Apache PDFBox

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Developer(s) Apache Software Foundation
Stable release
2.0.11 / June 29, 2018; 47 days ago (2018-06-29)
Written in Java
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Portable Document Format (PDF)
License Apache License 2.0
Website https://pdfbox.apache.org

Apache PDFBox is an open source pure-Java library that can be used to create, render, print, split, merge, alter, verify and extract text and meta-data of PDF files.

Open Hub reports over 11,000 commits (since the start as an Apache project) by 18 contributors representing more than 140,000 lines of code. PDFBox has a well established, mature codebase maintained by an average size development team with increasing year-over-year commits. Using the COCOMO model, it took an estimated 46 person-years of effort.[1]


Apache PDFBox has these components:

  • PDFBox: the main part
  • FontBox: handles font information
  • XmpBox: handles XMP metadata
  • Preflight (optional): checks PDF files for PDF/A-1b conformity.


PDFBox was started in 2002 in SourceForge by Ben Litchfield who wanted to be able to extract text of PDF files for Lucene.[2] It became an Apache Incubator project in 2008, and an Apache top level project in 2009.[3]

Preflight was originally named PaDaF and developed by Atos worldline, and donated to the project in 2011.[4]

In February 2015, Apache PDFBox was named an Open Source Partner Organization of the PDF Association.[5]

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