDF) without requiring a structured layout.

  • Automatically extracts data from images, documents, mixture of images and documents, and from images within documents
  • Flawlessly handles various data formats, including tables, text flows, data across multiple lines
  • Includes predefined rulesets and functions to add custom rulesets to find, collect, and act upon information
  • Performs deep analysis to ensure that information of interest is not missed
  • Customizable actions include collect, report, highlight, and redact


New ICR technology for remarkable unstructured handwritten print and cursive text recognition.

  • Support for hand-printed and cursive handwriting
  • Automatically detect and label handwritten text zones in the image
  • Support for the English character set, including uppercase, lowercase, numerals, punctuation, and symbols
  • Powerful and automatic preprocessing to handle noisy and low-resolution images
  • Spelling dictionaries
  • Process color and bitonal images
  • Output strings or text-based formats such as PDF, DOCX, and XML
  • Comprehensive reports for text results:
    • Character size, location, and baseline
    • Positional attributes, including end of word, end of line, and end of paragraph
    • Confidence values

Mixed Zone Recognition

New mixed mode AutoZone capabilities that combine LEADTOOLS OCR, ICR, and Recognition technologies to automatically detect, recognize, and extract everything within an image.

  • Automatically extract text from images that contain a mix of machine-printed text, handwritten text, MICR, MRZ, OMR, graphics, and table zones


  • Performs deep analysis to ensure that targeted information is not missed in recognition
  • Superscript and subscript support
  • Automatic detection of E13-B and CMC7 MICR zones
  • Major enhancement to OCR speed, recognition, and accuracy
  • Detect text in graphics and image zones
  • Detect MRZ code orientation
  • Better OCR recognition for images taken by mobile
  • Detect slope for each word to produce better output
  • Enhanced mono- and proportional-font recognition
  • LEAD OCR engine startup optimization


  • Automatically and accurately detect possible search candidate areas for QR and Datamatrix barcodes to improve the processing speed
  • Enhanced QR Barcode recognition accuracy to handle distortion introduced due to FAX processing

Click here for more information on all features within the LEADTOOLS Recognition Engine.

What's new in the LEADTOOLS Document Engine

Document Framework

Document Viewer

  • New Document Viewer Component for Xamarin Forms
  • Added support to load and play any of LEAD's supported video formats in the .NET and Java Document Viewer (Windows only)
  • Client-side PDF rendering enhancements include:
    • Stamp rendering
    • Memory optimization
    • Render digital signatures
    • Switch to service mode based on individual page size or image encoding
    • Speedup for calRGB/grayscale color space rendering
  • Customize text in thumbnails
  • Added support for history (previous/next document)
  • Improved UI responsiveness when viewing documents with many pages
  • Added custom UI injection and binding support to the high-level ReactJS document viewer control, LEADVIEW


  • Added support for general purpose and PDF attachments
  • Added support for PDF Embedded files and Portfolio

Document Service

Added support to load a mix of different annotations formats, including IBM P8/Deja annotations.

Hybrid Caching

  • Use rules to mix different cache back ends. For example, smaller items use in-memory cache and large items use a remote cache

New Document and Image Compare Libraries

Compares two documents or pages and intelligently highlights changes, additions, and deletions.

  • Text compare
  • Bitmap compare

Document Converter

Document Converter optimizations to speed up text extraction.

PDF SDK Updates

PDF Loading and Rendering

Redesigned PDF loading and rendering to significantly optimize memory usage, load time, and render quality, with smooth zooming and no pixelation.

  • Optimized memory usage, load time, and render quality
  • Optimized functions that control PDF metadata to be faster
  • Functionality added to load and render only a portion of a PDF document
  • Rasterization of documents at 2400 DPI
  • Added "Enhance Thin Lines" rendering feature to clarify thin lines in the viewer

PDF Portfolio and PDF Attachment

  • Load PDF Portfolio documents
  • Load portfolio schema
  • Extract files within PDF Portfolio documents
  • Load PDF document with embedded attachments
  • Extract embedded attachments from PDF documents

PDF Redaction Updates

  • Added support for image redaction
  • Updated text redaction to support text inside Form XObject

Additional PDF Updates

  • Load PDF forms
  • Enhanced PDF annotations (create, modify, load and save)
  • Enhanced PDF manipulation operations such as PDF merge, insert, and extract pages
  • Enhanced the PDF Optimizer
  • Enhanced PDF/A conversion with focus on font handling

Updates for Office Formats

  • Added support to render many chart types, including:
    • Radar
    • Area
    • Scattered
    • Line
    • Bar
    • Chart legends
  • Enhanced support for vector graphics rendering in all Office formats
  • Enhanced SVG text rendering and extraction
  • Optimize speed and memory usage for all document formats: DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, and PPTX


  • Mathematical equation model (OMML) support in DOCX only
  • Optimized load speed and memory usage
  • Added support for equation formula calculations
  • Sections and Drawing-ML shapes
  • Enhanced support for rendering nested tables
  • Enhanced text wrapping around text boxes


  • Optimized speed and memory usage
  • Faster loading for large sheets
  • Formula evaluator module to handle all logical operations and calculations for conditional formatting
  • Table design support

Click here for more information on all features within the LEADTOOLS Document Engine.

What's new in the LEADTOOLS Medical Engine

Medical Web Viewer

  • Temporary access to images granted by sharing URL
  • Added HL7 messaging to Medical Web Viewer and patient updater
  • Added Okta authentication

Medical 3D

  • Cut plane-reference line enhancements
  • Render speed optimizations

PACS Framework

  • Storage Server
    • AmazonS3 Cloud Storage dataset support
    • New DICOM Import Add-in
    • New Export Layout Add-in
    • New patient ID access feature
  • Gateway Add-in
    • Added DICOM TLS security
    • Added C-GET
  • Patient Updater Add-in
    • Added DICOM TLS security
  • Forwarder Add-in
    • Added DICOM TLS security
    • Added support for multiple forwarding jobs
  • HL7 Patient Updater Add-in
    • Added DICOM TLS security

Annotation Updates

  • Simultaneous multiple custom units for ruler object
  • New text object drawing behavior

DICOM Annotations

New high-level functions to convert between LEAD and DICOM annotation objects.

Click here for more information on all features within the LEADTOOLS Medical Engine.

What's new in the LEADTOOLS Imaging Engine

Xamarin Camera

Added control of preview size and frame rate

New Image Processing Functions

  • Extract Object - Extracts connected groups of pixels from an image
  • Canny Edge Detector
  • Forms Field Detector

Updates to Formats

  • Optimized memory usage for J2K format
  • Expanded J2K support to include some files that do not follow the specification
  • Added support to load 8-bit TIFF and PNG files with 8-bit alpha for transparency
  • Added support for ANSI, UTF7, UTF8, UTF16LE, UTF16BE encoded text files
  • Added support to load CGM files saved with text encoding
  • Added support to render Medium Map Overlay for AFP (MODCA) documents

Click here for more information on all features within the LEADTOOLS Imaging Engine.

What's new in the LEADTOOLS Multimedia Engine

Multimedia SDK Updates

  • Faster ISO format capture and conversion
  • New live audio processor to detect and fill dropped audio samples

Updates to Streaming SDK

  • MPEG-2 transport error detection option added to the LEAD MPEG-2 Transport Multiplexer
  • Streaming server can use MPEG-2 Transport files for all protocols
  • Streaming server can use DICOM files as source files

Updates to Media Foundation Components

  • New Media Foundation target formats:
    • 3GP: Video (H264) - Audio (AAC and AMRNB)
    • MP3
    • MPEG-2: Video (H264, HEVC) - Audio (AAC, AAC-ADTS, AC3, MP3, and MPEG-2 Audio)
    • WAVE: Audio only (MP3, PCM, and FLOAT)
    • FLAC
    • FMPEG4: Video (H264) - Audio (AAC, AC3, and ALAC)
    • AVI: Video (Uncompressed video colors, M-JPEG) - Audio (PCM)
    • MPEG-2 Transport: Video (H264 and HEVC) - Audio (AAC, AAC-ADTS, AC3, MP3, and MPEG-2 Audio)
    • ADTS: Audio (AAC and AAC-ADTS)
    • AC-3: Audio (Dolby AC-3 Audio)
  • Update Media Foundation targets with new audio and video formats
    • MP4: Added audio formats (AC3, ALAC, and FLAC)
    • MKV: Added new video formats (VP8 and VP9) and new audio format (OPUS)
  • Added support for .webm format to LEAD MKV media source
  • Added support to select between available hardware and software encoders
  • Added new decoders, encoders and target format:
    • LEAD MCMW Decoder
    • LEAD MJ2K Decoder
    • LEAD MCMP Decoder
    • LEAD MJPEG Decoder
    • LEAD MJPEG Encoder
    • AVI Target format

Click here for more information on all features within the LEADTOOLS Imaging Engine.

Additional Changes

  • New powerful Xamarin demos that show more features of LEADTOOLS in a Xamarin development environment. These new demos are designed to look like end-user applications, but the source code for them is included so that anyone can get a head start. Below are some of the new demos included in version 21:

    • Annotations Demo
    • Barcode Demo
    • Business Card Reader Demo
    • Camera Demo
    • Converter Demo
    • DICOM Demo
    • Document Viewer Demo
    • Image Processing Demo
    • Live Filter Demo
    • MICR Demo
    • OCR Demo
  • Maven repository for Android

Changes to the LEADTOOLS Product Line

In Version 21, the following products have been renamed.

In Version 21, the following products have been added.

In Version 21, the following products have been removed.

The LEADTOOLS Document Suite and the Medical family of products include all features of LEADTOOLS Multimedia.

If you have any questions about the new product line or are upgrading from a previous LEADTOOLS version, please contact sales@leadtools.com