I am looking for a PHP/JS library with that would allow my users to:

  • view a PDF file
  • mark text (selecting)
  • mark document fragments (let's say, with a semi-transparent rectangle or circle)
  • add annotations (or comments) to the marked fragments
  • reply to annotations (or comments)
  • save (generate) the modified PDF

What I have

My web application is running on LAMP (PHP 5.3.3). Currently, I am using PDF.js as the PDFs viewer.


Open source solution that I can implement myself would be perfect. However, I would also consider premium software.

What I'm aware of

I did some research and nowadays the problem is mostly addressed with HTML5 document viewers, like GroupDocs, Prizm Content Connect, Crocodoc, etc. -- Nice software, crazy prices.

Also, there are well-known PHP libraries for generating PDFs, like TCPDF or FPDF. -- Open source, but might not be enough for my needs.


Do you know any software or library that would help me achieve my goal? Do you know any alternative solution? Maybe there's a way to put all I need together using a PHP-HTML5-JS combo in some way?

1 Answer 1


We're using the premium SetaPDF components at work and are very happy with the results. From what I know, you can achieve what you want using it. You can see in their demos a "PDF content selection" and the library supports extracting text (for example) from a given region. Worth a try considering you can evaluate the library before a purchase.

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