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Java IText: Paragraph

Jakob Jenkov
Last update: 2014-05-24

The com.itextpdf.text.Paragraph class in IText represents a "paragraph" of text. In a paragraph you can set the paragraph alignment, indentation and spacing before and after the paragraph.

Here is a simple code example:

import com.itextpdf.text.Document;
import com.itextpdf.text.DocumentException;
import com.itextpdf.text.Paragraph;

public class DocumentExample {

  public static void main(String[] args) {

    Document document = new Document();

    try {
      PdfWriter.getInstance(document,
          new FileOutputStream("Paragraph.pdf"));

      document.open();
      Paragraph paragraph = new Paragraph();

      for(int i=0; i<10; i++){
        Chunk chunk = new Chunk(
              "This is a sentence which is long " + i + ". ");
        paragraph.add(chunk);
      }

      document.add(paragraph);
      document.close();

    } catch (DocumentException e) {
      e.printStackTrace();
    } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
      e.printStackTrace();
    }

  }
}

Here is what the generated document looks like:

An IText Paragraph example
An IText Paragraph example

Notice how sentence 6 is nicely located on its own line.

Line Spacing

Paragraph objects knows how to add line spacing if the added text exceeds the right edge of the document. Line spacing is measured in user units. There are 72 units per inch. The default spacing is 1.5 times the font height. You can change the line spacing by passing spacing as a parameter to the Paragraph constructor, like this:

Paragraph paragraph = new Paragraph(50);

Spacing Before and After Paragraph

You can also set the spacing before and after a paragraph. Here is how you do that in code:

paragraph.setSpacingAfter(50);
paragraph.setSpacingBefore(50);

Alignment

You can set the alignment of the paragraph using the setAlignment() method. This sets what side of the page the text is aligned to. Here is an example:

paragraph.setAlignment(Element.ALIGN_LEFT);
paragraph.setAlignment(Element.ALIGN_CENTER);
paragraph.setAlignment(Element.ALIGN_RIGHT);

Indentation

You can set the left and right indentation of the paragraph. This moves the paragraph content further away from the edges of the page. Here is the code to do that:

paragraph.setIndentationLeft(50);
paragraph.setIndentationRight(50);

A Larger Paragraph Example

Here is a somewhat larger paragraph example which adds two parapraphs to a document. The first paragraph uses the default left alignment, and indentation. The second paragraph is center-aligned, and uses 50 user units as both left and right indentation.

import com.itextpdf.text.*;
import com.itextpdf.text.pdf.PdfWriter;

import java.io.FileNotFoundException;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;

/**

 */
public class Paragraph2Example {

    public static void main(String[] args) {

        Document document = new Document();

        try {
            PdfWriter.getInstance(document,
                new FileOutputStream("Paragraph2.pdf"));

            document.open();
            Paragraph paragraph1 = new Paragraph();
            
                Paragraph paragraph2 = new Paragraph();

                paragraph2.setSpacingAfter(25);
                paragraph2.setSpacingBefore(25);
                paragraph2.setAlignment(Element.ALIGN_CENTER);
                paragraph2.setIndentationLeft(50);
                paragraph2.setIndentationRight(50);
            

            for(int i=0; i<10; i++){
                Chunk chunk = new Chunk(
                    "This is a sentence which is long " + i + ". ");
                paragraph1.add(chunk);
                paragraph2.add(chunk);
            }

            document.add(paragraph1);
            document.add(paragraph2);
            document.close();

        } catch (DocumentException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }

    }
}

Here is how the resulting document looks:

A larger IText Paragraph example
A larger IText Paragraph example

Jakob Jenkov




Copyright  Jenkov Aps
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