Set PDF Version with iTextSharp – C# and VB.NET

Changing the PDF version with iTextSharp is fairly easy, all you have to do is create a stamper and pass an extra parameter with the PDF version you want. Below is the code snippet to accomplish this in C# and VB.NET.

C# Code

PdfReader reader = new PdfReader(fileBytes);
MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream();
PdfStamper stamper = new PdfStamper(reader, ms, "4");  //The number 4 changes the PDF version to 1.4 (or Acrobat 5)
fileBytes = ms.ToArray();

VB.Net Code

Dim reader As PdfReader = New PdfReader(fileBytes)
Dim ms As MemoryStream = New MemoryStream()
Dim stamper As PdfStamper = New PdfStamper(reader, ms, "4")  'The number 4 changes the PDF version to 1.4 (or Acrobat 5)
fileBytes = ms.ToArray()

Here is a nice table showing the different versions

Acrobat Product Version PDF
New Features Affecting
Backwards Compatibility
Acrobat 8 PDF 1.7
  • Reader Enabled Forms
  • PDF Packages
  • PDF 1.7 XML Forms
Acrobat 7 PDF 1.6
  • Reader Enabled Review
  • Security Envelopes
  • XML Forms
  • Embedded multimedia including 3D content
  • Bookmark Compression
Acrobat 6 PDF 1.5
  • Linked multimedia
Acrobat 5 PDF 1.4
  • OCR Text Layer

Table came from this Adobe blog.


Esau Silva
Software Engineer at Region One ESC
Full Stack Software Engineer working with Microsoft technologies, ReactJS is awesome and avid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner
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