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What Coding Language Does Adobe Acrobat Use?

New Here ,
Mar 26, 2020 Mar 26, 2020

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Hello All, how are we going today? 🙂
 
I just had a quick, yet strange question about Adobe Acrobat Reader. I was just wondering if anyone knew what programming languages have been used to construct Adobe Acrobat Reader? Is it perhaps Javascript, Python, C++, or any other coding languages? Perhaps a combination of several?
 
I am just a junior coder and I absolutely love the way Adobe Reader works! 🙂 I hope to start to build a small project similar to the way it works and was wondering if I could please have an idea of what coding language I could start off with 🙂
 
Thank you so much for helping me, have a truly fantastic day!!
 
Kindest regards,
Adobe786.
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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript

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LEGEND ,
Mar 26, 2020 Mar 26, 2020

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This information is, generally, a closely guarded secret. But we can deduce certain things, for example from the age, platforms and complexity of the product. We know it is not Managed Code so it won't be written with a .Net product. We can be sure it will be tens of millions of lines of code, so languages like JavaScript are out of the question. The chances are it will be C, with a mixture of C++ and (in Mac) Objective C as needed. 

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New Here ,
Mar 26, 2020 Mar 26, 2020

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Hello Test_Screen_Name,

 

I appreciate your kind help so much, it certainly does make sense that the majority of the code would be written in C or C++ 🙂

 

I wrongly believed the code to contain Javascript - I truly thank you so much for clearing that up for me!:)

 

Thank you for such a speedy reply, I hope you have a truly wonderful rest of the day!! 🙂

 

Kindest regards,

Adobe786 🙂

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LEGEND ,
Mar 26, 2020 Mar 26, 2020

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PDF files can contain JavaScript, so Acrobat and Acrobat Reader (two different products by the way, and you used the names interchangeably) include a JavaScript interpreter. The industry standard JavaScript interpreter is also written in C. Acrobat may use dynamic libaries written in other languages, possibly unknown to Adobe.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 26, 2020 Mar 26, 2020

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In order to display a PDF, it must first be parsed. So to start you'll need to understand the internals of PDF. You can purchase the lastest ISO 32000 spec for about $170 USD. 

Next, writing you're own PDF parser is an extremely daunting task.  I'd suggest using one of the many fine PDF libraries out there. Many of them provide a display window of some type. So you don't even have to write that. 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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