A Comparison between IronPDF and ABCpdf

PDF files are used in a variety of industries for purposes such as invoicing and generating various document types. When generating documents, developers usually use the PDF format to assist in meeting client requirements. The libraries available on the market today effectively mean that creating PDFs has never been easier. When using this type of library in a project, we must evaluate factors such as build, read, and convert in order to determine which library is the best on the market for us.

In this article, we will compare the two most popular PDF libraries for .NET components. These two libraries are:

  • IronPDF
  • ABCpdf

IronPDF is a commercial-grade PDF generation library that helps C# software engineers to edit, extract and generate PDF documents in .NET projects.

ABCpdf is a .NET C# PDF library component for the creation and manipulation of Adobe PDF documents.

In this article, you will learn the difference between IronPDF and ABCpdf, as well as the ways in which IronPDF is superior to ABCpdf. First, we'll compare the two library's features, then look at their performance when converting and manipulating PDF files. Microsoft's .NET frameworks support both libraries. The next question is to decide which C# PDF library is best suited to your .NET project. You can weigh up your decision as you read the following comparison between the two libraries.

Let's firstly have a look at what both libraries have to offer, and then move on to the comparison itself.

What is IronPDF?

IronPDF takes care of the difficult problem of adding PDF generation to your app and also automates turning formatted documents into PDFs. IronPDF enables us to create files from HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, and images. We are also able to add headers and footers to files, and in general, reading PDF files becomes very straightforward. Further, IronPDF includes a powerful HTML-to-PDF converter that can handle all PDF files.

The Features of IronPDF

The IronPDF .NET PDF library solution is a dream for developers, especially software engineers who use C#. You can easily create a core PDF library for .NET with this excellent tool.

IronPDF uses a .NET Chromium engine to render HTML pages to PDF files. With HTML-to-PDF there is no need to use complex APIs to position or design PDFs. IronPDF supports standard web documents: HTML, ASPX, JS, CSS, and images.

It also enables you to create a .NET PDF library using HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and images. You can effortlessly edit, stamp, and add headers and footers to a PDF. Further, it makes it very easy to read PDF text and extract images.

You can download the software product from this link.

Some of the important features include:

Create PDFs (HTML-to-PDF)

  • Create PDF documents from HTML 4 and 5, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Generate PDF documents from URLs
  • Load URLs with custom network login credentials, user-agents, proxies, cookies, HTTP headers, and form variables allowing login behind HTML login forms

Edit Existing PDF Documents without Adobe Acrobat

  • Read and fill form fields data
  • Extract images and texts from PDF
  • Stamp new HTML content onto any existing PDF page
  • Add logical or HTML headers and footers

Manipulate Existing PDF Documents

  • Load and parse existing PDF documents
  • Merge and split content in PDF documents
  • Add headers, footers, annotations, bookmarks, watermarks, text, and image assets

Convert from Multiple Formats

  • ASPX WebForms – convert, with 3 lines of code, ASP.NET webforms to downloadable PDFs viewable in the browser
  • HTML Document – convert HTML to PDF
  • Custom ‘base URL’ to allow accessible asset files across the web
  • Responsive layouts through Virtual Viewport (width and height)
  • Accept HTML encoded in any major file encoding (Default to UTF-8)

Save and Print

  • Save and load from file, binary data, or MemoryStreams
  • Screen or print CSS media types
  • Turn PDF files into a PrintDocument object and print without Adobe (with minimal code)
  • Export official log files with details about API success, and debug errors in source code

What is ABCpdf?

The ABCpdf .NET C# PDF library is a .NET component for the dynamic reading, writing, conversion, and manipulation of Adobe PDF documents. It supports a vast range of image and document formats and features three different HTML-to-PDF conversion engines.

  • Free 30-day trial of the full product, with free tech support!
  • Designed for web servers and standalone applications.
  • Comprehensive documentation, freely adaptable projects, and example code.

Use with C#, ASP.NET, .NET Forms, ASP, VB, and more...

ABCpdf .NET fully supports HTML/CSS and related technologies such as JavaScript, SVG, AJAX, and Font Awesome. ABCpdf .NET is a library that is simple yet powerful. It is designed so you can get up to speed quickly, yet without placing limits on you, should you need precise, low-level control over how your PDFs are generated.

The Features of ABCpdf

  1. Until version 6, there were two products – ABCpdf ASP and ABCpdf .NET. Although functionally similar, architecturally they were fundamentally different. In version 7 ABCpdf ASP was discontinued, and in its place, an identical COM interface was layered over ABCpdf .NET to provide backward compatibility with ABCpdf ASP.
  2. 100% PDF-Compatible. ABCpdf is constantly being updated to support newer versions of the PDF specification.
  3. ABCpdf allows you to export or rasterize PDF documents for output in a variety of image formats, for print, or for display on the screen.
  4. ABCpdf supports an extremely wide range of text formatting options, from simple options such as bold or italic synthesized typefaces to advanced features such as text rise and tracking. We keep these easy to use via HTML Styled Text which allows you to specify your styles simply and easily using HTML style coding.

ABCpdf allows you to import an unparalleled range of raster image formats. Most importantly, it allows you to import them properly color-corrected in their native color spaces. Very few other PDF libraries allow either of these functions, and none will allow you the same flexibility of import options.

  1. ABCpdf allows you to import highly complex formats such as vector EPS and XPS. Most importantly it does things properly, ensuring that vector representation is preserved when source documents are converted.
  2. ABCpdf gives you simple one-line methods for common graphics operations. However, it doesn't restrict you. The entire gamut of PDF operations is available using ABCpdf.
  3. ABCpdf fully supports encryption within the legal framework set down by Adobe.
  4. ABCpdf can read a variety of document formats when helper applications like OpenOffice.org are installed. OpenOffice.org is freely distributed under the LGPL (GNU Lesser General Public License).

We create an ABCpdf Doc object, add our URL and save. That's it!

Set theDoc = Server.CreateObject("ABCpdf12.Doc")
theDoc.AddImageUrl "http://www.google.com/"
theDoc.Save "c:\mypdfs\htmlimport.pdf"
Set theDoc = Server.CreateObject("ABCpdf12.Doc")
theDoc.AddImageUrl "http://www.google.com/"
theDoc.Save "c:\mypdfs\htmlimport.pdf"
'INSTANT VB TODO TASK: The following line uses invalid syntax:
'@Set theDoc = Server.CreateObject("ABCpdf12.Doc") theDoc.AddImageUrl "http://www.google.com/" theDoc.Save "c:\mypdfs\htmlimport.pdf"
VB   C#

We get the following output:

The following code snippet illustrates how one might join two PDF files together:

Set theDoc1 = Server.CreateObject("ABCpdf12.Doc")
theDoc1.FontSize = 192
theDoc1.HPos = 0.5
theDoc1.VPos = 0.5
theDoc1.AddText("Hello")
Set theDoc2 = Server.CreateObject("ABCpdf12.Doc")
theDoc2.FontSize = 192
theDoc2.HPos = 0.5
theDoc2.VPos = 0.5theDoc2.AddText("World")
theDoc1.Append theDoc2
theDoc1.Save "c:\mypdfs\docjoin.pdf"
Set theDoc1 = Server.CreateObject("ABCpdf12.Doc")
theDoc1.FontSize = 192
theDoc1.HPos = 0.5
theDoc1.VPos = 0.5
theDoc1.AddText("Hello")
Set theDoc2 = Server.CreateObject("ABCpdf12.Doc")
theDoc2.FontSize = 192
theDoc2.HPos = 0.5
theDoc2.VPos = 0.5theDoc2.AddText("World")
theDoc1.Append theDoc2
theDoc1.Save "c:\mypdfs\docjoin.pdf"
'INSTANT VB TODO TASK: The following line uses invalid syntax:
'@Set theDoc1 = Server.CreateObject("ABCpdf12.Doc") theDoc1.FontSize = 192 theDoc1.HPos = 0.5 theDoc1.VPos = 0.5 theDoc1.AddText("Hello") @Set theDoc2 = Server.CreateObject("ABCpdf12.Doc") theDoc2.FontSize = 192 theDoc2.HPos = 0.5 theDoc2.VPos = 0.5theDoc2.AddText("World") theDoc1.Append theDoc2 theDoc1.Save "c:\mypdfs\docjoin.pdf"
VB   C#

IronPDF C# Library Installation

Creating a New Project in Visual Studio

Open the Visual Studio software and go to the File menu. Select "new project", then select Console Application. In this article, we are going to use a console application to generate a PDF document.

Enter the project name and select the file path in the appropriate text box. Then, click the Create button and select the required Dot net Framework, as in the screenshot below:

The Visual Studio project will now generate the structure for the selected application, and if you have selected the console, Windows, and web application, it will now open the program.cs file where you can enter the code and build/run the application.

Now we can add the library to test the code.

Install the IronPDF Library

The IronPDF library can be downloaded and installed in four ways.

These are:

  1. Using Visual Studio
  2. Using the Visual Studio Command-Line
  3. Direct download from the NuGet website
  4. Direct download from the IronPDF website

Using Visual Studio

Visual Studio software provides the Nuget Package manager option to install the package directly to the solution. The below screenshot shows how to open the Nuget Package Manager.

It provides the search box to show the list of packages from the NuGet website. In the package manager, we need to search for the keyword "IronPDF", as in the screenshot below.

In the above image, we can see the list of related search results. We need to select the required option to install the package to the solution.

Using the Visual Studio Command-Line

In Visual Studio, go to Tools-> Nuget Package manager -> Package Manager Console

Enter the following line in the package manager console tab:

Install-Package IronPDF

The package will now download/install to the current project and be ready to use.

Direct download from the NuGet website

The third way is to download the Nuget package directly from the website.

  • Navigate to the Link
  • Select the download package option from the menu on the right-hand side.
  • Double-click the downloaded package. It will be installed automatically.
  • Now reload the solution and begin using it in the project.

Direct download from the IronPDF website

Click the link here to download the latest package directly from the website. After the download, follow the steps below to add the package to the project.

  • Right-click the project from the solution window.
  • Then, select option reference and browse the location of the downloaded reference.

Next, click OK to add the reference.

Install ABCpdf

ABCpdf can be downloaded and installed in four ways.

These are:

  • Using Visual Studio
  • Using the Visual Studio Command-Line
  • Direct download from the NuGet website
  • Direct download from the ABCpdf website

Using Visual Studio

As above, simply go to the NuGet package manager and search for the key work "ABCpdf".

Using the Visual Studio Command-Line

In Visual Studio go to Tools-> Nuget Package Manager -> Package Manager Console

Enter the following line in the package manager console tab.

Install-Package ABCpdf -Version 12.2.0.3

Now the package will download/install in the current project and be ready to use.

Direct download from the NuGet website

The third way is to download the Nuget package directly from the website.

  • Navigate to the Link "https://www.nuget.org/packages/abcpdf/"
  • Select the download package option from the menu on the right-hand side.
  • Double-click the downloaded package. It will be installed automatically.
  • Now reload the solution and begin using it in the project.

Direct download from the Website

Click the link here and it will redirect to the list of Dll options available. To download the latest package direct from the website for various .net framework environments, simply select the required package to download. Once downloaded, follow the steps below to add the package to the project.

  • Right-click the project from the solution window.
  • Then, select option reference and browse the location of the downloaded reference.
  • Next, click OK to add the reference.

Amazing Performance

ABCpdf gets up close and personal! Due to the fact that it doesn’t use any print drivers and goes Direct to PDF™, it is incredibly fast. ABCpdf incorporates virtually every feature you are ever likely to need in a PDF library.

Productive in Ten Minutes

ABCpdf is a simple yet powerful PDF library for the Microsoft .NET Framework. It is designed so that you can get up to speed and be productive within ten minutes.

Fully Multi-Threaded

ABCpdf is fully multi-threaded, meaning that you can use it flexibly from within any .NET environment - C#, ASPX, VB; and under .NET Enterprise Services, COM+ or MTS, as well as Classic ASP.

ABCpdf is tested extensively in a wide variety of high-performance multi-threaded environments.

This is not just a theoretical exercise — it is based on almost two decades of real world development and deployment.

Comparison

Licensing

The ABCpdf .NET C# PDF library is a .NET component for the dynamic reading, writing, conversion, and manipulation of Adobe PDF documents. It supports a vast range of image and document formats and features three different HTML-to-PDF conversion engines. ABCpdf is normally priced at $329. However, they often give out free license keys. Their products include a free 30-day trial, giving users time to decide whether or not to apply for a free license. For the free license offer, you will need to apply either as a worthy cause or as a worthy individual.

IronPDF, on the other hand, is a C# PDF library. It is free for development and can always be licensed for commercial deployment. Licenses are available for single-project use, single developers, agencies, and global corporations, as well as SaaS and OEM redistribution. All licenses include a 30-day money-back guarantee, one year of product support and updates, validity for dev/staging/production, and also a permanent license (one-time purchase). The Lite package starts from $499. IrondPDF packages are permanent and there are no ongoing costs.

Summary

IronPDF does not render HTML-to-PDF from a remote server. It actually spins up an instance of a real standard-compliant web browser behind the scenes (without any additional software needing to be installed). The HTML is rendered with complete accuracy — and in a vector format suitable for the highest standards of commercial printing. The output is a clean and high-quality PDF. It is openly commercial, with licensing and pricing details all published on the website.

ABCpdf supports a wide range of layout methods, including HTML and CSS, System.Drawing, PostScript, and a powerful set of native drawing commands. You can find numerous PDF code examples and freely adaptable projects, all designed to help you get up to speed. You can also re-use existing skills for PDF document layouts. ABCpdf .NET is designed to be simple to use. It does things the way you'd expect. Let's take an example. Open an existing PDF document and add a page number to the first page. First, we create a PDF document object. We read in an existing PDF, add a page number to the top left and save the modified document.

Doc doc = new Doc();
doc.Read(@"c:\old_doc.pdf");
doc.AddText("Page 1");
doc.Save(@"c:\new_doc.pdf");
Doc doc = new Doc();
doc.Read(@"c:\old_doc.pdf");
doc.AddText("Page 1");
doc.Save(@"c:\new_doc.pdf");
Dim doc As New Doc()
doc.Read("c:\old_doc.pdf")
doc.AddText("Page 1")
doc.Save("c:\new_doc.pdf")
VB   C#

Conclusion

IronPDF enjoys significant advantages over ABCpdf. IronPDF provides a single solution to all PDF problems. When you purchase IronPDF, you get all the conversions in one single library, plus tasks related to PDF documents only, requiring no additional dependencies. IronPDF is a complete solution and a dream for developers, especially software engineers who use C#. You can easily create a core PDF library for .NET with this excellent tool. IronPDF uses a .NET Chromium engine to render HTML pages to PDF files. With HTML-to-PDF there is no need to use complex APIs to position or design PDFs. It supports standard web documents: HTML, ASPX, JS, CSS, and images.

The ABCpdf .NET C# PDF library is a .NET component for the dynamic reading, writing, conversion, and manipulation of Adobe PDF documents. It supports a vast range of image and document formats, and it fully supports HTML/CSS and related technologies such as JavaScript, SVG, AJAX, and Font Awesome. ABCpdf .NET is a library that is simple yet powerful. It is designed so that you can get up to speed quickly without placing limits on your workflow, especially for those who need precise, low-level control over how your PDFs are generated.

AbcPdf supports a vast range of image and document formats and features three different HTML-to-PDF conversion engines. It is normally priced at $329. However, they often give out free license keys. IronPDF, on the other hand, is free for development and can always be licensed for commercial deployment. Licenses are available for single-project use, single developers, agencies, and global corporations. All licenses include a 30-day money-back guarantee and one year of product support and updates. The Lite package starts from $499. IrondPDF packages are permanent and there are no ongoing costs. If you purchase the complete Iron suite, you will be eligible to receive all five products for the price of just two. For more details, please click here.

In conclusion, we prefer IronPDF because of its high-performance levels and the wide variety of features available to developers working with PDFs. IronPDF also provides good support and documentation that ensures users can make full and effective use of the impressive array of features on offer.