wxPdfDocument 1.2.0

What is wxPdfDocument?

wxPdfDocument is a C++ class which allows wxWidgets applications to generate PDF files. The code is a port of FPDF - a free PHP class for generating PDF files - to C++ using the wxWidgets library. wxPdfDocument does not make use of any libraries like PDFlib or ClibPDF which require a fee at least for commercial usage. wxPdfDocument is published under the wxWidgets (formerly wxWindows) license. This means you may use it for any kind of usage and modify it to suit your needs.

wxPdfDocument offers all advantages of FPDF. Several add-on PHP scripts found on the FPDF web site are incorporated into wxPdfDocument. The main features are:

  • Choice of measure unit, page format and margins
  • Page header and footer management
  • Automatic page break
  • Automatic line break and text justification
  • Image support (GIF, JPEG, PNG and WMF)
  • Colours (Grayscale, RGB, CMYK, Spot colours)
  • Links (internal and external)
  • 14 Adobe standard fonts
  • TrueType and Type1 fonts (with or without embedding) and encoding support
  • TrueType Unicode and Type0 fonts (for Chinese, Japanese and Korean) support in the Unicode build
  • OpenType Unicode fonts support in the Unicode build
  • Page compression
  • Graphics primitives for the creation of simple drawings
  • Definition of clipping areas
  • Bookmarks for outlining the document
  • Rotation
  • Protecting the document by passwords and/or access permissions
  • Text annotations
  • PDF forms (supported field types: text, combo box, check box, radio button, push button)
  • JavaScript
  • Fill gradients
  • Templates
  • Layers (optional content groups)
  • Simple bitmap patterns as draw and fill colours

The class can produce documents in many languages other than the Western European ones: Central European, Cyrillic, Greek, Baltic and Thai, provided you own TrueType or Type1 fonts with the desired character set. In the Unicode build Chinese, Japanese and Korean are supported, too.

A Reference Manual showing all available methods in alphabetical order is provided. A sample application including more than 20 examples demonstrates the different features. Separate detailed descriptions are available for the MakeFont Utility and the ShowFont Utility. The chapter Styling text using a simple markup language describes the supported tags of the simple XML markup language used by the method wxPdfDocument::WriteXml.

wxPdfDocument is hosted at GitHub since end of 2015. For any remark, question or problem, you can leave a message on the wxPdfDocument issue tracker Or you can send a mail to the author directly.

Version history

1.2.0 - February 2024


  • Added support for document protection with AES-256 encryption (PDF 2.0).
  • Added support for importing PDF documents protected with AES encryption.

Fixed bugs:

  • Fixed problem with page breaks in XML tables.


  • The library now requires a C++11 compiler for compilation.
  • Build support for Visual C++ versions below 2015 has been removed.

1.1.0 - January 2024

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets versions 3.0.x, 3.1.x and 3.2.x.


  • Support for negative coordinates in all graphics operations.
  • Changed signatures of methods ScaleX(), ScaleY(), ScaleXY(), Scale(), MirrorH(), MirrorV(), SkewX(), SkewY(), Skew(), Rotate(), and UseTemplate(). If an application had explicitly specified the default value (-1) in calls to one of those methods, these values have to be replaced by calls to method GetX() resp GetY().

Fixed bugs:

  • Fixed issue "Rotated text at wrong position". The problem arose from the use of negative coordinates. All graphics operations now support negative coordinates, too.
  • Fixed output of wrong text background colour for rotated text in wxPdfDC.

1.0.3 - November 2023

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets versions 3.0.x, 3.1.x and 3.2.x.

General changes:

  • Updated Unicode data for ShowFont utility

Fixed bugs:

  • Fixed handling of long table: take top page margin, page header and table header into account for page breaks.
  • Fixed handling for empty table bodies.
  • Fixed handling of the height of (optional) table header rows (taking it into account for calculating table parts fitting on a page).
  • Fixed isue #81. Improve handling of table cell borders in markup. Table cell borders could be (partially) hidden by table cell backgrounds.
  • Actually use wxPdfDocument::GetImageSize() MIME type parameter.
  • Fixed handling of surrogates for TrueType fonts.
  • Fixed problem with automatic page break

1.0.2 - December 2021

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets versions 3.0.x and 3.1.x.

General changes:

  • Added attribute "viewport" for XML markup element "img"
  • Added option to specify the unit for numeric attributes in XML markup elements
  • Slightly optimized handling for the XML markup element "img"
  • Added new flag wxPDF_VIEWER_NOPRINTSCALING for method wxPdfDocument::SetViewerPreferences
  • Added method wxPdfDocument::SetPaperHandling for better printout handling

Fixed bugs:

  • Fixed markup handling for paragraphs in table cells
  • Fixed markup table handling (wrong total height used to reserve space)
  • Fixed justification issue in markup text
  • Adjusted handling of pens and brushes in wxPdfDC

1.0.1 - September 2021

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets versions 3.0.x and 3.1.x.

Fixed bugs:

  • Fixed hatch pattern scaling in wxPdfDC
  • Fixed compile time error in ANSI mode
  • Fixed some documentation glitches

1.0.0 - September 2021

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets versions 3.0.x and 3.1.x.

General changes:

  • Remove support for wxWidgets 2.x
  • Added support for PDF/A-1B conformance
  • Added transformation matrix support for wxPdfDC
  • Added attribute "char-spacing" for XML markup element "span"
  • Added maximum height attribute for table rows in XML markup
  • Implemented extended support for fill patterns (template based patterns, various hatch patterns)
  • Enhanced support for wxBrush styles in wxPdfDC (stipple and hatch styles)
  • Changed data type of image measures in XML markup (from integer to double)
  • Optimized wxPdfDC output (setting of pens, brushes, state changes)

Fixed bugs:

  • Fixed issue with bitmap images in wxPdfDC (now using globally unique identifiers)
  • Fixed wxPdfDC issue with pen and brush color
  • Fixed issue with patterns in templates
  • Use the transparent background mode by default (relevant for alpha support in wxPdfDC)

0.9.8 - September 2019

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets versions 2.8.12, 3.0.x and 3.1.x.

General changes:

  • Added alpha transparency support for wxPdfDC (wxWidgets 3.x only)
  • Eliminated error messages issued from method wxPdfFontManager::RegisterSystemFonts on registering bitmap fonts files
  • Removed call to deprecated function wxFillLogFont
  • Added configure options to skip building samples/utilities
  • Added build support for Visual C++ 2019
  • Added AppVeyor CI

Fixed bugs:

  • Fixed issue with XML tables: Rows affected by common row spans are now kept together on the same page

0.9.7 - January 2019

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets versions 2.8.12, 3.0.x and 3.1.x.

General changes:

  • Adjusted dash patterns to get (hopefully) perfect dots for all pen cap styles
  • Added a new map mode style wxPDF_MAPMODESTYLE_PDFFONTSCALE
  • Added support for justified text alignment when using Unicode fonts
  • Added border width and colour attributes to XML table output
  • Added speed up for text drawing in wxPdfDC class
  • Added multiline text support for wxPdfDC::DoDrawRotatedText
  • Added text background color support for wxPdfDC::DoDrawText and wxPdfDC::DoDrawRotatedText

Fixed bugs:

  • Fixed a bug when using a protected/encrypted external template
  • Fixed an issue on failing to load an image from simple XML due to missing mimetype
  • Fixed an issue on parsing the document information of an existing PDF document
  • Fixed a wxPdfParser issue with "startxref" not found
  • Fixed a crash on importing a completely empty page
  • Fixed a problem with empty content streams on import
  • Fixed several glitches in XML support
  • Fixed issue using wrong pen on drawing splines in method wxPdfDC::DoDrawSpline
  • Fixed issues in wxPdfDC class by taking transparency of pen and brush into account.

0.9.6 - April 2017

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets version 2.8.12 and version 3.1.0.

General changes:

  • Overhauled the build system
  • Added continuous integration (Travis CI)
  • Replaced all occurrences of macro wxT by wxS
  • Added version information as Windows resource for DLL builds on Windows

Fixed bugs:

  • Fixed adjustment of angles in method wxPdfDocument::Ellipse
  • Fixed issue with drawing arcs from wxPdfDC by forcing angles into proper range for counter-clockwise drawing
  • Replaced MD5 implementation to resolve a license incompatibility issue
  • Replaced image in transparency sample to resolve a potential license issue

0.9.5 - December 2015

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets version 2.8.12 and version 3.0.2.

General changes:

  • respect "join" and "cap" attributes of wxPen in wxPdfDC (2.9)
  • cleaned up the use of wxMemoryOutputStream instances
  • cleaned up dependencies on wxWidgets libraries for graphics formats GIF and JPEG

Fixed bugs:

  • fixed a bug in positioning rotated text
  • fixed a bug in determining line lengths in XML formatted output
  • fixed a bug in drawing a point in wxPdfDC (2.9)
  • fixed a bug in drawing elliptic arcs in wxPdfDC (2.9)

0.9.4 - August 2013

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets version 2.8.12 and version 2.9.5. Compatibility with older wxWidgets versions is not guaranteed, but it should work with all 2.8.x versions.

General changes:

  • added handling of Unicode surrogates for TrueType Unicode fonts (in wxPdfDocument library and in ShowFont utility)
  • added missing initialization for image format type to use in wxPdfDC
  • added support to write wxImage objects in JPEG format to PDF (instead of PNG format only)

Fixed bugs:

  • corrected the handling of sectors in method wxPdfDocument::Ellipse
  • fixed a bug in ShowFont (font index for TrueType collections was not selectable)
  • fixed a bug in the Type1 font parser (parsing /Subrs could hang)
  • fixed a bug in the Type1 font parser (endless loop when parsing Type1 multi master font files)
  • fixed a bug in TrueType font parser reading wrong values from OS/2 table version 0
  • adjusted default font metrics in wxPdfDC and external leading to always >= 0
  • fixed a GDI object leak in TrueType font parser (Windows only)

0.9.3 - June 2012

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets version 2.8.12 and version 2.9.3. Compatibility with older wxWidgets versions is not guaranteed, but it should work with all 2.8.x versions.

General changes:

  • added methods to access the bottom right coordinates of the last inserted image
  • added span tag to XML markup
  • added method wxPdfDocument::AttachFile to attach files to PDF documents
  • added compile time option to derive wxPdfDocument from wxObject (makes interfacing to wxPerl easier)
  • integrated enhancements to wxPdfDC and MakeFont contributed by Mark Dootson
  • added support for the wxWidgets printing framework (contributed by Mark Dootson)
  • enhanced wxPdfDC sample application to demonstrate the integration with the printing framework (contributed by Mark Dootson)

Fixed bugs:

  • fixed a bug in pdffontdatacore.cpp (non-ASCII characters didn't show on OSX)
  • fixed a bug in pdfencrypt.cpp (setting a non-empty document id)
  • fixed a bug in pdfxml.cpp (force line break for words too long to fit on a line)
  • fixed in bug in handling external templates in conjunction with protection (crypting used the wrong object id for strings and streams)

0.9.2 - September 2011

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets version 2.8.12 and version 2.9.2. Compatibility with older wxWidgets versions is not guaranteed, but it should work with all 2.8.x versions.

General changes:

Fixed bugs:

0.9.1 - January 2011

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets version 2.8.11 and version 2.9.1. Compatibility with older wxWidgets versions is not guaranteed, but it should now work with all 2.8.x versions.

Added features:

General changes:

  • optimized the processing speed of VOLT rules
  • modified the code for wxMac support
  • modified the sample tutorial7 to test the new wxMac font loading code
  • added check for valid 'cmap' table in wxPdfFontParserTrueType
  • added call to method wc_str for wxString parameters in calls to FromWChar
  • implemented method RegisterSystemFonts for wxMac
  • samples changed to set the executable path as the current working directory

Fixed bugs:

  • fixed a memory leak on registering a font identified by a wxFont object
  • fixed a bug in method ShowGlyph
  • fixed several wxMac compile time bugs (missing includes, some typos)
  • changed the wxMac print dialog includes in the printing sample

0.9.0 - December 2010

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets version 2.8.11 and version 2.9.1. Compatibility with older wxWidgets versions is not guaranteed.

This is the first release of wxPdfDocument containing a PDF drawing context (wxPdfDC). There are implementations for wxWidgets 2.8.x and 2.9.x; the matching implementation is selected automatically at compile time. Please report your experiences with wxPdfDC to the author of wxPdfDocument, be it bug reports, contributions or feature requests.

Note: A PDF graphics context is planned for one of the next releases of wxPdfDocument. Most likely only wxWidgets 2.9.x will be supported since the internals of the base class wxGraphicsContext differ considerably between wxWidgets 2.8.x and 2.9.x.

Added features:

  • methods to draw Bezier splines through a list of points; the drawing sample has been extended to show the new functionality
  • PDF drawing context (wxPdfDC); not yet all methods are implemented
  • support for fonts with VOLT (Visual Ordering and Layout Tables) data (currently visual ordering only, preprocessing of the fonts required); fonts for 9 Indic scripts are included to demonstrate this feature

General changes:

  • increased output speed for method SaveAsFile (if large graphics files are involved)
  • all currently supported CJK font families are now registered automatically at startup of the font manager
  • MS CJK fonts aren't automatically registered as Type0 fonts, since this conflicts with registering these fonts as TrueType Unicode fonts
  • handling of image masks has been improved

Fixed bugs:

  • opening font files could fail if the file path contained non-latin characters Now wxFileSystem::FileNameToURL is used to create valid file names for use in method OpenFile of wxFileSystem
  • invalid format codes in method wxPdfUtility::Double2String could cause problems in MinGW environment
  • registering half-width CJK fonts didn't work
  • bug in page size handling
  • no file was written when Close was called before SaveAsFile
  • bug in the handling of transparency for image masks
  • uninitialized member variables in layer objects possibly causing invisibility of layers
  • cleaned up output formatting codes for building on 64-bit systems
  • compile time bugs for wxWidgets built with wxUSE_STL
  • several minor bugs

0.8.5 - October 2009

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets version 2.8.10. Some preparations were done to make wxPdfDocument compatible with version 2.9.x and above, too.

Added features in all builds:

  • support for individual page sizes
  • support for setting fill rule to odd/even or winding
  • support for setting the text render mode
  • support for layers (optional content groups)
  • support for patterns as draw and fill colours
  • support for Code 128 barcodes

Added features in Unicode build:

  • support for kerning
  • support for different encodings for Type1 and TrueType fonts
  • support for using TrueType and OpenType fonts loaded directly from .ttf or .otf file
  • support for using Type1 fonts loaded directly from .pfb and .afm file
  • support for using TrueType and OpenType fonts defined by a wxFont object
  • font subsetting for OpenType Unicode fonts (experimental, currently non-CID fonts only)
  • direct positioning and writing of glyph numbers for TrueType/OpenType Unicode fonts
    this may be used in conjunction with tools for writing complex scripts like ICU

Added features in ANSI build:

  • support for fonts defined by a wxFont object (mapped by family, weight and style to the Adobe core fonts)

General changes:

  • coordinate transformation (location of origin and y axis orientation) is now done directly in PDF. This was a prerequisite to add wxGraphicsContext support in an upcoming version. User unit scaling is done programmatically.
  • unified the naming of all methods manipulating colours. Now always the British spelling is used, i.e. colour instead of color.

Fixed bugs:

0.8.0 - December 2006

Added features:

  • support for external templates: pages of existing PDF documents may be imported and used as templates
  • font subsetting for TrueType and TrueType Unicode fonts, often resulting in much smaller PDF file sizes
  • support for using and embedding OpenType Unicode fonts
  • enhanced support for password based encryption, encryption key length freely definable between 40 and 128 bits (Attention: Adobe Reader supports only keys with 40 or 128 bits.)
  • support for AES encryption (additional standard encryption method in PDF version 1.6 and above)

wxPdfDocument is compatible with wxWidgets version 2.8.0 as well as with version 2.6.x.

As an add-on preprocessed font files for the free DejaVu fonts (version 2.12) are provided in the file release wxPdfDocument Add-Ons.

Attention: For supporting font subsetting for ordinary non-Unicode TrueType fonts the format of the font definition files has been extended. Font definition files created with prior versions of the MakeFont Utility are still usable, but do not support font subsetting. It is recommended to regenerate own font definition files. Unfortunately common AFM font metric files do not contain glyph information which is required by the MakeFont Utility to create the character-to-glyph mapping. Therefore the utility ttf2ufm had to be changed. The modified version including a Windows executable is available in the file release wxPdfDocument Add-Ons.

0.7.6 - October 2006

Added features (thanks to Stuart Smith):

  • setting/getting the default path used for loading font files
  • getting the description of the current font
  • loading images from a wxInputStream (in addition to loading from file or wxImage)

Attention: The structure of the font definition files has changed due to the addition of the font attribute xHeight. It is necessary to regenerate own font definition files using the MakeFont Utility. To support the xHeight attribute the utility ttf2ufm had to be changed.

wxPdfDocument is now compatible with wxWidgets version 2.7.1 and above as well as with version 2.6.x.

Fixed several bugs

0.7.5 - September 2006

Added or enhanced features:

  • support for tables in simple XML markup spanning more than a page
  • support for internal links in simple XML markup
  • support for transparency
  • support for image masks
  • support for internal templates
  • support for polygon and shape clipping
  • support for printing text along a path
  • extended support for fill gradients (API changed!)
  • internal colour management reworked

Fixed some minor bugs

0.7 - April 2006

Added features:

  • support for CMYK and spot colours
  • support for named colours (486 predefined names for RGB colours) (wxPdfColour)
  • support for colour names in HTML notation (#rrggbb) (wxPdfColour)
  • text annotations
  • additional font decorations: overline, strikeout
  • PDF forms
  • JavaScript at the document level
  • Simple XML markup language for styling and structuring text

Added or modified methods:

0.6 - November 2005

Added features:

Changed API of graphics primitives: line style and fill colour parameters deleted, line style and fill colour have to be set using wxPdfDocument::SetLineStyle and wxPdfDocument::SetFillColour.

0.5 - September 2005

First public release

0.4 - August 2005

Support for embedding fonts

0.3 - July 2005

Support for embedding images

0.2 - June 2005

Several add-ons implemented

0.1 - May 2005
Planning and basic PDF features implemented
Ulrich Telle (ulrich DOT telle AT gmx DOT de)

Known issues

Currently there are no known issues regarding the functionality of the wxPdfDocument component. All features were thoroughly tested individually, but it's almost impossible to check all potential combinations. If you find bugs please report them to the author!


I'm very grateful to Bruno Lowagie, the main author of the iText Java library (http://www.lowagie.com/iText), for allowing to take lots of ideas and inspirations from this great Java PDF library. Especially the font handling and font subsetting was influenced in that way.

Many thanks go to Ben Moores who provided code for layers and patterns he wrote for his PDF extension for Mapnik (http://www.mapnik.org). This code has been extended based on ideas from the iText Java library and was incorporated into wxPdfDocument.

Support for Indic scripts is based on the efforts of Ian Back, creator of the PHP library mPDF (http://mpdf.bpm1.com); special thanks to K Vinod Kumar of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Mumbai (http://www.cdacmumbai.in), for clearing license issues of the Raghu font series.

Kudos to Mark Dootson for contributing major enhancements of wxPdfDC and it's integration into the wxWidgets printing framework.

Kudos to Dieter Schmeer for contributing several enhancements for the XML markup handling.

Since wxPdfDocument is based on the great FPDF PHP class and several of the contributions to it found on the FPDF website I would like to thank

  • Olivier Plathey (FPDF, Barcodes, Bookmarks, Rotation),
  • Maxime Delorme (Sector)
  • Johannes Guentert (JavaScript)
  • Martin Hall-May (WMF images, Transparency)
  • Emmanuel Havet (Code39 barcodes)
  • Shailesh Humbad (POSTNET barcodes)
  • Matthias Lau (i25 barcodes)
  • Pierre Marletta (Diagrams)
  • Laurent Passebecq (Labels)
  • David Hernandez Sanz (additional graphics primitives)
  • Valentin Schmidt (Transparency, Alpha channel)
  • Jan Slabon (FPDI)
  • Klemen Vodopivec (Protection)
  • Moritz Wagner (Transformation)
  • Andreas Wuermser (Clipping, Gradients, Transformation)

The wxPdfDocument encryption methods use the MD5 Message Digest Algorithm implementation of Alexander Peslyak (Public Domain) and the Rijndael cipher implementation of Szymon Stefanek (Public Domain). For detailed license information

See also
files pdfencrypt.cpp and pdfrijndael.h.