xpdfbrowser title image

What can X-PDF-Browser do?

  • Embed files into PDF - compressed and optional encrypted
  • Extract files back from PDF
The program serves as a test bed and demonstrator for implementing new ways of content embedding and encryption modes in PDF. Its base, the X-PDFStreamLibrary can also be licensed separately, please contact me in for details.

Why should I embed files into PDF?

To transport attachments through overzealous firewalls/mail filters

Maybe you need to send some files in form of a ZIP or EXE, these days some emailer server block such attachments per se - even without looking inside or checking the contents and you cannot get your message through. However PDFs are in most cases not blocked - so just wrap your files into a PDF and send away with instructions to use X-PDF-Browser to extract. (Note to a receiver: You should perform a virus check after extraction! X-PDF will transport any kind of data and proper percautions should be performed just like the way when you receive a ZIP or other archive file. X-PDF-Browser does not execute attachments, it can only unpack them)

To attach files to a PDF in compressed form and secured by encryption

Imaging you are sending someone a PDF but you like to include the source documents e.g. Word DOCs or Excel Spreadsheet files that were used to generate the PDF or serve as additonal data - however you don't want anyone to access these source files. Normally you would create e.g. a ZIP archive with the PDF and the source files as content.

In this case X-PDF-Browser comes handy, it allows you to attach the DOC, XLS, QXP, ... files to a PDF without changing the visuals of the PDF - it still prints and show the same - and optional secure the attached content using strong encryption. Now you can send the other party just one file - the PDF containing all the other files deep inside - and only people knowing the passwords can access the embedded additonal data.

What are the costs for X-PDF-Browser?

X-PDF-Browser is free for personal and educational use.

What are the limits of the 1.0 release?

  • X-PDF-Browser 1.0 can currently only embed into 'flat' PDFs. That are PDFs that are not written 'linearized' or 'web optimized' (which is an Adobe Acrobat option). You can use PStill to create suitable input files, also from PDFs that are currently rejected by X-PDF-Browser.

  • X-PDF-Browser 2.0 does not have this limitation anymore it should work with any PDF and it is available as Development version (Beta)as of April 2004. Please provide feedback.

What encryption does X-PDF-Browser use?

Currently Twofish 256 bit in CBC mode. Public key variants are planed for the next version.

Can such file attachments be extracted by other programs?

Since the encryption is stronger than the default encryption of Adobe Acrobat and the method uses a different approach, attachments to PDF created by X-PDF-Browser cannot be seen by other PDF reading programs. For them the PDF is still fully valid but seem to contain no attachment or additonal data at all. Please understand that X-PDF-Browser does not actively hide the attachments, it only embeds them in a special way so they are ignored (as defined by the PDF specification).

Where can I download the software?

See below for a download link, but first read this disclaimer:

X-PDF-Browser is provided 'free' but without any warranties. Due to its
low price (free for personal/edu use) no support can be given. However
I would like to hear from you if you like or use the program, also error
reports are welcome - see below mail contact link.

Frank Siegert disclaims all warranties with regard to this software,
including all implied warranties of merchantability and fitness, in
no event shall Frank Siegert be liable for any special, indirect or
consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss 
of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence
or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the
use or performance of this software. 

To the best knowledge of Frank Siegert the software is free of copyright
claims of other third parties or patent claims. However since patents are
granted on a nation-based scale not guarantee can be given that the software
is free of claims or its use and/or methodes of working constitutes an
infringement of third party rights in your respective environment. You are 
alone responsible for any such infringement and your are advised to check if
the use of this software collides with any patent claim in your particular 
legal environment before using or deploying this software.

Strong encryption may be illegal in your country. You are advised to check
before downloading. This website is located in Germany.

This software is only a tool, you are using it and you assume the complete
responsibility for your own actions.

To anyone complaining about the possible misuse of such a tool, I'd like to
answer with Thomas Jefferson words: 'Those who desire to give up freedom
in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.'

All trademarks are used only for identification purposes and belong to their
respective owners. PStill is a registered trademark ('wordmark') of Frank
Siegert. Acrobat is a registered trademark of Adobe Inc.   
I accept and want to download the program
(102688 bytes, MD5 f6919e248aa890a382a99f888b674128)

I accept and want to download the Development version 2.01 (Beta)
(124616 bytes, MD5 46abd82b0203b35c644cfc8e7de7c31f)

Please contact me in case of questions