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> Generate PDF files on the fly with PHP
sunny
Posted: May 3 2004, 01:10 PM
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Do you want to generate PDF files on the fly using PHP, but don't wish to pay for PHPLib? Consider using FPDF. It is easy to install (just upload the files, no extension required unless you wish to enable compression, in which case you need Zlib installed on your server). This means that you can use FPDF even when your host doesn't have PDFLib installed, as long as you have PHP4 (yes, you can even use it on shared hosting accounts).

FPDF is feature rich and supports images, links, truetype fonts, page compression and more. You can also produce documents in many languages other than the Western European ones.

Take a peek at the tutorial for creating a multicolumn pdf file:
http://www.fpdf.org/en/tutorial/tuto4.htm
Or a pdf with tables:
http://www.fpdf.org/en/tutorial/tuto5.htm
And, how about some hyperlinks too:
http://www.fpdf.org/en/tutorial/tuto6.htm

As a freeware, FPDF is simply amazing.

"There is no usage restriction. You may embed it freely in your application (commercial or not), with or without modification. You may redistribute it, too."
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webdeveloper
Posted: Jul 3 2004, 03:20 PM
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If you do not want to have to program your application to handle conversion from html to pdf, then you can look at a web service offered by Gilgamesh Solutions at http://gilgamesh-solutions.com/webservices.cfm. Using this service you will be able to send a URL to an html page you build on the fly on your server, and the service will actually crawl over your URL and convert your page to pdf!

You can control many options including footers, headers, page breaks, page orientation (landscape vs. portrait), include high quality images (png, jpg, gif). The beauty about this service is that you are able to control the format of your generated pdf using html tags!

If you have a coldfusion server, then you can actually buy the product for around $60 I believe. But you might want to go with the service option if you do not want to deal with installation, setting up your application, worrying about changing your application when you upgrade, if you use different languages and you want an application that is platform and web server independent.

Give it a try, I believe that they have test environments on their web site where you can try their products live for free.
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