Mark Stephens Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX. He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

4 reasons you should buy the new edition of IText in Action

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Bruno Iowagie, the ‘father’ of the IText PDF library, has produced a second edition of his book on IText (published by Manning). I have read it and if you are even vaguely interested in PDF files, you need to buy a copy (even if you already have the first or do not know what IText really is).

1. It will save you a huge amount of money if you use IText. This is a very powerful library to use but it is not always easy to make the most of such a powerful tool. The book contains numerous examples where Bruno shows you how to make IText sing, dance and  perform backwards cartwheels.  There is lots of boilerplate examples you can use for common, simple tasks like adding watermarks and security.

2. It contains a lot of general information on the PDF format. If you work with the PDF file format you will know that it is a complex file format with a steep learning curve. And the technical documentation is very dry and terse (the PDF reference format from Adobe is pretty hard-core reading for anyone). Bruno includes a lot of information about the PDF specification and also how it relates to Java. The book is very well-written and easy to read. Complex topics like Dynamic XFA and Javascript are included.

3. It has some very good Java stuff as well. There are lots of examples showing clean, well-written Java code. It covers Java imaging and also Java2D.

4. It is a total rewrite of the first edition. The PDF world has moved on very much since the first edition. So it is more a new book than a revised versions.

You can find out more and read some sample chapters from the publisher’s site. It is well worth reading the free sample chapters and working through some of the examples.

Disclaimer: My name appears in the book acknowledgements because I was asked to proof-read the book. I made lots of suggestions and the good ones were added into the book. I received no fee but did get a free copy of the book. I will be buying a copy anyway for the rest of my team to use.

Mark Stephens Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX. He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

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