iText 5.5.0 (February 14)

Tags: Release

In 2013, we had 6 iText releases, numbered from iText 5.4.0 to 5.4.5. For the first release of 2014, we thought it would be a good idea to switch to iText 5.5.0. That way, we get an idea of the release year, just by looking at the number. But let's take a look at what's more important: what's new in this release?

We received plenty of feedback regarding the accessibility functionality that was introduced last year. The PDF/UA spec is relatively new and the ISO committee is still fixing a couple of issues that were discovered in the first version. The same goes for iText. For instance: we discovered that backgrounds added to Chunks weren't marked as artifacts, attributes for Form XObjects weren't written correctly, and so on. We also received some bug reports after the PdfCopy update, especially when merging forms. We've fixed these and a couple of other bugs. For example: there were problems if the NeedAppearances flag was set for one of the original forms. Furthermore, we've won another battle in the never-ending struggle to support different flavors of the TIFF format. We've solved 56 issues in total! We've extended the testing infrastructure. The existing CompareTool class has been moved to a separate testutils package. And we've implemented the suggestion made by Valentin Ivanov and David Hook, allowing the use of an external decryption process (sorry for the delay, guys).

We've also released XML Worker, iText RUPS and XFA Worker (the latter is a closed source project).

RUPS was originally an acronym for Reading and Updating PDF Syntax, but up until now, it wasn't possible to Update a PDF file. Michaël Demey has now introduced some functionality that allows you to change a dictionary (add, update, delete keys) and to save an altered PDF. He added more interactivity (short cut keys) and a way to consult the content of a PDF page as plain text.

As for XFA Worker, more and more customers are using dynamic forms as templates and XFA Worker to populate these templates with data with a PDF (or even a PDF/A Level A and PDF/UA) documents as final result. We also have an increasing demand for trial licenses, resulting in excellent reports of small features that aren't supported yet. In answer to the requirements of our paying customers, we've started developing formcalc support (the sum() method and some arithmetic functions). We received kudos for our work on XFA Worker from our customer at the US Courts, and we suddenly realized that prospective customers weren't able to see the progress on this product. With this release, we're also publishing the changelog for this add-on for iText.