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Guides
Catalyst

Mac Catalyst PDF SDK

Catalyst Viewer

Above: the MacReader sample app showing the NSToolbar on the macOS window, as well as the UIMenus provided by PTDocumentController.

PDFTron’s Mac Catalyst PDF SDK comes with simple-to-use Objective-C and Swift APIs to bring document viewing, creating, searching, annotation, and editing capabilities to native MacOS and iOS apps.

Our goal with Mac Catalyst is for our existing iOS UI to be as close as possible to the native AppKit look and feel -- without sacrificing functionality or the convenience of using a single API for iOS and macOS. We are continuously improving the library, so stay tuned for exciting new features. Please get in touch with us.

PDFTron’s fully supported SDK is trusted by thousands of innovative startups, governments, and Fortune 500 businesses (see customers ). PDFTron technology is built from the ground up and is not dependent on any external third-party open-source software.

What is Mac Catalyst

Mac Catalyst is an exciting technology from Apple that makes it incredibly easy to build a state-of-the-art Mac app by porting an existing iOS application.

Your PDFTron SDK-based Catalyst apps can be released via the Mac App Store or by simply sharing a binary. You can also use PDFTron macOS Electron if you need a Mac app that runs on an older macOS release (prior to macOS 10.15 Catalina).

The PDFTron SDK for Mac Catalyst

The PTDocumentController shows a PDF viewer and annotator complete with controls such as an annotation toolbar, page layout controls, bookmarks, thumbnail viewer, etc. All of its component pieces are part of the Tools framework, and this class packages them into one easy to use view controller.

The PTDocumentController in our Catalyst SDK also provides a ready-made NSToolbar which provides convenient access to many of the built-in controls described above. The toolbar is available as a property on the document view controller: documentController.macToolbar.

Integrating the PDFTron SDK into your Catalyst application

The PDFTron SDK can easily be integrated into your Catalyst apps. XCFrameworks for both the PDFNet framework and Tools UI framework are included in the PDFTron SDK for iOS. The SDK can be integrated by CocoaPods, Swift Package Manager, or by manually integrating the XCFrameworks into your Xcode project. Please see the Getting Started guide for more information.

Viewing a Document in Catalyst

To show a PTDocumentController, override the viewDidAppear() method in your UIViewController class and then open the documentController using:

//Import the PDFNet and Tools libraries
import PDFNet
import Tools

override func viewDidAppear(_ animated: Bool) {
    // Create a PTDocumentController
    let documentController = PTDocumentController()
    // Conform to the `PTDocumentControllerDelegate` protocol
    documentController.delegate = self;
    // The PTDocumentController must be in a navigation controller before a document can be opened
    let navigationController = UINavigationController(rootViewController: documentController)
    // Open a file from URL.
    let fileURL: URL = URL(string:"https://pdftron.s3.amazonaws.com/downloads/pl/sample.pdf")!
    documentController.openDocument(with: fileURL)
    // Show navigation (and document) controller.
    self.present(navigationController, animated: true, completion: nil)
}

To show the PTDocumentController's NSToolbar, make the view controller conform to the PTDocumentControllerDelegate protocol and implement the delegate method, documentControllerDidOpenDocument:documentController.

// Set the toolbar in the `documentControllerDidOpenDocument:documentController` delegate method
func documentControllerDidOpenDocument(_ documentController: PTDocumentController) {
    #if targetEnvironment(macCatalyst)
    if let window = UIApplication.shared.windows.first,
       let windowScene = window.windowScene {
            if let titlebar = windowScene.titlebar {
                let toolbar = documentController.macToolbar
                titlebar.toolbar = toolbar
            }
        }
    #endif
}

In addition, the view controller also provides a set of UIMenus which you can use to provide quick access to certain actions and view modes in the menu bar of your Catalyst app. To use these menus in your app you can use these menus in the buildMenuWithBuilder: method in your AppDelegate. See this guide from Apple for more information about the UIMenuSystem.

The `AppDelegate` will need a reference to an instance of the `PTDocumentController` class to use its menus.
override func buildMenu(with builder: UIMenuBuilder) {
     super.buildMenu(with: builder)
     
     // Make sure the App Delegate has a valid reference to a `PTDocumentController` object
     if documentController == nil {
         return
     }
     /** The View Modes menu contains actions for setting the view mode on the document
     *  e.g. Continuous scroll, single page mode, facing page mode.
     */
     let viewModesMenu:UIMenu = documentController.viewModesMenu

     // The Additional View menu contains actions for toggling reader mode or displaying the annotation toolbar
     let additionalViewMenu:UIMenu = documentController.additionalViewMenu

     /** The Navigation Lists menu contains actions for displaying navigation lists in the side panel:
     *  Table of Contents (document outline), Annotations list, User Bookmarks list, or the thumbnails browser.
     */
     let navigationListsMenu:UIMenu = documentController.navigationListsMenu

     // The Navigate Doc menu contains actions for navigating the document
     let navigateDocMenu:UIMenu = documentController.navigateDocMenu

     // The Annotate menu contains actions for adding annotations to the document
     let annotateMenu:UIMenu = documentController.annotateMenu

     guard builder.system == .main else { return }
     builder.insertChild(viewModesMenu, atStartOfMenu: .view)
     builder.insertChild(navigationListsMenu, atStartOfMenu: .view)
     builder.insertChild(additionalViewMenu, atStartOfMenu: .view)
     builder.insertSibling(annotateMenu, afterMenu: .view)
     builder.insertSibling(navigateDocMenu, afterMenu: .view)
}

Menu Actions and Keyboard Shortcuts

annotateMenunavigationListsMenuviewModesMenuadditionalViewMenunavigateDocMenu
Highlight^⌘HTable of Contents⌥⌘3Continuous Scroll⌘1Annotation Toolbar⌘⇧AUp
Underline^⌘UAnnotation List⌥⌘4Single Page⌘2Reader Mode⌘⇧RDown
Strikethrough^⌘SBookmarks List⌥⌘5Two Pages⌘3First Page⌘↑
Rectangle^⌘RThumbnails⌥⌘6Last Page⌘↓
Ellipse^⌘OGo to Page⌥⌘G
Line^⌘L
Arrow^⌘A
Polygon
Polyline
Drawing^⌘I
Text^⌘T
Note^⌘N
Signature^⌘X

MacReader Sample App

The MacReader sample app included in the download package demonstrates how to integrate the PDFTron SDK into your app. The sample can be found in the Samples directory in the SDK download.

Context Menus in Catalyst

Above: the MacReader sample app showing the annotation context menu which is activated by right-clicking (control-clicking) or performing a two-finger tap gesture on the document.

macOS dark mode is also supported:

Light ModeDark Mode
Light ModeDark Mode

Unique Functionality

  • Direct MS Office document viewing and conversion
  • Fully customizable open source UI to improve app engagement
  • Document reflow to increase readability and accessibility on mobile
  • File streaming to view remote and complex documents faster
  • Night mode to improve viewing in low-light environments
  • And much more...

File Type Support

  • PDF, PDF/A
  • DOC, DOCX, XLSX, XLS, PPTX, PPT (no MS Office licenses or software is required)
  • JPG, HEIF, BMP, TIF, PNG, SVG, EMF, GIF
  • PAGES, KEYNOTE, NUMBERS
  • RTF, TXT
  • HTML
  • XPS

OS Support

  • macOS Catalina (10.15+)

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