PDFlib 10 Features

Feature list for PDFlib 10

The table below lists features for generating PDF. New and improved features are marked. Note that improved PDF output (e.g. smaller files) and programming convenience features are not listed individually.



PDF flavors

PDF 1.4 – PDF 1.7 extension level 8 and PDF 2.01

Linearized (web-optimized) PDF for byteserving over the Web

High-volume output and PDF file size beyond 10 GB

ISO standards for PDF

ISO 32000-1: standardized version of PDF 1.7

ISO 32000-2 including dated revision ISO 32000-2:20201: PDF 2.0

ISO 15930: PDF/X-3/4/5 for the graphic arts industry

ISO 19005-1/2/3: PDF/A-1/2/3 for archiving

ISO 16612-2: PDF/VT-1 for variable and transactional printing

ISO 14289-1: PDF/UA-1 for universal accessibility


TrueType fonts (TTF and TTC)

OpenType fonts with PostScript or TrueType outlines (TTF, OTF, OTC)

OpenType color fonts in the formats SVG, Microsoft COLR and Apple sbix1

WOFF and WOFF21 fonts (Web Open Font Format)

User-defined (Type 3) fonts for bitmap, logo and color fonts

Support for OpenType layout features1 for Western and CJK text, e.g. ligatures, small caps, oldstyle numerals, swash characters, simplified/traditional forms, vertical alternates

Access fonts which are installed on Windows or macOS

Font embedding and subsetting

EUDC and SING fonts (glyphlets) for CJK Gaiji characters

Fallback fonts: substitute missing glyphs with glyphs from another font

Text output

Text output in different fonts; underlined, overlined, and strikeout text

Glyphs in a font can be addressed by numerical value, Unicode value, or glyph name

Kerning for improved character spacing

Variation selectors and emoji variation sequences1

Artificial bold, italic, and shadow text

Text on a path

Flexible stamping method

Textflow Formatting

Format text into one or more rectangular or arbitrarily shaped areas with hyphenation (user-supplied hyphenation points required), font and color changes, justification methods, tabs, leaders, control commands, tags1

Advanced line-breaking with language-specific processing, e.g. for Thai

Flexible image placement and formatting

Wrap text around images or image clipping paths

Table formatting

Table formatter places rows and columns, and automatically calculates their sizes according to a variety of user preferences. Tables can be split across multiple pages.

Table cells can hold text, images, SVG graphics, PDF pages, path objects, annotations and form fields

Table cells can be formatted with ruling and shading options

Matchbox concept for referencing the coordinates of placed images or other objects

Interactive elements

Form fields1 with all field options and JavaScript (todo hyperlink for footnotes)

PDF annotations1 (comments) such as PDF links, launch links (other document types), Web links

PDF 2.0 annotation attributes, e.g. opacity1

Non-rectangular annotations and Link annotations with multiple rectangles1

Create actions for bookmarks, annotations, page open/close and other events

Create bookmarks with a variety of options and controls

Page transition effects, such as shades and mosaic

Named destinations for links, bookmarks, and document open action

Create page labels (symbolic names for pages)


Embed 3D animations in PDF and control it with JavaScript

Sound and video can be embedded or referenced from an external file or Web server with Screen annotations and Rendition actions1


Support for Unicode 14 including supplementary characters outside the Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP) and Unicode normalization forms

CJK fonts for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean text

Ideographic variation sequences (IVS) for CJK variant glyphs

Vertical writing mode for Chinese, Japanese and Korean text

Character shaping for complex scripts, e.g. Arabic, Thai, Devanagari

Bidirectional text formatting for right-to-left scripts, e.g. Arabic and Hebrew

SVG vector graphics

Import vector graphics in SVG format; ICC profiles, CMYK and spot colors in SVG, CSS1, network resources1


Load BMP, PNG, TIFF, JBIG2, JPEG, JPEG 2000, and CCITT raster images

Query image information (pixel size, resolution, ICC profile, clipping path, etc.)

Use clipping path in TIFF and JPEG images

Use alpha channel (transparency) in TIFF and PNG images

Image masks (transparent images with a color applied), colorize images with spot or DeviceN color


Grayscale, RGB (numerical, hexadecimal, HTML color names), CMYK, CIE L*a*b* color

Integrated PANTONE® and HKS® spot colors1

DeviceN (n-colorant) color space based on process or spot colors

User-defined spot colors

Color shadings (smooth shadings) between process colors or spot colors; pattern fills and strokes

Color management

ICC-based color with ICC profiles1

Rendering intent for text, graphics, and raster images

Embedded or externally referenced ICC profiles as output intent for PDF 2.0, PDF/A and PDF/X

Multicolor (xCLR) externally referenced output intent ICC profiles for PDF/X-5n/

Output intent ICC profiles on document or page level for PDF 2.0


PDF/A-1a/1b, PDF/A-2a/b/u and PDF/A-3a/b/u including XMP extension schemas

Graphic arts

PDF/X-3, PDF/X-4, PDF/X-4p, PDF/X-5n

Settings for overprint, text knockout, black point compensation1, etc.


Tagged PDF for accessibility

Tagging of interactive elements, e.g. annotations and form fields1

Automatic table1 and artifact tagging

PDF/UA-1 for universal accessibility

Tagging in Textflow1

PDF 2.0 tag namespaces (tagsets)1

PDF 2.0 structure types, attributes and tag nesting rules1

Structure destinations, i.e. links point to a specific structure element1

Variable Document Printing (VDP)

PDF/VT-1 for variable and transactional printing

Vector graphics

Common vector graphics primitives1: lines, curves, arcs, ellipses, rectangles, etc.

Smooth shadings (color blends) between multiple process or spot colors, pattern fills and strokes

Transparency (opacity) and blend modes

Reusable path objects1 and clipping paths imported from images


Optional page content which can selectively be displayed

Annotations and form fields can be placed on layers


Encrypt PDF document or attachments

Unicode passwords

Document permission settings, e.g. printing or copying not allowed

Georeferenced PDF

PDF with geospatial reference information


Document information: common fields (Title, Subject, Author, Keywords) and user-defined fields

Synchronize XMP metadata from document info fields or XMP streams

User-supplied custom XMP metadata

Process XMP image metadata in TIFF, JPEG, JPEG 2000 and SVG


Language bindings for C, C++, Java, .NET, Objective C, Perl, PHP, Python, RPG, Ruby

Helper method for downloading content from the Internet1

Virtual file system for supplying data in memory, e.g., images from a database

Generate PDF documents on disk file or directly in memory

1. New or considerably improved in PDFlib 10

Additional features in PDFlib+PDI and the pCOS Interface

The table below lists features in PDFlib+PDI and PPS in addition to the basic PDF generation features in the first table.

Topic Features

PDF input (PDI)

Import pages from existing PDF documents

Import all PDF versions up to PDF 2.0

Import annotations and form fields including actions1; annotation rectangles are transformed, e.g. scaled or rotated, to match the placed page; link annotations remain functional even if pages are arranged in different order

Fill imported form fields1

Import JavaScript and other actions on document or page level1

Import encrypted documents

Delete redundant objects (e.g. identical fonts) across multiple imported PDF documents

Repair malformed input PDF documents

Copy PDF/A or PDF/X output intent from imported PDF documents

Tagged PDF content aggregation: import pages from Tagged PDF documents including structure elements

Import layer definitions (optional content)

Improved performance for importing content from very large documents1

pCOS interface

pCOS interface for querying details about PDF documents and pages (see separate pCOS datasheet)

Additional pCOS pseudo objects for querying PDF details, e.g. PDF standards, form fields, signatures and ICC profiles1

1. New in PDFlib+PDI 10

Additional features in the PDFlib Personalization Server (PPS) and the Block Plugin

The table below lists features which are only available in the PDFlib Personalization Server (PPS) in addition to the basic PDF generation features in the first table and the PDF import features in the second table.

Topic Features

Variable Document Printing (VDP)

PDF personalization with PDFlib Blocks for text, image, PDF data or SVG vector graphics

Create PDFlib Blocks programmatically with PPS

Copy PDFlib Blocks from imported documents

PDFlib Block Plugin

PDFlib Block Plugin for creating PDFlib Blocks interactively in Acrobat on Windows and macOS

Preview PPS Block filling in Acrobat

Filter Blocks for Display and Preview based on Block name, type, size or position1

Copy Blocks to Preview file

Snap-to-grid for interactively creating or editing Blocks in Acrobat

Move Blocks by small or large increments for simple yet precise positioning1

All graphics state properties, e.g. overprint settings, available as Block properties1

Clone PDF/A, PDF/UA or PDF/X status of the Block container

Convert PDF form fields to PDFlib Blocks for automated filling

Textflow Blocks can be linked so that one Block holds the overflow text of a previous Block

PANTONE® and HKS® spot color names integrated in the Block Plugin1

Tagging for Block contents1

1. New or improved in Block Plugin 6