PDF is becoming the standard for digital documents worldwide, but it’s not easy to learn on your own. With capabilities that let you use a variety of images and. This is one of the many things I learnt while reading the Early Access release of Developing with PDF By Leonard Rosenthol. The PDF file. Developing with PDF. Dive Into the Portable Document Format. By Leonard Rosenthol. Publisher: O’Reilly Media. Release Date: October Pages:

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Developing with PDF: Dive Into the Portable Document Format

August 13, 2 min read. Did you know that the second line of the PDF is a set of characters to make sure PDF files are treated as binary objects? The PDF file format can be hard to developinv with because it is complex, very different from many other file formats and there is not a huge amount of documentation. There is the definitive ISO specification, but it is a hard read and is a specification rather than guide.

Developing with PDF – Leonard Rosenthol – Google Books

On several occasions, I have found I only really understand the specification once I have solved the problem…. Nobody is better qualified from a technical viewpoint to write a book to fill this gap.

I have met him at conferences, and he is also a really nice guy with a great sense of humour. He brings both his knowledge and his humour to the topic in this book. It is much easier to read than the PDF specification and clearly explains how the PDF file format is structured before moving into clear sections on Images, text and shapes.


In each section he also gives you some background into how the format has evolved and which values can ignore. If you are a beginner it will get you up to speed and even if you have a detailed knowledge, it will help you to improve. My favourite section was on Marked Content, which Developng think is devrloping clearer and better than the Specification.

The Annotations and Forms sections are also very good and really get to grips with the different types, although I felt a couple of the examples were slightly too long.

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This is the early access edition, so some of the sections are not yet written and indeed Leonard is asking for feedback on what people would like to see. I am very much looking forward to the chapter on Transparency as I feel it could be much better explained than in the PDF file specification. I also think that XFA and JavaScript which differs in PDF from web browsers deserve rosdnthol detail and would be of interest to a large number of developers.

It is well-written, easy to read and packed with information. And you have the chance to influence what else leoanrd go into it.


On the blog our team post anything interesting they learn about. Some of the sections are still to be written so you should let Leonard know what you think should be added. In fact, after reading that book I created a syntax coloring guide for PDFs for rodenthol favorite text editor.

Color highlighting should make the raw PDF much easier to read. Which text editor did you add it to?

I have used it to help troubleshoot a few PDFs in my work. It does make a big difference when reading the raw PDF! Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at devloping groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

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