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PDFTron Blog

Latest news, articles, and events

2021

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Introducing WebViewer Collaboration - Rapid Integration for Document Collaboration

In a pandemic-altered world where digital collaboration has become the norm, providing a seamless collaborative experience to your users on their documents can add a large amount of value to your…

Mar 15 2021

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How to Generate a PDF with JavaScript

Many modern web apps need ways to generate PDFs from data. And it doesn’t matter what you intend to create -- invoices, sales contracts, tickets, or certificates -- you’ll often need a method of…

Mar 14 2021

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How We Secure our Digital Signature Validation in PDF

Five months ago, we announced the release of trailblazing features for digital signing workflows. Realizing developers needed a digital signature solution they could trust, we introduced a secure-by…

Mar 11 2021

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How to Collaborate on and Review Video Files in Salesforce

Today, more and more businesses use video as a means to educate, connect, and market to target audiences, thanks to the rapid spread of new ways of creating and sharing videos online. Our WebViewer Video…

Mar 3 2021

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Should I Rewrite my .NET Application?

A ton of applications currently run on the .NET framework, first developed by Microsoft in 2002. But with its final major update in April 2019, only small .NET patches are planned from here on out…

Feb 10 2021

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How to Populate Record Data into PDF Forms in Salesforce

Many Salesforce users would like an automated flow to populate fields in document templates with Salesforce data -- whether to send auto-filled letters to customers or quickly sign their internal documents…

Feb 8 2021

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How to View, Edit, Annotate and Redact Salesforce Record Attachment Files in a Lightning Web Component

At PDFTron, many clients approached us looking for an end-to-end document solution for their Salesforce applications -- one that could handle their most commonly used document file types and integrate…

Jan 12 2021

2020

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How to Build an Android Document Scanner App with OCR

Document scanner apps are one of the more popular tools that make smart use of mobile device features, like the built-in camera and touch-screen, to make scanning both convenient and practical for…

Oct 23 2020

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How to Export XFDF Annotations from PDF

XFDF is an XML-based format and stands for XML Forms Data Format. Like other PDF components, XFDF serves many possible uses. It’s most commonly used to exchange PDF annotations and form data between…

Oct 21 2020

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How to Build a Cross-Platform PDF Viewer with React and React Native

React Native is an open source framework for building native mobile apps using JavaScript. Being a popular choice for mobile apps, it compiles the JavaScript components into native components to provide…

Oct 14 2020

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How to Generate, Stamp and Read Barcodes in a PDF with PDFTron SDK

Barcode can be used to represent a user’s data into a visual pattern that can be scanned, interpreted, and incorporated into a database. Barcodes are useful when information needs to be easily accessible…

Oct 9 2020

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How To Search Multiple Word & PDF Documents Using JavaScript

In most document management systems, searches only use the title or metadata of documents. But the title and metadata do not always reflect what's inside. As a result, users must open and scan documents…

Jul 27 2020

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How to Add a PDF & MS Office Viewer to a Mac Catalyst App

In this article we describe how to use the PDFTron Mac Catalyst PDF SDK for adding a PDF and MS Office document viewer to your iOS and Mac app using Mac Catalyst, Apple's cross-platform technology…

Jul 22 2020

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How to Generate PDFs or Convert DOCX to PDF with Node.js

Express or Express.js is described as a flexible framework for building web apps and APIs, as well as the de facto standard server framework for Node.js. Leveraging Express and Node.js enables devs to add…

Apr 24 2020

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How to Edit & Manipulate PDFs With React

In this post, we’ll walk you through how to create a simple web app that will let users download a PDF and reorganize its pages. Here’s what it looks like: The toolkit we’re using includes a handful of…

Feb 27 2020

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Automating Document Redaction in a Web App using JavaScript

As a commercial PDF SDK vendor, we work with many customers who seek to replace outdated manual redaction methods by streamlining redaction within a PDF-based review & approval or virtual data room app…

Feb 12 2020

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Building a Cross-Platform PDF and MS Office File Viewer with Flutter

Flutter is an open-source framework by Google for building native mobile apps. Flutter compiles Dart widgets into native components to provide users the fluid look and feel of traditional native apps. And…

Feb 9 2020

2019

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How to Add a PDF Viewer to an Android Jetpack Compose App

This year at the Android Dev Summit Google released the first canary of Android Studio 4.0. One of the biggest changes is the built-in support for Jetpack Compose, a declarative UI toolkit for building…

Nov 7 2019

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PDF SDK Evaluation Checklist

You’re ready to add PDF functionality to your software. But as you race to get your project underway, you have yet to complete technical due diligence -- the process of analyzing and evaluating PDF SDKs to…

Oct 31 2019

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The Hidden Costs of Choosing the Wrong PDF Library

You plan to embed PDF functionality into an application. But before you dive into the project, you must decide: do you go with a more expensive commercial PDF SDK -- or a lower-cost alternative such as an…

Oct 16 2019

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Benchmark: How Reliable is PDF.js?

If your users share documents in a high-stakes, fast-paced environment, they may need their PDFs to open quickly and flawlessly. PDF.js, Mozilla’s open-source JavaScript library, offers one way for them to…

Sept 13 2019

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Guide to Evaluating PDF.js Rendering

Around 2011, a team of Mozilla engineers set out to discover whether a browser-native PDF renderer written on a web platform would allow web technologies to “subsume” PDF. That ambition led to PDF.js. An…

Sept 10 2019

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How to Build a PDF Viewer With Typescript and PDF.js

Back-end developers love the safety provided by static type checking languages such as Java and C#. Frontend developers, in contrast, have long been stuck with the pros and cons of JavaScript, a dynamic…

Sept 3 2019

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PDF.js: Build vs Buy

Performing due diligence on commercial software can be demanding in its own right. You’re working under pressure to get the project to market as soon as possible -- but the consequences of a wrong decision…

Aug 30 2019

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How To Build a PDF Viewer With Blazor

Blazor is an upcoming web framework that allows you to build interactive web UIs with C# and use .NET Core packages in your backend. If you're interested in integrating a PDF and MS Office document viewing…

Aug 23 2019

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How to Create Fillable PDF Forms on Android

This is a guide on how to leverage the PDFTron Android SDK to embed a fast and user-friendly form builder into your Android application. Background PDF provides a robust set of interactive form features…

Aug 20 2019

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WebAssembly vs. PNaCl Performance Benchmark

At PDFTron, we seek to provide customers the fastest way to view, annotate, form-fill, and edit documents across every platform. Thus when we move to a new technology, we must find out how well it performs…

Aug 16 2019

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Guide to Evaluating PDF.js

If you view a PDF embedded in a web page, you would likely use the browser’s built-in PDF reader. On Firefox, that’s PDF.js, a popular open-source JavaScript library published by Mozilla in 2011. PDF.js…

Aug 9 2019

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How to Open 1GB+ PDFs in a Mobile or Browser App

Having the option to render documents client-side has many pluses: it’s simpler and more secure than relying on server-side rendering, it scales better, and it opens the door to superior local and offline…

Jun 14 2019

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What is PDF Linearization?

PDF “Fast Web View” or Linearization is a way of optimizing PDFs so they can be streamed into a client application in similar fashion to Youtube videos. This helps remote, online documents open almost…

Jun 11 2019

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How to Add a PDF Viewer to a SwiftUI App

In this article we describe how to add a PDF viewer to your iOS app using SwiftUI, Apple's declarative UI framework announced at WWDC 2019. Getting started Integrating the PDFTron iOS SDK for a project…

Jun 5 2019

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Customize the UI in Android Document Collaboration App

In a separate blog post, we created a real-time document collaboration app using Firebase and PDFTron's Android PDF SDK. This lets many users view the same document at the same time and communicate via…

May 1 2019

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How to Build an Android App for Document Collaboration with Firebase

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a real-time document collaboration app using the PDFTron Android SDK and Firebase. This will let many users view the same PDF, Office or image file at the…

Apr 30 2019

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How to Add Annotations to PDFs Using Swift and PDFKit

In this article we describe how to add text highlight and ink drawing annotations to a PDF using Swift with PDFKit, Apple's built-in PDF SDK introduced in iOS 11. For info on getting started with PDFKit…

Apr 25 2019

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How to Display Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Files in an Angular App

In this blog, we'll show you how to add accurate, reliable, and fast support for Microsoft® Office formats to an Angular project using PDFTron’s WebViewer, a [JavaScript PDF Viewer}(/webviewer/). There…

Apr 17 2019

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How to Convert a Scanned PDF to a Fillable Form Online

This is a guide on how to leverage the PDFTron WebViewer and the WebViewer Full API to embed a fast and user-friendly, pure client-side form builder into your web application. You can watch how easy our…

Apr 12 2019

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How to Add a PDF or MS Office Document Viewer to Salesforce as a Lightning Web Component

At PDFTron, we’ve worked with many clients who use Salesforce’s full-featured app framework to develop apps accessing the wealth of information stored in Salesforce databases. However, a number of these…

Mar 11 2019

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How to Generate a PDF Using Node, React Components, and Headless Chrome

Google's Puppeteer is a Node API that allows you to control an instance of Chrome using a Node service. Leveraging this technology, we are easily able to generate PDFs using any Javascript framework we…

Feb 27 2019

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Streaming a PDF From the Web to a Mobile or Desktop App

Users want to work quickly wherever they are, even when working remotely. Yet viewing PDFs remotely is not always pleasant. PDFs must often first load fully before they can open, leading to frustrating…

Feb 20 2019

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Editing PDFs Programmatically in the Browser

Although WebViewer is often used for document viewing and annotating, you might not realize that it also exposes a full PDF editing and manipulation API that previously would only have been possible on the…

Feb 15 2019

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How to Build Fast PDF Web Viewing with Linearization and Flattening

People turn to PDF for its ability to bring a lot of information together onto a single page. A PDF document can store text, vector graphics and fonts, raster images, and much more, and users can…

Feb 12 2019

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How to Add a PDF, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Viewer to a Flutter App

When Google first released their mysterious Fuchsia OS in 2016, it was claimed that it could run on virtually anything -- from a smartwatch to your car’s dashboard entertainment system -- setting the stage…

Feb 8 2019

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How to Pick the Right Version of PDF/A

Before you convert files to PDF/A, your conversion software will require that you pick a PDF/A standard and conformance level. The differences between PDF/A-2b and PDF/A-2a, or PDF/A-1b and PDF/A-3b, for…

Jan 18 2019

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What are the Different Versions of PDF/A?

Organizations prefer PDF/A for its industry acceptance and advantages over other archiving formats in terms of its ability to preserve text, vector graphics, raster images and related metadata…

Jan 16 2019

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How to Create ZUGFeRD-valid Invoices with PDFTron

The ZUGFeRD standard makes the sharing of payment information between entities large and small a lot simpler. However, building a program to automatically generate ZUGFeRD compliant invoices is a little…

Jan 10 2019

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How to Batch Convert to PDF/A with PDFTron

If you’re working with hundreds or thousands of files, you need a way to convert to PDF/A as quickly and conveniently as possible. This post will show you how you can accomplish this using PDFTron’s easy…

Jan 7 2019

2018

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How to Convert PDF to PDF/A with PDFTron

It is possible to convert from PDF to PDF/A in multiple different ways, using many different solutions. If you’re interested in converting a small number of PDF files to PDF/A, look no further than PDFTron…

Dec 11 2018

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How to Generate PDFs With Ruby on Rails

The best approach for generating PDFs in Rails really depends on the types of PDFs you need to generate. This tutorial will provide step-by-step instructions for generating PDFs by using wkhtmltopdf, an…

Nov 28 2018

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How to Build a PDF Viewer with Angular and PDF.js

In this post we'll show you how to display PDFs in Angular 5+ by using the PDF.js-based ng2-pdf-viewer component, and then wrapping it with a custom UI. Here's what it will look like: The viewer includes a…

Nov 26 2018

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How to Build a PDF Viewer with AngularJS and PDF.js

This post will show you how to add a simple PDF viewer to your AngularJS app with PDF.js and the angularjs-pdf directive. We'll also show you how to match your app's look-and-feel by wrapping it in a…

Nov 23 2018

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How to Build an Android PDF Viewer Using Java

In order to let users view PDF documents in an Android app, it's common practice to defer this functionality to a third-party app on the user’s device. By doing so, developers won't have to build their own…

Nov 21 2018

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How to Build a PDF Viewer with Electron and PDF.js

Electron is an open-source framework that allows you to create cross platform desktop applications using web technology. This post will go over how to implement PDF.js into an Electron app to build your…

Nov 2 2018

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How to Display Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Files on Xamarin.Forms

It's possible to display Office documents in a Xamarin app without using a server, Microsoft Office license, or other third party software. The PDFTron PDF SDK will convert Office files to PDF directly in…

Nov 2 2018

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How to Add a Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Viewer to an Android App

Adding a seamless Word, Excel, and PowerPoint document viewer to Android apps is easy with the PDFTron PDF SDK. No need for a server, Microsoft Office license, or other third party software. With PDFTron's…

Oct 31 2018

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Adding a Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Viewer to an iOS App

Adding a seamless Word, Excel, and PowerPoint viewer to iOS apps is made simple with the PDFTron PDF SDK. Office files are converted directly to PDF in the client, and then displayed with a PDF viewer. No…

Oct 29 2018

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How to Add a PDF Viewer to Your App Using Swift and PDFKit

In this article we describe how to add a PDF viewer to your iOS app using Swift with PDFKit, Apple's builtin PDF SDK introduced in iOS 11. The PDFKit framework has been available in AppKit since macOS 10.…

Oct 24 2018

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How to View a PDF in Xamarin.Forms Using PDFTron

Xamarin.Forms provides the ability to build fully native Android, iOS and Universal Windows Platforms apps using C#. In this article, you will learn how to display a PDF in a fully featured document viewer…

Oct 23 2018

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How to Build a PDF Viewer in React Native

React Native is an open source framework for building native mobile apps using JavaScript. The resulting apps are indistinguishable from those built in Swift, Objective-C, Kotlin, or Java, because they don…

Oct 22 2018

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How to Build a PDF Viewer With React and PDF.js

React components are chunks of isolated code that can easily be shared across your entire UI, and even across multiple projects. This post will go over how to create a PDF viewing component that you can…

Oct 17 2018

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How To Reduce Development Costs With a Xamarin and .NET Core PDF SDK

Apple. Samsung. Android. Windows Phone. Nokia. Blackberry. The mobile marketplace is filled with choices. And today’s end-users expect to have their mobile apps work the same, whatever their device. Now…

Oct 1 2018

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Secure Collaboration on Engineering Documents - PDF Day 2018 Presentation

PDFTron was pleased to present at the PDF Association's recently held PDF Day conference in Washington, DC, where I presented about Secure Collaboration on Engineering Documents. As PDFs move from the…

Aug 20 2018

2016

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Semantic Content Recognition in PDF

Semantic content recognition is the ability to identify components of a document by their “class” – that is if any particular content constitutes a title, subtitle, section, paragraph, word, figure…

Jan 7 2016

2015

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pdf.js: Interesting Project, Incorrect Rendering

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2015. Read our Comprehensive Guide to PDF.js Rendeirng for a revamped overview of PDF.js rendering accuracy and possible implications for your project…

Nov 24 2015

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Cross-Platform Word to PDF Conversion

View and Convert Microsoft Word Documents Anywhere We’re very pleased to announce the launch of the newest addition to PDFTron SDK: built-in Word conversion. Now you can go straight from .docx to .pdf…

Sept 8 2015

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Collaborating with PDF

PDFTron was pleased to present at the PDF Association‘s recently held PDFDay conference in Washington, DC and New York City. James Borthwick, a member of our development team, presented a talk on…

Mar 16 2015

2014

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PDFNet for .Net and AnyCPU

In a previous post we announced the availability of PDFNet in Nuget, and also discussed how we made PDFNet work with the AnyCPU configuration. Feedback for the AnyCPU setup has been great, but our users…

Dec 1 2014

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Using PDFNet From a Swift Project on iOS

PDFNet is easy to use with a Swift project. This post will show how to set up a new Swift project and display a PDF. This post will show you the basics of starting a new Swift project that uses PDFNet. For…

Sept 22 2014

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A Simple Example of Converting PDF to HTML

We have received lots of interest in our new PDF to HTML/EPUB conversion since it was released in PDFNet 6.0. With this interest we have also gotten questions on customizing the output. So today I’ll…

May 25 2014

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Table Extraction and PDF to XML With PDFGenie

Intro Why is PDF so popular and what is its Achilles’ foot? How difficult is it to extract a table from PDF? What is the best tool to extract structure from PDF? PDF Liberation Hackathon PDFGenie…

Mar 2 2014

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PDF SDK Bindings for PHP, Python, and Ruby

PDFTron open sources PDFNet language bindings for PHP, Python, and Ruby. We are happy to announce that the source code for the PHP, Python, and Ruby bindings for PDFNet are now open source. This is in…

Feb 28 2014

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Mobile Cross-Platform PDF Viewers: Options for Android, iOS, Windows Store (UWP) Apps

The rise of mobile platforms, each with its own native programming language and API, has created new demand for cross-platform development tools and SDKs. To display a PDF, most cross-platform toolkits…

Feb 3 2014

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Exception Handling in PDFNet for Windows Store apps

Starting with PDFNet SDK 6.2.0-BETA for Windows Store apps, it is now possible to get more useful error messages when PDFNet throws exceptions. Due to limitations of the COM API boundary, only System…

Feb 3 2014

2013

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High Quality EPUB / HTML From PDF

Want to create high quality, fixed layout EPUBs from a PDF? Or simply want to show a PDF file in the browser, taking full advantage of the power of HTML and the browser? Or maybe you just want a simple way…

Nov 15 2013

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Working with PDF RichMedia Annotations

RichMedia annotations can be used to embed videos and sound files in PDF documents. When opened in a compliant reader, the user can play them back directly as part of the page content, usually by just…

Sept 11 2013

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All About PDF/A

What is PDF/A? PDF/A (as in Archive) is a special variant of PDF that has been designed specifically for long term document preservation. Initially released in 2005 and based on PDF 1.4, the specification…

Sept 5 2013

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How To Integrate a PDF Viewer into HTML5 Apps

HTML5 apps offer many of advantages over native ones. Web apps are Naturally cross-platform: develop once, run on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and everything else. Easy to update the app for everyone…

Aug 8 2013

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Creating Thumbnails of PDF Pages

A common question we receive from our customers is how do I create thumbnails of a PDF document? The best class to use for this is PDFDraw, which rasterizes* PDF pages one at a time, and provides methods…

Jul 20 2013

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Document Collaboration With PDFNet

Introduction PDFNet makes sharing annotations easy by offering an simple way to import and export annotations. The annotations are saved in a standardized XML format, XFDF. This makes the annotations easy…

Jul 19 2013

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