Origami is a pure Ruby library to parse, modify and generate PDF documents.
Latest commit e028aed Jan 3, 2017 Guillaume Delugré README: fix quick start section



Gem Version


Origami is a framework written in pure Ruby to manipulate PDF files.

It offers the possibility to parse the PDF contents, modify and save the PDF structure, as well as creating new documents.

Origami supports some advanced features of the PDF specification:

  • Compression filters with predictor functions
  • Encryption using RC4 or AES, including the undocumented Revision 6 derivation algorithm
  • Digital signatures and Usage Rights
  • File attachments
  • AcroForm and XFA forms
  • Object streams

Origami is able to parse PDF, FDF and PPKLite (Adobe certificate store) files.


As of version 2, the minimal version required to run Origami is Ruby 2.1.

Some optional features require additional gems:

  • Gtk2 for running the GUI interface
  • therubyracer for JavaScript emulation of PDF scripts

Quick start

First install Origami using the latest gem available:

$ gem install origami

Then import Origami with:

require 'origami'
include Origami

To process a PDF document, you can use the PDF.read method:

pdf = PDF.read "something.pdf"

puts "This document has #{pdf.pages.size} page(s)"

The default behavior is to parse the entire contents of the document at once. This can be changed by passing the lazy flag to parse objects on demand.

pdf = PDF.read "something.pdf", lazy: true

pdf.each_page do |page|
    page.each_font do |name, font|
        # ... only parse the necessary bits

You can also create documents directly by instanciating a new PDF object:

pdf = PDF.new

pdf.pages.first.write "Hello", size: 30


# Another way of doing it
PDF.write("example.pdf") do |pdf|
    pdf.append_page do |page|
        page.write "Hello", size: 30

Take a look at the examples and bin directories for some examples of advanced usage.


Origami comes with a set of tools to manipulate PDF documents from the command line.

  • pdfcop: Runs some heuristic checks to detect dangerous contents.
  • pdfdecompress: Strips compression filters out of a document.
  • pdfdecrypt: Removes encrypted contents from a document.
  • pdfencrypt: Encrypts a PDF document.
  • pdfexplode: Explodes a document into several documents, each of them having one deleted resource. Useful for reduction of crash cases after a fuzzing session.
  • pdfextract: Extracts binary resources of a document (images, scripts, fonts, etc.).
  • pdfmetadata: Displays the metadata contained in a document.
  • pdf2ruby: Converts a PDF into an Origami script rebuilding an equivalent document (experimental).
  • pdfsh: An IRB shell running inside the Origami namespace.
  • pdfwalker: A graphical interface to dig into the contents of a PDF document.


Origami is distributed under the LGPL license, except for the graphical interface which is distributed under the GPL license.

Copyright © 2016 Guillaume Delugré.