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Can I use inline formatting with PDF?

Posted on 2004-08-30
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi,

I'm dynamically generating PDF files. Can I use inline formatting, like tags in HTML or something?

For example: I display the text "My house is on fire." and I would like to display "house" in bold. Is there a way to do this without breaking up my string and format the pieces separately?

Thanks.
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Question by:Otana
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11 Comments
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 11929695
If you have access to the source application, do it there and recreate the PDF file. This is the simplest way to get formatting into PDF.

If you have Acrobat 6 (the full version), you can create annotations and use Rich Text formatting to get e.g. bold text. You would replace your original text with this text annotation, and then potentially flatten the file after  you edit it.

You can also use the touchup text tool and just select the "house" part of your string, and then select a bold typeface. This will however not reformat the complete string and e.g. adjust for the different character spacing of the bold font.

Can you tell me more about why you want to do this, there may be other solutions.
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:Otana
ID: 11929741
I'm using a third party object in a C# application to generate PDF files and place large blocks of text in them. I have those blocks of text stored in a DB. However, some parts of this text (names,...) should be bold. The third party object has some limitations so it would be easier if I could store formatting tags or something along with the text in the DB.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 11929809
In this case, you are out of luck (that is, if you don't want to create Rich Text formatted comments). However, if you need to place a large block of text on a PDF page, you need to split up the text into (at least) lines before you place it. It's possible that your 3rd party object does this for you, but in general, this is required.

Which 3rd party object are you using?
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:Otana
ID: 11929837
I'm using pdfLib.

The object allows me to create "textflows" which will split text into lines nicely. It also allows me to use "Justify" for alignment, which is what I need. However, if I split the text to format one part, I can not put it together again in a textflow, and I lose the ability to justify.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 11929924
I'm not aware of any pdflib features that would allow you to embed bold sections into normal text. Sorry.
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:Otana
ID: 11953244
I've found some documentation on the subject, it is possible.

Example: <fontname={Arial Bold}>

Thanks for the help.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:prifre
ID: 12115940
good work - pls have the admins to close the question.
( A different approach that I love is to patch the PS-file dynamically and use Distiller. But that presumes you love to hack PostScript...)

with a smile
/prifre
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 12118397
When using pdflib, there is no PostScript involved.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:prifre
ID: 12207203
It was meant as an aleternative to PDFlib. The one asking the question originally did not talk about PDFlib - and with ASP&Distiller the problem is solvable by dynamically patching PS-files.

with a smile
/prifre
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