PDF SDK Technology

LEADTOOLS Document SDK products include comprehensive technology to read, write, and view PDF files. LEADTOOLS PDF technology includes advanced capabilities such as the extraction of text, images, hyperlinks, and metadata, editing of bookmarks and annotations, page replacement, split and merge existing PDF documents, convert to PDF/A, linearization, and PDF document compression. Combined with advanced rasterization and image display technology, developers can take advantage of these tools to enhance their applications with dynamic document viewing, editing, and assembly features. Furthermore, programmers using .NET (C# & VB, Core, Xamarin, UWP), C/C++, iOS, macOS, Linux, Java, and web can leverage state-of-the-art OCR, OMR, ICR, Forms Recognition, Virtual Printing, and scanning technologies within LEADTOOLS to create any type of document and medical imaging application that utilizes the PDF format.

Tested against thousands of PDF documents, LEADTOOLS PDF SDK technology provides impeccable rendering accuracy that tops many market-leading PDF reading applications. LEADTOOLS accounts for common errors and differences between PDF file versions to give programmers peace of mind, minimize their testing phase, and create the best PDF applications on the market.

Overview of LEADTOOLS PDF SDK Technology

 PDF Document Features

  • Load and view any PDF document
  • Extract text (characters, words, and lines), fonts, annotations, rectangles, and hyperlinks with location and size
  • Extract images from PDF documents and save to any of the 150+ file formats supported by LEADTOOLS
  • Full support to read, edit, and write PDF annotations
  • Parse the document structure by reading and updating PDF bookmarks (table of contents) and internal links (jumps)
  • Unicode support including Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Hebrew character-sets
  • Generate a raster image and thumbnail of any page

 PDF File Features

  • Advanced PDF Optimizer analyzes document features to create the smallest file possible
  • Comprehensive multi-page support, including
    • Merge existing PDF files into a single PDF
    • Split a single PDF into multiple PDF files
    • Extract, delete, insert, and replace any page in existing PDF files
  • Convert any existing PDF to PDF/A
  • Convert between PDF versions
  • Convert (distill) postscript to PDF with optimization for eBook, screen, and pre-press
  • Convert PDF to vector SVG
  • Linearize (optimize for web viewing) any existing PDF
  • Create auto-print PDF files
  • Read, write, and update the PDF document Table of Contents
  • Read, write, and update all PDF metadata such as author, title, subject, keywords, and initial view
  • Read and write PDF Digital Signatures
  • Encrypt and decrypt documents

 PDF Annotations and Markup

LEADTOOLS supports reading, displaying, editing, and writing PDF annotations and markups that work seamlessly with Adobe Acrobat and other compliant PDF readers. Annotation is an important feature in document imaging, as it allows users to communicate with each other by writing comments and drawing shapes on top of the document without making permanent changes.

  • Support for all PDF annotation and markup objects
    • Arrow
    • Comment
    • Highlight
    • Line
    • Review
    • Shapes
    • Text
  • Options to control annotation rendering when loading PDF as raster with support for No Appearance Stream annotations
  • Convert PDF annotations to and from LEADTOOLS annotations for live editing
  • Fully functional sample application with source code that implements all of the PDF reading, writing, editing, and annotation features

 OCR PDF Output

LEADTOOLS allows developers to easily convert any image into a searchable PDF. Searchable PDFs are generally smaller in size than the comparable raster image and the embedded text can be searched, indexed, and edited.

  • Convert images to searchable PDF files with as little as three lines of code using LEADTOOLS OCR SDK technology
  • Export as text-only PDF for minimal file size or export as image-over-text to retain original formatting
  • Multiple PDF versions and flavors including 1.2 - 1.7 and PDF/A
  • Multiple compression options for images within the PDF, including:
    • JPEG
    • JPEG 2000
    • CCITT G3/G4
    • JBIG2
    • LZW
    • MRC
  • Convert entire file or only specified pages
  • Create and update PDF document metadata such as author, title, and keywords
  • Protect sensitive data with encrypted PDF documents using RC4 40-bit and RC4 128-bit encryption
  • Control access to the PDF document with User and Owner passwords
  • Options to embed fonts in the PDF file
  • Options to create linearized PDF files for faster web viewing
  • Convert images from disk, memory, Internet, SharePoint, and cloud

 Raster Image PDF Features

In addition to handling text-based PDF files, LEADTOOLS fully supports loading, saving, and editing raster image PDFs. This includes rasterizing any text and image-based PDF into thumbnails and full-size document images, as well as converting single and multi-page image formats such as JPEG and TIFF into image-based PDF files.

  • Convert any PDF file to and from more than 150 supported raster image formats
  • Multiple PDF versions and flavors including 1.2 - 1.7 and PDF/A
  • Multiple Compression options, including:
    • JPEG
    • JPEG 2000
    • CCITT G3/G4
    • JBIG2
    • LZW
    • MRC
  • Specify RGB or CMYK color space
  • Convert entire file or only specified pages
  • Encrypt and decrypt PDF documents using RC4 40-bit and RC4 128-bit encryption
  • Control access to the PDF document with User and Owner passwords
  • Load PDF from disk, memory, Internet, and SharePoint

PDF Rasterization Options

At the heart of PDF-to-image conversion is the rasterization process. By nature, PDF documents are made up of vector objects such as text and 2d images. These objects have a relative location based on the physical, printed dimensions. This means that PDFs are dynamic documents that can be rasterized to any pixel dimension based on the DPI (Dots Per Inch) while preserving a high-quality display. LEADTOOLS provides maximum flexibility when rasterizing PDF files and allows the developer to control the quality, size, color, and more.

  • Automatically detect the best rasterization options by examining the contents of the PDF
  • Load at any DPI to control overall quality and file size
  • Load at 1, 8, or 24 bits per pixel
  • Render fonts with 2 or 4-bit anti-aliasing resulting in a more readable image
  • Display CIDFonts not embedded in PDF file
  • Detect original DPI of embedded raster images
  • Rescale embedded graphics with 2 and 4-bit anti-aliasing to retain original image quality and reduced graininess

 Vector PDF Features

To get the most out of viewing and converting PDF documents, LEADTOOLS provides specialized frameworks to handle PDF files as vector-based documents. Only available in the Document and Medical Imaging product families, these .NET and HTML5/JavaScript frameworks provide the ultimate experience to develop PDF applications with LEADTOOLS.

 PDF Forms

LEADTOOLS provides developers everything they need to create applications that use existing PDF Forms. Any field can be read, filled, and saved.

  • Read PDF form field information such as location and type
  • Enter data into PDF form fields
  • Extract data from filled forms and save as XML
  • Supports Acrobat Forms Data (FDF) and Adobe XML Forms Architecture (XFA)

 PDF Compression

Maintain quality while maximizing PDF compression with LEADTOOLS advanced image segmentation and compression technologies. The resulting compressed PDF can be loaded and viewed in any PDF viewer that supports standard PDF files. By storing complex mixed raster content (MRC), this process creates PDF files with better compression and quality than a standard raster PDF file.

  • Automatically segment the image with optimization options
  • Manually segment the image to take full control over file size and image quality optimization
  • Multiple compression options, including:
    • JPEG
    • JPEG 2000
    • CCITT G3/G4
    • JBIG2
    • LZW
    • MRC
  • Automatic background detection
  • Compress single and multi-page PDF files

Explanation of PDF File Types

In general, PDF and PDF/A files can be categorized into two basic types: raster image and searchable. Raster image PDFs are comprised of a complete raster image in a PDF wrapper and support multiple compression types including JPEG, JPEG 2000, CCITT G3/G4, JBIG2, LZW, and MRC. The greatest advantage of raster image PDFs is that they appear identical to the original document. On the other hand, searchable PDFs are often smaller in size and the text can be searched and edited.

When converting from raster images to searchable PDFs, the formatting of the original image is often modified. To alleviate this concern, LEAD has implemented a hybrid type of PDF known as "image over text". In image-over-text PDF files, the text is formatted as usual, but the original raster image is overlaid on top of the text. This maintains the look and formatting of the original raster image while still allowing the text content to be searched, selected, and copied.

Technology Related to PDF

Start Coding with LEADTOOLS

Download the Full Evaluation

The Full Evaluation Download includes all LEADTOOLS Document, Medical, Imaging, and Vector technologies for all development and target platforms. Get everything LEADTOOLS all in one convenient download.

Download Projects using NuGet

LEADTOOLS provides NuGet packages for .NET Framework, .NET Core, UWP, and Xamarin development. Download projects that reference our NuGets and start coding right away.

Supported Development Platforms for PDF

Code Tips That use PDF

Documentation Links for PDF

White Papers Written About PDF

  • Implementing a Standardized PDF/A Document Storage System with LEADTOOLS

    Electronic document archival has evolved far beyond the simple days of scanning a paper document and saving it as an image or PDF. Nowadays, many documents don't even start in physical form and could be one of many open or proprietary formats. Adding to the disparity caused by varying file formats is how and where files are stored. Many enterprises have their documents spread around numerous "data islands" including local computers, networked file shares, and cloud services. This white paper will explore how to take full advantage of PDF/A as your universal document storage format by using the state-of-the-art technology within LEADTOOLS Document Imaging SDKs.

  • End-to-End eDiscovery with LEADTOOLS Document Imaging

    When it comes to change, the desire for efficiency is surely at or near the top of the list of reasons. Some processes and industries are harder to change, especially those that have been around for a long time. Court systems in many countries are one of the oldest and most well established processes to ensure all-around fairness, even if it must sacrifice expediency. Thankfully, the legal industry has taken major strides towards adapting to the digital age with the evolution of eDiscovery and document imaging.

Demo Applications that Include PDF

HTML5/JavaScript Document Viewer

Use the LEADTOOLS Document Viewer in an HTML5/JavaScript application.

  • Load a document from local disk and url
  • Draw annotations on the document
  • Use thumbnail viewer
  • Interactive zooming/panning

WinForms Document Viewer

Demonstrates LEADTOOLS Document Viewer control in a WinForms application.

  • View documents, vector, and raster image formats in one viewer
  • Document-specific interactive tools
  • View and edit complex document objects and features
  • Fully customizable user interface uses generic parent containers
  • Maximize performance and conserve system resources through efficient large-document paging and thumbnail browsing with configurable lazy-loading
  • Robust options and functions to manage local, global, and web cache on any device

WinForms Document Converter

Demonstrates LEADTOOLS Document Converter technology in a WinForms application.

  • Convert document and raster image files
  • Perform document-to-document conversion with 100% accuracy and without the need for OCR
  • Convert complex document objects and features
  • Convert raster images to documents with OCR
  • Convert document files to raster images

Screenshots of PDF

PDF File Properties

PDF File Properties

PDF Displayed in Document Viewer

PDF Displayed in Document Viewer

Videos of PDF

PDF Features

This tutorial shows LEADTOOLS PDF features including TIFF to PDF conversion, PDF text extraction, PDF file properties and more.

LEADTOOLS SDK Products that Include PDF

LEADTOOLS PDF Pro v20
(Excludes SVG-based PDF Viewing and Conversion)

LEADTOOLS PDF Pro provides everything developers need to read, write, raster-view, and update PDF files. It also includes advanced capabilities such as the extraction of text, images, hyperlinks, and metadata, manipulation of pages in existing PDF documents, conversion to PDF/A as a real document, linearization, and the LEADTOOLS PDF Optimizer to reduce the size of PDF files. By building upon the award-winning LEADTOOLS Imaging Pro features which includes 150+ image formats, image compression, image processing, image viewers, imaging common dialogs, 200+ display effects, TWAIN and WIA scanning, screen capture, and printing, LEADTOOLS PDF Pro is one of the best values available.

LEADTOOLS Pro Suite v20
(Excludes SVG-based PDF Viewing and Conversion)

LEADTOOLS Pro Suite is a an extensive bundle in the LEADTOOLS Pro line of SDKs and includes HTML5 Zero-footprint image viewers, barcode detect/read/write, advanced PDF read/write/view/edit, 150+ image formats, image compression, image processing, image viewers, imaging common dialogs, 200+ display effects, TWAIN and WIA scanning, screen capture, and printing. Developers using LEADTOOLS Pro Suite can develop robust imaging applications and solutions at a fraction of the cost of similar feature sets found elsewhere on the market.

LEADTOOLS Document Imaging v20

Develop powerful document imaging applications with LEADTOOLS Document Imaging. Features include PDF viewing and editing, comprehensive image annotating, specialized bitonal image displaying, and image processing. Other features include performance and memory optimizations for bitonal images, document image cleanup, including inverted text, border, hole-punch, and line removal, and scanning with LEADTOOLS Fast TWAIN and WIA.

LEADTOOLS Recognition v20

The LEADTOOLS Recognition Imaging SDK is a handpicked collection of LEADTOOLS SDK features designed to build end-to-end document imaging applications within enterprise-level document automation solutions that require OCR, MICR, OMR, barcode, forms recognition and processing, PDF, print capture, archival, annotation, and image viewing functionality. This powerful set of tools utilizes LEAD's award-winning image processing technology to intelligently identify document features that can be used to recognize and extract data from any type of scanned or faxed form image.

LEADTOOLS Document Imaging Suite v20

The LEADTOOLS Document Imaging Suite SDK is a comprehensive collection of LEADTOOLS SDK features designed to build end-to-end document imaging solutions that require OCR, MICR, OMR, ICR, barcode, forms recognition and processing, PDF, HTML5 Zero-footprint viewing, conversion, print, capture, archival, annotation, and image viewing functionality. This powerful set of tools utilizes LEAD's award-winning image processing technology to intelligently identify document features that can be used to recognize and extract data from any type of scanned or faxed form image.

LEADTOOLS Medical Imaging v20

Develop powerful Medical Imaging applications with the LEADTOOLS Medical Imaging SDK. Features include comprehensive DICOM data set support, 8-16 bit extended grayscale image support, image annotation, specialized extended grayscale image display such as window level and LUT processing, and medical-specific image processing. Other features include lossless JPEG compression, and signed and unsigned image data processing.

LEADTOOLS PACS Imaging v20

Develop robust DICOM PACS applications with LEADTOOLS PACS Imaging. Features include Medical Web Viewer Framework, high and low-level PACS SCP and SCU functions and controls, secure PACS communication, comprehensive DICOM data set support, image annotation, extended grayscale image display such as window level and LUT processing, and specialized medical image processing. Other features include lossless JPEG compression, JPIP, MRTI, and signed and unsigned image data processing.

LEADTOOLS Medical Imaging Suite v20

Develop powerful PACS and Medical imaging applications with LEADTOOLS Medical Imaging Suite. Features include LEAD's Zero-footprint HTML5 DICOM Viewer, Medical Web Viewer Framework, Medical 3D, DICOM Multimedia codecs, high and low-level PACS SCP and SCU functions and controls, secure PACS communication, Print to PACS, comprehensive DICOM data set support, image annotation, extended grayscale image display such as window level and LUT processing, DICOM Hanging Protocol, and specialized medical image processing. Other features include lossless JPEG compression, JPIP, and signed and unsigned image data processing.