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MA N N I N G
Bruno Lowagie
SECOND EDITION
Covers iText 5
SAMPLE CHAPTER
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Chapter
6
Copyright 2010 Manning Publications
VB.NET PDF Convert to Word SDK: Convert PDF to Word library in vb.
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vii
brief contents
P
ART
1 C
REATING
PDF 
DOCUMENTS
FROM
SCRATCH
.................1
1
Introducing PDF and iText 3
2
Using iText’s basic building blocks 20
3
Adding content at absolute positions 57
4
Organizing content in tables 93
5
Table, cell, and page events 122
P
ART
2 M
ANIPULATING
EXISTING
PDF 
DOCUMENTS
...............157
6
Working with existing PDFs 159
7
Making documents interactive 194
8
Filling out interactive forms 236
P
ART
3 E
SSENTIAL
I
T
EXT
SKILLS
............................................281
9
Integrating iText in your web applications 283
10
Brightening your document with color and images 317
11
Choosing the right font 349
12
Protecting your PDF 380
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P
ART
4 U
NDER
THE
HOOD
.....................................................411
13
PDFs inside-out 413
14
The imaging model 452
15
Page content and structure 493
16
PDF streams 526
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Part 2
Manipulating
existing PDF documents
P
art 2 deals with existing 
PDF
files, be they documents created with iText as
discussed in part 1, or 
PDF
s created with Adobe Acrobat, Open Office, or any
other 
PDF
producer. You’ll learn different ways to copy, stamp, split, and merge
documents. You’ll add actions and JavaScript, and you’ll learn all about filling
out interactive forms.
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159
Working
with existing PDFs
When I wrote the first book about iText, the publisher didn’t like the subtitle “Cre-
ating and Manipulating 
PDF
.” He didn’t like the word manipulating because of some
of its pejorative meanings. If you consult the dictionary on Yahoo! education, you’ll
find the following definitions:
To influence or manage shrewdly or deviously
To tamper with or falsify for personal gain
Obviously, that’s not what the book is about. The publisher suggested “Creating
and Editing 
PDF
” as a better subtitle. I explained that 
PDF
isn’t a document format
well suited for editing. 
PDF
is an end product. It’s a display format. It’s not a word pro-
cessing format. 
This chapter covers
Importing pages from existing PDF documents
Adding content to existing PDF documents and 
filling forms
Copying pages from existing PDF documents
you open the document in an application, not earlier. This has some disadvantages: if
you open the same document in different applications, you can end up with a differ-
ent page count. The same text snippet can be on page X when looked at in Microsoft
Word, and on page Y when viewed in Open Office. That’s exactly the kind of problem
you want to avoid by choosing 
PDF
In a 
PDF
document, every character or glyph on a 
PDF
page has its fixed position,
regardless of the application that’s used to view the document. This is an advantage,
but it also comes with a disadvantage. Suppose you want to replace the word “edit”
with the word “manipulate” in a sentence, you’d have to reflow the text. You’d have to
reposition all the characters that follow that word. Maybe you’d even have to move a
portion of the text to the next page. That’s not trivial, if not impossible.
If you want to “edit” a 
PDF
, it’s advised that you change the original source of the
document and remake the 
PDF
. If the original document was written using Microsoft
Word, change the Word document, and make the 
PDF
from the new version of the
Word document. Don’t expect any tool to be able to edit a 
PDF
file the same way you’d
edit a Word document.
This being said, the verb “to manipulate” also means
To move, arrange, operate, or control by the hands or by mechanical means,
especially in a skillful manner
That’s exactly what you’re going to do in this chapter. Using iText, you’re going to
manipulate the pages of a 
PDF
file in a skillful manner. You’re going to treat a 
PDF
document as if it were made of digital paper. 
But before you can take copies of pages or add new content, you’ll need an object
that can “read” an existing 
PDF
document.
6.1
Accessing an existing PDF with PdfReader
First, we’ll look at how you can retrieve information about the document you’re going
to manipulate. For instance, how many pages does the original document have?
Which page size is used? All of this is done with a 
PdfReader
object.
6.1.1
Retrieving information about the document and its pages
In this first example, we’ll inspect some of the 
PDF
documents you created in part 1.
You can query a 
PdfReader
instance to get the number of pages in the document, the
rectangle defining the media box, the rotation of the page, and so on.
public static void inspect(PrintWriter writer, String filename)
throws IOException {
PdfReader reader = new PdfReader(filename);
writer.println(filename);
writer.print("Number of pages: ");
writer.println(reader.getNumberOfPages());
Listing 6.1 PageInformation.java
writer.print("Size of page 1: [");
writer.print(mediabox.getLeft());
writer.print(',');
writer.print(mediabox.getBottom());
writer.print(',');
writer.print(mediabox.getRight());
writer.print(',');
writer.print(mediabox.getTop());
writer.println("]");
writer.print("Rotation of page 1: ");
writer.println(reader.getPageRotation(1));
writer.print("Page size with rotation of page 1: ");
writer.println(reader.getPageSizeWithRotation(1));
writer.print("File length: ");
writer.println(reader.getFileLength());
writer.print("Is rebuilt? ");
writer.println(reader.isRebuilt());
writer.print("Is encrypted? ");
writer.println(reader.isEncrypted());
writer.println();
writer.flush();
}
The following output was obtained while inspecting some of the 
PDF
s from chap-
ters 1 
B
and 
C
, 3 
D
, and 5 
E
.
results/part1/chapter01/hello_landscape1.pdf                             
Number of pages: 1                                   
Size of page 1: [0.0,0.0,612.0,792.0]                                    
Rotation of page 1: 90                                                   
Page size with rotation of page 1:                                       
Rectangle: 792.0x612.0 (rot: 90 degrees)                               
Is rebuilt? false                                                        
Is encrypted? false                                 
results/part1/chapter01/hello_landscape2.pdf                             
Number of pages: 1                                 
Size of page 1: [0.0,0.0,792.0,612.0]                                    
Rotation of page 1: 0                                                    
Page size with rotation of page 1:                                       
Rectangle: 792.0x612.0 (rot: 0 degrees)                                
Is rebuilt? false                                                        
Is encrypted? false                                                      
results/part1/chapter03/movie_templates.pdf                              
Number of pages: 8                                  
Size of page 1: [0.0,0.0,595.0,842.0]                                    
Rotation of page 1: 90                                                   
Page size with rotation of page 1:                                       
Rectangle: 842.0x595.0 (rot: 90 degrees)                               
Is rebuilt? false                                                        
Is encrypted? false                                                      
results/part1/chapter05/hero1.pdf        
Number of pages: 1                        
Output from PDF 
in chapter 1
Output from PDF 
in chapter 1
Output from PDF 
in chapter 3
Output from PDF 
in chapter 5
Rotation of page 1: 0                                 
Page size with rotation of page 1:                    
Rectangle: 2384.0x3370.0 (rot: 0 degrees)           
Is rebuilt? false                                     
Is encrypted? false                                   
The most important 
PdfReader
methods you’ll use in this chapter are 
getNumberOf-
Pages()
and 
getPageSizeWithRotation()
. The former method will be used to loop
over all the pages of the existing document; the latter is a combination of the methods
getPageSize()
and 
getPageRotation()
.
PAGE SIZE
The first two examples show the difference between creating a document with land-
scape orientation using
Document document = new Document(PageSize.LETTER.rotate());              
and a document created using
Document document = new Document(new Rectangle(792, 612));               
This difference will matter when you import a page or when you stamp extra content
on the page. Observe that in example 
E
of the earlier output, the coordinates of the
lower-left corner are different from (0,0) because that’s how I defined the media box
in section 5.3.1.
BROKEN PDFS
When you open a corrupt 
PDF
file in Adobe Reader, you can expect the message,
“There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be
repaired.” 
PdfReader
will also throw an exception when you try to read such a file. You
can get an 
InvalidPdfException
with the following message: “Rebuild failed: trailer
not found; original message: 
PDF
startxref not found.” If that happens, iText can’t do
anything about it: the file is damaged, and it can’t be repaired. You’ll have to contact
the person who created the document, and ask him or her to create a version of the
document that’s a valid 
PDF
file.
In other cases, for example if a rogue application added unwanted carriage return
characters, Adobe Reader will open the document and either ignore the fact that the
PDF
isn’t syntactically correct, or will show the warning “The file is damaged but is
being repaired” very briefly. 
PdfReader
can also overcome small damages like this. No
alert box is shown, because iText isn’t necessarily used in an environment with a 
GUI
.
You can use the method 
isRebuilt()
to check whether or not a 
PDF
needed repairing.
You may also have difficulties trying to read encrypted 
PDF
files.
ENCRYPTED PDFS 
PDF
files can be protected by two passwords: a user password and an owner password.
If a 
PDF
is protected with a user password, you’ll have to enter this password before
you can open the document in Adobe Reader. If a document has an owner password,
you must provide the password along with the constructor when creating a 
PdfReader
Output from PDF 
in chapter 5
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