PDFL Overview

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To jump right in, go to Getting Started.

Designed specifically for OEMs, ISVs, system integrators, and enterprise IT developers, the Adobe PDF Library (PDFL) SDK contains a powerful set of functions for developing third-party solutions and workflows built upon the Adobe PDF standard. The Adobe PDF Library is based on Acrobat offers complete functionality for generating, manipulating, rendering, and printing Adobe PDF documents.

The PDFL SDK is available by license and provides unparalleled quality and reliability of proven Adobe PDF technology, allowing third-party developers to support the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) within their own standalone applications. Developers can flexibly implement and develop powerful Adobe PDF solutions in desktop environments as well as a wide range of server platforms. They can also take advantage of full compatibility with the latest PDF specification; full interoperability with Adobe products; consistent, reliable support on a broad range of platforms (see details below); as well as high-performance, scalability, and optimized PDF processing.

The Adobe PDF Library SDK includes the following:

  • Core dynamic Libraries

  • Header files

  • Complete documentation, including an application programming interface (API)

  • Reference guide

  • Fonts

  • 17 completely functional solution samples

Key benefits

  • Unparalleled quality and reliability of proven Adobe PDF technology

  • Implementation flexibility for developing powerful Adobe PDF solutions in both desktop and server environments

  • Standalone, thread-safe libraries

  • Full compatibility with the latest specification of PDF language

  • Full interoperability with Adobe products

  • Consistent, reliable support on a broad range of platforms

  • High-performance, scalable, and optimized PDF processing

Adobe PDF Library customers

Some of the most recognizable customers of the Adobe PDF Library are prominent Adobe products, including Adobe Acrobat, Reader, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and FrameMaker software; the Adobe PostScript language; and others. However, the Adobe PDF Library SDK was specifically created to support OEMs, systems integrators, independent software vendors, and enterprise IT developers who want to incorporate Adobe PDF functionality into new or existing applications and workflows.

Broad multi-platform support

Adobe PDF Library is supported across the following platforms:

  • Microsoft Windows (32-bit and 64-bit)

  • Macintosh (64-bit)

  • Linux (64-bit)

Availability

The Adobe PDF Library SDK is available from Adobe through a license agreement to OEMs, ISV integrators, and enterprise IT developers on a case-by-case basis. The first step in the licensing the Adobe PDF Library is to fill out the information request form <https://www.datalogics.com/company/contact-us/>`_. The Adobe PDF Library is also available through our exclusive partner: Datalogics.

Existing Adobe PDF Library customers can contact their Adobe Sales Point of Contact to get access to PDF Library.

Developer support and maintenance

Major releases of the Adobe PDF Library SDK coincide with releases of the Acrobat software family and Adobe PDF specification. To provide improvements based on developer feedback, interim releases of the Library are made available on a regular basis. In addition, Adobe provides in-

Support and contacts

The Acrobat Developer Support team supports software development with the Acrobat SDK’s core APIs. Developers can purchase support via the Adobe Creative Cloud Exchange Developer Support program. Supported SDK development activities include those for which the product is designed, tested, and licensed. Acrobat Developer Support does not support use cases that do not involve the Acrobat core API.

Only the last two major SDK versions with interim updates are eligible for support.

Note

For non-programmatic issues, such as questions about installing, using, customizing, or deploying Acrobat, contact Acrobat Technical Support.

Community forum

To participate in the developer community, see Adobe’s Acrobat SDK forum.

Master search and TOC

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While each document below has its own search and TOC, you can search all the docs at one or use the master TOC

Documentation

Document

Description

SDK Overview

Overview, choosing a development methodology, differences between Acrobat and Reader, example features, FAQ

Samples Guide

A guide to the sample code included with the Acrobat SDK.

Plugin Development

Developing plugins for Acrobat and Acrobat Reader, as well as for PDF Library applications.

Snippet Runner Cookbook

Prototyping code without the overhead of writing and verifying a complete plugin or application.

Extending the SaveAsXML Plugin

Enabling Acrobat to save documents in a customized text-based format.

Interapplication Communication

Using DDE, OLE, Apple events, and AppleScript to control the app and to render Adobe PDF documents, including detailed descriptions of DDE, OLE, Apple event, and AppleScript APIs.

JavaScript Developer Guide

Using JavaScript to develop and enhance standard workflows in Acrobat and Acrobat Reader.

JavaScript API Reference

Detailed descriptions of JavaScript APIs for developing and enhancing workflows in Acrobat and Acrobat Reader.

3D JavaScript API Reference

Detailed descriptions of JavaScript APIs for adding interactivity to 3D annotations within PDF documents.

Acrobat Tracker

Using RSS to track remote resources in an occasionally-connected environment.

Distiller API Reference

Detailed descriptions of APIs for controlling Acrobat Distiller for PDF file creation.

PDF Creation Settings

Specifying settings for the creation of PDF files.

PDFmark Reference

A detailed description of an extension to the PostScript language which allows the description of PDF features not found in standard PostScript.

Accessibility API Reference

Detailed descriptions of the APIs for using assistive technology with PDF documents.

Batch Sequences

Using JavaScript to perform repetitive operations on a collection of files.

Acrobat API Reference

A description of the APIs which help you develop Adobe Acrobat plug-ins and PDF Library applications.

PDFL API Reference

A description of the APIs which help you develop Adobe Acrobat plug-ins and PDF Library applications.

PDF Reference

2015 HTML docs (12.x)

While legacy docs are deprecated, much of the information is identical and remains online. If you use it, keep in mind it does not contain the latest information, and references to Unix, LiveCycle, and other deprecated features have not been removed.

11.x and earlier documentation

Deprecated documentation (11.x and earlier) is not available online. For access to other versions of the developer documentation, contact acrobat-sdk-users@adobe.com.

Feature comparison across SDKs

Feature

DC

PDFL

Acrobat

Cloud-based API

Yes

On-premise only

Yes

Yes

Microsoft Power Automate integration

Yes

Embed PDF manipulation within your application without Acrobat

Yes

Yes

Create server-based applications

Yes

Yes

Create, manipulate, and assemble PDF documents

Yes

Yes

Yes

Convert static and dynamic HTML to PDF

Yes

Convert PDF to MS Office and other formats

Yes

Yes

High volume and variable data printing

Yes

Yes

Embed and subset fonts

Yes

Yes

View PDF

Yes

Yes

Render PDF

Yes

Yes

Yes

Add comments to displayed PDF

Yes

Yes

Adobe Analytics integration for displayed PDFs

Yes

Linearize and optimize PDF for the Web

Yes

Yes

Yes

Compress documents

Yes

Yes

Yes

Provide password security

Yes

Yes

Yes

Make text searchable (OCR)

Yes

Yes

Extract structured content from any PDF

Yes

Extract ordered content from structured PDF

Yes

Yes

Create and manipulate forms

Yes

Yes

Selective content viewing via layers and grouping

No

Yes

Provide searching

Yes

No

Yes

Encrypt documents

Yes

Yes

Yes

Add comments to documents

Yes

Yes

Yes

Access Acrobat plugins

Yes

Yes

Apply digital signatures

No

Yes

Yes

Accessibility support (e.g. screen readers, etc.)

Yes

Access third party plug ins

Yes