According to François Beaufort, open-source Chromium evangelist at Google and previously known as Chrome feature leaker, "by open-sourcing Foxit’s PDF technology, the Chromium team gives developers a robust and reliable PDF library to view, search, print, and form fill PDF files."Chrome UI engineer Peter Kasting describes PDFium as "almost certainly the highest-quality PDF engine available in the open-source world."
PDFium's wiki provides a couple of useful pointers to get started with the library:
- The official API documentation is available on Foxit Software website.
- A good example of how PDFium API can be used by a client software is available in Chrome's PDF plugin.
- Build instructions are also given in the wiki.
As InfoQ has had the opportunity to verify, the build process is straightforward and build files are only generated for desktop environments. It is not clear whether the library can be adapted to running on a mobile device, since Foxit also makes a specific PDF SDK for embedded systems.
With the open-sourcing of PDFium, the list of Chrome components that are openly available asChromium becomes longer. A notable component that is not yet open source is the built-in Flash player.
The project is released under the "New BSD License".