Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Spelunk the technical details of the PDF format with "PDF Succinctly" from Syncfusion (Free/reg-ware PDF/Mobi ebook)

Syncfusion - PDF Succinctly

In spite of the abundance of PDF readers and editors available, perhaps you want to know the fundamentals of the PDF standard without reading thousands of pages. PDF Succinctly is your primer for understanding the components of PDFs, how text and graphics are added to them, and how the final PDF is compiled. This e-book also includes an introduction to iTextSharp, a C# library that provides an object-oriented wrapper for native PDF elements. With the basic information about the Portable Document Format contained in this book, it will be much easier for you to streamline the creation of PDF documents.

Table of Contents

  1. Conceptual Overview
  2. Building a PDF
  3. Text Operators
  4. Graphics Operators
  5. Navigation and Annotations
  6. Creating PDFs in C#


From the Introduction;

Adobe Systems Incorporated’s Portable Document Format (PDF) is the de facto standard for the accurate, reliable, and platform-independent representation of a paged document. It’s the only universally accepted file format that allows pixel-perfect layouts. In addition, PDF supports user interaction and collaborative workflows that are not possible with printed documents.

PDF documents have been in widespread use for years, and dozens of free and commercial PDF readers, editors, and libraries are readily available. However, despite this popularity, it’s still difficult to find a succinct guide to the native PDF format. Understanding the internal workings of a PDF makes it possible to dynamically generate PDF documents. For example, a web server can extract information from a database, use it to customize an invoice, and serve it to the customer on the fly.

This book introduces the fundamental components of the native PDF language. With the help of a utility program called pdftk from PDF Labs, we’ll build a PDF document from scratch, learning how to position elements, select fonts, draw vector graphics, and create interactive tables of contents along the way. The goal is to provide enough information to let you start building your own documents without bogging you down with the many complexities of the PDF file format.

In addition, the last chapter of this book provides an overview of the iTextSharp library (http://itextpdf.com/). iTextSharp is a C# library that provides an object-oriented wrapper for native PDF elements. Having a C# representation of a document makes it much easier to leverage existing .NET components and streamline the creation of dynamic PDF files.

I've got to say I am really loving these Succinctly series by Syncfusion.

If you're creating PDF's, thinking about it, or trying to understand how the file format works (from a high level), this document is a must read.


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