The Adobe® PDF Library software development kit (SDK), available by license, 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.

Developers do not need Adobe Acrobat® software or other products installed to use the Adobe PDF Library SDK. For details on extending the capabilities of the Adobe Acrobat line of products, check the Acrobat Developer Center.

New features of PDFL SDK XI release include:

  • Full Compatibility with Acrobat XI
  • Support for Mac 64-bit platform
  • Leopard (Mac OS X 10.7) Compliance
  • Improved editing of PDFs and reduced content loss
  • Support for conversion to PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3 standards
  • Enhanced support for image compression in flattening
  • Improved print output to bring it closer to Acrobat

For more information on the Adobe PDF Library, please see the following:

PDF Library SDK and Acrobat SDK comparison matrix

You can use the following feature comparison as a guide to determine whether you require Adobe PDF Library SDK or the Acrobat SDK. The Acrobat SDK requires that Adobe Acrobat software be installed on the client machine for the plug-ins to access PDF functionality.

  PDF Library SDK Acrobat SDK
Embed PDF manipulation within your application without the presence of Acrobat
Yes
 
Create applications that can run on Servers
Yes
 
Create, edit, and assemble documents
Yes
Yes
High volume and variable data printing
Yes
Yes
Embed and subset fonts
Yes
Yes
View and render PDF
Yes
Yes
Linearize and optimize PDF for the Web
Yes
Yes
Compress documents
Yes
Yes
Provide password security
Yes
Yes
Extract content
Yes
Yes
Create and manipulate forms
Yes
Yes
Use layers and grouping to provide selective viewing of content
Yes
Yes
Provide searching and indexing
Yes
Yes
Encrypt documents
Yes
Yes
Add comments to documents
Yes
Yes
Access Acrobat plug-ins
 
Yes
Apply digital signatures
 
Yes
Make documents accessible to screen readers and other accessibility technologies
 
Yes
Access third party plug-ins
 
Yes

Overview

Designed specifically for OEMs, ISVs, system integrators, and enterprise IT developers, the Adobe PDF Library 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 the technology of Adobe Acrobat software and offers complete functionality for generating, manipulating, rendering, and printing Adobe PDF documents.

The Library enables Adobe PDF functionality to be seamlessly embedded within applications. It also provides reliable, accurate, and Adobe-supported implementation of the latest PDF specification.

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

For more details, please see the following:

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; Adobe LiveCycle™ server products family; 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 multiplatform support

Adobe PDF Library is supported across the following platforms:

  • Microsoft Windows® (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Macintosh (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Sun™ Solaris™*(SPARC 32-bit and 64-bit, x86 32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Linux® (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • IBM® AIX®* (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • HP-UX* (Itanium and PA RISC, 32-bit and 64-bit)

* - Available from Datalogics

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-depth developer support for the Adobe PDF Library SDK, as well as integration, training, and consulting support from Datalogics, Inc.

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 (PDF, 45K). The Adobe PDF Library is also available through select partners, including EAST in Japan, TechSoft for 3D and Engineering-focused software companies, and Datalogics elsewhere.

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