PDF Creation

iText has a number of solutions for creating PDF documents. Which one is best for you?

On this page you'll learn how iText lets you create PDFs using:

Check out the video for a quick overview, or see below where we'll go into the various options for PDF creation in more detail.

iText has a number of solutions for creating PDF documents. Which one is best for you depends upon your requirements, level of convenience, and how much flexibility or control you want over the creation process.

Programmable, extendable PDF generation

PDF Creation with iText Core

Allows mass generation of PDFs, plus additional flexibility thanks to programmable APIs and add-ons for extra functionality. Using iText Core you can create PDFs in a few different ways.

You can use the high-level APIs provided in iText Core to design PDFs manually, or to fill and flatten form fields in an AcroForm template.

Alternatively, you could design templates using HTML, and then use the pdfHTML add-on to convert the resulting documents into PDF. 

Using the API

  • Using iText Core's high-level API you can directly create PDF documents to your exact specifications.
  • Configurable and highly programmable, supporting all PDF features
  • High performance PDF generation

Using AcroForms

  • AcroForms are PDF files that contain form fields into which data can be entered. You can design PDF templates using Acrobat or similar tools, and then use iText Core to fill out the form fields and flatten to a static PDF.
  • AcroForms support JavaScript for validation and actions like submitting, resetting, and importing field names and values with ExportFormat, SubmitPDF, and XFDF flags.
  • High performance, however, since AcroForm templates are not dynamic and all fields have fixed positions this method is best suited to documents of a set length.

Using pdfHTML

  • Design a HTML template with your favorite WYSIWYG/developer tool and use pdfHTML to convert to PDF.
  • Apply styling with CSS.
  • Extend functionality with custom tags, e.g. to insert barcodes into documents or add custom CSS behavior.
Low-code document generation

PDF Creation with iText DITO

Want to produce masses of personalized PDF documents with as little coding as possible? iText DITO is for you.

iText DITO is our low-code, high-convenience PDF generator, designed to save valuable development time. Offering an intuitive, yet powerful visual template design experience, coupled with iText's enterprise-level PDF generation capabilities, iText DITO empowers both professional and citizen developers to design and produce highly personalized and engaging PDF documents.

The beauty of iText DITO is that it lets you develop templates with features such as dynamic data binding, conditional logic, filtered loops and more, with the minimum of fuss. Yet, if you want it also allows you to use cascading style sheets (CSS) or insert your own HTML to customize your template designs.

No-code PDF design

  • Use the browser-based iText DITO Editor to visually design document templates with placeholders for data injection
  • Wizards to specify PDF standards, conditional content and formatting, filtered loops, 1D and 2D barcode generation, and more
  • Drag and Drop images, data binding using JSON to connect dynamic data and template elements
  • A live preview feature is built into the editor, so you can see how your template and data will be combined in resulting PDFs

Low-code enterprise-grade PDF generation

  • Use the iText DITO API to generate PDFs using your templates
  • Simple integration with data sources by consuming data in JSON format
  • Produce as many PDFs as you need

Integrated PDF design and production

  • The iText DITO Editor and API work together seamlessly

Platform independent

  • The iText DITO SDK is available as a REST API for Docker deployment, or a native Java application

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