PDF files consist of data structures and instructions that describe how to generate a specific output. As such, these instructions are akin to a piece of software code, potentially suffering from the same scourge: bugs! As with all bugs, it is important to catch them early and with the highest possible efficiency. Thus it is necessary to provide iText users with similar tools as available in the software development world: debugging tools.
What is pdfDebug
pdfDebug is the debugging tool for users of iText while creating or processing PDF files. pdfDebug helps you visualize the structure of PDF documents in real time, while remaining in a trusted integrated development environment (IDE). It allows the developer to browse the document in a logical manner, using the known mechanism of breakpoints, and highlighting changes made throughout the PDF file. Today, it is the only PDF programming debugging tool in the world, for an early and easy detection of PDF bugs.
How to start
pdfDebug is an add-on to iText 7, for use in combination with an IDE. It requires an initial installation in this IDE. The first IDE supported by pdfDebug is the Eclipse environment – version ‘Mars’ and higher (for Java). Additional IDE’s are planned such as Visual Studio, IDEA and more, based on the demand by developers. We call upon the community of iText users to collaborate with us in this endeavor, in order to extend this unique tool to as many IDE’s as required by these users. Input regarding user priorities and development efforts are welcome.
To install pdfDebug, download the tool at the Eclipse marketplace (for the Eclipse version) and proceed with the standard Eclipse install procedure. To install the add-on, the install button can be dragged into the Eclipse workspace.
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