A Comparison between IronPDF For Java and iTextPDF itext7 for Java

Today, developers can benefit from better solutions thanks to ever-improving technology.

The future of software development processes lies in automation. For a long time, PDF files have presented difficulties for developers. When working with PDFs (i.e., producing content and converting content from other formats to PDF), there are numerous considerations to be made. With the development of numerous libraries intended to aid in reading, writing, creating and even converting PDFs from many formats, these needs are now met.

This article will compare two of the most well-received PDF libraries for Java developers for editing, printing, and createing PDF files:

  • IronPDF library: A Java PDF library based on that focuses on generating PDFs from HTML.
  • ITextPDF library: A Java-first, open source library that focuses on generating PDFs using a programmable API.

We will examine the features of the two libraries before moving on to the performance expenses for converting and handling the PDFs in order to determine which library is best for your application. Additionally, each library's duration will be recorded for later research.

Installing IronPDF Java

To install IronPDF for java, you just declare it as a dependency. To define IronPDF as a dependency, please add the following to your pom.xml

<dependency>
   <groupId>com.ironsoftware</groupId>
   <artifactId>com.ironsoftware</artifactId>
   <version>2023.1.1</version>
</dependency>
<dependency>
   <groupId>com.ironsoftware</groupId>
   <artifactId>org.slf4j</artifactId>
   <version>2.0.5</version>
</dependency>
XML

Note: you can download the .jar manually:

  1. Go to the Maven Repo.
  2. Extract the contents of the zip file.
  3. Create a folder and copy the contents of zip folder.
  4. Open Eclipse IDE.
  5. Create a new Java project.
  6. Add the IronPDF .jar files in class path.
  7. Finish the project creation wizard. That's it!

IronPDF Features

Developers can quickly produce, read, and manipulate PDFs with the help of the robust IronPDF PDF library. IronPDF uses the chrome engine at its core and offers a wealth of practical and powerful features, including the ability to convert HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, and image files to PDF. IronPDF can also add unique headers and footers, and create PDF files precisely as they appear in a web browser. Various web formats, including HTML, ASPX, Razor View, and MVC, are supported by IronPDF. IronPDF's key attributes are as follows:

  • Easily create, read, and edit PDFs with java programs,
  • Create PDFs from any website URL link that has settings for User-Agents, Proxies, Cookies, HTTP Headers, and Form Variables to support login using HTML login forms,
  • Remove photos from already-existing PDF publications,
  • Add text, photos, bookmarks, watermarks, and other elements to PDFs,
  • Merge and divide the pages of several PDF documents,
  • Convert media-type files, including CSS files, into documents.

Installing ITextPDF Java

ITextPDF is available for free at https://itextpdf.com/. This library is open-source under the AGPL software licensing model.

To add the iText library into your application, include the following maven repository into our pom.xml file.

<dependency>
    <groupId>com.itextpdf</groupId>
    <artifactId>itextpdf</artifactId>
    <version>5.5.13.2</version>
</dependency>
XML

Download the iTextPDF .jar files directly and download the slf4j.jar file directly. To use the libraries add the iTextPDF .jar files to the classpath of the system.

IText Library Features

  • Create PDFs from HTML, XML, and Images (png, jpg, etc)
  • Add bookmarks, page numbers, and markers to PDF documents
  • Split a PDF file into multiple PDFs or combine multiple PDFs into a single PDF
  • Edit PDF Forms programmatically
  • Add text, images, and geometrical figures to PDFs

Convert HTML Strings to PDFs using iTextPDF Java

In iText for Java, HTMLConverter is the primary class used to convert HTML to PDF.

There are three main methods in HTMLConverter:

  • convertToDocument, which returns a Document object
  • convertToElements, which return a list of IElement objects
  • convertToPdf handles converting HTML content to PDF. This method accepts HTML input as a String, a File, or an InputStream, and returns a File, an OutputStream, or a Document object.
package com.hmkcode;

import java.io.FileNotFoundException;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import java.io.IOException;

import com.itextpdf.html2pdf.HtmlConverter;

public class App 
{
public static final String HTML = "<h1>Hello</h1>"
+ "<p>This was created using iText</p>"
+ "<a href='hmkcode.com'>hmkcode.com</a>";

    public static void main( String[] args ) throws FileNotFoundException, IOException  
    {
    HtmlConverter.convertToPdf(HTML, new FileOutputStream("string-to-pdf.pdf"));

        System.out.println( "PDF Created!" );
    }
}
JAVA
A Comparison between IronPDF For Java and iTextPDF itext7 for Java - Figure 1

Convert HTML Strings to PDFs using IronPDF Java

The PdfDocument class from IronPDF offers multiple static methods that let Java developers produce HTML text from various sources. One such method is the PdfDocument.renderHtmlAsPdf method, which converts a string of HTML markup into a PDF document.


License.setLicenseKey("YOUR-LICENSE-KEY");
Settings.setLogPath(Paths.get("C:/tmp/IronPdfEngine.log"));
PdfDocument myPdf = PdfDocument.renderHtmlAsPdf("<h1> ~Hello World~ </h1> Made with IronPDF!");
myPdf.saveAs(Paths.get("html_saved.pdf"));
JAVA

Convert HTML Files to PDF using ITextPDF Java

The convertToPdf method can be used to convert any HTML file to a PDF.

Images and CSS files may be included in the HTML file. They must, however, be in the same place in the HTML file. We can use the ConverterProperties class to set the base path for referenced CSS and images. This is useful when the HTML file assets are located in different directories.

Consider an index.html containing the following markup.

<html>
<head>
    <title>HTML to PDF</title>
    <link href="style.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
</head>
<body>
    <h1>HTML to PDF</h1>
    <p>
        <span class="itext">itext</span> 7.1.9 
        <span class="description"> converting HTML to PDF</span>
    </p>
    <table>
        <tr>
            <th class="label">Title</th>
            <td>iText - Java HTML to PDF</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <th>URL</th>
            <td>http://hmkcode.com/itext-html-to-pdf-using-java</td>
        </tr>
    </table>
</body>
</html>
HTML

The source code below converts the index.html file into a PDF:

package com.hmkcode;

import java.io.FileInputStream;
import java.io.FileNotFoundException;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import java.io.IOException;

import com.itextpdf.html2pdf.HtmlConverter;

public class App 
{

    public static void main( String[] args ) throws FileNotFoundException, IOException  
    {
    HtmlConverter.convertToPdf(new FileInputStream("index.html"), 
            new FileOutputStream("index-to-pdf.pdf"));

        System.out.println( "PDF Created!" );
    }
}
JAVA
A Comparison between IronPDF For Java and iTextPDF itext7 for Java - Figure 2

Convert HTML Files to PDF using IronPDF for Java

IronPDF's PdfDocument.renderHtmlFileAsPdf method converts HTML files located on a computer or on a network file path.

PdfDocument myPdf = PdfDocument.renderHtmlFileAsPdf("example.html");
myPdf.saveAs(Paths.get("html_file_saved.pdf"));
JAVA

Add Images to PDF files using IronPDF Java

You can use IronPDF's PdfDocument.fromImage method to render a group of images into a single PDF file. The next example uses this method on a short list of images located on different filesystem paths.

// Create an ArrayList containing the list of images that you want to combine
// into ONE PDF document
Path imageA = Paths.get("directoryA/1.png");
Path imageB = Paths.get("directoryB/2.png");
Path imageC = Paths.get("3.png");
List<Path> imageFiles = new ArrayList<>();
imageFiles.add(imageA);
imageFiles.add(imageB);
imageFiles.add(imageC);

// Convert the three  images into a PDF and save them. 
PdfDocument.fromImage(imageFiles).saveAs(Paths.get("assets/composite.pdf"));
JAVA

Add Images to PDFs using ITextPDF Java

The complete code example below uses iText to convert two images located in the current working directory into one PDF file.

import java.io.*;

// importing itext library packages
import com.itextpdf.io.image.*;
import com.itextpdf.kernel.pdf.*;
import com.itextpdf.layout.Document;
import com.itextpdf.layout.element.Image;

public class InsertImagePDF {
public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {
        String currDir = System.getProperty("user.dir");

        // Getting path of current working directory
        // to create the pdf file in the same directory of
        // the running java program
        String pdfPath = currDir + "/InsertImage.pdf";

        // Creating path for the new pdf file
        PdfWriter writer = new PdfWriter(pdfPath);

        // Creating PdfWriter object to write the PDF file to
        // the path
        PdfDocument pdfDoc = new PdfDocument(writer);

        // Creating a Document object
        Document doc = new Document(pdfDoc);

        // Creating imagedata from image on disk(from given
        // path) using ImageData object
        ImageData imageDataA = ImageDataFactory.create(
        currDir + "/imageA.jpg");
        Image imgA = new Image(imageDataA);
        ImageData imageDataB = ImageDataFactory.create(
        currDir + "/imageB.jpg");
        Image imgB = new Image(imageDataB);

        // Creating Image object from the imagedata
        doc.add(imgA);
        doc.add(imgB);

        // Adding Image to the empty document
        doc.close();

        // Close the document
        System.out.println("Image added successfully and PDF file created!");
    }
}
JAVA
A Comparison between IronPDF For Java and iTextPDF itext7 for Java - Figure 3

Licensing

iTextSharp is open source and is licensed under the AGLP.

A Comparison between IronPDF For Java and iTextPDF itext7 for Java - Figure 4

This ensures that anyone who utilizes an application that incorporates iTextSharp is entitled to a complete copy of the application's source code, even if they do so over a corporate network or the internet.

A Comparison between IronPDF For Java and iTextPDF itext7 for Java - Figure 5

Contact iText directly to discuss the pricing of the license if you intend to use it for business applications.

A Comparison between IronPDF For Java and iTextPDF itext7 for Java - Figure 6

IronPDF is free for development and can always be licensed for commercial deployment. Licenses are available for single-project use, individual developers, agencies, and global corporations, as well as for 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).

Pricing for the Lite package starts from $749.

  • Developers can enjoy unlimited use of the library for development. In terms of general licensing, the rates are very cost-effective
  • Free one-year unlimited support
  • 30-day trials are also available for licensing purposes
  • All licenses include a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Licenses are valid for all environments (development, staging, production, etc)
  • Licneses include one year of unconditional support
  • IronPDF licenses require a one-time only purchase
A Comparison between IronPDF For Java and iTextPDF itext7 for Java - Figure 7

IronPDF vs iText

There are several significant differences between iText and IronPDF.

iText's API is structured around a programmatic model. Manipulation of PDF properties and content under this model are more low-level and granular. While this gives the programmer more control and flexibility, it also requires writing more code to implement use-cases.

IronPDF's API is structured around optimizing the developer's productivity. IronPDF simplifies PDF editing, manipulation, creation, and other complex tasks by allowing developers to complete them with just a few lines of code.

Conclusion

All customers of Iron Software have the option of purchasing the entire suite of packages with just two clicks. You can currently purchase all five libraries from the Iron Software suite, along with ongoing support for each, for the cost of just two libraries from the suite.