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I saw a few book reviews of Syncfusion's Succinctly series by other GWB bloggers and have also received emails from Syncfusion asking if I wanted to write a review for them. Below is my review of the free ebook PDF Succinctly by Ryan Hodson, although I was approached by Syncfusion the review below is all of my own opinion.

The book PDF Succinctly is written in a concise manner, being only 60 pages long it makes reading this technical book an easy and quick task. I was impressed by how the book got straight into the topic of creating a PDF file after a short overview. This was the main reason why I wanted to read the book. As an example of how concise this book about PDF is, by page 20 you are already shown how to create a simple PDF document. Although this book is concise it does contain a some advanced topics about PDF such as in Chapter 4 and 5 where you are shown how to add vector graphics and navigation elements to a PDF document.

I also like how all the external references such as links to open source libraries and source code are clearly stated in the book. Many times when reading a technical book you often struggle to find where you can download a resource used in the book, this was not the case when I read PDF Succinctly.

My only critique about the book is that the downloadable source code could do with more advanced examples, there were only 2 examples in the source code provided.

Here is my summary of the topics in the PDF Succintly book.

  • Chapter 1 contains an overview of the structure of a PDF document.
  • Chapter 2 takes you through the steps of creating a simple PDF document using a utility program called pdftk from PDF Labs.
  • Chapter 3 details how text in a PDF document can be manipulated using text operators.
  • Chapter 4 shows how vector graphics can be added to a PDF document using graphics operators.
  • Chapter 5 details how a document outline (navigation element in the form of a tree), hyperlinks and text annotations can be added to a PDF document.
  • Chapter 6 shows how you can dynamically generate a PDF using C# with the help of an open-source PDF library called iTextSharp.


All references I found relating to the book are below.



Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2013 8:43 PM eBook | Back to top

Comments on this post: Book review of PDF Succinctly

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I'm interested to check on this book. Thanks for sharing the idea, it will be a nice read. - Morgan Exteriors
Left by Luke Lewis on Oct 16, 2016 2:24 PM

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