Even More PDF Tools

I wrote about my favorite tools around the PDF file format in the past. It’s time to add a couple more items to the list.

Over the last few months I’ve been working with two more products that I can recommend wholeheartedly:


There are a number of HTML to PDF converters available, but if your HTML is anything but basic, chances are that every single one of them does not render one or more features in your documents accurately enough… After looking at a number of them, I came across PD4ML and it looked good right from the first document I fed to it. There were a few problems, but PD4ML’s support was great in helping me out, even though I only had an evaluation license. At the end, all known problems were taken care of in the next formal release I received.

PD4ML is available as either a Java library or a .NET component. The Java JAR can actually be used as an application to get a good idea about how the generated PDF would look.

The library is available in a standard and a Pro version – there are a number of differences, which are listed in the “Products Comparison Chart” – the most important difference for me is that the Pro version supports font embedding.


As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of iText (mainly because it’s Java based, and I can use it on any system that has a Java VM), but I was looking for a library that had rasterization capabilities. I found ABCpdf, and it’s a great tool that does everything I want a PDF library to do (as long as I can use .NET, ASP or VB). It can read PDF documents, modify them and write them out again, create PDF documents from scratch, convert other formats to PDF (e.g. HTML – even with FLash support, EPS, XPS, SVG). It can even use OpenOffice.org to import MS Office documents. One of the more important features for me is the ability to access low level PDF objects – either to get more information about the PDF file and it’s objects, or to make changes that are not available via other high level calls. ABCpdf also allows me to do that.

ABCpdf comes in two versions, Standard and Professional. The “PDF Component Comparison Chart” on the web site lists the differences between the two versions.

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