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Simple Method to Populate a PDF File with ColdFusion

by Ron Kurtus (5 January 2003)

You can add simple Adobe Acrobat code to a Macromedia ColdFusion page that will populate a PDF file with values sent from submitting a form.

Populating a PDF File from ColdFusion explains various applications and provides the basic steps to acheive this task.

This lesson will answer those questions.



Example

Enter information below, click Submit, and see the resulting PDF file. Backspace to return to this page.

First Name

Last Name

Coding

It is assumed that you have created a PDF file in Acrobat and used the Form Tool to create the text fields, which are date, fname and lname in our example.

Input

The CFML code for your input is:

<FORM ACTION="output.cfm" METHOD="POST" ENABLECAB="YES">
<P><B>First Name</B>
<INPUT TYPE="TEXT" NAME="fname"></P>
<P><B>Last Name</B>
<INPUT TYPE="TEXT" NAME="lname"></P>
<P><INPUT TYPE="SUBMIT" VALUE="Submit"></P>
</FORM>

Output

The output code is:

<CFOUTPUT><CFSET date="#DateFormat(now())#"></CFOUTPUT>
<CFSETTING ENABLECFOUTPUTONLY="YES" SHOWDEBUGOUTPUT="NO">
<CFCONTENT TYPE="APPLICATION/vnd.fdf">
<CFOUTPUT>%FDF-1.2
1 0 obj <<
/FDF <<
/Fields
[
<<
/T(date)
/V(#date#)
>>
<<
/T(fname)
/V(#form.fname#)
>>
<<
/T(lname)
/V(#form.lname#)
>>
]
/F(http://www.yoursite.com/pdf/file_name.pdf)
>>
>>
endobj
trailer
<</Root 1 0 R>>
%%EOF
</CFOUTPUT>

Notes

You could also use <CFIF IsDefined("form.submit")> to include the input and output in one page.

Also, some people may get a warning that the file_name.fdf file may not be safe, depending on their security settings. You need to provide an assurance in case this happens.

Summary

You can convert and send a ColdFusion form as a PDF file using activePDF Toolkit. You simply make a PDF form, create the ColdFusion form, install the activePDF server, and create a ColdFusion page to populate the PDF.


Spread your knowledge


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

ColdFusion Resources

Books

Top-rated books on ColdFusion


Resources and references

Adobe Acrobat - Area in Adobe site, explaining their Acrobat product

activePDF - Company that sells the activePDF Toolkit needed to convert CF to PDF format


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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cftopdf2.htm

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