website form to pdf possibility?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by acrahm, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. acrahm macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2007
    Hello all,

    I am running into a predicament with getting something on my website and i hope i can find the solution here.

    heres the situation:

    I am adding a employment opportunities page to my website and want to put the application on the site as a form. and when the applicant fills out all the information, they hit submit and an pdf copy of everything they filled out gets emailed to me. is this possible? and if so what software/tools would i need?

    here is the type of form i would be trying to have up on the site:
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    There are some PHP classes that let you write out PDF files. PHP can also email attachments to you. All free as well. You just have to track it down. I don't currently have time to look around, but PHP is one answer to your problem. There may be some pre-built stuff that you can use with little setup, but also likely cost some money.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The above would be the best way. But easier way that I might try is to have your web application output LeTex. It's is a markup language. then you run that through TeX and can get the output in PDF. Use any other markup language you like. The idea is that it is far easier to write the markup than to write the PDF. (Yes it is a wast of CPU power but I assume we are not talking about 1000 PDF files per hour rates.)

    If you want "really easy" then use "text2pdf" (Google it) It is Open Source
    You give up fine control over the typography but save hours and days of work.

    But why bother? Why not just read a text version? Why PDF? Text would be trivial to do.
  4. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2007
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    Why PDF?

    PDF's are common in business for integrating graphics with text for media presentations and product literature. Not that it's impossible to adjust the source, but PDF's aren't as easy to modify and lock compared to Word and other formats. PDF's are easy to control in terms of margin and scaling so the format is used often by developers for ease of use (printing documentation, white papers, etc.) including embedding CSS and HTML as desired. PDF's are not for everyone, not the best thing since slice bread, but in the business world - it's SOP to use the format. Finally, PDF format is well supported across almost all major development platforms in open source format, where as it's less prevalent for developers to find libraries for Microsoft products other than .net.

    That's when the "best way" really is better than easier!

  5. telecomm macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    Another option that might work for you would be to use Acrobat to create a fillable form, then put that up on your webpage. (Of course, whether or not that's feasible depends on your site traffic and bandwidth limitations.) You could put a big "Submit" button at the bottom of your PDF and have the PDF attach itself to an email in the user's default mail application, then they just press send and that's it.

    Of course, that's probably only appealing if you've already got Acrobat Pro, as it's more expensive than free. ;)

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