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Topic: Dynamic PDF documents
Conf: (P-PDF) Developers, Msg: 52982
From: wasser
Date: 5/29/2002 04:55 PM

My name is Sebastien Wasser.

I must produce "dynamic pdf documents" and I'm looking
for the best solution :

- I have 3 Microsoft Word Documents (.doc) and their
  equivalents in PDF.
- They all have several pages (between 6 and 10). 
- Between 1 and 4 tables are included in each page.
  Each table has a title and several rows.
- Platform : Unix (Solaris 2.5), I can use Adobe
  Distiller under Unix. I can't use a Windows platform.

- I must fill the documents with data and then produce
  The problem is that the number of rows in each table
  is not known in advance. That means that a table can
  be displayed on several pages or that a table 
  initially presented on page 1 can be in fact on page
  2 or 3 in the pdf. Of course I want to   
  have "readable" tables (I want for example to repeat
  the title of a multi-page table on top of each page).

- I have tried several solution :

  1. Fill the .doc documents and then convert them
     into pdf. I can't find a solution under Unix (no
     equivalent of OLE and no Distiller 4). It would
     fit my needs under NT.

  2. Convert the .doc documents into RTF documents and
     then manipulate them under Unix (through 
     StarOffice or with our own tools written in 
     shell). The problem is then to convert the RTF 
     Files into PDF. I can use POSTSCRIPT as an
     intermediate but I didn't find a good RTF TO
     POSTSCRIPT converter. The result is always very

  3. Use LaTeX as an intermediate. I should then 
     manipulate the LaTeX files and then add the rows
     needed, add data, etc.
     The problem is that I can't find LaTeX converters
     which is able to deal with my RTF, DOC or PDF (I
     have tried many but the result is always very 
     poor). I would be too long to write the document
     under LaTeX.

  4. Use a pdf library (pdflib or else) and then write
     a soft in C or Java. The problem is that I find 
     it difficult to have enough information 
     concerning the original files. A tool like
     "pdw" from Glance could help but it only gives 
     information concerning text in the pdf. I have to
     add manually the information concerning table 
     borders, images, etc. In addition, it seems too 
     complicated in comparison with my problem.

Does anyone has a solution for me ? Thank you very 
very much in advance.


Sebastien Wasser

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