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Rolled tips and doc improvements from Web-page comments into docs/out…

…putting_pdf.txt. Thanks to various contributors.

git-svn-id: bcc190cf-cafb-0310-a4f2-bffc1f526a37
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1 parent 165a4e7 commit 193ae3800f2070b7a8d36fcbf884a1cbee575745 @adrianholovaty adrianholovaty committed Feb 18, 2006
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  1. +62 −0 docs/outputting_pdf.txt
@@ -79,6 +79,15 @@ mention:
whatever you want. It'll be used by browsers in the "Save as..."
dialogue, etc.
+ * The ``Content-Disposition`` header starts with ``'attachment; '`` in this
+ example. This forces Web browsers to pop-up a dialog box
+ prompting/confirming how to handle the document even if a default is set
+ on the machine. If you leave off ``'attachment;'``, browsers will handle
+ the PDF using whatever program/plugin they've been configured to use for
+ PDFs. Here's what that code would look like::
+ response['Content-Disposition'] = 'filename=somefilename.pdf'
* Hooking into the ReportLab API is easy: Just pass ``response`` as the
first argument to ``canvas.Canvas``. The ``Canvas`` class expects a
file-like object, and ``HttpResponse`` objects fit the bill.
@@ -88,3 +97,56 @@ mention:
* Finally, it's important to call ``showPage()`` and ``save()`` on the PDF
+Complex PDFs
+If you're creating a complex PDF document with ReportLab, consider using the
+cStringIO_ library as a temporary holding place for your PDF file. The
+cStringIO library provides a file-like object interface that is particularly
+efficient. Here's the above "Hello World" example rewritten to use
+ from cStringIO import StringIO
+ from reportlab.pdfgen import canvas
+ from django.utils.httpwrappers import HttpResponse
+ def some_view(request):
+ # Create the HttpResponse object with the appropriate PDF headers.
+ response = HttpResponse(mimetype='application/pdf')
+ response['Content-Disposition'] = 'attachment; filename=somefilename.pdf'
+ buffer = String()
+ # Create the PDF object, using the StringIO object as its "file."
+ p = canvas.Canvas(buffer)
+ # Draw things on the PDF. Here's where the PDF generation happens.
+ # See the ReportLab documentation for the full list of functionality.
+ p.drawString(100, 100, "Hello world.")
+ # Close the PDF object cleanly.
+ p.showPage()
+ # Get the value of the StringIO buffer and write it to the response.
+ pdf = buffer.getvalue()
+ buffer.close()
+ response.write(pdf)
+ return response
+.. cStringIO:
+Further resources
+ * PDFlib_ is another PDF-generation library that has Python bindings. To
+ use it with Django, just use the same concepts explained in this article.
+ * HTMLdoc_ is a command-line script that can convert HTML to PDF. It
+ doesn't have a Python interface, but you can escape out to the shell
+ using ``system`` or ``popen`` and retrieve the output in Python.
+ * `forge_fdf in Python`_ is a library that fills in PDF forms.
+.. _PDFlib:
+.. _HTMLdoc:
+.. _forge_fdf in Python:

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