Mobile and Embedded

PDFlib Products for Mobile Devices and Embedded Systems

Our products PDFlib, PDFlib+PDI, PDFlib Personalization Server, TET, and PLOP/PLOP DS are also available for generating and processing PDF documents on smartphones and tablets with the following operating systems:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Embedded Linux and Embedded Devices without any operating system

Please contact us at regarding licensing for mobile and embedded systems, and provide your company and customer details and a brief summary of the project for which you would like to deploy our products.

Fully functional product evaluation binaries for various mobile devices and embedded systems are available on our download page for PDFlib, TET, and PLOP/PLOP DS.

PDFlib Mini Edition (ME)

Embedded devices operate under tight memory conditions. Therefore a special configuration of PDFlib, PDFlib+PDI, and PDFlib Personalization Server (PPS) called Mini Edition is available for such target platforms. The Mini Edition reduces memory requirements by removing some features which are typically not required on mobile and embedded systems, e.g. the database of Pantone and HKS spot color names and values.

In a typical scenario the PDFlib Mini Edition reduces the size of the library from ca. 5 MB to less than 2 MB. The memory requirements can be further reduced with a custom configuration. i.e. support for a certain feature which is not required can be removed from the library.


The Linux-based Android operating system is very popular for smartphones and tablets. Android drives hundreds of millions of smartphones from a variety of vendors. Since the operating system itself doesn't offer any PDF features, PDFlib products are very useful on this platform.

Since Android's application development is based on Java, PDFlib products for Android offer a Java programming interface. PDFlib for Android is a JNI wrapper around a native Android library. A package for use with C/C++ and the NDK is available as well.

Developing PDFlib products requires that the Android SDK is installed and an AVD (Android Virtual Device) is set up correctly.

iOS for Apple's Mobile Systems

Apple's iOS operates the mobile devices iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It is based on OS X/macOS. Similar to OS X/macOS it offers only basic PDF functionality, so that for simple tasks no third-party PDF viewer or PDF generation tool is needed. Nevertheless, PDFlib products come in handy when advanced tasks are required or generated documents must conform to ISO standards such as PDF/A.

PDFlib products for iOS offer Objective-C, C and C++ programming interfaces. PDFlib for iOS is delivered as a framework for iOS applications.

PDFlib products offer many advantages over the built-in PDF features of iOS which support only very basic PDF generation:

  • While iOS supports only PDF 1.4 (the version introduced with Acrobat 5 back in 2001!), PDFlib products support the latest PDF versions up to the format used by Acrobat DC. The difference is that users are missing many graphics and interactive features, and developers cannot take advantage of file format benefits such as improved compression.
  • PDFlib products support all relevant ISO standards for PDF, including ISO 32000-1 (the standardized version of PDF 1.7) and the PDF/A archiving standard specified in ISO 19005.
  • PDFlib products support all flavors of PDF encryption including strong AES-256 encryption, Unicode passwords, and advanced permission settings.
  • PDFlib products can generate Tagged PDF including PDF/UA for improved accessibility and content repurposing.


Embedded Linux

Embedded Linux operating systems run on a great variety of hardware platforms, and are often used in industrial environments. Embedded Linux is highly popular among vendors of industry and consumer systems of many kinds, ranging from industrial and measuring equipment to communications devices and PBXs.

Embedded Linux versions of PDFlib products can be used with C or C++, other language bindings (e.g. PHP) can be made available upon request.


  • The uClinux Embedded Linux/Microcontroller project is a port of Linux to systems without a Memory Management Unit (MMU). uClinux drives Web cams, network devices, and many other consumer and developer devices. uClinux even operates in space as it was part of NASA's ENose project in the International Space Station ISS. uClinux supports a variety of CPU architectures. PDFlib for uClinux is built as Mini Edition (ME), see above. It is currently available for the Freescale MCF5329 processor.
  • The QNAP TS-109 II Turbo NAS system is a network attached storage device based on Linux running on a Marvell 5182 CPU with 500 MHz. We used Mentor Graphics' Sourcery CodeBench as development environment. This IDE is based on the common Eclipse and GCC toolchains and supports various CPU architectures, e.g. the ARM-based Marvell CPU. 

Other Operating Systems and CPU Architectures for Embedded Devices

In addition to embedded versions of Linux a wide variety of other operating systems for embedded systems is available. PDFlib products can be made available for other embedded operating systems (including real-time operating systems, RTOS) such as Wind River's VxWorks, LynxOS, QNX. Due to the proven code portability PDFlib products run on a wide variety of CPU architectures, including x86, 68000, MIPS, PowerPC, SuperH, and ARM.

Embedded Devices without any Operating System

PDFlib products can even be deployed on systems which do not run under control of an operating system or don't offer any permanent storage facilities. For example, all standard I/O operations in PDFlib can be disabled. Input data such as text and images are supplied by the controlling application in memory, and PDFlib creates PDF documents in memory as well. The generated documents can then be transferred via the network, for example.

If you are interested in using PDFlib products on a particular mobile or embedded system or CPU architecture, please contact us.