How to Edit a PDF File in Java

By on Jun 12, 2012 in TechnoTropis |

Share On GoogleShare On FacebookShare On Twitter

The portable document format continues to lead the way as the file type of choice for users and developers when it comes to the electronic transfer of documents. As a format it is robust, yet lightweight and is the most widely accessible document format that there is. The levels of interaction with the documents are restricted for most users to just read format.

There are a host of tools available which give users a wide range of features that they can use to access these documents and perform actions from basic edit functions such as writing or annotation to much more complex edit functions such as encryption, or embedding links.

To create or edit existing documents using JavaScript is an effective method. Although a full and detailed knowledge of the language is always useful it is not essential and there are vast array of tutorials and documentary instructions available on the web, which will help with this process.

There are also growing range of useful software packages available to download which will allow you to perform a massive range of edit functions on any new or existing PDF documents. The packages available use a variety of languages and systems to interact with the documents but the method of choice is undoubtedly by using Java.

The first step in the process of editing a PDF with Java is the initiation of the document. This will open all the functions that you require to perform some edits in this process. To initiate a PDF you can use the following java code:

Document doc= new Document(PageSize.A4, 50, 50, 50, 50);

The second step in the process for editing using Java is to open the PDF file that you want. This piece of code will open your PDF document for editing:

PdfWriter pdf = PdfWriter.getInstance(document, new FileOutputStream(“C:\open_pdf.pdf”));


You will then need to replace ‘open’ with the name of the document and you are ready to start editing. In order to edit the document you will need to have a clear idea of what you would like to change and this will dictate the codes that you need to find. These can generally be found within java language tutorials.

Once the editing is complete use this code to close the file:


There are also plenty of support forums on the web, which are used by many people wanting to share pointers on how to edit. Picking up a thread on PDF editing is a good step to finding the advice that you need. It is also worth noting that although some forums have high standard professional java editors there are also a lot of amateur practitioners and it might take a bit of time for you to find the advice that you need or to pick up the piece of code that actually works.

There are a number of programs available which will furnish you with the tools and the language that you require to perform your edits quickly and efficiently.

The Big Faceless Organization has a range of developer tools that you can use for this like their Java Library, Java Report Generator or the Java Graph Generator, which will give you the codes that you require to edit PDFs in a variety of ways.