A PDF Renderer is a piece of software which can take a PDF file and create an image version of what it would look like to view in a PDF Reader such as Acrobat.
A PDF file is more like a Vector Graphic or a program which needs to be executed to create the actual output. So a PDF renderer needs to include a PDF parser (which can build a view of the pages in memory) and the ability to write this out in an image format.
Why convert PDF files to images?
The reason to convert PDF files is to make them easier to display in web applications. An image of the page is much easier to show than a PDF page, and it protects the original content. This is still one of the big use cases for our JPedal PDF library, which can convert PDF pages to multiple image formats such as PNG, TIF and even HEIC.
What are the disadvantages of rendering PDF files?
The biggest disadvantage of rendering a PDF file is the loss of the interactive features. So text cannot be selected (unless you create an invisible text layer over the image), Forms cannot be edited, the Document cannot be marked up, etc.
A second issue with a PDF as an image is that pixelation will occur when you zoom in.
Are there any other alternatives?
Are you a Developer working with PDF files?
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