Generate Pie Chart/Bar Graph in PDF using iText & JFreeChart

generate pie chart graph in java pdf itext jfreechartiText is a wonderful library if you want to generate PDFs in Java. It comes with a huge set of API to create/manage a PDF file. We already saw in our previous tutorial how to generate a pdf file in itext and also how to merge two pdf files using itext.

In this tutorial we will see how to generate Pie charts and Bar charts in Java using iText and jFreeChart library. First a brief note about jFreeChart.

JFreeChart is a free 100% Java chart library that makes it easy for developers to display professional quality charts in their applications. It gives a wide range of API to generate charts and graphs in Java.

Step 1: Download required Jar files

For this example we will need following jar files.

  • iText-2.1.5.jar (download)
  • jcommon-1.0.16.jar
  • jfreechart-1.0.13.jar

Download the jFreeChart jars from:

Step 2: Generating Pie Charts/Bar Graph using jFreeChart

Next we will use jFreeChart library and generate the pie and bar charts.

package net.viralpatel.itext.pdf;

import org.jfree.chart.ChartFactory;
import org.jfree.chart.JFreeChart;
import org.jfree.chart.plot.PlotOrientation;

public class PieChartDemo {
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		//TODO: Add code to generate PDFs with charts

	public static JFreeChart generatePieChart() {
		DefaultPieDataset dataSet = new DefaultPieDataset();
		dataSet.setValue("China", 19.64);
		dataSet.setValue("India", 17.3);
		dataSet.setValue("United States", 4.54);
		dataSet.setValue("Indonesia", 3.4);
		dataSet.setValue("Brazil", 2.83);
		dataSet.setValue("Pakistan", 2.48);
		dataSet.setValue("Bangladesh", 2.38);

		JFreeChart chart = ChartFactory.createPieChart(
				"World Population by countries", dataSet, true, true, false);

		return chart;

	public static JFreeChart generateBarChart() {
		DefaultCategoryDataset dataSet = new DefaultCategoryDataset();
		dataSet.setValue(791, "Population", "1750 AD");
		dataSet.setValue(978, "Population", "1800 AD");
		dataSet.setValue(1262, "Population", "1850 AD");
		dataSet.setValue(1650, "Population", "1900 AD");
		dataSet.setValue(2519, "Population", "1950 AD");
		dataSet.setValue(6070, "Population", "2000 AD");

		JFreeChart chart = ChartFactory.createBarChart(
				"World Population growth", "Year", "Population in millions",
				dataSet, PlotOrientation.VERTICAL, false, true, false);

		return chart;

In above code, we have created two methods that returns JFreeChart object. These methods creates charts using jFreeChart API. Note that we have used dummy data. In real example these values must be dynamically fetched from database or other data source.

Also note that the main method is still empty. We haven’t added yet the code to generate actual PDF file using iText API.

Step 3: Generate PDF with Charts/Graphs in Java using iText

Now its time to generate the actual PDF files. For this we will use iText library and pass it the graphs generated by jFreeChart library. Add following code in your java class.

public static void main(String[] args) {
		writeChartToPDF(generateBarChart(), 500, 400, "C://barchart.pdf");
		writeChartToPDF(generatePieChart(), 500, 400, "C://piechart.pdf");
	public static void writeChartToPDF(JFreeChart chart, int width, int height, String fileName) {
		PdfWriter writer = null;

		Document document = new Document();

		try {
			writer = PdfWriter.getInstance(document, new FileOutputStream(
			PdfContentByte contentByte = writer.getDirectContent();
			PdfTemplate template = contentByte.createTemplate(width, height);
			Graphics2D graphics2d = template.createGraphics(width, height,
					new DefaultFontMapper());
			Rectangle2D rectangle2d = new Rectangle2D.Double(0, 0, width,

			chart.draw(graphics2d, rectangle2d);
			contentByte.addTemplate(template, 0, 0);

		} catch (Exception e) {

In above code we have created a method writeChartToPDF() which take few arguments like jFreeChart object, width, height and filename and write a PDF files in that file.


This is ofcourse very preliminary example of adding pie charts in PDF using Java iText/jFreeChart. But atleast it gives basic idea of how to achieve this. Feel free to modify the above code and play around to generate different charts/graphs in PDF.

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  1. suresh says:

    Excellent Tutorial. It’s Matches with my requirement. Very Very Thanks for Providing This tutorial

  2. pravin Tarte says:

    can u provide me a code to handle multiple edit button for each row of table .

    i am using dispatch action of struts 1 , but not been able to set the hidden varibale dynamically to send it to next action.

  3. Swapna says:

    Hi Viral,

    A very useful article! Thanks a bunch. :-)

    I am facing a technical problem and I wonder if you will be able to help me out. I am using iText 2.1.5 (I know a newer version exists) to generate pdf files. I am picking up text from database and putting it in the pdf file. The database text however has tags like “Bold” instead of good old “<b>Bold</b>“.

    Despite using HTMLWorker.parseToList, the text Bold” is printed as it is in the generated pdf. I see that tags are not in the tagsSupported list of HTMLWorker.

    I have googled and checked many sites but nothing seems to be working so far. If I don’t find any solution, I will have to resort to parsing the strings by myself and replacing tags with appropriate html tags like <b>, etc. I am hoping I don’t have to do that as it somehow feels inelegant.

    Am I doing something wrong? Can you please help me out here?
    Thanks a lot once again!

  4. Swapna says:

    I am sorry Viral. I didn’t realize the site will format my text as per the html tags I mentioned. I will post the relevant part once again.

    The database text has tags like “span” with “style” set to “font-weight:bold;” or “font-style:italic” instead of using b, u or i like tags.

  5. Venkata says:

    Hi Viral,

    I am using iText and JFreeChart.
    I have generated a chart and am using iText to save the chart as PDF.
    When I save the PDF to filesystem, the file saves correctly, then when opened, shows chart without any problems.

    But when I try to serve the pdf as response to request, it gives me error file does not start with %pdf-.

    My code is below.

    Can you help me out in resolving this problem, where I might have made any mistake?



    Appreciate your help.

    Rectangle pagesize = new Rectangle(width, height);
    Document document = new Document(pagesize, 50, 50, 50, 50);

    try {
    PdfWriter writer = PdfWriter.getInstance(document, response.getOutputStream());
    document.addTitle("Test PDF");

    PdfContentByte cb = writer.getDirectContent();
    PdfTemplate tp = cb.createTemplate(width, height);
    Graphics2D g2 = tp.createGraphics(width, height, mapper);
    Rectangle2D r2D = new Rectangle2D.Double(0, 0, width, height);
    chart.draw(g2, r2D);
    cb.addTemplate(tp, 0, 0);

    } catch (DocumentException de) {

  6. Lecusto says:

    Thanks a lot for the tutorial. A small addition, you could replace the document line by the following to set the pdf size :

    Document document = new Document(new Rectangle(width,height));

  7. Pradeep says:

    Hey can u tell me where i save this jar file??????
    plz repli fast.

  8. donc_oe says:

    @pradeep, it doesn’t matter where you put the jar files, just make sure you add them to the classpath/buildpath.

    • Pradeep says:

      Thank u :)

  9. Pradeep says:

    can anyone help me for creating dynamic graph(live trading)
    x axis shoul be current time and y axis value is to get from database……..
    I have done x axis part in that i used thread and timeseries now i want to connect with database on y axis…………
    plzzzzzzzz help
    Thank u :)

  10. yourbuddy says:

    good work.
    Its really suited my requirement…..with partial changes like, instead using pdf html display and getting data from db to replace the hardcoded dataset values

  11. Deepak says:

    Super Cool code man.Working perfect .Thanks.Keep it up.

  12. amira says:

    I want to Generate Pie Chart/Bar Graph in JSF;plz anybody help me!!!

    • satish says:

      Document document = new Document(PageSize.A4_LANDSCAPE, 10, 10, 10,
      ByteArrayOutputStream baos = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
      writer = PdfWriter.getInstance(document, baos);;
      FacesContext facesContext = FacesContext.getCurrentInstance();
      ExternalContext externalContext = facesContext.getExternalContext();
      HttpServletResponse response = (HttpServletResponse) externalContext.getResponse(); document.add(new Paragraph(“Report:”, FontFactory.getFont(FontFactory.COURIER, 10, Font.BOLD,new CMYKColor(255, 255, 255, 255))));
      Paragraph paragraph1 = new Paragraph();

      /*like wise content will be added to pdf document*/

      Date date = new Date();
      SimpleDateFormat format = new SimpleDateFormat(“”);
      response.setHeader(“Content-disposition”,”attachment; filename=Batch_Report” + format.format(date)+ “.pdf”);
      ServletOutputStream out;
      try {
      out = response.getOutputStream();
      } catch (IOException e) {
      // TODO Auto-generated catch block

      By using the above iam able to create pdf file in jsf

  13. Hi all, Can any one send me simple source code for generating a chart using database. and generating pdf using Database.
    plz help me out bcz the itext is very new for me

    mail me @ [email protected]

    • Tadashi Vilbar says:

      May I also have a copy?

  14. Dery says:

    Great working code for JFreeChart + iText. Thanks a lot!

  15. Aiman says:

    cannot compile it , teach me please !

  16. Sreekanth says:

    i am downloading this program and jar files but it shows error.. at
    chart.draw(graphics2d, rectangle2d);
    wt we do…? pls help?

  17. Abdul Vasih says:

    Hi Viral… Your article really helped me a lot.. ‘BIG’ thanks… :)

  18. Yulia says:

    Thanks a lot for this great tutoria!!!

  19. ayaan says:

    can you give me a software that build in c language with their source code. its important to me
    plzzz i am waiting for ur reply…

  20. gaurav says:

    hi , thanks for the tutes.. but can u plz elaborate that what is the use of of comparable rowkeys
    comparable column keys in creating bar chart

  21. Ajay Moorjani says:

    Thansk alot .. for a wonderful contribution :)

  22. deepak bakhtiani says:

    Thanks a lot for it :D

  23. Nagaraju says:

    i used this code but for me its getting just blank page can anyone help in this

  24. sam says:

    thanx bro…!!!

  25. Kev says:

    Hey, helped a lot, thx!
    But i still got one question: the legend on my pieChart is to big in the PDF, so that the names of the pie parts are above each other and dont scale down, although this doesnt happen when i paint them with jPanel. Maybe any1 got a tip?
    **Excuse my english ;

  26. Ria says:

    hi ! viral your blog help me alot … thank u very much..:)

  27. shobi says:

    we are doing feedback project…. please give me the code how to summarize the results. which we are getting from the students..

  28. shobi says:

    please give me an idea

  29. riyaz says:

    we are in the process of making the online student feedback system application
    we had prepared the front end web pages now we are facing problems in generating code for obtaining the correct selected radio button directed to the database and to make an average of all the forms of one class… please help us regarding this…

    please contact: [email protected]

  30. Ashfaq says:

    Can i get the souce code please…getting error when placing in eclipse ..thanks

  31. Vidhi says:

    Hi Viral,
    This tutorial helped me a lot..thankyou very much.

  32. Shark says:

    Hi Viral,

    when i download the jar files form the website, i get all zip files like this, , should i be changing that to .jar or shoud i find .jar from the .zip file and place in my WEB-INF/lib dir.

    Please advice.

  33. shark says:

    Hi Viral,

    I am using your tutorial, but PdfTemplate.createGraphics(int, int, DefaultFontMapper) is deprecated. can you pls tell how to replace that part of the code?
    I tried replacing with PdfPrinterGraphics2D but not getting any success.


  34. surjeet says:

    hey viral ….
    actually i included all the jar in project as you said above but when i copy ur code in my project its showing some errors at these following lines…
    Document document = new Document();
    writer = PdfWriter.getInstance(document, new FileOutputStream(fileName));;
    Graphics2D graphics2d = template.createGraphics(width, height,new DefaultFontMapper());
    can u just ell me what to do now….plz reply

  35. Vishal says:

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful tutorial.

    However, I am facing an issue that whenever I generate pdf congaing bar chart, I get half page white space & after that it shows bar chart graph. Can you please tell me how can I fix this issue?

    • dhara joshi says:

      the code is not running it has error stated :” could not find or load main class”.. pls suggest me what should i do ?

  36. satya says:

    It helped me a lot. thank you for nice post

  37. Tadashi Vilbar says:

    Can anybody give me a simple source code. The Tutorial isn’t working all errors occur after the try{} part.

  38. Abhinaw says:

    Chart is getting plotted at the end of the page. How to position the chart at the start of the page?

    x and y coordinates in the following two lines are already set to zero, still the chart comes at the end of the page.

    Rectangle2D rectangle2d = new Rectangle2D.Double(0, 0, width,height);
    contentByte.addTemplate(template, 0, 0);

    Any help?

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