ActivePDF Blog

7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Toolkit

Toolkit has long been the flagship product at ActivePDF, delivering a suite of programmatic PDF manipulation functionality for more than 16 years. Toolkit is also known for being a creative PDF tool that works in perfect synergy with most applications in a Windows platform. Being able to modify, create and view PDF files at high volume and at record speed are a few things that makes Toolkit the number one choice for developers in numerous industries.

Because Toolkit is a developer’s library with hundreds of methods and properties that can tackle almost any processing task, many users may be unaware of the versatility they have at their fingertips. To keep it short and simple, here are seven things you might not know you could do with Toolkit…

1. Set Initial View
The new GetIntialVIewInfo class allows you to customize the display of a PDF when it’s first opened. Use the GetIntialVIewInfo properties to control options such as page layout, PDF window size, and opening page number settings.

When opening a PDF file, the initial presentation to the user is controlled by the document’s Initial View settings. This includes features such as full screen, display navigation pane/bookmarks, etc. Toolkit allows developers to programmatically control the first experience their customers have with the PDF document. For the description and Syntax, visit the Technical Reference section in the Toolkit API reference page on

2. Remove Hyperlinks
Another new function recently added to Toolkit is the RemoveHyperlinks property. Just as the title suggests, this handy property allows you to remove links to outside and/or inside targets.

For example, PDF files often include active links, but as time passes, those links can become irrelevant or outdated. Instead of living with a bunch of PDF files with broken or outdated links, Toolkit gives you the ability to programmatically remove those links. Simply search for the link, specify the type of link and select the removal option.

3. Add Fields to XMP
Since the initial Toolkit 2016 release, the product has included the XMP Manager, which manages metadata within PDF files. One method of the XMP Manager that sometimes gets overlooked is called AddFieldsToXMP. This instructs Toolkit to store Form Field information in the metadata.

Let’s say the input file you’re working with has Form Fields. With this feature, you can store all field information into the XMP metadata. This functionality is perfectly suited to situations where all the form fields are flattened as part of the process after customer submission (to reduce file size, future field changes, etc.). By saving the fields in the XMP, Toolkit allows the developer to still access the original field structures and data, in XML format. If needed, later in the document life-cycle, the XMP field information can then be used to recreate the original fields – the data is still there at your fingertips! For more on XMP, check out our blog “Metadata XMP: Delivering Content in Context.”

4. Control Encryption of XMP Metadata
Speaking of XMP, the engineers at ActivePDF recently released a new property to Toolkit to specify if metadata should or shouldn’t be encrypted along with the document contents.

With the EncryptMetadata property, you can keep XMP metadata unencrypted when using encryption calls such as EncryptPDF or SetPDFSecurity. This allows you to search and index the metadata of an encrypted PDF file without requiring a password (the default state is to encrypt the metadata).

5. Standardize Font Styles
Do you want to standardize your PDF files to a particular font style? Toolkit can help with that. Let’s say your Human Resources department wants their employee files or incoming resumes to display the same font styles, sizes, colors, etc. That’s a difficult task, especially if these forms are coming from many different sources.

The Toolkit method ExtractFontInformation pulls the font information of the current input file into an XML structure. If a font is duplicated in the input file, it’s duplicated in the XML structure as well. This allows the PDF files to display the specified font style and attributes, regardless of what styles were used in the original PDF file.

6. Database Functionality
Working with databases can be tricky, especially when extracting large amounts of information from various sources. Toolkit’s method DBToForm allows users to pull information from databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Secret Server, etc., acting as a bridge between the source and the end user.

DBToForm makes it easier for users to harness large amounts of data within the application of Toolkit rather than having to write a separate “middleman” functionality to retrieve the data. To view an example, visit Populate fields from a database table in the ActivePDF examples page.

7. Barcodes
Another great Toolkit feature is the ability to programmatically generate barcodes to embed into PDF documents. Using the Barcode object, simply encode information into symbologies which are accessible through common barcode readers. Toolkit supports over 100 barcode formats! For UPC coding overviews and code examples, visit the Barcode Appendix on the Toolkit API Reference page.

For updates on Toolkit, check out the New Features in Toolkit page and the Toolkit KBs page on the ActivePDF website!

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Posted: 3/6/2017
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