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Create Unicode text or embed composite fonts in PDF files using Java

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Sample Java code for using PDFTron SDK to create Unicode text and embed composite fonts in PDF files. Learn more about our Java PDF Library.

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// Copyright (c) 2001-2023 by PDFTron Systems Inc. All Rights Reserved.
// Consult legal.txt regarding legal and license information.

import com.pdftron.pdf.*;
import com.pdftron.sdf.SDFDoc;
import java.util.List;
import java.nio.file.Files;
import java.nio.file.Paths;
import java.nio.charset.StandardCharsets;

 * This example illustrates how to create Unicode text and how to embed composite fonts.
 * <p>
 * Note: This demo attempts to make use of 'arialuni.ttf' in the '/Samples/TestFiles' 
 * directory. Arial Unicode MS is about 24MB in size and used to come together with Windows and 
 * MS Office.
 * <p>
 * In case you don't have access to Arial Unicode MS you can use another wide coverage
 * font, like Google Noto, GNU UniFont, or cyberbit. Many of these are freely available,
 * and there is a list maintained at
 * <p>
 * If no specific font file can be loaded, the demo will fall back to system specific font
 * substitution routines, and the result will depend on which fonts are available.
public class UnicodeWriteTest {
    public static void main(String[] args) {

        // Relative path to the folder containing test files.
        String input_path = "../../TestFiles/";
        String output_path = "../../TestFiles/Output/";

        try {
            PDFDoc doc = new PDFDoc();

            ElementBuilder eb = new ElementBuilder();
            ElementWriter writer = new ElementWriter();

            // Start a new page ------------------------------------
            Page page = doc.pageCreate(new Rect(0, 0, 612, 794));

            writer.begin(page);    // begin writing to this page

            String fontLocation = input_path + "ARIALUNI.TTF";

            Font fnt = null;
            try {
                // Embed and subset the font
                fnt = Font.createCIDTrueTypeFont(doc, fontLocation, true, true);
            } catch (Exception e) {
                fontLocation = "C:/Windows/Fonts/ARIALUNI.TTF";
                try {
                     fnt = Font.createCIDTrueTypeFont(doc, fontLocation, true, true);
                catch (Exception e2) {
                    fontLocation = null;

            if(fnt != null) {
                System.out.println("Note: using " + fontLocation + " for unshaped unicode text");
            else {
                System.out.println("Note: using system font substitution for unshaped unicode text");
                fnt = Font.create(doc, "Helvetica", "");

            Element element = eb.createTextBegin(fnt, 1);
            element.setTextMatrix(10, 0, 0, 10, 50, 600);
            element.getGState().setLeading(2);         // Set the spacing between lines

            // Hello World!
            char hello[] = {'H', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o', ' ', 'W', 'o', 'r', 'l', 'd', '!'};
            writer.writeElement(eb.createUnicodeTextRun(new String(hello)));

            // Latin
            char latin[] = {
                    'a', 'A', 'b', 'B', 'c', 'C', 'd', 'D', 0x45, 0x0046, 0x00C0,
                    0x00C1, 0x00C2, 0x0143, 0x0144, 0x0145, 0x0152, '1', '2' // etc.
            writer.writeElement(eb.createUnicodeTextRun(new String(latin)));

            // Greek
            char greek[] = {
                    0x039E, 0x039F, 0x03A0, 0x03A1, 0x03A3, 0x03A6, 0x03A8, 0x03A9  // etc.
            writer.writeElement(eb.createUnicodeTextRun(new String(greek)));

            // Cyrillic
            char cyrilic[] = {
                    0x0409, 0x040A, 0x040B, 0x040C, 0x040E, 0x040F, 0x0410, 0x0411,
                    0x0412, 0x0413, 0x0414, 0x0415, 0x0416, 0x0417, 0x0418, 0x0419 // etc.
            writer.writeElement(eb.createUnicodeTextRun(new String(cyrilic)));

            // Hebrew
            char hebrew[] = {
                    0x05D0, 0x05D1, 0x05D3, 0x05D3, 0x05D4, 0x05D5, 0x05D6, 0x05D7, 0x05D8,
                    0x05D9, 0x05DA, 0x05DB, 0x05DC, 0x05DD, 0x05DE, 0x05DF, 0x05E0, 0x05E1 // etc.
            writer.writeElement(eb.createUnicodeTextRun(new String(hebrew)));

            // Arabic
            char arabic[] = {
                    0x0624, 0x0625, 0x0626, 0x0627, 0x0628, 0x0629, 0x062A, 0x062B, 0x062C,
                    0x062D, 0x062E, 0x062F, 0x0630, 0x0631, 0x0632, 0x0633, 0x0634, 0x0635 // etc.
            writer.writeElement(eb.createUnicodeTextRun(new String(arabic)));

            // Thai
            char thai[] = {
                    0x0E01, 0x0E02, 0x0E03, 0x0E04, 0x0E05, 0x0E06, 0x0E07, 0x0E08, 0x0E09,
                    0x0E0A, 0x0E0B, 0x0E0C, 0x0E0D, 0x0E0E, 0x0E0F, 0x0E10, 0x0E11, 0x0E12 // etc.
            writer.writeElement(eb.createUnicodeTextRun(new String(thai)));

            // Hiragana - Japanese
            char hiragana[] = {
                    0x3041, 0x3042, 0x3043, 0x3044, 0x3045, 0x3046, 0x3047, 0x3048, 0x3049,
                    0x304A, 0x304B, 0x304C, 0x304D, 0x304E, 0x304F, 0x3051, 0x3051, 0x3052 // etc.
            writer.writeElement(eb.createUnicodeTextRun(new String(hiragana)));

            // CJK Unified Ideographs
            char cjk_uni[] = {
                    0x5841, 0x5842, 0x5843, 0x5844, 0x5845, 0x5846, 0x5847, 0x5848, 0x5849,
                    0x584A, 0x584B, 0x584C, 0x584D, 0x584E, 0x584F, 0x5850, 0x5851, 0x5852 // etc.
            writer.writeElement(eb.createUnicodeTextRun(new String(cjk_uni)));

            // Simplified Chinese
            char chinese_simplified[] = {
              0x4e16, 0x754c, 0x60a8, 0x597d
            writer.writeElement(eb.createUnicodeTextRun(new String(chinese_simplified)));

            // Finish the block of text

            System.out.println("Now using text shaping logic to place text");

            // Create a font in indexed encoding mode 
            // normally this would mean that we are required to provide glyph indices
            // directly to CreateUnicodeTextRun, but instead, we will use the GetShapedText
            // method to take care of this detail for us.
            Font indexedFont = Font.createCIDTrueTypeFont(doc, input_path + "NotoSans_with_hindi.ttf", true, true, Font.e_Indices);
            element = eb.createTextBegin(indexedFont, 10.0);

            double linePos = 350.0;
            double lineSpace = 20.0;

            // Transform unicode text into an abstract collection of glyph indices and positioning info 
            ShapedText shapedText = indexedFont.getShapedText("Shaped Hindi Text:");

            // transform the shaped text info into a PDF element and write it to the page
            element = eb.createShapedTextRun(shapedText);
            element.setTextMatrix(1.5, 0, 0, 1.5, 50, linePos);
            linePos -= lineSpace;

            // read in unicode text lines from a file 
            List<String> hindiTextLines = Files.readAllLines(Paths.get(input_path + "hindi_sample_utf16le.txt"), StandardCharsets.UTF_16LE);

            System.out.println("Read in " + hindiTextLines.size() + " lines of Unicode text from file");
            for (String textLine : hindiTextLines)  
                shapedText = indexedFont.getShapedText(textLine);
                element = eb.createShapedTextRun(shapedText);
                element.setTextMatrix(1.5, 0, 0, 1.5, 50, linePos);
                linePos -= lineSpace;
                System.out.println("Wrote shaped line to page");
            // Finish the shaped block of text

            writer.end();  // save changes to the current page

   + "unicodewrite.pdf", new SDFDoc.SaveMode[]{SDFDoc.SaveMode.REMOVE_UNUSED, SDFDoc.SaveMode.HEX_STRINGS}, null);
            // output PDF doc
            System.out.println("Done. Result saved in unicodewrite.pdf...");
        } catch (Exception e) {