How to Get Started with iText 8: A Beginner’s Guide to Library and API Usage

iText is a highly versatile and robust library used for creating and manipulating PDF files in Java. It is capable of generating high-quality documents with complex layouts and rich multimedia content.

The ease of embedding text, images, tables, and interactive forms in PDFs make it a go-to library for developers dealing with document-intensive applications. It is programmatically accessible, providing developers with complete control over the PDF creation and manipulation process.

Another significant feature of iText is its ability to handle advanced PDF features such as watermarks, encryption, and Digital Rights Management (DRM), which make it a great tool for more complex and advanced projects. It also provides a mechanism to create bookmarks, annotations, and comments, making it easier to navigate through voluminous PDFs.

iText is a powerful library that allows developers to generate and manipulate PDF files in Java. To get started with iText 8 in your Java project, follow these steps:

In your Maven pom.xml file, add the following dependency:


Maven Central

Once you have added the iText dependency to your project, you can start using it to create PDFs. Here’s a simple example code that creates a PDF file and adds a paragraph to it:

package org.kodejava.itext;

import com.itextpdf.kernel.pdf.PdfDocument;
import com.itextpdf.kernel.pdf.PdfWriter;
import com.itextpdf.layout.Document;
import com.itextpdf.layout.element.Paragraph;


public class CreatePDFIntro {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try {
            PdfWriter writer = new PdfWriter("HelloWorld.pdf");
            PdfDocument pdf = new PdfDocument(writer);
            Document document = new Document(pdf);
            document.add(new Paragraph("Hello World!"));
        } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
            throw new RuntimeException(e);

This code will create a file named HelloWorld.pdf in the root folder of your project, containing a single paragraph with the text “Hello, World!”.

iText offers a multitude of features, from basic ones such as adding text and images to a PDF, to more complex ones like adding bookmarks, watermarks, and securing the PDF. The official iText 8 documentation is a comprehensive resource that covers these features in great detail; it also has several examples that show how to use the library.

In addition, iText provides strong international language support. This includes various fonts and writing systems, including every Western, Middle Eastern, and Asian language.

It’s worth noting that iText prioritizes performance and memory management, which is especially advantageous when dealing with large quantities of data or high-demand environments.

Given its wide range of features and powerful capabilities, iText is a time-tested choice for generating and manipulating PDFs in Java-centric software development. However, careful attention must be given to its licensing. The open-source version of iText is offered under AGPL, which can be restrictive for some projects. Therefore, for commercial use, a commercial license is recommended.


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