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  1. #1
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    Unhappy

    Hi All,

    I am not sure if this can be done, but I am trying to use PDF forms like a MS Word mailmerge.

    Here is what I have done so far:
    1) Downloaded pdftk from http://www.accesspdf.com/pdftk/ (for Windows - I am running Vista)
    2) I have created a fillable PDF document (eg: xx.pdf) - one field for testing - I used Nuance PDF Converter Prof. Trial version
    3) Exported the fdf file (eg: xx.fdf)
    4) Edited the fdf file - added a value for the text field.
    5) Ran the form fill option of the pdftk app - eg: pdftk xx.pdf fill_form xx.fdf output new.pdf flatten
    - All works great.

    But I would like to edit the fdf file and try to make the output file have more than one page.
    eg. I would like to create a list of names in the fdf and run the pdftk command with the fill_form option to generate a single multi-paged pdf document - where each name is one a different page.

    I am not running this in a web server, just on a stand-alone pc.

    Can anyone help with this? I am open to other options.
    Regards,
    Andy.

    PS - Did I post this in the right forum?

  2. #2
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    It's been several days and nobody seems to have suggestions on how to implement your approach. So why not do this with a Word MailMerge, and the output the result to a PDF file or files? The Word MailMerge is far more sophisiticated than the tools I've seen that use PDF.
    Wendell

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thanks Wendall,

    We are currently using word merges but they don't seem to run that well at times.
    We use an AutoIt program to start Word (minimized and hidden) then it runs the merge and shows the user the finished result.
    But on some users machines this causes a flickering on the screen. Occasionally, if a user is already running Word, other issues arise.

    For some reason, I really thought that people had done the same sort of thing with PDF.

    I have recently found another useful snippet of info about pdf, and I call it overlaying. I found this in some of the info on the verypdf website (they call it templates). I will investigate this option more when I have time.

    Regards,
    Andrew.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    PDF Merge Tool

    Works great.

  5. #5
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    I think you've misunderstood what Andy is trying to do - he doesn't want to merge two or more files into a single file. Instead what he is after is the equivalent of a Word Mail Merge that produces customized documents based on data from an external source (database, spreadsheet or delimited text file), but creates PDF documents instead of a word processing documents.
    Wendell

  6. #6
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    Thanks for your help guys - I do appreciate any feedback.

    I have be in touch with Sid, the author of pdftk, and he has suggested another method to try - one at a time.

    Since my original post, I have investigated a great deal of options and the one that seems to cover most of my options, is, from VeryPDF - PCL to PDF conversion - as many of the reports that I was going to convert into creating fdf files, are actually pcl files and therefore will not need to be changed.

    VeryPDF have a command line option (only for Windows) for their PCL to PDF process and a great number of options, like paper type (A4, Letter, etc), rotation, appending, merging, templates, noempty, encryption, etc.

    So I will run my reports, then convert them to pdf while applying a template pdf document over the top of each page.

    I now have to work out how to bring in images stored in the database - that, my friends, is for another day...

    Thanks again for your help.

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