PDFtoolkit VCL
Edit, enhance, secure, merge, split, view, print PDF and AcroForms documents
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Delphi C++Builder

PDFtoolkit At A Glance

Get to know what's inside PDFtoolkit
By M Ratish

If you were looking for a solution that could read, edit, add, extract, search, view, and print PDF files from inside your application, then Gnostice PDFtoolkit could be the answer. PDFtoolkit can do all of this and much more with a great deal of simplicity and ease of use.

PDFtoolkit offers a set of five components that can be "dragged and dropped" into the application that is being developed where the components can be made to perform a wide variety of PDF-related tasks.

The extensive API libraries of these five components will enable you to perform the desired task in the exact manner that you intend them to.

In this article, we will familiarize you with the various components that constitute PDFtoolkit and their specific usage. In future articles, we will be addressing the functionality that these components provide.

PDFtoolkit is available as two separate products - PDFtoolkit VCL and PDFtoolkit ActiveX/.NET.

PDFtoolkit VCL for Borland® Delphi™ and Borland® C++Builder™
PDFtoolkit ActiveX/.NET for Microsoft® Visual Basic, Visual C++ and Visual Studio .NET and other Microsoft® development platforms and languages

PDFtoolkit's five components are

  1. PDFDocument
  2. PDFViewer
  3. PDFPrinter
  4. PDFOutlineViewer
  5. PDFSearchPanel

Of these, PDFDocument and PDFPrinter are non-visual components. The rest are visual components. A sample application with all of these components on a form and their relationship has been illustrated below. In the illustration, components have arrows indicating which other component(s) each one of them are linked to.

(Click to enlarge)

PDFDocument (Document manipulation component): This component is not visible at run-time but provides all the PDF content management functionality you need in your application. It allows you to read, extract, modify, and write from and to PDF files. It can also read and modify PDF elements such as pages, bookmarks, watermarks, annotations, and form fields. It can append, merge, and stitch documents.

PDFViewer (Viewing Component): This component is visible at run-time and allows for viewing PDF files in your application. It does not require an installation of Adobe® Reader to be present on the client system. This component should be able to access the PDFDocument component, which will provide it with the PDF file that needs to be viewed. PDFViewer has APIs to implement navigation, zooming and other basic toolbar functionality required in a viewer application. A sample toolbar, created using the standard buttons and toolbars provided by Visual Basic/Delphi, to interact with the viewer using the PDFViewer component methods is displayed here.

(Click to enlarge)

PDFPrinter (Printing component): This is a non-visual component, visible only at design-time, that allows for printing of PDF files from your application. It also does not require an installation of Adobe Reader on the client system. PDFPrinter should be able to access the PDFDocument component, which provides it with the PDF file that needs to be printed. It has APIs to query for the list of available printers and then select a printer for printing.

PDFOutlineViewer (Bookmark viewer component): This is a visual component that allows for displaying bookmarks in a PDF file in a visual tree-like hierarchy. PDFOutlineViewer should be able to access the PDFViewer component so that it can obtain the bookmarks in the PDF file. Usually, you may also want to connect this component with the PDFViewer component so that users of your application will be able to navigate to the destination in the PDF file represented by the selected bookmark.

PDFSearchPanel (Search component): This is a visual component that allows for searching text in a PDF. The results are displayed in a manner similar to that of Adobe Reader. You may want to provide access to the PDFDocument component so that the occurrences of the search string in the PDF file are linked with the displayed results and appropriately highlighted (when a result is selected).

You have learned how PDFtoolkit and its components work. In future articles, we will provide some useful tips and tricks that will help you fine-tune the performance of the components in your applications.

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