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From "Ryan Ackley" <sack...@cfl.rr.com>
Subject Re: can POI create a PDF from an XLS?
Date Wed, 28 Jan 2004 22:34:12 GMT
In your case you might be better off doing the XML->PDF. I believe the
XLS->XML has been done before. PDF templates don't exist in the same sense
as XLS templates. You would need to get into PDF forms
Last time I checked, Acrobat had a pure java library for filling out forms.
It creates an FDF file as compared to a PDF. Its like the PDF is the
template and the FDF is the filled out form. The caveat is that you have to
either buy the full version of Acrobat and create the original
form/template. I don't remember if iText supports doing this
programmatically. One advantage of buying the full version of Acrobat is
that you can print out the Excel template to a PDF file and then create your
form on top of that. This way the finished PDF will look virtually identical
to the Excel worksheet.

I am an expert on document management. If you need more help I offer
consulting services through superlink software
(http://www.superlinksoftware.com ).

Maybe one of the Excel guys will chime in about the XML...


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Meyer" <MMeyer@TravelCLICK.net>
To: "'POI Users List'" <poi-user@jakarta.apache.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 4:51 PM
Subject: RE: can POI create a PDF from an XLS?

> hello ryan..
> > Given that you are programmatically creating the xls, you can
> > programmatically create your PDF also. No need to convert
> > from xls->PDF, it
> > may be easier to just convert to PDF from your original data.
> yes - i agree.  i like going straight from the data to PDF.  my only
> with this approach is:
> 1) at the moment - i have no experience with libs like iText that allow
> to programmatically produce PDF from raw data.  i am not sure how
> it would be to stuff data in to a PDF document using "real world"
> requirements (graphs, logo images and so on).
> 2) as our environment stands right now - we have numerous "template" files
> (Excel .XLT files) that are developed by our product development people.
> once they have the template looking nice - our process (using POI) just
> pumps data programmatically in to a datasheet in the workbook.  all of the
> other sheets on the template then - just refer to the datasheet.  although
> the end result is not trivial - the process - from a development point of
> view is pretty straight forward.
> using the approach above (i think ?) would necessitate the development of
> parallel "templates" in PDF format.  then we would simply drive data in to
> the PDF template...
> > FOP is for
> > XML-> PDF and iText is for programmatically creating PDF files.
> understood - this is also what i gather from reading the info i have found
> so far.
> >
> > I don't work on the Excel side of POI so I don't know if
> > there is something
> > for converting Excel -> XML. If there is, it *might* be
> > easier to do FOP.
> agreed!  it would be neat if this did exist.
> > But you would still have to convert this XML into the XML
> > namespace that FOP
> > understands, believe me this is not trivial.
> understood.  also ... how would you move images and logos on the XLS
> template in to the XML definition?  i guess it could be done with
> like an HTML href (just thinking outloud).
> > I believe iText
> > would probably
> > fit your needs better. I would just generate the PDF from the
> > data you used
> > to create the Excel.
> agreed - i just need to gather more info regarding the process of creating
> "non-trivial" PDF template and then driving information in to the
> does anyone have any comment on this?
> thanks so much for all of the feedback!
> mark

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