VB6 Program & Source For PDF

Posted on 2004-08-05
Last Modified: 2013-12-02
Does anyone have a VB6 program (and source) which will read a PDF file and replace text within it, saving it to a new output name (also a PDF file)?

This program should be written entirely without ANY external controls, com, dll, components, etc., unless you can guarantee they are absolutely free and that it isn't a wild goose chase to find them. I say this because I have read every link on this site regarding VB6/PDF questions, and the majority of them require an external component be added or else send the questioneer on a chase to other sites, many of which no longer bring up the page that was recommended.

So, again I am hoping that someone has written a program, perhaps from having read the PDFSPEC.pdf document from Adobe (as I am doing now) or a similar spec document, and has incorporated that into a sweet VB6 program which can modify/replace text in a PDF file, putting it out into another one.

Please do not refer me to 3rd party vendors which charge hundreds of dollars. I have far more points to award here on Experts Exchange than I do money. :)

1000 points to anyone who provides the solution as requested. :)

Extra points beyond that if your program can operate in a batch mode, i.e. read an input PDF, also read a text file containing the text to find and replace, and create a separate output file.

Thank you.
Question by:dsacker
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Assisted Solution

ampapa earned 75 total points
ID: 11729159
You probably fighting an up hill battle as I've also looked in the past for a way to create PDF's solely in VB and never found anything.

I would suggest looking at GhostScript, it's "free" as is one of your requirements but it doesn't come without some overhead. Good luck on you search....
LVL 20

Author Comment

ID: 11729327
It can be done ... I'm reading the ADOBE PDF specifications manual right now (currently on page 33 or 518), and they do indeed disclose the full specifications on how to read, write, edit, massage PDF files from cradle to grave, but it is indeed an uphill climb, and if I'm lucky I might be at a point to apply what I'm reading in a week, which is dangerously close to a deadline I've taken on.

Yeah, I know (lol) ... don't allow oneself to get painted into a corner, eh? :)

GhostScript, as far as I know, is a one-way street, going from document creation strictly to PostScript --> PDF, and not vice-versa. And I don't see how to manipulate it in a batch processing manner.

I've done skimming research on this and many alternatives, so am definitely not without some ignorance, so if anyone has "how-to" knowledge of manipulating PDF files via GhostScript, I'm game. It does need to be concise and not guesswork though ... please.
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

JR2003 earned 25 total points
ID: 11729993
dsacker doesn't GhostScript convert from postscript to PDF not the other way round?
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LVL 20

Author Comment

ID: 11730506
I'm trying the GhostScript option, but am having a tough time with it. I can't seem to find the PostScript file. It wants to straightaway make the PDF file.

If I can halt it after making the PostScript file, I'll look into editing that before sending it on, but GS is not the friendliest of tools.
LVL 20

Author Comment

ID: 11836171
Moderator, no one came to the rescue on this question, so please reduce this question to 50 points, which I will award for the alternate suggestions.

Expert Comment

ID: 11836226
As a side note I currently run some PDF's in a batch by using a generated postscript file and recoding it to suit my needs then running it through Acrobat Distiller. I thought it might give you another alternative????
LVL 20

Author Comment

ID: 12377659

If you read two postings up, I left closing recommendations back on 8/18/2004. I probably need to familiarize with how to communicate better than leaving it here, but this is my first time to leave remarks communicating that no real solution was presented. Please acknowledge the very closing recommendation above.
LVL 20

Author Comment

ID: 12463720
Please award 75 points to ampapa for the participation.
Please award 25 points to JR2003 for the participation.

Thank you.

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