The Apache PDFBox library is an open source Java tool for working with PDF documents. This project allows creation of new PDF documents, manipulation of existing documents and the ability to extract content from documents. PDFBox also includes several command line utilities. PDFBox is published under the Apache License, Version 2.0.
PDFBox is a project of the Apache Software Foundation.
You can download binary versions for releases currently under development or older releases from our Download Page.
You need Java 11 (or higher) and Maven 3 to build PDFBox. The recommended build command is:
mvn clean install
The default build will compile the Java sources and package the binary classes into jar packages. See the Maven documentation for all the other available build options.
There are various ways to help us improve PDFBox.
- look at the Issue Tracker to help us fix bugs.
- answer questions on our Users Mailing List.
- help us enhance the Examples
- help us to enhance the PDFBox Documentation or on GitHub.
Please follow the guidelines at our Support Page.
If you have questions about how to use PDFBox do ask on the Users Mailing List. This will get you help from the entire community.
The PDFBox examples and the test code in the sources will also provide additional information.
And there are additional resources available on sites such as Stack Overflow.
If you are sure you have found a bug the please report the issue in our Issue Tracker.
Known Limitations and Problems
See the Issue Tracker for the full list of known issues and requested features. Some of the more common issues are:
You get text like "G38G43G36G51G5" instead of what you expect when you are extracting text. This is because the characters are a meaningless internal encoding that point to glyphs that are embedded in the PDF document. The only way to access the text is to use OCR. This may be a future enhancement.
You get an error message like
java.io.IOException: Can't handle font widththis MIGHT be due to the fact that you don't have the org/apache/pdfbox/resources directory in your classpath. The easiest solution is to include the apache-pdfbox-x.x.x.jar in your classpath.
You get text that has the correct characters, but in the wrong order. This mght be because you have not enabled sorting. The text in PDF files is stored in chunks and the chunks do not need to be stored in the order that they are displayed on a page. By default, PDFBox does not sort the text.
Collective work: Copyright 2015 The Apache Software Foundation.
Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more contributor license agreements. See the NOTICE file distributed with this work for additional information regarding copyright ownership. The ASF licenses this file to You under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at
Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.
This distribution includes cryptographic software. The country in which you currently reside may have restrictions on the import, possession, use, and/or re-export to another country, of encryption software. BEFORE using any encryption software, please check your country's laws, regulations and policies concerning the import, possession, or use, and re-export of encryption software, to see if this is permitted. See https://www.wassenaar.org/ for more information.
The U.S. Government Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), has classified this software as Export Commodity Control Number (ECCN) 5D002.C.1, which includes information security software using or performing cryptographic functions with asymmetric algorithms. The form and manner of this Apache Software Foundation distribution makes it eligible for export under the License Exception ENC Technology Software Unrestricted (TSU) exception (see the BIS Export Administration Regulations, Section 740.13) for both object code and source code.
The following provides more details on the included cryptographic software:
Apache PDFBox uses the Java Cryptography Architecture (JCA) and the Bouncy Castle libraries for handling encryption in PDF documents.