|Initial release||4 March 2005[nb 1]|
22.04.0 / 1 April 2022
|Operating system||Linux, Unix, BSD, Windows|
|License||GPLv2 or GPLv3|
Poppler is a free software utility library for rendering Portable Document Format (PDF) documents. Its development is supported by freedesktop.org. It is commonly used on Linux systems, and is used by the PDF viewers of the open source GNOME and KDE desktop environments.
The project was started by Kristian Høgsberg with two goals: to provide PDF rendering functionality as a shared library, to centralize maintenance effort and to go beyond the goals of Xpdf, and to integrate with functionality provided by modern operating systems.
As of the version 0.18 release in 2011, the poppler library represents a complete implementation of ISO 32000-1, the PDF format standard, and is the first major free PDF library to support its forms (only Acroforms but not full XFA forms) and annotations features.
Poppler is a fork of Xpdf-3.0, a PDF file viewer developed by Derek Noonburg of Glyph and Cog, LLC.
The name Poppler comes from the animated series Futurama episode "The Problem with Popplers."
Notable free software applications using Poppler to render PDF documents include:
|pdftotext, pdftohtml, etc.||none|
Poppler can use two back-ends for drawing PDF documents, Cairo and Splash. Its features may depend on which back-end it employs. A third back-end based on Qt4's painting framework "Arthur", is available, but is incomplete and no longer under active development. Bindings exist for Glib and Qt5, that provide interfaces to the Poppler backends, although the Qt5 bindings support only the Splash and Arthur backends. There is a patchset available to add support for the Cairo backend to the Qt5 bindings, but the Poppler project does not currently wish to integrate the feature into the library proper.
Some characteristics of the back-ends include:
Poppler comes with a text-rendering back-end as well, which can be invoked from the command line utility
pdftotext. It is useful for searching for strings in PDFs from the command line, using the utility
grep, for instance.
pdftotext file.pdf - | grep string
poppler-utils is a collection of command-line utilities built on Poppler's library API, to manage PDF and extract contents: