PSPDFKit for Floor Planning: Features, Challenges, and Implementation

PSPDFKit for Floor Planning: Features, Challenges, and Implementation

Interactive floor plans are a highly popular tool in construction asset management, facility management, and interior design. With an interactive floor plan, you can easily see a map of your space, update it in real time, and assign tasks to your employees. 

One technical difficulty with implementing interactive floor plans is working with PDFs. The plans are usually in PDF format, and it can be difficult to implement PDF functionality from a technical standpoint. 

In this article, we’ll cover how our development team used PSPDFkit for the floor planning construction solution. 

Let’s get started. 

Which industries use floor planning solutions? 

Floor planning solutions are used for several different purposes. 


Interactive floor plans are usually a part of exterior and interior design planning tools. Architectural design software is invaluable for architects since it helps to align spaces, rooms, and furniture. It transforms ideas into detailed visuals. The resulting blueprint serves as a guide that helps to make decisions on materials and visualize the project's outcome. 

Real estate

While often overlooked, floor plans are important if you want to make effective real estate presentations. Research indicates that, aside from photos, homebuyers actively look for floor plans. Homebuyers expect to see floor plans, and this influences their decision to plan a viewing. Listings with floor plans get longer views, which translates to better sales performance. 

Facility management

Digital transformation in facility management can start with an interactive floor plan. Interactive floor plan tools help facility managers easily access work orders and effectively manage asset information. They provide a top-down perspective of the facility's various areas. With interactive icons, you can easily identify and manage work orders and equipment. As a result, facility management software enables a clear understanding of ongoing maintenance and areas that need attention, providing you with a path to sustainable facility management. 


Interactive floor plan software is a great way to start construction digitization. It provides construction managers with the ability to track construction tasks and assets. It allows managers and subcontractors to assign tasks, perform inspections, and review projects. The software also allows subcontractors to share reports with stakeholders. This ensures timely issue resolution before final walkthroughs.

What is PSPDFkit?

PSPDFKit is a software development kit (SDK) that can be integrated into your applications to show and work with PDF documents. It is a leading cross-platform solution that is deployed in popular applications by industry leaders such as Autodesk, Disney, DocuSign, Dropbox, IBM, and Lufthansa. 

Which features does PSPDFKit have?

PSPDFKit allows you to implement into your application all the necessary features of PDF document processing software

  • Annotation. PSPDFKIT allows you to integrate more than 15 digital annotation tools into your app, including highlighting, adding shapes and stamps, drawing, importing and exporting annotations in XPDF and JSON files, etc. 
  • Form filling. You can easily view, fill out, and save forms. PSPDFKit supports almost all components of the PDF Acroforms standard. It also includes checkboxes, list boxes, and combo boxes, and lets you add custom values to the form.
  • Editing. With PSPDFKit, you can edit PDFs without exiting an app. You can merge and split the document, add, delete, and reshuffle pages, or extract the part of the document when needed.
  • Collaborative document management. PSPDFKit enables real-time collaboration and synchronization of document edits, highlights, and annotations, while keeping the documents safe and secure within your own existing infrastructure.
  • Signing. PSPDFKit lets you sign documents with image, drawn, or typed digital signatures. 

Case Study: PSPDFKit for floor planning

The client requested Apiko to develop a construction document management solution. The punch list application would be used by construction managers and workers. The app allows managers to assign tasks to workers and control their performance on a real-time updateable map of a building. 

There were two main technical problems during development: 

  1. The implementation of Deep Zoom technology. Deep Zoom is a technology that allows to transmit and visualize images effectively. It allows users to navigate through and zoom high-resolution images or extensive image collections. It also minimizes the initial load time. 
  2. The implementation of PDF viewing and editing simultaneously with Deep Zoom technology. Since the building floor plans were in PDF, the PDF construction solution was supposed to enable real-time advanced document viewing, zooming, and editing. However, most ways to do this would significantly slow down loading time and impair user experience. 

Selecting the PDF solution

Apiko considered 3 options for the implementation of PDF functionality. 

  1. OpenSeaDragon.
    OpenSeaDragon is a web-based viewer that enables users to view high-resolution, zoomable images. Implemented in JavaScript, it caters to both desktop and mobile platforms. The problem is that direct support for PDFs is not available in browsers, which prevents smooth integration into web pages. One option the team had was to convert PDF into a compatible format that OpenSeaDragon supports. However, this would impair performance. Plus, OpenSeaDragon does not offer server support, which makes it unsustainable long-term. 
  2. Custom PDF implementation.
    Custom implementation of PDF and DeepZoom functionality was also considered, but this process could take too much time. 
  3. PSPDFKit implementation.
    PSPDFKit was chosen as an optimal solution for several reasons. First, PSPDFKit implements DeepZoom simultaneously with PDF functionality, which eliminates the need for costly and lengthy custom DeepZoom development. Secondly, PSPDFKit offered optimal performance due to the native implementation of PDF functionality without the need to convert documents into a different format. 

PSPDFKit implementation process

After our development team chose PSPDFKit, we started the implementation process. 

  1. First, you need to install the PSPDFKit Server. The installation process is very simple, the server is distributed as a Docker container image. You only need to write several variables in a text file and execute the Docker command to run it.

  2. Then, you need to add an SDK on the front end, which is called "PSPDFKit for Web" SDK. The SDK is integrated into the project through the API. During initialization, the PDF file is specified directly, or you can specify the ID from the server. The PDF file will be displayed on the page.

  3. Then, on the front end, you can use the Web SDK API to navigate through PDFs, add overlays, annotations, process clicks, and much more. PSPDFKit for Web is a JavaScript PDF library that allows you to work with PDFs, TIFFs, JPGs, and PNGs directly in the browser.

  4. For the backend, the implementation consists of integration with the REST API of the PSPDFKit server. The integration with the backend allows you to add documents through uploading or by writing down URLs, copy and delete documents efficiently, manage annotations within a specific document, and perform operations like adding, rotating, removing pages, and merging PDF files into existing documents. 

PSPDFKit for floor planning: challenges

While PSPDFKit implementation is not the most difficult one, our team faced several challenges during the project. 

Pricing complexity

PSPDFKit provides pricing based on the components you purchase. This makes price estimation complicated and somewhat unpredictable since it is not always clear from the start which components you will need. To figure out whether a certain component is actually necessary for your project, you will likely have to extensively communicate with the PSPDFKit team. 

For example, our team initially considered purchasing React Native components, but in the end abandoned the idea, because the functionality was not covering the needs of our project, and we had to develop our own React Native SDK. 

Mobile implementation

We also had some difficulties with mobile PDF SDK integration. During the implementation process, we discovered that, while iOS SDK did cover our needs, Android SDK was more restrictive. So we had to do additional work to implement the necessary functionality on Android. 

Nevertheless, our team was satisfied with the eventual result, and the downsides did not overshadow the convenience of PSPDFKit. 

“The in-house team is happy with the quality of Apiko’s work and their thoughtful approach. Apiko went above and beyond to understand and meet all needs, while their ability to resolve issues quickly and effectively made them a reliable partner.”
Anthony Serdula
President at A.Anthony Corp.

PSPDFKit for floor planning: end result

As a result of PSPDFKit implementation, Apiko was able to develop a powerful application for out client. The app allows you to effectively manage punch lists (or defect/inspection lists) common in construction projects. It helps construction teams overcome difficulties with long and labor-intensive lists, especially when the project is coming to an end. 

The app's punch-on-the-plan technology makes the process of entering items during inspections simple. The only thing you need to collect data is a quick touch on your device's screen. After that, you can quickly share reports with the relevant parties. This promotes a collaborative environment where everyone shares the same terminology and technology.

Overall, PSPDFKit for floor planning is very effective for working with PDFs. This makes it highly helpful for productive management of inspections in construction projects. 

More specifically, the app has the following features: 

  • Digital drawing and markup. You can place tasks directly onto the building plan to find them quickly. You only need to tap marked areas on the new homepage to visually navigate through project plans.
  • Inspections. You can select and assign tasks from predefined lists, view Open, Complete, and Pending Final item counts for each inspection area, and attach photos, files, annotations, and signatures when necessary. 
  • Real-time document synchronization. You can collaborate with unlimited users on the home page with the information being updated in real time. You and your teammates can easily update checklists for various inspection areas when necessary. 
  • Reporting and sharing. The app allows you to use powerful reports to generate insights for each responsible party, and share reports easily via email or print.

Let’s keep in touch

Want to implement PSPDFKit into your solution? Start your digital transformation journey with a professional IT consultation. 
Michel Rokosh


To sum up, PSPDFKit for floor planning is a convenient instrument to implement PDF functionality into floor planning solutions. Aside from certain inconveniences like complex pricing, our team successfully used PSPDFKit to ensure optimal performance of PDF viewing, rendering, and editing in a floor planning solution.

If you want to implement PSPDFKit or other PDF editing solutions into your solution, don’t hesitate to contact Apiko! We are always ready for new challenges, whether you want to start a digital transformation in facility management, develop mobile apps for manufacturing industry, or build a workforce management app.