9 Best Java PDF Libraries : Must Read for every Data Scientist

Best Java PDF Libraries Must Read for every Data Scientist

Are you looking for  Java PDF Libraries to automate PDF creation and manipulation? This article will give you an overview of the 9  best Java PDF Libraries of the current time.

These Java PDF libraries are not only useful for PDF creation and manipulation programmatic. But sometimes when we need to pull the data out from PDF. Actually, PDFs are unstructured data. When you need to extract the data from it, You need to perform the basic operation like line-by-line reading text or page-by-page, etc. To perform such basic operations these Java PDF Libraries and Utility are important.

Best Java PDF Libraries :

Here is the list of the Top 9 Java PDF Libraries. Actually every other has its own feature and specification so before choosing any of them. Please read the below description.

1. IronPDF: Java and .NET PDF Library

IronPDF is a robust PDF generation and manipulation library for .NET and Java. With IronPDF, developers can generate PDFs from HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files making it an excellent tool for those looking to create dynamic, print-ready documents. In addition to its HTML to PDF conversion capabilities, IronPDF also provides a number of other features that make it an essential tool for any Java developer. These include the ability to merge, split, and encrypt PDFs and fill out PDF form data. In short, IronPDF is a powerful and versatile PDF library that should be in every .NET developer’s toolkit.

iron pdf image
IronPDF Library Official Website Image

2. IText –

If you are looking for making automation in documentation and Reporting. PDF is the best format. IText designs for Java and Net developer for PDF processing and related operation. Here is the link to IText  Developer page .

java PDF Libraries IText
java PDF Libraries IText

3. Java PDF Library

A good option is an easy PDF SDK. This Java PDF Library has an Action Center that allows developers to generate and customize code for PDF applications automatically using over 50 different settings. A very capable PDF converter could be created with a few mouse clicks. Here is the link to check this Java PDF Library.
java pdf library
Java PDF Library

4.Apache PDF Box –

java PDF Libraries PDFBox

Apache PDFBox API is open source. It gives the utility to Java developers for – Extracting Text, Splitting and merging PDF documents, saving as Images and signing the PDF, and much more. Here is the quick link for downloading Apache PDFbox .

5. gnujpdf –

It’s a Java package. gnujpdf will also help you in creating PDFs using the Java AWT subclass. The Interesting fact about it is -” GNUJPDF is a modified version of  ‘retepPDF’ “.It has LGPL License. For more detail on gnujpdf visit  gnujpdf api details page.

java PDF Libraries PDFBox
java PDF Libraries PDFBox

6.PDF Clown for Java (PDF Jester)-

PDF Clown is an open source PDF processing in Java and.Net based Library. Download PDF Clown from here. It makes PDF rendering and styling hassle-free for you.

java PDF Libraries PDF Clown

7. Apache FOP 

FOP is a Formatting Objects Processor. It’s a generalized API. I mean it’s not only PDF-specific. Actually, it can generate multiple format outputs. As an input, it takes or reads the Formatting Object tree. You can download Apache FOP from here.

java PDF Libraries Apache FOP
Apache FOP Library

8. OpenPDF

It is a newly emerging Java library. It also comes with LGPL and MPL open-source licenses. This OpenPDF library is iText source successor. Hence it has a high-performance pdf library.

java pdf - openpdf
java pdf – openpdf

9. jPDFProcess

Use this Java PDF Library to manipulate and customize PDF documents for your company’s needs for internal processes or to serve customers. jPDFProcess contains hundreds of features to create, convert, assemble, digitally sign documents, apply header and footers, set permissions & security, extract text from documents, and more. Here is a link to try this robust Java PDF Library.

jPDFProcess Page Screenshot
jPDFProcess Page Screenshot

Java PDF library for Reporting –

Reports are a little different than general PDFs. Reports are quite tabular in nature. Hence this section will add some java Pdf libraries for Reporting.

1. Jasper Reports

2.Dynamic Reports

3. Dynamic Jasper

3 Tips before choosing any Java PDF Library –

  1. Make sure the license condition is aligned with your product or feature usage. Sometimes free words tagged on librarians confuse the developer. Actually Most of the time, free words are associated with non-commercial uses. So please check before choosing any of the Java PDF libraries. Otherwise, you do some code on top of it. After some time you come to know it’s not License Friendly. Then you have to replace it. To avoid such a situation is better.
  2. Do a little proof of Concept on each functionality that you need to achieve using these APIs. Because Most of the time, It is recommended that we should use a single API for a specific purpose.  For example, If you choose some Java PDF Library that supports 8 features where you need 10. Therefore to achieve the rest two features we need to add another third-party API.So to avoid such a situation we should first list down our specific requirements from that API. Then we should do small unit testing on that feature. Once all is done then we should go finalize that  Java PDF Library for the product.
  3. Good Documentation. Never choose any API which has low-quality documentation.

Notes for Developer while using Java PDF Library-

The most common mistake which puzzles beginners in PDF processing is managing locks on the file. Here I am not very specific with PDF files. It usually happens with every type of file processing. Actually, when you use any framework, you just call the function already defined into it. Usually, the code flow is designed in such a way that it auto handles the lock management. Still, be careful. If you apply the lock anywhere manually, free it when you are done.

Otherwise, Java Virtual Machine holds the file and you will be unable to move it until the program is terminated.

Other Learning Resources( Must Read is Interested in Data Science using Java) –

If you are a Java developer and want to be a data scientist, Please read the article –

How a Java Engineer can Transform his career into Data Science | Java for Data Science ?

Once you read this article you will come to know what else requires to change your profile in Data Science.

Conclusion –

There are many different PDF libraries available for Java developers, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. However, from my experience, I consider IronPDF to be slightly better than Apache PDF Box, PDF Clown, iText7, and other Java PDF libraries. One of the main reasons for this is that IronPDF is very easy to use, even for beginners. When I try the above libraries, I find it difficult to understand the process and functions used in libraries. But when I try IronPDF, I found good documentation and a lot of tutorials which helps me to use IronPDF very easily in my project rather than other libraries.

Another thing I noticed is that the code flow is very difficult in libraries like iText7, Apache PDF Box, and others. For doing a simple task like creating a simple PDF with HTML string, I wrote a lot of code lines and it increased the processing time. Although IronPDF has simple and small functions for each function like encryption, creating pdf from HTML file, URL, and HTML string.

In addition, IronPDF offers a free 30 days trial so you can try out the library before you buy it. Overall, IronPDF is a great choice for those looking for an easy-to-use yet powerful PDF library.

So How did you find the article “Top 8  Java PDF Libraries: Must Read for Data Scientist”? If you have any suggestions on JAVA PDF LIBRARIES. Feel free to contact us or comment below.


Data Science Learner Team 


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Meet Abhishek ( Chief Editor) , a data scientist with major expertise in NLP and Text Analytics. He has worked on various projects involving text data and have been able to achieve great results. He is currently manages Datasciencelearner.com, where he and his team share knowledge and help others learn more about data science.
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