Apache PDFBox : Java Based Command Line PDF Tool

Apache PDFBox is a command line tool for working with PDF files. Using this one tool, we can create PDF files, split the PDF file, merge PDF files together, export the contents of PDF files into other formats, convert PDF files into images and more. We can also encrypt and decrypt PDF files using this tool. It works on all the popular platforms such as Windows, macOS, Linux and more.

Apache PDFBox is a Java based application and for using it we must Java installed on our computer. It works on any platform on which Java is supported. We can download Java runtime from https://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp. This download page contains downloads for all the platforms. Only after installing Java on your computer system, you will be able to use this tool.


In order to find the basic syntax for the PDFBox, we can run the command java -jar pdfbox.jar. Obviously, we have renamed the downloaded JAR file to pdfbox.jar for convenience. You will see a list of arguments and their syntax. If you want further help about any of the commands, then you can use help argument followed by the option. For example, java -jar pdfbox.jar help print will show you details about the printing function of PDFBox.

PDFBox can be used to extract Unicode text from PDF files, to split a single PDF into many different PDF files or merge multiple PDF files into a single PDF file, to extract data from PDF forms or fill the PDF forms. We can use it to validate a PDF against the PDF/A-1b standard, to save the PDF files as image files, to digitally sign PDF files, and to print PDF files using the Java printing API. We can also use to create PDF files from existing image files, or from existing text files.

Apache PDFBox can be downloaded from https://pdfbox.apache.org/index.html.