Solved

How to generate bulleted lists in PDF language to display in Adobe Acrobat Reader?

Posted on 2007-04-08
5
1,045 Views
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I'm writing a C program, which translates user input of text into PDF file, which can be displayed in Adobe Acrobat Reader. The user input contains bulleted lists.  The lists have the following types of bullets:

1). For Unordered Lists:
Disc: Solid circular bullet
Circle: Open circular bullet
Square: Solid square bullet

2). For Ordered Lists:
Decimal: Decimal arabic numerals (1–9, 10–99, … )
UpperRoman: Uppercase roman numerals (I, II, III, IV, … )
LowerRoman: Lowercase roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, … )
UpperAlpha: Uppercase letters (A, B, C, … )
LowerAlpha: Lowercase letters (a, b, c, … )


My question is: What is the best way to generate bulleted lists in PDF? I think there might be the following four options:
a). It may be done using some existing PDF syntax, which I think I might have found in PDF Reference manual Version 1.7 published by Adobe, but the syntax might be designed for use of Document Interchange, because it's in Chapter 10. Document Interchange - Section 10.7 Tagged PDF. Thus I'm not sure if it's the syntax that I can use.
b). I may draw these bullets line by line, and then fill in color if necessary. For example, I can draw square bullet by drawing its four sides, then fill it with color. But it would be difficult to draw circle using PDF language.
c). I may embed pre-drawn GIF images for those bullets into PDF file.
d). I can simulate bullet images "Circle" and "Square" using letters 'O' and "." on keyboard because letter 'O' looks like a circle and period character '.' looks like a square in Adobe Acrobat reader. Unfortunately, the simulated Circle is not strictly circular, and there is no way to simulate "Disc" using any keyboard character, unless I use ASCII characters between 125 and 256, which are graphical characters, but they are not supported on all platforms/systems.

Here is my opinion:
For options b) and c), it would be hard  to adjust positions and sizes of bullets when the corresponding texts are scaled. Option a) might be a better choice, but I'm not sure that's the correct syntax to do it and I need some code examples to learn how to do it. Option d) might be the easist way to do if there's a better way to simulate the unordered bullets using keyborad characters. I don't have trouble in creating bullet symbols for Ordered List, because they are all standard keyboard characters.

Thank you for your help!
0
Comment
Question by:starkman
  • 2
5 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:John4343
ID: 18878751
I'm working on the same problem.  I did find that in Acrobat Pro text fields can be added to the form then filled in under program control (I'm using ABCpdf from VB .net).  A text field can be multi-line and support rich text formatted.   See http://blogs.adobe.com/loridefurio/2005/12/controlling_for.html 

Anybody know a good tutorial on setting up bulleted lists in rtf?

Why oh why is html formatting not supported.....
0
 

Expert Comment

by:John4343
ID: 18878868
I just tried cutting & pasting some rtf text into a text field and it just displays as entered without formatting!!!
0
 

Author Comment

by:starkman
ID: 18883972
It's good to know the Rich Text thing, however, it is only supported in Interactive Forms / AcroForm. Since there is no forms used in our PDF file, I cannot make use of Rich Text feature, but thanks for the information, which may help me in the future.

I just discovered a workaround, which is to simulate the three kinds of bullets in Unordered Lists using standard keyborad characters. I noticed that period character '.' and lower case 'o' look differently in Acrobat Reader with different fonts:
1). Period character '.' appears as Disc (solid circular bullet) when Times font is used, but appears as
Square (Solid square bullet) when Helvetica or Courier font is used.
2). Lower case character 'o' appears nearly the same as Circle (Open circular bullet) when  Helvetica or Arial font is used, but appears as zero '0' when Times font is used.

So I'm going to simulate the three kinds of bullets in Unordered List as follows:
Disc: Solid circular bullet  -- use period character '.' with Times font
Circle: Open circular bullet   -- use lower case character 'o' with Helvetica font
Square: Solid square bullet  -- use period character '.' with Helvetica font

Although the simulated Circle bullet is still not strictly circular (its vertical length is very slightly longer than its horizontal length), but is very close and the difference is hardly noticeable. I may look for some improvement later to make it look more close to circle, such as using some text stretching, if someone knows how to improve or other ways of solving the problem, please let me know.

Thank you for the help!



0
 
LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
Computer101 earned 0 total points
ID: 19098264
PAQed with points refunded (250)

Computer101
EE Admin
0

Featured Post

Is Your Active Directory as Secure as You Think?

More than 75% of all records are compromised because of the loss or theft of a privileged credential. Experts have been exploring Active Directory infrastructure to identify key threats and establish best practices for keeping data safe. Attend this month’s webinar to learn more.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Can Be Caused By Disabled Services I have encountered a problem viewing PDF files using Adobe Acrobat Reader.  For the longest time, PDFs might launch or might not.  Sometimes they took about 15 minutes to appear after launching them. After som…
Inserting page numbers in Portable Document Files not only enhances manageability but also makes them look professional. With numbered pages, the file appears more organized and it becomes easier to search for a particular page. The size and the vol…
In this first video of the three-part Xpdf series, we introduce and describe Xpdf, a library containing nine command line utilities that perform various functions on PDF files. We show where the library is located and how to download it, discuss its…
In this seventh video of the Xpdf series, we discuss and demonstrate the PDFfonts utility, which lists all the fonts used in a PDF file. It does this via a command line interface, making it suitable for use in programs, scripts, batch files — any pl…

943 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

3 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now