PRODUCT COMPARISONS

A Comparison Between IronPDF For Java & Aspose.PDF For Java

Updated January 16, 2023
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Have you ever wondered how to integrate a PDF library and its functionalities into your Java application?

In this article, we will discuss how to use PDF libraries to create PDF documents. There are many challenges when dealing with PDF files in Java, but there are also many Java Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) out there that make overcoming these challenges easy.

We will compare two of the market-leading Java APIs for working with PDF files. These APIs are:

  • IronPDF
  • Aspose.PDF

IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java are both Java APIs for creating PDFs, manipulating PDFs, and printing PDFs using Java technology. In the sections that follow, we will compare both libraries based on available features, code examples, and ease of installation.


Convert your webpages into PDF documents quickly and easily using the IronPDF library for Java and for C#. IronPDF supports all forms of HTML content and renders them with pixel-perfect precision. No fuss. No stress. This library just simply works.

Continue reading below to learn more about how the IronPDF HTML to PDF Library for Java compares with Aspose's well-known Java PDF Library. For a similar comparison between the .NET versions of IronPDF and Aspose.PDF, read this article instead.


1. IronPDF for Java

IronPDF for Java is a library used to create, format, and modify PDF files. It was created after the huge success of its predecessor: IronPDF for .NET. It is highly popular among developers for its PDF document functionality which allows developers to read, write, and manipulate PDF files without needing to install Adobe Acrobat software.

Its top-of-the-line features include HTML to PDF conversion and conversion to PDF from an assortment of image formats. Converted PDF documents can include custom headers/footers, signatures, attachments, encypted passwords, and other customizations. Mulithreading and asynchronous support allow IronPDF to perform at the highest levels in situations where high-efficiency is crucial.

IronPDF for Java offers many PDF creation and manipulation features that can easily take your Java applications to the next level:

1.1. PDF Conversions

This feature enables the generation of PDF documents using a variety of file types, including HTML, HTML Strings, MVC views, Web Forms, and URLs.

1.2. PDF Imaging

Developers can use this feature to create PDFs from images. It also offers PDF printing, image extraction, and support for various image extensions.

1.3. PDF Files IO

PDFs can be encrypted using 128-bit keys and passwords. IronPDF for Java can also sign PDF documents securely.

1.4. Editing PDFs

IronPDF camn add watermarks and pages, change backgrounds and foregrounds, remove pages, and much more.

1.5. PDF Content Extraction

IronPDF can easily extract embedded text from PDFs. In situations where this doesn't work, it's likely that the text is actually an image. To scan documents for visual text rather than from plain text, use the IronOCR library.

1.6. Headers and Footers

When creating a PDF or adding to an existing PDF, headers and footers can be included. Custom headers and footers can be defined for all pages in a document, or they can be defined for one or more specific pages.

1.7. Compatibility

IronPDF for Java is compatible with many JVM languages, platforms, operating systems, and IDEs.

Lists of these compatibilities are given below.

1.7.1. JVM Languages

  • Java
  • Scala
  • Kotlin

1.7.2. Platforms

  • Java 8 and above

1.7.3. OS

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Linux
  • Docker
  • Azure
  • AWS

1.7.4. IDEs

  • JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA
  • Eclipse

1.8. Additional Features of IronPDF for Java

More information about the features available on IronPDF for Java is listed on the Product Features table.

2. Aspose.PDF For Java

Aspose for Java is a powerful Java library that allows developers to build PDF documents from scratch without needing to use for Adobe software products. Aspose.PDF for Java provides developers with a very basic API that is straightforward to understand and use.

With Aspose.PDF for Java, developers can add tables, graphs, photos, hyperlinks, custom fonts, and other elements into PDF documents. Aspose.PDF for Java also has powerful security capabilities for creating safe PDF documents.

2.1. Supported PDF versions

Aspose.PDF for Java supports PDF versions 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 and 1.7.

2.2. Graph

You can add graphs of any type and shape using Aspose for Java. Graphs are drawn using coordinates and with an absolute position instead of a relative position.

2.3. Images

You can add, remove, and replace images. Aspose.PDF for Java can also convert a PDF to a conventional image format with fixed layouts. These conversions include:

  • PDF to JPEG conversion
  • PDF to TIFF conversion
  • PDF to PNG conversion

And many more.

2.4. Page

Aspose.PDF for Java can add, remove, replace, insert, append, delete and split PDF pages.

2.5. Additional Features of Aspose.PDF

Review Aspose.PDF's Key Features documentation page for more information about its features.

3. IronPDF for Java Installation

Installing IronPDF for Java is quite simple and easy, even for new Java developers.

The best way to install and use IronPDF for Java is by using an IDE. For this article, we will use JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA to install and run examples.

First, open JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA and create a new Maven project.

Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 1

A new window will appear. Enter the name of the project and click on finish.

Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 2

After you click finish, a new project will open. By default, the pom.xml file should be opened in the project.

Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 3

Add the following dependencies in the pom.xml file.

<dependency>
   <groupId>com.ironsoftware</groupId>
   <artifactId>com.ironsoftware</artifactId>
   <version>2024.6.2</version>
</dependency>

After placing the dependencies in the pom.xml file, a small icon will appear in the right top corner of the file.

Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 4

Click on this icon to install the Maven dependencies for IronPDF for Java. This will only take a few minutes depending on your internet connection.

4. Aspose.PDF For Java Installation

Same as for IronPDF, you need to create a new Maven project.

First, open JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA and create a new Maven project.

Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 5

A new window will appear. Enter the name of the project and click on finish.

Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 6

After you click finish, a new project will be created with the pom.xml file opened for editing.

Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 7

Now, add the following code to the repository section in the pom.xml file.

<repositories>
    <repository>
        <id>AsposeJavaAPI</id>
        <name>Aspose Java API</name>
        <url>https://releases.aspose.com/java/repo/</url>
    </repository>
</repositories>
XML

Next, add the following dependencies in the same file.

<dependencies>
    <dependency>
        <groupId>com.aspose</groupId>
        <artifactId>aspose-words</artifactId>
        <version>22.11</version>
        <classifier>jdk17</classifier>
    </dependency>
    <dependency>
        <groupId>com.aspose</groupId>
        <artifactId>aspose-words</artifactId>
        <version>22.11</version>
        <classifier>javadoc</classifier>
    </dependency>
</dependencies>
XML

The Maven dependency icon will appear in the right top corner of the file, just as before.

Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 8

Click on the above icon to install the defined Aspose.PDF dependencies.

5. HTML to PDF

A lot of developers need to convert HTML to PDF to save their design and to send HTML files in a reliable way. Here, we will discuss how to convert HTML to PDF in two different ways using both IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java.

5.1. URL to PDF

5.1.1. URL to PDF using IronPDF

After the installation is completed, just create a new Java class file in the "src => main => java" directory and initialize the main method.

IronPdfEngine binaries will automatically be downloaded when running the project for the first time. The IronPdfEngine process will start when you call any IronPDF function for the first time; this process will stop when the application is closed or when it enters an idle state.

Write the following code to create a PDF file from a URL.

import com.ironsoftware.ironpdf.*;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.nio.file.Paths;

public class main {
    public static void main(String [] args) {
        License.setLicenseKey("YOUR-LICENSE-KEY");
        Settings.setLogPath(Paths.get("C:/tmp/IronPdfEngine.log"));
        PdfDocument myPdf = PdfDocument.renderUrlAsPdf("https://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/networking/urls/readingURL.html");
        try {
            myPdf.saveAs(Paths.get("url.pdf"));
        } catch (IOException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
JAVA
Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 9

5.1.2. URL to PDF using Aspose.PDF

To perform a URL to PDF conversion in Aspose.PDF for Java, add the following code in the main Java class and press run.

import com.aspose.words.*;

import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.net.MalformedURLException;
import java.net.URL;

public class main {
    public static void main(String [] args) {
        URL oracleURL = null;
        try {
            oracleURL = new URL("https://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/networking/urls/readingURL.html");
        } catch (MalformedURLException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }

        // Get web page as input stream
        InputStream is = null;
        try {
            is = oracleURL.openStream();
        } catch (IOException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }

        // Initialize HTML load options
        HtmlLoadOptions htmloptions = new HtmlLoadOptions();

        // Load stream into Document object
        Document pdfDocument = null;
        try {
            pdfDocument = new Document(is, htmloptions);
        } catch (Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }

        // Save output as PDF format
        try {
            pdfDocument.save("HTML-to-PDF.pdf");
        } catch (Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }

    }
}
JAVA
Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 10

5.2. HTML File to PDF Documents

5.2.1. HTML file to PDF file using IronPDF

Using IronPDF, converting an HTML file to a PDF file is a piece of cake with just a few lines of code.

import com.ironsoftware.ironpdf.*;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.nio.file.Paths;

public class main {
    public static void main(String [] args) {
        License.setLicenseKey("YOUR-LICENSE-KEY");
        Settings.setLogPath(Paths.get("C:/tmp/IronPdfEngine.log"));
        PdfDocument myPdf = null;
        try {
            myPdf = PdfDocument.renderHtmlFileAsPdf("index.html");
        } catch (IOException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
        try {
            myPdf.saveAs(Paths.get("file.pdf"));
        } catch (IOException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}
JAVA
Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 11

5.2.2.HTML file to PDF document using Aspose.PDF

Aspose.PDF for Java also offers an HTML file to PDF conversion feature.

import com.aspose.words.*;

import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.net.MalformedURLException;
import java.net.URL;

public class main {
    public static void main(String [] args) {
        Document doc = null;
        try {
            doc = new Document("index.html");
        } catch (Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
        try {
            doc.save("Output.pdf");
        } catch (Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }

    }
}
JAVA
Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 12

6. Image to PDF

6.1. Image to PDF using IronPDF

A code example showing how to convert images to PDFs using IronPDF for Java is given below.

import com.ironsoftware.ironpdf.*;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.nio.file.DirectoryStream;
import java.nio.file.Files;
import java.nio.file.Path;
import java.nio.file.Paths;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

public class main {
    public static void main(String [] args) {
        Path imageDirectory = Paths.get("assets/images");
        List<Path> imageFiles = new ArrayList<>();
        try (DirectoryStream<Path> stream = Files.newDirectoryStream(imageDirectory, "*.{png,jpg}")) {
            for (Path entry : stream) {
                imageFiles.add(entry);
            }         PdfDocument.fromImage(imageFiles).saveAs(Paths.get("assets/composite.pdf"));
        } catch (IOException exception) {
            throw new RuntimeException(String.format("Error converting images to PDF from directory: %s: %s",
                    imageDirectory,
                    exception.getMessage()),
                    exception);
        }
    }
    }
JAVA
Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 13

6.2. Image to PDF using Aspose.PDF

Aspose.PDF can also convert images to PDF:

import com.aspose.words.*;
import jogamp.opengl.glu.mipmap.Image;

import java.io.FileNotFoundException;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.net.MalformedURLException;
import java.net.URL;
import java.nio.file.Path;
import java.nio.file.Paths;

public class main {
    private static Path _dataDir = Paths.get("<set path to samples>");
    public static void main(String [] args) {

            // Initialize document object
        Document document = null;
        try {
            document = new Document();
        } catch (Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }

        Page page = document.getPages().add();
            Image image = new Image();

            // Load sample BMP image file
            image.setFile(Paths.get(_dataDir.toString(), "Sample.bmp").toString());
            page.getParagraphs().add(image);

            // Save output PDF document
        try {
            document.save(Paths.get(_dataDir.toString(),"BMPtoPDF.pdf").toString());
        } catch (Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}
JAVA
Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 14

7. Pricing and Licensing

IronPDF is a PDF library written in Java. It is available for free development use and may be licensed for commercial use at any time. Licensing for single projects, single developers, agencies, and international enterprises are all available for SaaS and OEM redistribution. All licenses include a 30-day money-back guarantee, a year of software support and upgrades, development/testing/staging/production validity, and a perpetual license (one-time purchase). The most cost-effective Lite bundle costs $749 USD. With IronPDF products, there are no ongoing costs.

Comparing IronPDF for Java and Aspose.PDF for Java - Figure 15

Aspose.PDF for Java API provides different types of licenses for its users. They also offer single-time purchase or monthly usage-based licenses.

  • Temporary License (Free for some days with full features)
  • Developer Small License (1 developer 1 deployment for $1,199)
  • Developer OEM (1 developer unlimited deployment for $3,597)
  • Site Small Business (10 developers 10 deployments for $5,995)
  • Site OEM (10 developers unlimited deployment for $16,786)

8. Conclusion

The Iron Software PDF library IronPDF for Java is a handy tool for developers to integrate PDFs with their Java applications. It allows you to convert HTML to PDF and images to PDF, IronPDF can split PDF pages, merge PDF files, format PDF files, and render complex graphics into PDFs. It supports all JVM languages and is also compatible with Java version 8 and above. IronPDF for Java also includes some notable features for securing PDF documents. Overall, IronPDF for Java is a great choice for Java developers.

Aspose.PDF for Java allows users to easily create new PDF documents, encrypt existing PDF documents, and to print PDF documents. Developers can use Aspose.PDF for Java to convert conventional images and XML files to PDF files, with many more top-of-the-line features.

When comparing the licenses of these two libraries, both have one-off and lifetime licenses. However, the IronPDF license gives more value for money, as it offers its license at a cheaper price with more features than Aspose.PDF for Java does. The IronPDF Lite package starts from $749 for one developer and for one location. On the other hand, the same package for one developer and one location costs $1,199 for Aspose.PDF for Java. Similarly, the unlimited developer and location license for IronPDF starts from $2,999 for a single lifetime purchase, while Aspose.PDF for Java offers equivalent licenses starting from $1,999 per month.

According to our research and comparison, IronPDF comes out as the better choice as it is easier to use, has lower prices, and has more features. The IronPDF rendering engine renders everything from HTML perfectly. However, we see in the above examples that Aspose.PDF doesn't render small icons from HTML as well.

IronPDF also offers a free trial to learn how to use its features and to see how it can improve your current project. For more information about IronPDF please browse the product Documentation pages.

Iron Software also offers all its customers the option to acquire its entire suite of libraries with just two clicks. For the price of just two libraries (valued at $749 each), you can get all five libraries, along with uninterrupted support.

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