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Xpdf & Open Source

Glyph & Cog distributes Xpdf under two different licenses:

  • An open source license - the GNU General Public License (GPL)
  • A commercial license - see the source licensing page

The open source Xpdf project provides a PDF viewer (for the X Window System on Unix) and associated command line tools (which run on just about any platform that has a C++ compiler). This free version of Xpdf is licensed under the GPL (GNU General Public License), which allows anyone to use the source in their own applications, as long as they also distribute their application under the GPL.

Get Xpdf! For more details on the open source Xpdf project, visit the Xpdf web site.

Glyph & Cog is aware that open source can be a contentious issue, but it has some advantages:

  • Try before you buy: if you want to know how the XpdfText® library will perform on your own PDF files, try out the pdftotext program from the Xpdf package - the core text extraction engine is the same. Similarly for the XpdfInfo library and the pdfinfo program.
  • Look over the source code: if you're thinking about licensing the Xpdf source code, download the Xpdf source and take a look.
  • If you want to use the stand-alone executables (pdftotext for example) with your application, you're free to do so. (To comply with the GPL, you'll need to distribute the Xpdf documentation along with the pdftotext executable - see the Xpdf README file for details.) Of course, for maximum performance, we recommend using our libraries or DLLs or building the Xpdf source code into your application.

We understand that open source isn't the right model for all applications. That's why we sell the libraries as well as the commercial source license. This license allows you to incorporate the Xpdf source code into your application, with no restrictions on distribution.

 
   
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