We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Cross platform text formating

potsy
potsy asked
on
I'm going to be building an online customer database for a client.  I need to have the ability to take information from a database and format it to fit on a mailing label.  But he needs to be able to print it from his windows system.  HTML formatting is too unreliable.  I need something with the formating abilities of Acrobat but it has to be dynamic.  Any ideas would be much appreciated.  Thanks

Steven Potter
Comment
Watch Question

CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
are you looking for a proprietary binary format, or an open ASCII fromat?

Commented:
how about RTF.

http://download.microsoft.com/download/word97win/spec2/1/WIN98/EN-US/GC1282.exe

Most word processors will understand it, and it's from Microsoft so you know they will support it.

Author

Commented:
Well, what I'm looking at is there is going to be a label size such as 3 colums of labels each one 4 inches wide and 1 inch long there will be 20 of these labels per page.  Now I'm making a program that will run on a web server (running linux) and I need this program to be able to take output from a database (e.g. Name, Address, Etc...) and format it to fit the pages of labels.  Then it need to save it in some format that the user can then display on his computer and print to his printer without looseing the formatting.

I'm currently looking into the abilities of LaTeX...

Author

Commented:
Well, what I'm looking at is there is going to be a label size such as 3 colums of labels each one 4 inches wide and 1 inch long there will be 20 of these labels per page.  Now I'm making a program that will run on a web server (running linux) and I need this program to be able to take output from a database (e.g. Name, Address, Etc...) and format it to fit the pages of labels.  Then it need to save it in some format that the user can then display on his computer and print to his printer without looseing the formatting.

I'm currently looking into the abilities of LaTeX...

CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
> .. 4 inches wide and 1 inch long ..

How will you proove that?
This is impossible on a computer screen, 'cause you never know which one is in use.
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
BTW, I support national languages etc. as much as possible, but the world counts metric (except one single country;-)

Author

Commented:
This is where the problem comes in, I'm not concerned about what it looks like on the screen, I'm concerned with how it prints I want it to print 4 inches wide and 1 inch long, or whatever size I choose.

I know I have been currupted by the US :-)  I think in inches...
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Commented:
the RTF as already suggested or LaTeX may be a choice,
also think of converting your docs to PDF

Commented:
If you are only concerned with the printer output, why not output in the language of the printer. You can then just dump the output to the printer port.

What printer are you using. Postscript? PCL?

Author

Commented:
The documents must be able to print from many different types of printers.

I may have found a solution, but I still need to look into it a little more I will get back to you.

Author

Commented:
Wow, I just found the feature in EE to look at all of your previously asked questions..   I have several open ones that I had forgotten about.  I am accepting this as the answer because PDF seems like the appropriate format.
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
Thanks for comming back and grading.
Good luck.

Explore More ContentExplore courses, solutions, and other research materials related to this topic.