Programming language: Objective-C
License: GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
Tags: Media     PDF    
Latest version: v4.5.9

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This repository contains the FastPdfKit iOS library with some sample projects.

FastPdfKit is a library that let you show pdf documents in iOS applications bypassing all performances and missing features problems related to QuickLook.

Side scrolling, search with highlighted results, preview and thumbnails, text extraction, overlay views, embedded multimedia, optimization for every device, single and double page are just some of countless features included in FastPdfKit.

For more information, see the FastPdfKit website and the Support website.

Interface iPad Search iPad

Interface iPhone Search iPhone



Multimedia and Annotations






In the Xcode project you'll find some targets

  • FastPdfKit: framework with everything needed to add just the reader to your app;
  • FPKKioskApp: a Kiosk project with document download and ready to use reader class;
  • FPKSimpleApp: a basic project with custom reader;
  • FPKReaderLib: a static library with the ReaderViewControllerand its dependencies;
  • FPKKioskLib: a static library with the kiosk classes;
  • FPKioskBundle: bundle of resources for needed for the kiosk;
  • FPReaderBundle: bundle of resources for needed by the ReaderViewController.

In FastPdfKit.framework and FPKReaderLib the libFastPdfKit.athat contains the compiled core rendering engine.

All the other classes are public and can be customized or subclassed at will.

Every target can be compiled and recompiled for your needs.

Usage guide

This guide is also available as screencast number 4.

  • Clone the repository from github or just grab the compressed archive;
  • Open your existing project in Xcode;
  • Open the downloaded folder in the Finder and locate FastPdfKit.embeddedframework;
  • Drag the framework on the Xcode workspace;
  • Inherit the project options: select the Project an from info tab and configurations line choose FastPdfKitFramework from the drop down list;
  • Open the framework's Resource folder and locate the Snippets.txt document;
  • Copy in you controller interface these lines:

    #import <FastPdfKit/FastPdfKit.h>
    @class MFDocumentManager;
  • Copy in your controller implementation these other lines:

        /** Set document name */
        NSString *documentName = @"Manual";
        /** Get temporary directory to save thumbnails */
        NSArray *paths = NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(NSDocumentDirectory, NSUserDomainMask, YES);
        /** Set thumbnails path */
        NSString *thumbnailsPath = [[paths objectAtIndex:0] stringByAppendingPathComponent:[NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@",documentName]];
        /** Get document from the App Bundle */
        NSURL *documentUrl = [NSURL fileURLWithPath:[[NSBundle mainBundle]pathForResource:documentName ofType:@"pdf"]];
        /** Instancing the documentManager */
        MFDocumentManager *documentManager = [[MFDocumentManager alloc]initWithFileUrl:documentUrl];
        /** Instancing the readerViewController */
        ReaderViewController *pdfViewController = [[ReaderViewController alloc]initWithDocumentManager:documentManager];
        /** Set resources folder on the manager */
        documentManager.resourceFolder = thumbnailsPath;
        /** Set document id for thumbnail generation */
        pdfViewController.documentId = documentName;
        /** Present the pdf on screen in a modal view */
        [self presentModalViewController:pdfViewController animated:YES]; 
        /** Release the pdf controller*/
        [pdfViewController release];
  • Choose a pdf from the finder and drop it in the project;

  • Change the documentName to the corresponding name;

  • Call the actionOpenPlainDocument method to open the document;

  • Enjoy.


Update May 5th 2014

  • Renamed a few c functions to avoid conflicts.
  • Minor fixes.

Update April 28th, 2014

  • More stability fixes.

Update April 24th, 2014

  • Stability fixes.

Update August 30th, 2013

  • Added exact match option to search.
  • Added exact match and ignore case switch to SearchDisplayViewController.
  • Updated text extraction algorithm.

Update April 19th, 2013

  • Exposed pdf rendering settings.
  • Tweaks and bugfixes.

Update Novembre 27th, 2012

  • Added an xmlURL property to the Kiosk MenuViewController to customize the list without subclassing.
  • Security framework added in xcconfig.

Update November 26th, 2012

  • Improved handling of space glyph in the text
  • Bunch of small tweaks and fixes

Update October 2nd, 2012

  • Fixed a crash while reading certain documents annotations
  • Finally fixed layer shadow (again)
  • Fixed bad overflow mode page position with some documents
  • Sligthy changed starting page behavior, now the slider should update properly
  • Added a visited page system similar to web browser one, check the MFDocumentViewController.
  • You can now set the thumbnail and image cache folders

Update September 4th, 2012

  • Fixed missing iPhone toolbar images
  • Thumbnails are now JPEG
  • Added cache encryption, check MFDocumentViewController's cacheEncryptionKey for details. Security.framework is now REQUIRED.
  • Shadow offset now takes padding into account
  • Uninitialized rect in background op fixed

Update Augusth 30th, 2012

  • Solved rootViewController nil property for window in the app delegate (prevent correct behavior on iOS6)

Update Augusth 28th, 2012

  • Page shadows are back
  • Added cocoaAnnotationsForPage: method to MFDocumentManager to get more Cocoa-friendly annotations data from the pdf

Update 4.0 RC1 (Augusth 1st, 2012)

  • Fixed a bunch crash
  • Fixed a few memory leaks (one quite large)
  • If you dont see Chinese, Japanese or Korean text extracted, please download, unzip and add the CMaps for the language. You can get them here http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/font/index.html
  • There are a few more options for the embedded thumbnail scroll view and page slider, and you can also choose the label for the individual page

Update 3.4.2 (June 28, 2012)

  • Fix for password protected documents not working anymore

Update 3.4.1 (June 2, 2012)

  • Removed some warnings;
  • Updated Extensions;
  • Fixed episodical crashes.

Update 3.4 (May 17, 2012)

  • Added a new pdf engine. It is enabled by default. You can switch back to the old version by untick the appropriate option in the Settings (this will be available until the final release). Feedback on performances is welcomed.

The new version will attempt to cache pdf page images. If no documentId is set in the MFDocumentViewController, the default folders are in Library/Caches/shared, otherwise the cache is located in Library/Caches/.

Default settings should provide good performance on all devices, from the first iPad to the new one. Thumbnails generation has been moved inside the lib. Customization options for the thumbnail scroll view will be available in the final version.

  • Fixed occasional crash with dual core devices on startup

Update 3.3.3 (March 23, 2012)

  • New rendering approach just for the new iPad (and its weak A5X CPU)
  • Page thumbnails created for Retina Display on the new iPad
  • Core Library built with Xcode 4.2 and iOS 5.0 to avoid poor performances caused by a (reintroduced) CATiledLayer.

Update 3.3.2 (March 14, 2012)

  • Alternate uri definition for modal annotations

Update 3.3.1 (March 13, 2012)

  • Added a supportedOrientation attribute to allow change of supported orientation at runtime
  • Added alternate schemes (prefixes) for annotations' uri

Update 3.3 (March 8, 2012)

  • Improved support for the new retina iPad
  • Fixed (contained) a crash occurring when the pdf provokes a transform stack buffer underflow

Update 3.2.4 (January 30, 2012)

  • Changed font cache again. This should avoid a few cases of creshes due to an NULL font name;

Update 3.2.3 (January 24th, Tuesday, 2012)

  • Removed a few debugging logs
  • Added support to remote link in the ToC/Outline
  • Internal document links work again

Update 3.2.2 (January 13th, Friday, 2012)

  • Fixed tiled overlay view flag being ignored
  • Removed unneeded operator in the pdf scanner
  • Changed pdf detail view timings

Update 3.2.1 (January 5th, 2012)

  • Less aggressive tiled view rendering
  • Fixed a bug in the glyph name matching function
  • Better caching of annotations
  • Removed a few more synchronization point between main thread and worker th

Update 3.2 (January 4th, 2012)

  • New Extended target that supports Extensions;
  • Out of the box supported Extensions:
    • FPKPayPal to create catalogs with items that can be purchased directly from the app;
    • FPKYouTube to place YouTube video on the page.
    • FPKGallerySlide interactive image gallery with manual or automatic advancement;
    • FPKMap to render an interactive google map;
    • FPKGalleryFade image gallery useful for the table of contents;
    • FPKGalleryTap to create a multi interactive image gallery;
    • FPKMessage to show details or alerts;
    • FPKWebPopup to open a web page in a popup view;
  • Updated documentation to version 3.2
  • Included Extensions documentation

For more informations reagarding Extensions [git.io/fpke](git.io/fpke).

Update 3.1.3 (December 30th, 2011)

  • Reworked page metrics synchronization to reduce lag on slow pdfs (more to come).
  • Paged scroll view attribute is accessible again in the MFDocumentViewController public interface.
  • FPK annotations parsing can be disabled by setting MFDocumentViewController's fpkAnnotationsEnabled to NO. Use this if you experience frequent freezes while skimming the pages.
  • You can add multiple MFDocumentViewControllerDelegates by calling MFDocumentViewController's addDocumentDelegate: (and removeDocumentDelegate:). Check the interface for details

Update 3.1.2 (December 16th, 2011)

  • Non-unlocked password protected douments should no more crash the application.
  • Cordinates for taps on the right page are now correct.
  • Fixed a bug involving multibyte fonts compromising search, introduced with unicode normalization.
  • Few memory leaks in ReaderViewController.
  • Overlay views are enbaled on any license again.
  • Newstand is disabled as default due to a memory leak in the download procedure.
  • Variable number of preview image. Check MFDocumentViewController header.

Update 3.1.1 (November 30th, 2011)

  • View size of the reader is now appropriate for the screen configuration (status bar only).
  • Added missing dismiss button in ReaderViewController on iPhone.

Update 3.1 (November 30th, 2011)

  • Reverted to optional tiled overlay view (used for search resulth highlight). This seems to have fixed most 'crashes' (app bein killed actually) while zooming onto a page.
  • A few memory leaks inside the unicode normalization data structures have been fixed.
  • Different handling of document view controller dismissal. It is no more necessary to call -cleanup on the MFDocumentViewController before relasing it. Actual method implementation does nothing.
  • Quite a few small memory leaks fixed.
  • Faster page redrawn on page transition (goToPage, setPageMode, etc.).
  • MFHomeListPdfs is now BookItemView, be careful if you used to subclass the former in your project.
  • Fixed a few errors in Win ANSI and Mac OS Roman encoding. For example, the Unicode character 'LEFT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK' U+2018 will no more be replaced by other characters.
  • Changed font cache management. If you still get problem with [] (notedef) caracter in the text extracted, the cache might be the issue. Set MFDocumentManager's fontCacheEnabled property to NO.
  • Unicode sequences will now be handled as such and the lib will no try (and fail) to compose them to a single unicode codepoint (it is related to search and extraction of text).
  • Lib will now attemp to compose multibyte characted to a single codepoint for search and extraction.
  • Added support to 14 (-2) Adobe Standard Fonts. If you get page empty, blank pages at text extraction check the simulator log and if the font marked as uncompleted is named like one of the files in the FPKCore/standard14fonts folder add that font to your application bundle.
  • Font cache re-enabled. This time seems to work as expected.
  • Default zoom not being set fixed (again).
  • Search and extraction will not crash when certain characters are found. Instead a .notdef (usually it looks like an empty rect) value with be appended to the text.
  • Enhanced search and extraction with Unicode composition and decomposition.
  • Added search match modes:
    • Return an array of MFTextItem representing the matches of teh search term on the page passed as arguments. It is a good choice running this method in a secondary thread.
    • FPKSearchMode has the following values:
    • FPKSearchModeHard - if you search for 'bèzier' it will match 'bèzier' only but not 'bezier'. If you search for 'bezier' it will match 'bezier' only.
    • FPKSearchModeSoft - if you search for term 'bèzier' it will match both 'bezier' and 'bèzier'. Same if you search for 'bezier'.
    • FPKSearchModeSmart - if you search for term 'bezier', it will also match 'bèzier', but if you search for 'bèzier' it will match 'bèzier' only.
    • Ignore case is self explanatory.
    • Default parameters are FPKSearchModeSmart and ignoreCase to YES.

Update 3.0 (November 4th, 2011)

  • Internal changes of the view hierarchy to provide more flexibility and overlay transitions.
  • Revamped ReaderViewController user interface.
  • Better thumbnail scroll view and generation.
  • Added support to video overlay control parameters in the uri.
  • Search now works for terms of unitary length.
  • Added a method to retrieve annotations from the document and provide them as overlays.
  • Slightly changes to MFDocumentViewControllerDelegate callbacks.
  • New activation method with key FPKLicenseKey from Info.plist: no need to pull to get the activated version.

Update 2.1.3 (September 27th, 2011)

Disabled the 2.1.1 font cache due to an implementation oversight. Will be re-introduced as soon as it will behave as expected.

Update 2.1.2 (September 21th, 2011)

  • Cleaned up text search and extraction a little bit. More fixes incoming.

Update 2.1.1 (September 15th, 2011)

  • Added a font cache system for text extraction and search, which should give sensible improvement in search speed especially on documents with a large amount of different fonts.

Update 2.1.0 (September 14th, 2011)

  • Added Overflow page mode to previous Single and Double. Basically, the pdf page will now fill the screen along its width, overflowing under the bottom of the screen if necessary.
  • Added autoMode property. It will tell the MFDocumentViewController to what mode switch when in landscape if automodeOnRotation is YES. Default is MFAutoModeDouble, other option are MFAutoModeSingle and MFAutoModeOverflow.

Update 2.0.3 (August 10th, 2011)

  • Fixed a bug in the transformation returned on double page mode for page with an angle not equal to 0.
  • Added guard to iOS 4.x only methods.

Update 2.0.2 (August 09th, 2011)

  • Added support to link annotation with Remote Go-To actions.
  • Updated manual with latest methods.
  • Added methods to convert points and rect to and from different coordinate systems. Take a look at the MFDocumentViewController for details.
  • Documented the method to get the cropbox and rotation angle for each document page.
  • Finally fixed the bad behavior of the detail (tiled) view on retina device.
  • Fixed a bug involving rendering of the preview pages at low res on retina display introduced a few updates ago.
  • The -didGoToPage callback is now called once when a page is changed on user scroll input.

Update 2.0.1 (July 21th, 2011)

  • Bleeding of the pdf cover images fixed.
  • The embedded UIWebView is now embedded a bit better.

Update 2.0.0-devel (July 12th, 2011)

  • Multimedia support
  • Reorganized project
  • Many other improvements

If you have any other question please post it in the Support Site

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the FastPdfKit README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.