[FX.php List] Precision Printing alternatives

Steve Winter steve at bluecrocodile.co.nz
Tue Oct 2 09:27:39 MDT 2007

Hi Jonathan,


In my view FPDF really is your best bet, and based on the alternatives
you’ve come up with, your only bet... 


This has been the answer to every web-based printing problem that I’ve come
across because it doesn’t matter what OS or what printer the end user has,
the outcome is still the same... I’ve used it for reports, letters,
certificates, filling in forms (where the output from FMP has to go onto a
government issued form) etc etc


You are however correct that establishing the template can be time
consuming, that said, once it’s done, it’s done and will work flawlessly on
every system...


Someone mentioned the other day that part of the issue with FPDF was that
you have to specify everything based on XY co-ordinates, however I
personally believe that is one of its strengths since it allows you to put
content precisely where you want it... in a job that I’ve just been working
on for a commercial printer we’re using it in combination with a Flash
application to create print-ready files from data which is manipulated in
flash, the content output to php and the pdf generated pixel perfect...


In answer to your FPDF question, to get text to wrap in a field use
Multicell see HYPERLINK
ll.htm for details...






-----Original Message-----
From: fx.php_list-bounces at mail.iviking.org
[mailto:fx.php_list-bounces at mail.iviking.org] On Behalf Of Jonathan Schwartz
Sent: Tuesday, 2 October 2007 4:10 p.m.
To: FX.php Discussion List
Subject: [FX.php List] Precision Printing alternatives


Hi Folks,


(There's a question at the end of this long email recap)


I'm still going in circles on my school progress report project.


The problem goes back to printing report cards after teachers enter 

student data.  There are 200+ teachers in 6 schools.  The input side 

has been intended to be web based using fx.php.  No problems there. 

The output side is the real challenge.  I didn't originally think so, 

but I do now.


Earlier on this list, I inquired about using FPDF and I received good 

reviews for that method.  However, in attempting to set that up, I 

now see the expertise in FPDF required and time involved in getting 

the template set up. It could take 100 hours...or more....just for 

the template.


If you'd like to see the test, it appears below.  I have placed the 

same simplified sample "cell module" in 4 places on a page.  Have not 

figured out how to wrap text inside a cell. That's what the 4th 

example was trying to do, and where I gave up...




The SECOND alternative is to distribute a runtime FMP file that 

allows teachers to import data from the server and then use it to 

print the Progress Reports.  (You can't use a runtime to connect to 

the server)..  I guess I could use the Excell spreadsheet php class 

to do the export.  This alternative is lousy in that it involves 

input in one place and output in another....with steps in between.


I thought of a THIRD alternative.  I believe that all the school's 

printers are networked and visible on the network across the 

district.  Perhaps if I used a single FMP CLIENT connected to the 

Server at headquarters. and then script the printing of progress 

reports from the FMP client to the remote printers. There's a recipe 

for disaster.


Of course, a FOURTH alternative is to purchase 200 copies of 

FileMaker.  There's not budget for that.



That being said...how do php and mysql systems print data to paper? 

I must be missing some huge piece of the puzzle.  Without better 

alternatives, I'm thinking of walking away from this "opportunity".




Jonathan Schwartz

Exit 445 Group

jonathan at exit445.com




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