iText in Action Second Edition Edition

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1935182610
ISBN-10: 1935182617
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Willie Wheeler is an IT Director for the Apollo Group. He has eleven years of experience in Java/Java EE development including four years with the Spring Framework.

John Wheeler develops Java software using Spring Framework for government, education, and private business. Willie and John are brothers who have published technical articles and speak on Spring and other topics.

Joshua White has worked as a Solutions Architect for a number of financial and health services organizations in Connecticut. He has over twelve years of experience designing and developing Java and Java EE based solutions. He has worked with and evangelized the use of the Spring Framework since its inception in 2002.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 700 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; Second Edition edition (November 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935182617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935182610
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Let's go backwards in time: in 2005-2006 I wrote a book entitled 'iText in Action'. iText is a Java-PDF library I have been working on since 1999, helped by Paulo Soares and many other developers. I Have been working at Ghent University since 1998. I started my career at Trasys, a member of the Tractebel group (now owned by Suez). I studied civil architectural engineering from 1988 to 1995; I was at Highschool from 1982 to 1988 (majors Latin and Math). I had my first computer at the age of 12 in 1982.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Voracious Reader on April 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the clearest, easiest to follow technical books I've read in a long time.

Clear, step by step examples that are thoroughly explained make this a book you can understand, even without following along on the computer.

I found it very helpful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I Feel Fine on October 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
The iText library is a bit too preoccupied with pass editing. There's too much event oriented code. In contrast, Adobe Illustrator has no issues opening up a complex PDF and offering full editing tools in place. In my opinion, the iText API design is more than a little off. The code is heavy. Namespace conflicts occur left and right. (YARC- Yeah, another rectangle class)

The javadocs are non-existent. Even the parameters aren't documented well. Example:
"public void addTemplate(PdfTemplate template, float a, float b, float c, float d, float e, float f)
Adds a template to this content. "

This book won't solve many of the javadoc shortcomings. It's a little too much cookbook on the simple obvious items, and not enough detail on the esoteric.

STILL, iText is likely the finest Java PDF API out there. Definitely a love hate relationship, but if you're going to use it, you'll need this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A.J. on January 4, 2012
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I started with zero inside knowledge about PDF. Armed with this book, I finished my first project to generate reports in PDF format in 2 weeks; and I am heading comfortably to generate more complicated PDF files with buttons, graphs and things like that. This book is clearly written and digs in-depth. I highly recommend this book.
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When it comes to producing a PDF from on-line data (generally a database) I found only two open source alternatives: Jasper Reports and iText. I chose iText and I'm glad I did. I needed a light weight (easy to install) PDF report generator. I am running some fairly complex SQL queries to generate the data and I need to deploy this code on a number of systems. I don't want it to fail because something in the infrastructure is missing. iText gave me all of this (well, I had to do the complex SQL myself, of course).

iText in Action allowed me to develop this application on a very aggressive schedule (aren't all schedules aggressive?) The book clearly lays out how to use itext, fonts, tables and almost everything else I needed. On occasion I had to search on line to figure out how to do something, but most of the time I could find what I needed in the book.

In summary, I recommend iText if you need something light weight. Jasper Reports would be a good way to build an enterprise report generator. But it's problematic if you want to deploy it on lots of systems. If you choose to use iText, then this book will be worth every penny you pay for it.

[Later]
As of 2014 I have not seen a good alternative to iText. The iText API is the best that I've seen for creating PDFs (if you just want to read PDFs there are other alternatives). iText appears to be used is a vast array of software products that create PDFs(although in some cases the version of iText is the earlier non-GPL encumbered open source version).

iText is released under a combined GPL/Commerical license. As I understand the iText software license, if you use the GPL license you must open source the code that makes use of iText.
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If you're a software developer working with the ubiquitous PDF format, you have probably heard of the iText library for Java developers (or it's cousin, the iTextSharp library for C# developers).

iText/iTextSharp is the de facto standard toolkit for working with PDFs--fast, relatively easy, comprehensive. If you need to stuff an Acrobat Form with data, iText is for you. If you need to parse a document into pages, iText is for you. If you need to assemble thousands of pages of construction documents in various sizes and forms, ship them halfway around the world for local printing and delivery--iText is indispensable. (Been there, done that, used iTextSharp.)

But--iText is not perfect. iText is pseudo-free software, in the sense that the library can be downloaded for free--but the library is next to useless without the documentation. And the documentation is this book--iText in Action (Second Edition). To put it another way, to use iText you have to RTFM--and this is the, ahem, manual you have to read.

Lots of examples, lots of explanation, lots of help with your project--I highly recommend this book.
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This book does what it says on the description. It gives a good in-depth, step by step review of the iText framework. I used this for a project I had at work to edit PDFs (using .net and iTextSharp.) This gave a good insight into how the framework works and doesn't get too burred in how a PDF actually works.
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