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Convert Word (DOC), Excel (XLS) files to PDF using PHP.

Posted on 2006-11-13
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Hi,

I'm looking for a reliable solution for converting Word and Excel files to PDF using only PHP (if one exists). The only way I can think of doing it, is to have a non-shared web server where we are allowed to install postscript printer drivers etc. to output postscript for the conversion to PDF. Is there a good way to do it on any old shared web server where we have no control over what has been installed on the server?

Please point me in the right direction, if anyone knows of anything which may work.
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Question by:theblip
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:hernst42
ID: 17928556
AFAIk there is no such a solutions. There are tools to get text/data from those formats, but there is no php-only code which could print those data as found in those files.
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neester earned 125 total points
ID: 17928568
the only thing i can suggest would be by using a DOC or XLS reader, then using a module like this:

http://www.ros.co.nz/pdf/


there is a working example of printing a PDF from text input...
so I assume from a file input should be just as easy - just a bit more effort and time required.
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Expert Comment

by:Raynard7
ID: 17928572
Hi,

There are php classes to write pdf files - there are also drivers to read word and excel files.

You would be able to read the data - then convert it and pass it to a class to create the pdf.  This is not going to be precise - it will be slow and may have very different formatting.

As hernst42 suggested you could not print the data exactly as found.

If I were you I would not rely on postcript drivers - I would either build an ASP.NET web service to dynamically convert these files and return the output (there are classes to do this with c#)

Depending on your requirements you may be best storing your documents in a database - having another program run over the data saved, convert them and then save them back to the database converted (but this may be best done in a batch job rather than being instaneous)
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Assisted Solution

by:Raynard7
Raynard7 earned 125 total points
ID: 17928573
I use the classes that neester suggested - they are very good - but as mentioned you would be able to get the data into pdf however it would not appear as it does in word or excel
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Expert Comment

by:jmar_click
ID: 17931918
http://us3.php.net/pdf

Maybe that will help
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