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Advice on FDF and PDF files

Posted on 2006-11-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi,

I need some urgent advice on FDF and PDF files..

I have created VB.NET app with MS SQL back end.

I also have PDF documents that need to be populated with data from app that I have developed.

Looking through EE, I came across the following code:

 Dim sb As New System.Text.StringBuilder
        Dim file As New System.IO.StreamWriter("POneEventQuote2007.fdf")
        Try

            '***Create a replica of the FDF file's contents by creating a string containing all the
            '***information in the FDF file.
            '***vbCr's replace Hex value x0D found when viewing the original FDF File with a hex
            '***viewer.
            sb.Append("%FDF-1.2" & vbCr & "%âãÏÓ" & vbCrLf)
            sb.Append("1 0 obj<</FDF<</F(POneEventQuote2007.pdf)/ID[<e099e1fa40427741839c37afe39f0f67><d9326d3e5b7f764b8c0bb9fa30e73040>]/Fields[<</T(A0)/V(N/A)>><</T(R9)/V(0)>><</T(Z5)/V(REPLACE_NAME\rREPLACE_ADDRESS)>>]>>>>" & vbCr & "endobj" & vbCr & "trailer" & vbCrLf)
            sb.Append("<</Root 1 0 R>>" & vbCrLf)
            sb.Append("%%EOF" & vbCrLf)

            '***Replace the default values with the "real" values
            sb.Replace("REPLACE_NAME", "John Smith")
            sb.Replace("REPLACE_ADDRESS", "London, UK")
            file.WriteLine(sb)
            file.Close()
 Catch ex As Exception
            MessageBox.Show(ex.Message, strAppTitle)
            '***Code to display your error goes here.
        End Try


This allows me to create an FDF file, which when accessed will open the pdf file with the fields populated.

My questions are:
1. Is there a quicker to achieve the above, without going for 3rd party apps? (what if the pdf form has alot of text fields to populate?)
2. What i also want to do is to save the PDF with the data populated from the FDF without having to open the PDF and saving it in Reader. Can this be done in VB.NET?
3. Also on the PDF form, there are some fields (Combo boxes) that trigger some events in Javascript, now these dont show up in the FDF structure, is there anyway around this?

Looking forward to your suggestions,

XQ
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Question by:X-quisite
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2 Comments
 
LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
Dimandja earned 500 total points
ID: 17988571
The PDF format is proprietary to Adobe Systems.  Adobe holds patents on their creation.  You can write your own 100% .NET applications that create and manipulate PDF files, if you obtain a licence to do so from Adobe.

Other than that, we have to use licenced third party tools.  You can look at a large collection of these PDF tools by entering something along the lines of ".NET create PDF" in a search engine.
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Author Comment

by:X-quisite
ID: 17996740
Thanks for the advice... I was hoping there was another way (i.e. free!) to achieve the above tasks..
looks like I need to 'cough up some dough' :-(
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