Introduction to PDF APIs in Windows 8.1

This is the official blog of the team that delivered the PDF WinRT APIs in Windows 8.1. We wish to open up this channel of communication with all the developers who are working in this space. The aim is to:

  • Share what we have delivered thus far
  • Hear back from you on how you have used the existing API’s or feedback around it
  • Get to know your scenarios and asks beyond what the existing API’s delivered
  • Communicate about our subsequent efforts in this space at the next appropriate time

 The current set of PDF APIs support rendering of PDF content in Windows Store apps. The APIs come in two flavours:

  • WinRT APIs that can be accessed from any Win RT supported language like JavaScript, C#, C++
  • “Native” API that can be accessed only from C++.

 To learn more about these, you can also take a look at some of the published samples below:

You can also watch our //build conference session video here on how to get started with these APIs.

 We started on this with the initial aim of enabling ISVs and Developers who wanted a simple way to render PDFs in Windows RT Apps. While this may only be a first step in addressing your scenarios, there is a great scope in building on top of it by extending the APIs. It is great to already see partners coming on board with that philosophy.

One such example is of a new PDF XAML control built by team at DevExpress.Their new control called the PDF-Viewer provides an easy and effective way for any XAML app to simply add the UI control and bind to a PDF document source. This control is built over the native API that draws PDF content directly to a DirectX backed drawing surface. It provides navigation options based off both mouse and touch gestures and support for navigation, printing, zoom etc.

If you are a consumer of these API’s or have an interest in building applications consuming PDF content, we would love to hear your feedback and the scenarios that you have addressed in this space or wish to achieve going forward. Please leave a comment or email us at




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