How to Create a PDF Reader in Java

Updated November 14, 2023


In the digital age, Portable Document Format (PDF) files have become a ubiquitous medium for sharing and preserving documents. Whether you're dealing with invoices, reports, e-books, or forms, PDFs are an integral part of many applications and workflows. Java, a versatile and widely-used programming language, has not been left behind in the quest to efficiently work with PDF files.

Reading PDFs in Java is a crucial skill for developers, allowing them to manipulate and extract information from these files to build powerful and feature-rich applications. This comprehensive guide aims to explore the various methods, libraries, and techniques available for reading and processing PDF documents using Java.

This article will provide an in-depth overview of the tools and library available to Java developers, equipping them with the knowledge needed to harness the potential of PDFs in their projects. Java offers many wonderful PDF libraries for developers like iText PDF library, IronPDF and many more. We will use the one of most advanced PDF library created for Java.

In this article we will see how you can read PDF files using IronPDF for Java.

How to Create a PDF Reader in Java

  1. Install the Java library for creating a PDF reader in Java.
  2. Utilize the Scanner( method to Get Input Path From User.
  3. Use the PdfDocument.fromFile method to open PDF files from the Path.
  4. Read Text from a PDF file using extractAllText.
  5. Print the Text in the Console to read.

IronPDF for Java

Empowering developers to seamlessly generate, manipulate, and interact with PDF files, IronPDF stands as a robust and versatile library designed to streamline PDF-related tasks in Java applications. From automated report generation to interactive form creation, IronPDF offers a comprehensive set of features for PDF document handling. IronPDF allows developers to write to PDF files, create a new PDF file, edit existing files and much more.

Its ease of integration with popular Java frameworks and libraries, coupled with a rich API, makes it a powerful asset for developers seeking to tackle PDF-related challenges effectively. In this introductory article, we'll explore the fundamental concepts, architecture, and myriad possibilities that IronPDF unlocks, providing Java developers with the knowledge to harness its full potential and simplify PDF document management in their projects.

IronPDF Features

IronPDF for Java is a powerful PDF library that provides a wide range of features to help Java developers work with PDF documents. Here is a list of some key features:

  1. PDF Generation: Create new PDF file from scratch with text, images, page dictionary, number of pages and graphics.
  2. HTML to PDF Conversion: Convert HTML content to PDF format, preserving styles and layout.
  3. PDF Editing: Modify existing PDFs by adding or removing content, annotations, rotated page and form fields.
  4. PDF Merging and Splitting: Combine multiple PDF documents into a single file or split a PDF file into separate pages or documents based on the page number and number of pages in the file.
  5. Text Extraction: Extract text content from PDFs for search, analysis, or data processing.
  6. Page Manipulation: Rearrange, rotate, or delete pages within a PDF document.
  7. Image Handling: Add images to PDFs, extract images, or convert PDF pages to images (e.g., PNG, JPEG).
  8. Barcode Generation: Create barcodes within PDF documents for various applications.
  9. Watermarking: Add text or image watermarks to protect and brand your PDF file.
  10. Digital Signatures: Apply digital signatures for document authentication and integrity.

Installing IronPDF for Java

To Install IronPDF first you need a good Java Compiler in today's article we will use the IntelliJ IDEA.

Open the IntelliJ IDEA and create a new maven project. Once the project is created open the Pom.XML file and write the following maven dependencies in it to use IronPDF.


Once there are added click on the small button appeared on the right side on the screen to install these dependencies.

How to Create a PDF Reader in Java: Figure 1

Creating a PDFReader to read PDF files

In this section we will write the source code, that will create a PDF reader that can read PDF files by getting the PDF file path from user concatenated with the PDF file name and extract the text as a string value which could be named something as simple as 'string filename' or 'string text' and print it in the console for user to read and get useful information from it.

import com.ironsoftware.ironpdf.*;
import java.nio.file.Paths;
import java.util.Scanner;

public class Main {
    public static void main(String [] args) {
// Scanner Element
        Scanner scanner = new Scanner(;
        System.out.print("Enter the PDF file path: ");
        String filePath = scanner.nextLine();

        try {
// PDFReader reader
                PdfDocument pdf = PdfDocument.fromFile(Paths.get(filePath));
            String text = pdf.extractAllText();
        } catch (IOException e) {
            System.err.println("An IOException occurred: " + e.getMessage());
        } catch (PdfException e) {
            System.err.println("A PdfException occurred: " + e.getMessage());
        } catch (Exception e) {
            System.err.println("An unexpected exception occurred: " + e.getMessage());

This Java code is designed to extract text content from a PDF file specified by the user. It begins by importing the necessary libraries, including ironpdf for PDF processing and java.util.Scanner for user input. Inside the main function, it initializes a Scanner to capture user input from the console. The user is prompted to enter the file path of the PDF file they want to process.

Once the user provides the file path, the code reads it, creates a PdfDocument object using the IronPDF library that returns the PDF instance of byte array in Boolean partial mode, and then extracts all the text content from first page of the specified PDF file.

PDFReader Read PDF File Example 1

Run the Java program, and it will ask for the PDF file path, enter the PDF file Path and press enter.

How to Create a PDF Reader in Java: Figure 2

It will open the PDF file located at the path and extract its text and print it in console below is the output image.

How to Create a PDF Reader in Java: Figure 3

PDFReader Read PDF Document Example 2

Rerun the Java program and enter new file with another PDF file path.

How to Create a PDF Reader in Java: Figure 4


The ability to read and manipulate PDF files in Java is a crucial skill for developers in today's digital age. PDFs are widely used for various document-related tasks, and Java developers can harness the power of libraries like IronPDF to simplify their PDF document management processes.

IronPDF for Java offers a comprehensive set of features, including PDF generation, HTML to PDF conversion, PDF file editing, merging and splitting, text extraction, page manipulation, image handling, barcode generation, watermarking, digital signatures, encryption, and more. It empowers developers to work with PDF documents efficiently and effectively, making it a valuable asset in their toolkit.

This article has provided an introduction to IronPDF for Java, including instructions for installation and a practical example of how to create a PDF reader to extract text from PDF files interactively. With the knowledge and tools provided in this guide, Java developers can take full advantage of IronPDF and simplify their PDF-related tasks in their projects, whether it's for generating reports, processing data, or creating interactive forms.

The Complete article on how to read PDF file visit here. And the code example on how to read a PDF file in Java is available at this link.

Opt in to IronPDF's trial today to begin exploring all of its features, and see how IronPDF can help improve your PDF-related tasks. If you find IronPDF to be beneficial to your working environment, be sure to purchase a license.

How to Read A PDF File in Java
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