List of PDF software

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This list of PDF software includes links to articles on software used to manage Portable Document Format (PDF) documents.

Multi-platform[edit]

Converters[edit]

These allow users to convert PDF files to other formats.

Name License Platforms Description
GIMP GNU GPL Linux, Mac, Windows Converts PDF to raster images
ImageMagick Apache[1] Linux, Mac, Windows Converts PDF to raster images and viceversa
LibreOffice GNU LGPL BSD, Linux, Mac, Windows (Java based) Import from PDF (extension included by default), export as PDF including PDF/A.
OpenOffice.org GNU GPL Linux, Mac, Windows Import from PDF (with restrictions) (after installing an extension[2]), export as PDF including PDF/A.
PDFBox Apache License Linux, Unix, Windows Converts PDF to other file format (text, images, html, ...)
Poppler-utils GNU GPL Linux, Unix, Windows Converts PDF to other file format (text, images, html, ...)
pstoedit GNU GPL  ? Converts PostScript to (other) vector graphics file format
QPDF Artistic License 2.0 Linux, Windows[3] Structural, content-preserving transformations from PDF to PDF
pdf-parser Public Domain Python script Extraction and analysis tool, handles corrupt and malicious PDF documents
Solid Converter PDF Proprietary Windows, Mac OS X PDF to Word, Excel, HTML and Text; supports passwords, text editing, and batch conversion
SWFTools GNU GPL Linux, Windows, Mac SWF conversion and manipulation suite containing a standalone PDF to SWF converter along with a Python gfx API ( requires Xpdf )
Nitro PDF Proprietary Windows Converts PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, raster images
Able2extract Proprietary Windows, Mac OS X, Linux Converts PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Open Office, AutoCAD, HTML, Text, Images
Mobipocket Creator Proprietary Windows Import from PDF and create HTML and MOBI output

Editors[edit]

These allow users to modify an existing PDF file.

Name License Platforms Description
LibreOffice Draw GNU LGPL Windows, Mac OS, Linux PDF viewing and editing. Has many of the features offered by Acrobat.
Foxit PDF Editor Proprietary Windows Word Processor Like Editing, Spell Checking, Convert to ePub, HTML, and RTF, Export Tables and Article Threads
OpenOffice Draw GNU LGPL Windows, Mac OS, Linux PDF import via OpenOffice.org software, or extensions[2]
Inkscape GNU GPL Windows, Mac OS, Linux Open, edit and export documents, but only one page at a time (pages can be later combined using PDF printer)
PDFedit GNU GPL Windows, Linux, BSD Software to view or edit the internal structures of PDF documents, and merge them
Pdftk GNU GPL Windows, Mac OS, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris Command-line tools to edit and convert documents; supports filling of PDF forms with FDF/XFDF data. GUI front-end exists
PDFSaM GNU GPLv2 Windows, Mac OS, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris GUI and command-line tools to split and merge PDF documents, rotate and rearrange pages; supports encrypting/decrypting of PDF documents, setting permissions, adding front or back cover, extracting attachments, filling the metadata
Nitro PDF Proprietary Windows Rich UI, allows combining PDFs, converting to other formats, editing (add images, shapes, text, etc.)
PDF Studio Proprietary Windows, Mac OS, Linux Full feature PDF editor
Karbon LGPL and GPL Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BSD, Solaris/Illumos Import PDF with multiple pages as layouts, export as a one page PDF. All standard vector graphics editor features.
Serif PagePlus Commercial Windows Desktop publishing (DTP) application allows opening and editing of PDF documents; Allows compatible saving as PDF 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 and 1.7 and supports also PDF/X1, PDF/X1a and PDF/X-3
Soda PDF Proprietary Windows, Mac OS X Modular PDF software

Development libraries[edit]

These are used by software developers to add and create PDF features.

Name License Description
Adobe PDF Library Proprietary License C++, .NET, Java API with support for PDF editing, viewing, printing and text extractions
Formatting Objects Processor Apache License Open-source print formatter driven by XSL Formatting Objects and an output independent formatter; main output target is PDF
GNU PDF GNU GPL Open-source C library in development; when done, will provide functions to implement all features of PDF 1.7 specification. (Due to the availability of Poppler, as of 6 October 2011, GNU PDF is no longer considered a "high priority project" by FSF.[4])
iText AGPL[5] Open-source library to create and manipulate PDF, RTF, HTML files in Java, C#, and other .NET languages
JasperReports GNU LGPL Open-source Java reporting tool that can write to screen, printer, or into PDF, HTML, Microsoft Excel, RTF, ODT, comma-separated values and XML files
JPedal Proprietary, GNU LGPL Java developer library for view, extract, print PDF files
libHaru ZLIB/LIBPNG[6] Open-source, cross-platform C library to generate PDF files
PDFBox Apache License Java developer library for creating, view, extract, print PDF files.
PDFTron Systems Proprietary License C, C++, C# .NET, JAVA, Objective-C, Python, Ruby and PHP library for creating, editing, annotating, optimizing and viewing PDF files.
podofo GNU LGPL Open-source C++ library to read and write the PDF files
Poppler GNU GPL[7] Open-source multi-backend C++ library derived from Xpdf; no bundled viewer; incl. pdftohtml converter
TCPDF GNU LGPL Open-source PHP library to create PDF files
XEP Proprietary XSL-FO layout engine written in Java; output formats: PDF

Creators[edit]

These create files in their native formats, but then allow users to export them to PDF formats.

Name License Platforms Description
Adobe Acrobat Proprietary  ? Desktop PDF authoring suite
Adobe Illustrator Proprietary  ? Illustrator can save as PDF, and can recognize and edit text and graphics
FineReader Proprietary  ? OCR tool; can save as PDF, and recognize text from PDF
Ghostscript GNU GPL Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, UNIX Viewer, creator, converter; supports also PDF/X-3; used by PdfCreator, WinPdf, BullzipPdf, CutePDF freeware version and others
OpenOffice.org GNU GPL Linux, Windows, Mac All OpenOffice.org applications allow PDF export; supports also PDF/A-1a; since many import formats are supported (e.g., doc, docx, rtf, xls, ppt) conversion is also possible
LibreOffice GNU GPL Linux, Windows, Mac All LibreOffice applications allow PDF export; supports also PDF/A-1a; since many import formats are supported (e.g., doc, docx, rtf, xls, ppt) conversion is also possible
Serif PagePlus Commercial Windows Desktop publishing (DTP) application; Allows compatible saving as PDF 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 and 1.7 and supports also PDF/X1, PDF/X1a and PDF/X-3
PageStream Proprietary  ? Cross-platform desktop publishing application to open, edit, export
Prince Commercial Linux, Mac, Windows, Solaris, Converts HTML, XML, SVG, and MathML to PDF by way of CSS
Scribus GNU GPL Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation and Windows desktops Cross-platform desktop publishing (DTP) application; supports also PDF/X-3
XEP Proprietary BSD, Linux, Mac, Windows (Java based) Converts XML and XSL-FO to PDF
LaTeX, TeX LaTeX Project Public License, Permissive  ? Mark-up language and tools to write technical reports, books, magazines, almost any publication type
LuaTeX GNU GPL  ? TeX typesetting system that creates PDF documents
pdfTeX GNU GPL  ? TeX typesetting system that creates PDF documents
XeTeX MIT  ? TeX typesetting system that creates PDF documents

Viewers[edit]

These allow users to view (not edit or modify) any existing PDF file.

Name License Description
Adobe Reader Proprietary, freeware Adobe's PDF reader
DigiSigner Proprietary, freeware PDF viewer with added function to digitally sign PDF documents
Evince GNU GPL Universal viewer for GNOME.
Mozilla Firefox Free Software JavaScript-based built-in viewer, based on PDF.js.
Foxit Reader Proprietary, freeware PDF Viewer / Reader for Desktop computer and Mobile Devices. Allows users to add many elements to PDFs (e.g. arrowed comment boxes, text boxes, links, bookmarks, and images).
Ghostview Aladdin Free Public License A legacy graphical interface for Ghostscript
MuPDF GNU GPL Aims to be small and fast with high quality anti-aliased graphics.
Okular GNU GPL Universal viewer for KDE; replaces KPDF, available on versions of KDE from 4.1
PDF.js Apache License 2.0 A JavaScript library to convert PDF files into HTML5, usable as a web-based viewer that can be included in web browsers.
Qiqqa Proprietary, freeware View PDFs in a variety of zoom layouts, annotate, tag, search, cross-reference.
Utopia Documents Proprietary, freeware Semantic scientific PDF reader (optimised for life sciences and medicine), allows public comments on PDFs, generates on-the-fly link-outs to scientific databases and resources when used while online
Xpdf Free and proprietary versions Legacy, a multi-platform viewer; based on Xpdf codebase

AmigaOS[edit]

Converters[edit]

Viewers[edit]

  • Xpdf: a multi-platform viewer for PDF files, Amiga version uses X11 engine Cygnix.

Linux and Unix[edit]

Annotation functionality[edit]

  • Okular: Supports a range of annotation types. Annotations are stored separately from the unmodified PDF file, or (since version 0.15 with Poppler 0.20[8]) can be saved in the document as standard PDF annotations.
  • Xournal: Allows for complex and customizable annotations by freehand drawing, a shape recognition tool, multiple colours and text fonts. In addition, there is a rule tool for straight lines, highlighting and underlining. Annotations may be copied, pasted and easily moved. Annotations may also be in complex scripts such as Tibetan through SCIM input. Annotations are stored separately from the unmodified PDF file, but the annotated document can be exported to PDF.
  • Evince: Supports addition, but not removal, of basic text note annotations.[9]

Converters[edit]

The CUPS printing system can render any document to a PDF file, thus any UNIX/Linux program with print capability can produce PDF files.

  • Pdftk: can merge, split, en-/decrypt, watermark/stamp and manipulate PDF files.
  • PDFSaM: can split, merge and mix PDF documents, encrypt and decrypt them, set metadata, permissions and viewer options, extract attachments, add front and back cover and rotate pages.
  • poppler-utils: includes command-line tools to extract images from a PDF (pdfimages) and convert a PDF to other formats (pdftohtml, pdftotext, pdftoppm).
  • ps2pdf: converts a PostScript file to a PDF.
  • SWFTools: its pdf2swf component converts PDF to SWF.

Creators[edit]

  • Xournal: an open source program that creates PDFs.
  • Scribus: an open source program for professional page layout.

Development libraries[edit]

  • Xpdf: an open source multi-backend library for viewing and manipulating PDF files. Bundled with a viewer with the same name

Editors[edit]

  • PDF Studio: proprietary software for viewing and editing PDF documents
  • Inkscape: Technically not a PDF editor, but can be used as such page by page
  • PDFSaM: free (GPLv2) GUI tools to manipulate, split, merge PDF documents
  • PDFtk: free (GPLv2) command-line tools to manipulate, split, merge, encrypt and decrypt PDF documents

Viewers[edit]

Mac OS X[edit]

Converters[edit]

Editors[edit]

  • Adobe Acrobat: Proprietary PDF authoring suite
  • PDF Studio: Proprietary software to view and edit PDF documents
  • PDF Signer: Proprietary; fills forms and embeds image signatures in PDF documents
  • PDFSaM: free (GPLv2) command-line and GUI tools to manipulate, split, merge, encrypt and decrypt PDF documents

Creators[edit]

  • Mac OS X: Creates PDF documents natively via print dialog

Viewers[edit]

  • Safari: This bundled web browser has built-in support for reading PDF documents.
  • Firefox: Includes a PDF viewer
  • Google Chrome: Includes a PDF viewer
  • Preview: Mac OS X's default PDF viewer (in Mac OS X v10.5 and later, it also can rotate, reorder, annotate, insert, and delete pages. It can also merge files, create new files from existing files, and move pages between files.)
  • Adobe Reader: Adobe Systems's reader which is also available for Macintosh; Safari plug-in available
  • Skim, an open source (BSD licence) PDF reader and note-taker for Mac OS X

Microsoft Windows[edit]

Converters[edit]

  • Adobe Acrobat: Can convert files into PDF or convert PDF files into other formats[10]
  • ABBYY FineReader: Commercial PDF converter which converts PDF into Word (.doc), Excel (.xls), PowerPoint (ppt), and more
  • deskUNPDF: PDF converter to convert PDFs to Word (.doc, docx), Excel (.xls), (.csv), (.txt), more
  • GSview: File:Convert menu item converts any sequence of PDF pages to a sequence of images in many formats from bit to tiffpack with resolutions from 72 to 204 × 98 (open source software)
  • gDoc Fusion: Proprietary, shareware; PDF views, edits, converts documents into PDF, XPS or Microsoft Word document; after 30 days a watermark is placed on documents in shareware version
  • OmniPage: Converts to and from PDF and other formats with many options.
  • PDF-XChange: PDF Tools and PDF-XChange print driver allow conversion from many formats to PDF. A "lite" version of the print driver is free for non-commercial (home and academic) but places a watermark on documents
  • Qiqqa: Converts Microsoft Word document and Web Pages to PDF.
  • SaveasPDFandXPS: Freeware add-in for Microsoft Office 2007; converts documents in standard Microsoft Office formats, e.g. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, into PDF format.
  • SWFTools: 'pdf2swf component converts PDF to SWF – command line with GUI wrapper

Creators[edit]

Name Type and license Description
Bullzip PDF Printer Freeware Virtual printer, requires Ghostscript and PDFPowerTool.
CC PDF Converter GNU GPL Creates a PDF with embedded Creative Commons license from any software. (virtual printer)
CutePDF Freeware and professional versions Virtual printer, also with proprietary PDF editor. Attempts to install the Ask Toolbar as well as Hotspot shield. Can be avoided by using the /no3d command-line switch.
deskPDF Standalone Available for both client and terminal servers.
doPDF Freeware standalone Virtual printer. It doesn't use Ghostscript.
eCopy PaperWorks Proprietary
Foxit PhantomPDF Commercial
gDoc Creator Shareware Enterprise-level creator to create, review, edit, share or archive PDF and XPS documents. After 30 days shareware version places a watermark on documents.
HelpNDoc Freeware and professional versions Manual and documentation authoring tool with native PDF export. Free for personal use.
Nitro PDF Reader Freeware reader; commercial full version available As with Adobe Acrobat, Nitro PDF Pro's reader is free; but unlike Adobe's free reader, Nitro's free reader allows PDF creation (via a virtual printer driver, or by specifying a filename in the reader's interface, or by drag-'n-drop of a file to Nitro PDF Reader's Windows desktop icon); Ghostscript not needed.
NovaPDF Commercial Virtual printer.
PagePlus Proprietary Desktop publishing suite with PDF viewing, editing and creation features
PaperPort Commercial Desktop publishing suite with PDF viewing, editing and creation features
PDFCreator FairPlay, GNU GPL Virtual printer for Windows using a custom license called FairPlay. Uses Ghostscript GPL and includes adware.
PDF-XChange Free lite version PDF Tools allows creation of PDFs from many types of source input (images, scans, etc.). The PDF-XChange print driver allows printing directly to a PDF. A "lite" version of the print driver is free for non-commercial (home and academic) use.
PrimoPDF Freeware standalone Virtual printer, for Microsoft .NET Framework and uses Ghostscript and RedMon. Connects with www.primopdf.com. Includes Open Candy adware.
SaveasPDFandXPS Freeware Add-in for Microsoft Office 2007
Solid PDF Creator Proprietary
Win2PDF Commercial with
Free and Pro versions
Virtual printer, works with any program using Windows to print. Both versions create the same file but the Free version for personal use adds a trailing page. The Pro version includes more control options and does not add a trailing page. The current version supports 32-bit and 64-bit Windows XP and up (except RT). Older version 3.5 for Windows NT / 2000 is still supported. Windows ME and 9x are not supported. Product list and comparison chart.
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer Proprietary Graphic design software with PDF creation plus import, viewing and limited editing

Development libraries[edit]

  • HTML2PDF-X: Proprietary software library for PDF creation from HTML input.

Editors[edit]

  • Adobe Acrobat: Adobe Systems's proprietary desktop PDF authoring suite.
  • Adobe Photoshop: Adobe Systems's Graphic Design software and image editor.
  • gDoc Fusion: proprietary/shareware desktop product to create, review, edit, share or archive PDF and XPS documents. After 30 days a watermark is placed on documents in shareware version.
  • IceCream Split & Merge: It offers multiple array modes that enables users to split and merge Portable Document Format (PDF) documents, including password protected and encrypted files.
  • LibreOffice: free (MPLv2) GUI tools to manipulate, split, merge, encrypt and decrypt PDF files
  • Nitro PDF Pro: a proprietary commercial PDF creator/editor with an interface styled after Microsoft Office; replicates most or all features of the Adobe Acrobat full commercial version; offers a separate freeware reader (which also supports PDF creation, annotation, collaboration and signing); Ghostscript not additionally needed.
  • PDF Studio: Proprietary software for viewing and editing PDF documents
  • pdftk: free (GPL) command-line tools to manipulate, edit and convert documents; supports filling of PDF forms with FDF/XFDF data
  • PDFSaM: free (GPLv2) command-line and GUI tools to manipulate, split, merge, encrypt and decrypt PDF files
  • PDF-XChange Viewer: Freeware PDF reader, tagger, editor (simple editions) and converter (free for non commercial uses).
  • Solid PDF Tools: Convert PDFs into editable documents and create PDFs from a variety of file sources.
  • Microsoft Word 2013: Proprietary desktop software. The 2013 edition of Office allows editing PDF files.

Viewers[edit]

  • Adobe Reader: Adobe's PDF reader is free only for personal use. For commercial use, Adobe Reader should be purchased. For instance, if your software uses Adobe Reader for things like printing, you and your customer will have to purchase Adobe Reader if it qualifies as a commercial product [11]
  • BePDF: a free software PDF reader for Haiku, BeOS, and magnussoft ZETA.
  • Evince: a free (GPL), open source PDF reader. Part of the GNOME desktop environment. Windows port available since version 2.28.
  • Foxit Reader: Proprietary/freeware PDF reader, supports FDF import/export, saving filled forms; other extended functionality available via purchasable plugins.
  • gDoc Fusion: Proprietary/shareware to view PDF, XPS, Microsoft Word document, Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, Microsoft PowerPoint presentation or image files, included in the evaluation version of the product. Shareware version places a watermark on documents after 30 day eval.
  • GSview: Open source software and Ghostscript's viewer for Windows
  • IceCream Split & Merge: It offers multiple array modes that enables users to split and merge Portable Document Format (PDF) documents, including password protected and encrypted files.
  • Javelin PDF Reader: A full functionality PDF reader with support for DRM using encoded and encrypted PDF files in Drumlin's DRMX and DRMZ formats.
  • Nitro PDF Reader: Freeware (though proprietary) PDF reader and creator. Supports three methods (specifying the file within the reader's interface, or dragging-'n-dropping a file onto the reader's Windows desktop icon, or "printing" to a virtual printer driver) of PDF creation (Ghostscript not additionally needed), saving filled forms (AcroForms), text typewriter, markup/collaboration, and stamp signature (document signing).
  • Nuance PDF Reader: Freeware (adware) PDF reader, supports saving filled forms, partial support for XFA forms; enables the capability to convert PDF files to MS Word or Excel files through Nuance website.
  • PDF-XChange Viewer: Freeware viewer with free OCR, supports FDF/XFDF import/export, saving filled forms, extended markup and export to image capabilities.
  • Qiqqa: Freeware PDF reader, indexer, tagger and annotator. Supports OCR and export of PDF text and images.
  • Sumatra PDF: A free (GPL), open source PDF reader. It also supports DjVu, XPS, CHM, Comic Book (CBZ and CBR) and eBook (EPUB & MOBI) file formats. Supports automatic reloading of PDF files.
  • STDU Viewer: A freeware for non-commercial usage PDF reader. It also supports DjVu, Comic Book Archive (CBR or CBZ), XPS, TIFF, TXT and image file formats.

Mobile[edit]

Web-based[edit]

Converters[edit]

Editors[edit]

  • PDFescape: an advertising and fee supported web service to view, create forms, fill out forms, and edit PDF documents from a web browser (requires JavaScript to be enabled)
  • PDFVue: a free web application that allows the user to view PDF's, comment and fill PDF forms from a web browser. Generates a watermark.

Viewers[edit]

  • A.nnotate: a web service which views PDF documents as HTML in the browser, with annotation features.
  • DigiSigner: free online PDF viewer java applet with additional function to digitally sign PDF documents.
  • Docstoc: a web service which allows viewing PDF documents online
  • Issuu: a web service which allows viewing PDF documents online
  • Google Docs: a web service which views PDF documents as PNG images in the browser
  • Scribd: a web service which renders PDF documents as HTML5 in the browser
  • Pdf.js: A Javascript-based library, with viewer, and browser plugin.
  • PDFTron Systems: WebViewer. A free JavaScript viewer and annotator for self-hosting of web optimized PDFs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ depends on the GPLv2 licensed ghostscript for reading PDF [1]
  2. ^ a b Oracle PDF Import Extension,jasa SEO OpenOffice.org repository for Extensions
  3. ^ installing instructions, online QPDF manual
  4. ^ "GNU PDF project leaves FSF High Priority Projects list". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  5. ^ iText: licenses, iText Software Corp.
  6. ^ "Licensing". Libharu.org. 31 August 2008. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  7. ^ Kristian Høgsberg (27 February 2005). "The poppler pdf rendering library". cgit.freedesktop.org. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  8. ^ "Bug 151614 - store annotations with documents". 
  9. ^ "Annotations and Bookmarks". 
  10. ^ "Learn Acrobat X – Converting PDF Files to Other File Formats". Adobe TV. Adobe Systems. 17 October 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  11. ^ http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/rdr_distribution1.html
  12. ^ Kindle for Android Now Supports PDF
  13. ^ Foxit MobilePDF on the Play Store

External links[edit]