How to add text at an absolute position on the top of the first page?

Tags: iText 7

I have a script that creates a PDF file and writes contents to it. After the execution is complete I need to write the status (fail, success) to the PDF, but the status should be on the top of the page. So the solution I came up with is to use absolute positioned text like this:

PdfContentByte cb = writer.DirectContent;
BaseFont bf = BaseFont.CreateFont(BaseFont.HELVETICA, BaseFont.CP1252, BaseFont.NOT_EMBEDDED);
cb.MoveText(700, 30);
cb.SetFontAndSize(bf, 12);
cb.ShowText("My status");
But as the PDF creates multiple pages, this text is added to the last page of the PDF. How can I add it to the 1st page?

Posted on StackOverflow on Nov 9, 2015 by BiJ

iText was designed to flush content from memory as soon as possible: if a page is finished, that page is sent to the OutputStream and there is no way to return to that page.

That doesn't mean your requirement is impossible. PDF has a concept known as Form XObject. In iText 7, this concept is implemented under the PdfFormXObject class. Such a PdfFormXObject is a rectangular area with a fixed size that can be added to a page without being part of that page.

Please take a look at the WriteOnFirstPage example. We create a template and wrap it inside an Image object. By doing this, we can add the PdfFormXObject to the document just like any other object:

object. By doing this, we can add the Form XObject to the document just like any other object: PdfFormXObject template = new PdfFormXObject(new Rectangle(523, 50)); PdfCanvas templateCanvas = new PdfCanvas(template, pdfDoc);

  1. doc.add(new Image(template));

Now we can add as much data as we want:

for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++) {
    doc.add(new Paragraph("test"));

Adding 100 "test" lines will cause iText 7 to create 4 pages. Once we're on page 4, we no longer have access to page 1, but we can still write content to the template object created before:

    .setFontAndSize(PdfFontFactory.createFont(FontConstants.HELVETICA), 12)
    .showText(String.format("There are %s pages in this document", pdfDoc.getNumberOfPages()))

If you check the resulting PDF write_on_first_page.pdf, you'll notice that the text we've added last is indeed on the first page.

Click this link if you want to see how to answer this question in iText 5.