Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for document exchange. The format includes a subset of the PostScript page description programming language, a font-embedding system, and a structural storage system.
PDF is used for representing two-dimensional documents in a manner independent of the application software, hardware, and operating system. Each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout 2D document (and, with Acrobat 3D, embedded 3D documents using U3D) that includes the text, fonts, images, and 2D vector graphics which compose the documents.
Over the years PDF has become an extremely important file format. If you want to create documents that can be viewed under all major operating systems, PDF is the ticket, as it maintains the overall look and feel of documents regardless of what platform they are viewed under.
There is a large range of PDF-related software available with many different applications available that can both output to and open files. Many open source software save documents to this format such as OpenOffice.org and GIMP.
This article identifies the best free Linux PDF related software that is available. It covers software that creates, views, manipulates PDFs as well as selecting some useful utilities. All of the applications featured here are released under a freely distributable license, with the exception of Adobe Reader (which is closed source), but this application is too important to ignore. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who wants to manage PDF documents.
Now, let's explore the 11 PDF tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
PDFedit is free and open source library for manipulating PDF documents, released under terms of GNU GPL version 2
It is primary created for simple editing and manipulation of documents in PDF format. There is a graphical and command line interface available.
The software lets you change either raw PDF objects (for advanced users) or use predefined GUI functions. Functions can be easily added as everything is based on a scripts. p>Scripting is used to a great extent in the editor and almost anything can be scripted. It is also possible to create your own scripts or plugins to enhance the functionality of the package.
PDFedit is a low-level application for technical users that provides structured access to the internal structure of the PDF file. It may require familiarity with PDF specifications to be able to make substantial modifications.
Desktop page layout software which produces commercial grade PDF output
Vector-based drawing program
Ghostscript PostScript / PDF interpreter
Multi-page document viewer
View, print and collaborate on PDF files
Universal document viewer with support for advanced document features
Document post production tool
Useful tool for manipulating PDFs
Tools for and transforming and inspecting PDF files
Add annotations to PDF files
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