Besides Adobe's, numerous third-party libraries can also produce PDF directly. Below is a list of some of the PDF libraries we are aware of.
Fast, direct, and maybe even free
Like any toolset, these libraries that each offer their own advantages and disadvantages. Once configured, the creation process is both swift and robust, but the onus falls on the developer to build each PDF page from scratch. Performance, functionality, pricing, licensing terms, compatible programming languages and the availability of developer support all vary significantly between libraries. Many of these libraries are low cost, royalty-free or free for non-profit use.
In no particular order...
Foxit PDF SDK
Foxit PDF SDK is ideal for any enterprise-class application, cloud service, desktop application, or mobile app that has to interact with PDF documents and forms - especially across platforms. The PDF SDK excels with multi-platform support, for a consistent user experience across client devices. PDF SDK applications are usually developed in C or C++.
Application developers who use Foxit PDF SDK leverage Foxit’s powerful, standard-compliant PDF technology to securely display, edit, annotate, format, organize, and search PDF documents and to fill PDF forms.
Foxit Quick PDF Library
Foxit Quick PDF Library Lite
Foxit Quick PDF Library Lite is a free pdf library that offers a subset of the functionality found in Quick PDF Library. It provides the ability to load or create PDFs, convert images to PDF, generate and place QR codes, add web links, get and set document properties, rotate pages, merge documents, analyze document security and add images and text to documents. It can also be used to manage PageBox info (MediaBox, CropBox, BleedBox, TrimBox, ArtBox), check for fonts, count embedded images, get page width and height. It works with any language that supports ActiveX.
Adobe PDF Library SDK - Adobe Systems
The Adobe PDF Library SDK is a low-level library containing a set of C and C++ APIs. It is based on the same technology used to build Adobe Acrobat. Functionality includes generating, manipulating, rendering and printing PDF documents, and supports conversion to specific standards for archiving (PDF/A) and printing (PDF/X).
JPedal - IDR Solutions
JPedal is a Java PDF library that can be used for printing, viewing, converting, searching, and extracting content. Using JPedal, PDF content can be converted into text or images, and images within PDF documents can also be separately extracted. The library also supports Adobe XML Forms Architecture (XFA).
FOP: An Open-Source XSL Formatter and Renderer
Apache FOP is a print formatter that can produce output in a range of formats, including PDF. It is driven by XSL formatting objects (XSL-FO), which is easier to use for layout and typography than the PDF syntax. A reasonable level of familiarity with XML and XSL is required to effectively use this technology due to its reliance on XSL. Implemented in Java, Apache FOP is available for download either as source code or in a precompiled version.
PDF Core Library - Zeon Corp.
PDF Core Library is a set of API functions (C and C++) that help developers to create PDF-related applications without in-depth PDF knowledge. Functionality includes parsing, viewing, printing and editing PDF files.
PDFlib - PDFlib GmbH
PDFlib is a developer toolbox that allows developers to create and manipulate PDF documents. PDFlib can be used for dynamic PDF creation on a web or other server, or to add “Save as PDF” functionality to applications. PDFlib can be used to control typography, color management, image-to-PDF conversion, or the creation of documents compatible with PDF-based standards (e.g., PDF/X, PDF/A, and PDF/VT).
OK, so you want to stamp your document. Maybe you need to give reviewers some advice about the document's status or sensitivity. This tip from author Ted Padova demonstrates how to add stamps with the Stamp Tool along with related comments.