Which.net library is a good option for manipulating (creating and editing) PDFs?

There are a multitude of such tools available, but it's all too easy to end up committing to development with a library which is old or buggy. So for clarity, I'm looking for a Library which:

  • Is stable
  • Has functionality for the classic things you'd want to do with a PDF (e.g. writing text, drawing lines, inserting images, etc.)
  • (preferred) has some kind of ongoing maintenance or development effort
  • (preferred) is free for commercial use
  • PDF creation is generally pretty easy (unless you need Asian, Arabic, etc. language support, then the options narrow a lot). Editing though is a much harder task, especially if you are trying to target any PDF file in the world. Could you elaborate on what you mean exactly by "editing"? Perhaps some specific examples of editing a PDF.
    – Ryan
    Jun 14, 2020 at 18:57
  • I have been drawing out lines of different colours and widths, writing text (vertical and horizontal), and drawing out PNGs. I've ended up using pdfSharp to do this. It just lets you use something similar to a .net graphics object to work on top of. Retrospectively, I wonder if pdfClown would have been better though, as pdfSharp is getting pretty old by this point
    – Jack
    Jun 15, 2020 at 2:26
  • I have been using ASPOSE and pretty good. but its not free. I think there is itextsharp also that is free but never used.
    – LP13
    Jul 17, 2020 at 18:46

3 Answers 3


I would recommend Docotic.Pdf library. I am one of its developers, btw.

The library is stable, has a lot of functionality one would expected from a decent modern PDF library. And we constantly improve the library and add more features to it. There are some sample code for popular use cases.

We offer free licenses for certain cases. At the same time, the library is not an open source project. And it's not free for commercial uses.


The company I work for has a powerful PDF library that’s part of the LEADTOOLS set of imaging and document toolkits.

There’s a free evaluation edition that contains various C# demos. You can download it and try the different features you’re looking for. If you can’t figure out how to accomplish a specific task, there’s free support during evaluation, through email and online chat.


Syncfusion Essential PDF can be used to create and manipulate PDF using C#.

Essential PDF Header and Footer

Live samples for ASP.NET Core, but the libraries are supported on Windows Forms, WPF, Silverlight, ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC, WinRT, Windows Phone, Windows store universal and Xamarin applications as well.

A single license for the File Formats Edition costs $995. The whole product is also available for free through the community license if you qualify (less than 1 million USD in revenue).

Note: I work for Syncfusion.

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