Significance of PDF Viewer SDK

Pintu Biswas

PDFs are available using Adobe’s freely distributed Acrobat Reader, which was released in 1994 and is said to have distributed 500 million copies worldwide. Software that can display PDFs is distributed for free and has become so popular, so what’s the point of developing your own software to display PDFs (PDF Viewer SDK)? I think every PDF practitioner and developer feels a little bit in this topic interest.

Status of PDF

PDF is probably the second most popular file format after HTML. Especially in the business field, it is used by a very large number of people every day. In general, PDFs can only be read, only the free Acrobat Reader is usually not available to edit the content of the PDF or to annotate the obtained PDF requires a paid Acrobat.

Therefore, many people want software that is easier to use than paid Acrobat and can perform PDF editing, annotation, etc. at a low price.

Develop a PDF annotation function

In order to develop software that annotates PDFs, PDF display capabilities are essential. If you can’t view the PDF, you can’t specify where to edit or annotate. Therefore, any application software or system solution that does this must have the capability to display PDFs.

Shouldn’t you be using Acrobat Reader to view PDFs? Then you might be wondering why not use your own application to edit and annotate PDFs while viewing them in Acrobat Reader.

Adobe prohibits the development of plug-ins

This can technically be developed by using a plug-in for use with Acrobat Reader. However, to develop plug-ins for Acrobat Reader, you must contract and license Adobe. In response, Adobe prohibits “the development of plug-ins that add to Acrobat Reader functionality substantially equal to or greater than that of (paid) Acrobat.”

I think it makes sense as a business to prohibit the use of the free Acrobat Reader to develop the same (or better) functionality as the commercial version of Acrobat.

Significance of the appearance of PDF software

So it’s fair to say that PDF display software exists for a reason, it can be embedded in applications and systems in place of Acrobat Reader, and it can serve as the basis for things Adobe is not allowed to do.

In addition to what is described here, the Acrobat Reader Plug-in has some prohibited items. Note that these are at Adobe’s discretion and may change in the future as Adobe’s business evolves.

According to Adobe’s web page, Adobe’s Acrobat Reader is generally not intended to be used with other applications, but rather as a stand-alone application. Development of plug-ins for integration with other applications requires a license from Adobe.

Reference content

PDF Viewer SDK is a software library that can be incorporated into programs to develop unique applications such as PDF display and editing. Some overseas PDF viewers are fast, but some cannot display English text correctly, and they are mainly provided to companies that develop and sell software products. In contrast, the tool is almost perfect in the display, and the online tool Convert pdf to Word can be used as a reference.

In addition, PDFViewerCtrl greatly facilitates the development of GUI-based applications for PDF display screen operations, creation/editing of various annotations, thumbnail display, and page manipulation/editing.


PDF Viewer SDK what’s the point? PDF Viewer SDK is an important component library to help PDF software developers. It can solve the problem of text not being displayed or poorly displayed and can develop more functions than Adobe software.

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Pintu is the admin and editor-in-chief at Gizmoradar. He crafts actionable tech guides related to Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. He's been writing how-to guides for about 5+ years now and has covered many topics.


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