Paid vs Open-Source PDF Libraries - ByteScout
  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Paid vs Open-Source PDF Libraries

Paid vs Open-Source PDF Libraries

Thanks to the internet trajectory, the software world has been one of the highest-evolving domains. Invention persists to drive technology ahead, making new possibilities for startups to join the market and crack the new ground. One major conclusion that companies or individuals encounter is whether to go for the open-source tools or use a commercial path instead.

The automated formation of PDF files is one of the most critical traits of any project. This post is all about PDF libraries – open-source and paid ones. Let’s take a look at it in more detail.

  1. Open-Source Library vs Paid
  2. TOP-4 Open-Source PDF Libraries
  3. TOP-4 Paid PDF Libraries
  4. Paid vs Open-Source Comparison Chart
  5. Closing Remarks

Open Source Library vs Paid

Open-Source Library vs Paid

Looking for PDF tools for their firms, business owners usually encounter a challenging alternative between the closed source (paid) and open-source tools. The thing is that the option is not constantly clear, as each of the tools has its specificities with a combination of benefits and drawbacks.

In the case of Open-source PDF libraries, they always utilize the code voluntarily public on the Internet. The code can be reproduced, altered, or removed by other users and communities. As the tool is available to the public, the effect is that it regularly revises, enhances, and grows as more people can toil on its advancement. The power of open-source libraries is the attribute that these products are designed with an iterative method by a considerable body of professionals. This kind of variety is useful because opinions and problems get vetted in numerous manners. Yet, sometimes the support for the created product is not up to the mark.

On the other hand, a paid tool is different from the open-source and indicates that the tool which utilizes proprietary and conservative code. Only the actual coders of software can use, replicate, and modify that tool. In the case of closed source or a paid tool, companies are not purchasing the tool, but only spending to utilize it.

The Open-source PDF libraries are usually called free expense tools. It can, nevertheless, have prices for amenities like service, extra benefits, or added functionality. Therefore, companies may even spend on a service with open-source software.

A closed source PDF library is usually paid library. The prices can differ counting on the sophistication of the tool. While the cost can be more elevated, what users gain is a good product (not always), assistance, services, and invention. Yet, most organizations give free trials to persuade the buyer that their tool is the right fit.

In the case of open-source and paid PDF library support, it is obvious that a paid library provides high-quality support and expertise. The expenses for it contain the possibility to reach the support team and bring it quickly. The tools can be faster implemented into large commercial projects.

For open-source tools, most often such an alternative is not supplied. The only support chances are forums, helpful pieces, and a hired professional. Yet, it is not astonishing that utilizing such type of service users sometimes get a high level of assistance.

The essential pros and cons of open-source vs paid PDF libraries mostly rely on the technological expertise and help available to support and revamp the tool.

TOP-4 Open-Source PDF Libraries

1. PDFBox

It is an open-source PDF library. This library permits the design of new PDF records, updates of current documents, and the capacity to pull data from documents. It delivers support for inserting bookmarks, data extraction, and many utilities. PDF documents could be divided into numerous documents and also various PDF documents could be combined into one. Using this library users can also create Java programs that build, transform and update PDF documents. This library also comes with a command-line utility. This CL utility can be used to execute different functions over PDF using the unrestricted Jar file.

2. PDFjet

It is a PDF library for Java and. NET. It includes various utilities such as drawing attributes, bars, boxes, polygons, etc. It allows Unicode text, implanting pictures, inserting hyperlinks, and a lot more. It is extremely easy to use and the table style allows to development of adaptable reports. It is consistent with the Google App Engine. The open-source format has significantly fewer elements whereas the Commercial format has a lot more. This library also allows versatile reporting in the web or desktop application, without pushing users to embed certain software. Almost all private and enterprise users can notice the reports precisely the way that they developed them.

3. HexaPDF

HexaPDF is a refined Ruby library with a simultaneous application for operating with PDF files. It helps in generating new PDF files, updating current PDF files, combining numerous PDF files into one, Pulling metadata, text, pictures, and records from PDF files, Securing PDF files, and adjusting PDF files for more miniature file size or other standards.

4. jPod

jPod is a PDF updating library. It comes with the functionality to analyze, confirm the document against the PDF details. It also gives a data flow and computing framework. It can also build new documents and accomplish cumulative updates.

TOP-4 Paid PDF Libraries

1. ByteScout

It is one of the well-known and widely utilized PDF libraries. It is employed to create PDF documents innovatively. It includes the vast range of PDF SDK that can extract PDF to Excel, XML, CSV, JSON, TXT, HTML as well as generate or edit PDFs, or pull pictures from PDF, transform PDF tables into CSV for Excel, pull details of PDF files in .NET or ActiveX interfaces. It has the aid of inserting bookmarks, watermarks, security like encryption, and much more.

2. PDFpen

PDFpen is a simple but robust PDF editor for Mac. In this, users can outline PDFs with features, pictures, and remarks. Users can insert or update the text of a file. They can also update forms with digital signatures. Users can also build searchable PDFs. PDFpen can transform a PDF to Word format too.


With the help of PDFescape, users can edit PDFs using an online application. The important thing to note here is that it allows editing of the pre-existing PDF data and enables users to check paper records. Users get numerous PDF editing alternatives with PDFescape. For example, they can create freehand messages and a mechanism for inserting clickable URL links to the records.

4.PDFSam Basic

Usually, the only thing users ought to accomplish is divide a PDF into various documents, combine various pages, or modify the frontage of documents. PDFsam Basic is the ideal tool for all PDF tasks. It’s a light application that can be used for various PDF-related jobs. The only thing to remember here is that won’t users to alter the existing data of PDFs.

Paid vs Open-Source Comparison Chart

The following is the comparison chart of paid and open-source PDF libraries. 

Software Version Top Features
PDFBox Open-Source ●      Extract Text. Extract Unicode text from PDF files.

●      Split & Merge. Split a single PDF into many files or merge multiple PDF files.

●      Fill Forms. Extract data from PDF forms or fill out a PDF form.

●      Preflight. Validate PDF files against the PDF/A-1b standard.

PDFjet Open-Source ●      Simple to use Table class with flexible reporting capabilities.

●      Flexible Chart component with support for scatter plots and lines.

●      TextColumn component with text kerning and justification support.

●      Support for Code 39 and Code 128 barcodes.

●      Support for PDF417 and QR code 2D barcodes.


HexaPDF Open-Source ●      PDF Creation.

●      PDF Manipulation. …

●      PDF File Merging. …

●      Content Extraction. …

●      PDF Encryption. …

●      PDF Optimization.


jPod Open-Source ●      PDF manipulation

●      Rendering

●      Editor

●      Creation

ByteScout Paid ●      Extract tables and text from PDF into Text, CSV, JSON, XML;

●      convert PDF to/from images

●      merge and split PDF files

●      edit PDF files by removing text and adjusting content;

●      redact sensitive data automatically;

●      read malformed and damaged PDF files;

●      extract file attachments and embedded media (audio and video);

●      turn scanned documents into text-searchable PDF files;

●      pdf classification and sorting;

●      create and test data extraction templates based data extractor (Document Parser engine);

●      developers: create and test data extraction profiles for Web API


PDFpen Paid ●      Mark up documents with highlighting, underscoring, and strikethrough.

●      Add text, images, and signatures to PDF.

●      Correct text in original PDF with editable text blocks.

●      Move, resize, copy and delete images in the original PDF.


PDFescape Paid ●      Option for Online Editing

●      Add Text and Images

●      Add or Delete Pages

PDFSam Basic Paid ●      Easy to use

●      Split and Merge PDF

●      Rotate and Save One or Multiple Pages


Closing Remarks

Each of the types (open-source and paid) has its principles, process, benefits, and drawbacks. There is no proper vote as it relies on business requirements. Time is an extremely cherished thing, particularly for young businesses that are pushing to break into competitive demands and that is why it is extremely crucial to go with the business requirements.



About the Author

ByteScout Team ByteScout Team of Writers ByteScout has a team of professional writers proficient in different technical topics. We select the best writers to cover interesting and trending topics for our readers. We love developers and we hope our articles help you learn about programming and programmers.