Chapter 13: PDFs inside-out

Chapter 13 of the book iText in Action 2E covers:
  • The history of PDF
  • The Carousel Object System
  • Low-level PDF manipulation
This chapter starts with a short historical overview: why the world needed PDF, and how PDF evolved from a de facto standard owned by a company to an ISO standard. You'll be introduced to different flavors of PDF, such as PDF/A and PDF/X. This "history lesson" is necessary to understand how and why the Carousel Object System was invented.
You'll open up one of the PDF documents created in chapter 1 and learn about the different objects that make a PDF file. You'll read this file the same way a PDF viewer would read it, interpreting the different parts in the file structure. You'll jump from indirect object to indirect object in the body, following the path defined by indirect references. The examples that come with this chapter solve specific problems by manipulating a PDF document at the lowest level. They illustrate the mechanisms that can be used to select, change, add, or remove objects when manipulating an existing PDF document.
  • 13.1: PDF, why and how?
    • 13.1.1: The ancestors of PDF
    • 13.1.2: The history of PDF
    • 13.1.3: PDF as an ISO standard
    • 13.1.4: PDF/X, PDF/A, PDF/E, PDF/UA, and other types of PDF
  • 13.2: Understanding the Carousel Object System
    • 13.2.1: Basic PDF objects
    • 13.2.2: The PDF file structure
    • 13.2.3: Climbing up the object tree
  • 13.3: Exploring the root of a PDF file
    • 13.3.1: Page layout, page mode, and viewer preferences
    • 13.3.2: Pages and page labels
    • 13.3.3: Outlines, destinations, and names
    • 13.3.4: Acroforms revisited
  • 13.4: Summary
Consult the full table of contents, take a look at the illustrations from this chapter, or try out some of the examples: