PDF -- Geospatial PDF

Driver short name


Build dependencies

none for write support, Poppler/PoDoFo/PDFium for read support

Refer to the PDF raster documentation page for common documentation of the raster and vector sides of the driver.

Driver capabilities

Supports Create()

This driver supports the GDALDriver::Create() operation

Supports Georeferencing

This driver supports georeferencing

Supports VirtualIO

This driver supports virtual I/O operations (/vsimem/, etc.)

Vector support

This driver can read and write geospatial PDF with vector features. Vector read support requires linking to one of the above mentioned dependent libraries, but write support does not. The driver can read vector features encoded according to PDF's logical structure facilities (as described by "§10.6 - Logical Structure" of PDF spec), or retrieve only vector geometries for other vector PDF files.

If there is no such logical structure, the driver will not try to interpret the vector content of the PDF, unless you defined the OGR_PDF_READ_NON_STRUCTURED configuration option to YES.

Feature style support

For write support, the driver has partial support for the style information attached to features, encoded according to the Feature Style Specification.

The following tools are recognized:

  • For points, LABEL and SYMBOL.

  • For lines, PEN.

  • For polygons, PEN and BRUSH.

The supported attributes for each tool are summed up in the following table:


Supported attributes



color (c); width (w); dash pattern (p)



foreground color (fc)



GDAL >= 2.3.0: text (t), limited to ASCII strings; font name (f), see
note below; font size (s); bold (bo); italic (it); text color (c); x and
y offsets (dx, dy); angle (a); anchor point (p), values 1 through 9;
stretch (w)
GDAL <= 2.2.x: text (t), limited to ASCII strings; font size (s); text
color (c); x and y offsets (dx, dy); angle (a)

LABEL(c:#000000,t:"Hello World!",s:5g)


id (ogr-sym-0 to ogr-sym-9, and filenames for raster symbols); color (c); size (s)

SYMBOL(c:#00FF00,id:"ogr- sym-3",s:10)

Alpha values are supported for colors to control the opacity. If not specified, for BRUSH, it is set at 50% opaque.

For SYMBOL with a bitmap name, only the alpha value of the color specified with 'c' is taken into account.

A font name starting with "Times" or containing the string "Serif" (case sensitive) will be treated as Times. A font name starting with "Courier" or containing the string "Mono" (case sensitive) will be treated as Courier. All other font names will be treated as Helvetica.

Configuration options

Configuration options can be specified in command-line tools using the syntax --config <NAME>=<VALUE> or using functions such as CPLSetConfigOption() (C) or gdal.config_options (Python). The following configuration options are available:

  • OGR_PDF_READ_NON_STRUCTURED=[YES/NO]: Defaults to NO. Attempt to read vector content even if no logical structure is present. See Vector support.

See Also