Home of The Tiny Guide to

PDF Import and Edit Capabilities Coming to OOo

One of the most renowned and unique features of is its built-in PDF export capability. From either File > Export as PDF, or the toolbar button, it takes no time to generate a PDF from a document within

Now, however, the development team plans to extend this feature into even more groundbreaking territory. will soon be able to open and edit PDFs, too!

To my knowledge, there is no Free or cost-free software that can do this today. While KOffice is supposed to have this feature, I have not figured out how to make it work. And KOffice is not cross-platform like OOo, restricting its utility even if I could get it to work.

Kai Ahrens, the Sun developer who first broke this story on his blog, received such a great response that he posted a follow-up.

The new PDF import feature will be available as a downloadable Extension for OpenOffice. Kai explains that the new code “imports the PDF content as an OOo Draw/Impress document. With this solution, we’ll have the full benefit of a page-oriented, fixed layout. All graphical elements will be at fixed positions given in the PDF file and text portions will be combined as much as possible to be anchored in text shapes, ensuring that text portions preserve their exact given position, but are still editable by the user.”

Kai also comments on the schedule, saying PDF import is planned for 3.0 (though I don’t believe the exact timing and featureset for that release has been determined yet).

Overall, this is a killer new feature that will further separate from its competition. Yet another reason for those on the fence to abandon Microsoft Office in favor of OpenOffice instead.

2 Responses to “PDF Import and Edit Capabilities Coming to OOo”

  1. Bboudewijn Rempt Says:
    August 7th, 2007 at 4:57 am

    Making it work in KOffice? That’s as simple as starting KWord, press Open, select a PDF, press Ok, and presto — done.

  2. Benjamin Horst Says:
    August 7th, 2007 at 10:14 am

    Hmm, guess I should have double-checked on this! A friend was trying to do it recently and told me he was having problems, but I never got the details. I hadn’t personally tried it in a very long time, so I guess that’s my own fault. Thanks for the correction!