iText - Link Annotation


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In this chapter, we will see how to add link annotation to a PDF document using iText library.

Creating a Link Annotation in a PDF

You can create an empty PDF Document by instantiating the Document class. While instantiating this class, you need to pass a PdfDocument object as a parameter to its constructor.

To use text annotation in your PDF document, you need to create an object of PdfTextAnnotation class and add this to the PdfPage.

Following are the steps to use text annotation in a PDF document.

Step 1 : Creating a PdfWriter object

The PdfWriter class represents the DocWriter for a PDF. This class belongs to the package com.itextpdf.kernel.pdf. The constructor of this class accepts a string, representing the path of the file where the PDF is to be created.

Instantiate the PdfWriter class by passing a string value (representing the path where you need to create a PDF) to its constructor, as shown below.

// Creating a PdfWriter 
String dest = "C:/itextExamples/linkAnnotation.pdf"; 
PdfWriter writer = new PdfWriter(dest); 

When an object of this type is passed to a PdfDocument (class), every element added to this document will be written to the file specified.

Step 2: Creating a PdfDocument object

The PdfDocument class is the class that represents the PDF Document in iText. This class belongs to the package com.itextpdf.kernel.pdf. To instantiate this class (in writing mode), you need to pass an object of the class PdfWriter to its constructor.

Instantiate the PdfDocument class by passing the PdfWriter object to its constructor, as shown below.

// Creating a PdfDocument  
PdfDocument pdfDoc = new PdfDocument(writer); 

Once a PdfDocument object is created, you can add various elements like page, font, file attachment, and event handler using the respective methods provided by its class.

Step 3: Creating the Document object

The Document class of the package com.itextpdf.layout is the root element while creating a self-sufficient PDF. One of the constructors of this class accepts an object of the class PdfDocument.

Instantiate the Document class by passing the object of the class PdfDocument created in the previous steps, as shown below.

// Creating a Document  
Document document = new Document(pdfDoc); 

Step 4: Creating PdfAnnotation object

The PdfAnnotation class of the package com.itextpdf.kernel.pdf.annot represents the superclass of all the annotations.

Among its derived classes, PdfLinkAnnotation class represents the link annotation. Create an object of this class, as shown below.

// Creating a PdfLinkAnnotation object 
Rectangle rect = new Rectangle(0, 0); 
PdfLinkAnnotation annotation = new PdfLinkAnnotation(rect); 

Step 5: Setting the action of the annotation

Set action to the annotation using the setAction() method of the PdfLinkAnnotation class, as shown below.

// Setting action of the annotation 
PdfAction action = PdfAction.createURI("http: // www.tutorialspoint.com/"); 
annotation.setAction(action); 

Step 6: Creating a link

Create a link by instantiating the Link class of the package com.itextpdf.layout.element, as shown below.

// Creating a link 
Link link = new Link("Click here", annotation); 

Step 7: Adding the link annotation to a paragraph

Create a new paragraph by instantiating the Paragraph class and add the link created in the previous step using the add() method of this class, as shown below.

// Creating a paragraph 
Paragraph paragraph = new Paragraph("Hi welcome to Tutorialspoint ");        

// Adding link to paragraph 
paragraph.add(link.setUnderline());

Step 8: Adding paragraph to the document

Add the paragraph to the document using the add() method of the Document class, as shown below.

// Adding paragraph to document 
document.add(paragraph); 

Step 9: Closing the Document

Close the document using the close() method of the Document class, as shown below.

// Closing the document 
document.close(); 

Example

The following Java program demonstrates how to add link annotation to a PDF document using the iText library.

It creates a PDF document with the name linkAnnotation.pdf, adds a link annotation to it, and saves it in the path C:/itextExamples/

Save this code in a file with the name LinkAnnotation.java.

import com.itextpdf.kernel.geom.Rectangle; 
import com.itextpdf.kernel.pdf.PdfDocument; 
import com.itextpdf.kernel.pdf.PdfWriter; 
import com.itextpdf.kernel.pdf.action.PdfAction; 
import com.itextpdf.kernel.pdf.annot.PdfLinkAnnotation; 

import com.itextpdf.layout.Document; 
import com.itextpdf.layout.element.Link; 
import com.itextpdf.layout.element.Paragraph;  

public class LinkAnnotation {      
   public static void main(String args[]) throws Exception {             
      // Creating a PdfWriter       
      String dest = "C:/itextExamples/linkAnnotation.pdf";       
      
      PdfWriter writer = new 
      PdfWriter(dest);               
      
      // Creating a PdfDocument       
      PdfDocument pdf = new PdfDocument(writer);               
      
      // Creating a Document
      Document document = new Document(pdf);              
      
      // Creating a PdfLinkAnnotation object       
      Rectangle rect = new Rectangle(0, 0);       
      PdfLinkAnnotation annotation = new PdfLinkAnnotation(rect);              
      
      // Setting action of the annotation       
      PdfAction action = PdfAction.createURI("http:// www.tutorialspoint.com/");       
      annotation.setAction(action);             
      
      // Creating a link       
      Link link = new Link("Click here", annotation);              
      
      // Creating a paragraph       
      Paragraph paragraph = new Paragraph("Hi welcome to Tutorialspoint ");              
      
      // Adding link to paragraph       
      paragraph.add(link.setUnderline());              
      
      // Adding paragraph to document       
      document.add(paragraph);             

      // Closing the document       
      document.close();              
      
      System.out.println("Annotation added successfully");    
   } 
}  

Compile and execute the saved Java file from the Command prompt using the following commands −

javac LinkAnnotation.java 
java LinkAnnotation 

Upon execution, the above program creates a PDF document displaying the following message.

Annotation added successfully

If you verify the specified path, you can find the created PDF document, as shown below.

Link Annotation
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