Core Components

These components are needed during runtime, development and testing dependent on the details below.

The three PDFBox components are named pdfbox, fontbox and xmpbox. The Maven groupId of all PDFBox components is org.apache.pdfbox.

Minimum Requirements

PDFBox has the following basic dependencies:

Commons Logging is a generic wrapper around different logging frameworks, so you’ll either need to also use a logging library like log4j or let commons-logging fall back to the standard java.util.logging API included in the Java platform.

For PDFBox Preflight tests only commons-io 2.4 is needed.

Font Handling

For font handling the fontbox component is needed.

XMP Metadata

To support XMP metadata the xmpbox component is needed.

Include Dependencies Using Maven

To add the pdfbox, fontbox, xmpbox and commons-logging jars to your application, the easiest thing is to declare the Maven dependency shown below. This gives you the main pdfbox library directly and the other required jars as transitive dependencies.


Set the version field to the latest stable PDFBox version.

Optional Components

PDFBox does not ship with all features enabled. Third party components are necessary to get full support for certain functionality.

JAI Image I/O

PDF supports embedded image files, however support for some formats require third party libraries which are distributed under terms incompatible with the Apache 2.0 license:

These libraries are optional and will be loaded if present on the classpath, otherwise support for these image formats will be disabled and a warning will be logged when an unsupported image is encountered.

Maven dependencies for these components can be found in parent/pom.xml. Please make sure that any third party licenses are suitable for your project.

Encryption and Signing

Encrypting and sigining PDFs requires the bcprov, bcmail and bcpkix libraries from the Legion of the Bouncy Castle. These can be included in your Maven project using the following dependencies:




Java Cryptography Extension (JCE)

256-bit AES encryption requires a JDK with “unlimited strength” cryptography, which requires extra files to be installed. For JDK 7, see Java Cryptography Extension (JCE). If these files are not installed, building PDFBox will throw an exception with the following message:

JCE unlimited strength jurisdiction policy files are not installed

Dependencies for Ant Builds

The above instructions expect that you’re using Maven or another build tool like Ivy that supports Maven dependencies. If you instead use tools like Ant where you need to explicitly include all the required library jars in your application, you’ll need to do something different.

The easiest approach is to run mvn dependency:copy-dependencies inside the pdfbox directory of the latest PDFBox source release. This will copy all the required and optional libraries discussed above into the pdfbox/target/dependencies directory. You can then simply copy all the libraries you need from this directory to your application.