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Convert PHP report to PDF for online printing

Posted on 2010-04-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-13
I want to take a dynamic summary report, which has been created in PHP, and output it as a PDF.  What is the best way to achieve this?  User-friendly, ideally.
Question by:ssailer
  • 2

Accepted Solution

g105b earned 2000 total points
ID: 30053162
The PDF functions in PHP can create PDF files using the PDFlib library which was initially created by Thomas Merz and is now maintained by PDFlib GmbH.

The below code shows how to construct basic PDF file from PHP.

If you don't have access to this library, or can't install it on your server, there is a free PHP class called FPDF that can be used to create server-side PDFs. This can be found at http://www.fpdf.org/

Take a look at the PHP docs about the inbuilt PDFlib - http://php.net/manual/en/book.pdf.php
$p = PDF_new();

/*  open new PDF file; insert a file name to create the PDF on disk */
if (PDF_begin_document($p, "", "") == 0) {
    die("Error: " . PDF_get_errmsg($p));

PDF_set_info($p, "Creator", "hello.php");
PDF_set_info($p, "Author", "Rainer Schaaf");
PDF_set_info($p, "Title", "Hello world (PHP)!");

PDF_begin_page_ext($p, 595, 842, "");

$font = PDF_load_font($p, "Helvetica-Bold", "winansi", "");

PDF_setfont($p, $font, 24.0);
PDF_set_text_pos($p, 50, 700);
PDF_show($p, "Hello world!");
PDF_continue_text($p, "(says PHP)");
PDF_end_page_ext($p, "");

PDF_end_document($p, "");

$buf = PDF_get_buffer($p);
$len = strlen($buf);

header("Content-type: application/pdf");
header("Content-Length: $len");
header("Content-Disposition: inline; filename=hello.pdf");
print $buf;


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Author Comment

ID: 30058159
Where, in this string of code, would I put my dynamic content?  I'm assuming I would be the recordset query at the top of the page?  Thanks.

Expert Comment

ID: 30061972
You can use the PDF_show or PDF_continue_text functions to output content just like an echo does. There are plenty of examples in the php docs on http://php.net/manual/en/book.pdf.php

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