Java does not have its own library to create PDF files so the only alternative is to look for 3rd party libraries that will do just this. True that there are a handful of them out there, but none of them can beat Big Faceless. When I tried to look for the best free library to create PDF files using Java code, I tried and tested almost all of them out there (well, this was 6 years ago but still …) and none of them came even close to Big Faceless’ Java PDF library. While most of them come in free, Big Faceless does not. The cost is a bit high but if you are willing to invest on this, it is worth it. Abundant features abound with their library. Using it is not pretty hard too. How I came to this conclusion was that I liked how Big Faceless’ Java PDF library supported HTML like formatting within your XLST files. Because of that, I could create PDF files with layouts based on HTML tags. That feature was not possible in other PDF libraries I tried out.
Other great features include transparent Unicode support (create PDF files for any language), TrueType and Type1 font support, PDF encryption for password-protected documents, embedding of image files within the PDF document, add HTML style hyperlinks to text or images, simplifing complex document creation by defining and applying styles, full support for PDF features like bookmarks, compression and document meta-information and non-linear creation of documents – pages can be created and edited in any order. These are just a few of them. Yes few. As I said earlier, if you are willing to invest on this, the features that you can use and take advantage of just keeps on coming.