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Populate Word Document on Server and return PDF to client

Posted on 2009-05-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-07
Hi all,
I have a long standing VSTO solution that populates a form that is a word document and this opens on a client machine. This solution however needs upgrading and I am sure there is a more efficient way to do this.

I have in mind a dot net page that can manuipulate the XML from an empty form (n.b. empty, not blank - the word document is a lot of formatting and contains bookmarks for the data). This then saves the word xml on the server somewhere and then a pdf convertor (not sure which one as yet), converts the word file giving the client  a 'save as' dialogue to save the document.

Please can you offer any advice on the more appropriate tools or components to perform this with? My main concern is to preserve the formatting of the original word document in the xml ' template'

regards,
rich

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Question by:crich
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Expert Comment

by:prashantagarw10
ID: 24395336
Consider using PDF forms that can be filled by users. They also come in 2 varities where in users may save the filled data or they may not. If you want the user to email you the filled forms or if the form is big enough to be not filled in one sitting then probably you are looking for PDF forms that can be saved.
You will need to create the form file once for all and then users can download the file to their PC, fill it and email back to you. You dont need any application or program butjust one PDF file placed on your webserver.
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cdaly33 earned 1000 total points
ID: 24395351
ABCPDF is a great tool for converting Word documents in to PDF's on the fly.  They have a full featured trial you can download to see if it works for you.

On a second note though, is it required that your template stay as a Word document on the server?  I use PDF form templates all the time and I haven't found a feature yet that Word could do that a PDF form template couldn't.  This way you'd just be stamping your values in the PDF template and saving off the finished PDF.

http://abcpdf.com/

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Author Closing Comment

by:crich
ID: 31581900
Yes I think the best solution here would be to not even have the word doc on the server. Thanks!
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