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wxPdfDocument - Generation of PDF documents from wxWidgets applications

wxPdfDocument allows wxWidgets applications to generate PDF documents. The code is a port of FPDF - a free PHP class for generating PDF files - to C++ using the wxWidgets library. Several add-on PHP scripts found on the FPDF web site are incorporated into wxPdfDocument.

Embedding of PNG, JPEG, GIF and WMF images is supported. In addition to the 14 standard Adobe fonts it is possible to use other Type1, TrueType or OpenType fonts - with or without embedding them into the generated document. CJK fonts are supported, too. Graphics primitives allow the creation of simple drawings.



After the release of wxPdfDocument version 0.9.5 the build support has been overhauled. The build files for Windows platforms are now generated by Premake 5 (based on Premake 5.0 alpha 14).

Ready to use project files are provided for Visual C++ 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. Additionally, GNU Makefiles are provided supporting MinGW-W64 GCC (version 7.3 or higher recommended) or TDM-GCC 5.1.

For Visual Studio 2010+ solutions it is possible to customize the build by creating a wx_local.props file in the build directory which is used, if it exists, by the projects. The settings in that file override the default values for the properties. The typical way to make the file is to copy wx_setup.props to wx_local.props and then edit local.

For GNU Makefiles the file config.gcc serves the same purpose as the file wx_setup.props for Visual C++ projects.

The customization files wx_setup.props resp. config.gcc allow to customize certain settings like for example the version number and the root directory of the wxWidgets library.


The property file wx_setup.props in the build subdirectory was adjusted to allow running AppVeyor CI without any modifications.

This modification triggers the use of specific library directories for different compiler versions (as it is used by the pre-built wxWidgets libraries). This adds the toolkit version (i.e. 141 for VS 2015, 142 for VS 2019) to the library path name.

For wxWidgets releases prior to version 3.1.3 this mode is not yet supported for VS 2019; for wxWidgets version 3.0.4 and below this affects also VS 2017. For those wxWidgets releases the wrong toolkit version is selected.

To get the previous default behaviour (library path names without toolkit version) the 2 parameters wxCompilerPrefix and wxMsvcVersionAuto in file wx_setup.props have to be adjusted as follows:



When building on Win32 or Win64, you can use the makefiles or one of the Microsoft Visual Studio solution files in the BUILD folder.

For Visual C++ the debugging properties are set up in such a way that debugging the sample applications should work right out of the box. For release builds you may need to copy the wxPdfDocument DLL or add the lib folder path to the Windows search path (PATH environment variable).


Starting with version 0.9.8 wxPdfDocument uses specific compiler prefixes for its own library paths in its Windows build files, to allow parallel builds with different compiler versions.


When building on an autoconf-based system (like Linux/GNU-based systems), the first step is to recreate the configure script doing:


Thereafter you should create a

  mkdir build-gtk [or any other suitable name]
  cd build-gtk
  ../configure [here you should use the same flags you used to configure wxWidgets]

Type ../configure --help for more info.

The autoconf-based system also supports a make install target which builds the library and then copies the headers of the component to /usr/local/include and the lib to /usr/local/lib by default, you can use pkg-config --cflags and --libs to find the requires compilation and linking flags in general.

Executing the sample applications

If you build the wxPdfDocument library as a shared object resp. DLL you have to take different measures on different platforms to execute the sample applications. The sample applications assume that they are started from their respective sample directory. If that is not the case, command line options are available to set the working directory and the path to the font directory of wxPdfDocument (lib/fonts).


Copy the wxPdfDocument DLL to the samples' directories or change the PATH environment variable appropriately. Set environment variable WXPDF_FONTPATH:

set WXPDF_FONTPATH=<wxPdfDocument-path>\lib\fonts


Set environment variables before starting the applications, i.e.

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=<wxPdfDocument>/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH WXPDF_FONTPATH=<wxPdfDocument>/lib/fonts ./application


You should set environment variable WXPDF_FONTPATH:


If wxPdfDocument has been built as a shared object you have to make it accessible, for example by copying it to /usr/local/lib.


I'm very grateful to Bruno Lowagie, the main author of the iText Java library, for allowing to take lots of ideas and inspirations from this great Java PDF library. Especially the font handling and font subsetting was influenced in that way.

Many thanks go to Ben Moores who provided code for layers and patterns he wrote for his PDF extension for Mapnik ( This code has been extended based on ideas from the iText Java library and was incorporated into wxPdfDocument.

Support for Indic scripts is based on the efforts of Ian Back, creator of the PHP library mPDF; special thanks to K Vinod Kumar of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Mumbai, for clearing license issues of the Raghu font series.

Kudos to Mark Dootson for contributing major enhancements of wxPdfDC and it's integration into the wxWidgets printing framework.

Thanks to one of the wxWidgets core developers, Vadim Zeitlin, the build system could be overhauled and continuous integration could be added.

Since wxPdfDocument is based on the great FPDF PHP class and several of the contributions to it found on the FPDF website I would like to thank

  • Olivier Plathey (FPDF, Barcodes, Bookmarks, Rotation),
  • Maxime Delorme (Sector)
  • Johannes Guentert (JavaScript)
  • Martin Hall-May (WMF images, Transparency)
  • Emmanuel Havet (Code39 barcodes)
  • Shailesh Humbad (POSTNET barcodes)
  • Matthias Lau (i25 barcodes)
  • Pierre Marletta (Diagrams)
  • Laurent Passebecq (Labels)
  • David Hernandez Sanz (additional graphics primitives)
  • Valentin Schmidt (Transparency, Alpha channel)
  • Jan Slabon (FPDI)
  • Klemen Vodopivec (Protection)
  • Moritz Wagner (Transformation)
  • Andreas Wuermser (Clipping, Gradients, Transformation)
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