Working with Barcodes in PDF without Adobe Acrobat

scanned-barcodeBack in February of 2015, Patrick wrote an article about using barcode4J with our PDF Java Toolkit to enable generating images of barcodes to place in a PDF. Using barcode4J provides access to a large range of barcode symbologies that Adobe Acrobat does not support. Patrick’s work got us discussing internally if there was more that we should be doing with barcodes and in the second half of 2015, we started work on adding support for generating appearances of barcodes. Once we had enough of it functioning, we incorporated it into our PDF WebAPI which provided a great testing opportunity for our engineering teams here to see just how well the changes would integrate into an existing project.

With PDF Java Toolkit 4.7.0, we have completed the functionality for barcode appearance generation that we set out to build and this puts us on the same level as what Adobe Acrobat supports. With PDF Java Toolkit you can now create barcodes in an application or server environment without requiring Adobe Acrobat be used to run the calculation scripts (or any other scripts) that are in the PDF. PDF Java Toolkit now supports generating barcode appearances for

  • PDF417
  • QR Code
  • Data Matrix

Using either tab delimited or XML data as the data to be encoded in the barcode. One piece that we heard had been tripping developers up was that while there is a class (the BarcodeApProviderImpl) in PDF Java Toolkit that can generate these appearances, there was no example of how to connect it with the AppearanceService. When we looked at this, we were confused as well and felt like we could improve the developer experience. Rather than put the burden on you, we have connected the BarcodeApProviderImpl by default so that if you are already using the AppearanceService to generate appearances of annotations the barcodes in your PDFs will automatically get their correct appearance generated as well!
If there are other features or blog posts you would like to see, let us know! If you haven’t yet signed up for your free evaluation of Datalogics PDF Java Toolkit, sign up now so you too can process your forms the same way Adobe Acrobat would just with more control and flexibility in your workflow.

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