Archive for March 18th, 2011

I wanted to allow my webservices to create PDF files, and I figured it couldn't be too hard—after all, it's just a bunch of graphics commands in a text file, right? Foolish me. The reference manual is 756 pages long, not including the javascript reference, another 769 pages. The place to start is fPDF, which is open source and pretty easy to understand, and its derivative tFPDF that lets you use and embed True Type fonts (it's the 21st century; who uses anything but True Type fonts?). Using it is simple:

define('_SYSTEM_TTFONTS', '/path/to/your/truetype/fonts/'); // Took a bit of experimenting to find the right values for these
putenv('GDFONTPATH='._SYSTEM_TTFONTS); // so we can use GD images as well
$pdf=new tFPDF();
$pdf->Cell(40,10,'Hello World!');

One gotcha is that you need to create the unifont directory within the fonts folder, and copy tFPDF's ttfonts.php file into that.

The result is here.

Continue reading ‘Creating PDFs with PHP: Syntax’ »