Acrobat & PDF Developer Libraries

Numerous third-party libraries can also produce PDF directly. Below is a list of some of the PDF libraries we are aware of.

Fast, direct, and maybe even free

Like any toolset, these libraries that each offer their own advantages and disadvantages. Once configured, the creation process is both swift and robust, but the onus falls on the developer to build each PDF page from scratch. Performance, functionality, pricing, licensing terms, compatible programming languages and the availability of developer support all vary significantly between libraries. Many of these libraries are low cost, royalty-free or free for non-profit use.

First up, the Foxit Family

Foxit Quick PDF Library

Foxit Quick PDF Library is a royalty-free PDF library SDK for the small-to-medium size business – easy-to-use, it includes a 900+ function API for use with C++, C#, Delphi, ASP, ActiveX, VB, VB Script, PowerBASIC and more. It provides create, render, print, encrypt, sign, split, or merge pages or documents, update document information and default viewing settings.

Foxit Quick PDF Library Lite

Foxit Quick PDF Library Lite is a free pdf library that offers simple features such as create PDFs, convert images to PDF, generate and place QR codes, add web links, get and set document properties, rotate pages, merge documents, analyze document security and add images and text to documents.It works with any language that supports ActiveX.


Foxit PDF SDK is ideal for any enterprise-class application, cloud service, desktop application, or mobile app that has to interact with PDF documents and forms – especially across platforms. The PDF SDK excels with multi-platform support, for a consistent user experience across client devices. PDF SDK applications are usually developed in C or C++.


Rapid Development Kit for mobile platforms that enables programmers to quickly and easily integrate PDF viewer technology into their apps.

WebPDF Viewer

High-performance, cross-platform, client-independent solution that reduces developer costs and improves time to market.


Easily add a PDF viewer with user interface to most Windows applications with the well supported and battle-tested ActiveX technology.


PDF for .NET is made easy with our collection of stand-alone SDKs to suit your requirements. Such as PDF Viewer, Merger, Generator, Printer and Rasterizer.

Premium PDFium

Use the PDFium API with the latest Foxit enterprise quality rendering technology and get peace of mind with developer support from the experts.

PhantomPDF Plug-in SDK

Extend the functionality of PhantomPDF and Foxit Reader with this plug-in SDK.

And others…


Java developer library for creating, view, extract, print PDF files.

Formatting Objects Processor

Open-source print formatter driven by XSL Formatting Objects and an output independent formatter; main output target is PDF.


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.


Open-source, cross-platform C library to generate PDF files.


Open-source C++ library to read and write the PDF files.


Open-source multi-backend C++ library derived from Xpdf; no bundled viewer; incl. pdftohtml converter


XSL-FO layout engine written in Java; output formats: PDF

You May Also Like

About the Author: Rowan Hanna

Leave a Reply